By the URSS
OBERLIN -- No one would have guessed it at the start of the season. In fact, Jake Bubak couldn't fathom what's happening right now. But the teenage sensation from Colorado sits in a prestigious spot in the United Rebel Sprint Series entering another Colorado Region battle Saturday at El Paso County Speedway in Calhan, Colo. Bubak leads the current URSS national points battle, as well as the Colorado Region of the series. "We were just going for rookie of the year and a solid finish in both points," Bubak said. "I wasn't even expecting to lead both points this year."
While Bubak hasn't grabbed his first career victory yet in the series, he's still only in his first season with the Rebels. His father was a former sprint car driver, and he had talked to veteran driver Patrick Bourke about the series as well before this season. "Learning's a good thing," said Bubak, who raced quarter-midgets previously. "In two years, we'll come back again and do the same thing we did this season." Bubak has started to make a name for himself this year, and next year his racing schedule will be trimmed down considerably as his sister gets a chance to compete in her racing ventures. They alternate each year on who gets the majority of the races to keep things even. "My sister races, and I won't get to run very many races next year because this was my year to run," Bubak said.
Bubak leads the Colorado Region with 1,102 points in 10 races. He leads the national campaign with 1,493 points. He's followed closely by Brian Hardman, who is second with 1,399. Hardman has won the last two races in Calhan, earning his first two career victories in the URSS. Hardman and Bubak were two Colorado drivers who made their way to Kansas last weekend for a three-day show capped with the fifth annual Wheatshocker Rebel Nationals in Hays. Bubak finished Sunday's feature in 13th place, while Hardman was in 10th. "We did better this week than I kind of pictured we would," Bubak said. "I was hoping to make the A-main. Being locked in was nice. Made it a less stressful day."
In the first race at El Paso County Speedway, Bubak finished fourth. The next race there, he was third. "It's fun, really small," Bubak said about the quarter-mile track. "The first time we went there, it really rubbered down. The second time, it rained and we had a really nice track. We'll see what it does this time."
No matter what, Bubak is enjoying his first full season with the Rebels. He plans to hit all the Colorado Region shows, as well as all the national shows. "I like racing with these guys, and it's been a great learning experience," Bubak said. "It's been a lot of fun lately."