By the URSS
OBERLIN -- After last weekend, the pressure was off Jake Bubak.
In reality, though, the pressure was off at the beginning of the season.
Bubak, from Arvada, Colo., wrapped up the United Rebel Sprint Series national title for 2013 with his seventh-place finish Sunday afternoon at the second annual Bob Salem Memorial at Decatur County Speedway.
Bubak entered Sunday with a 40-point lead over Luke Cranston. The week prior, the two drivers were neck-and-neck for the title.
But Cranston had engine trouble at Dodge City Raceway Park, and that allowed Bubak to take a comfortable lead into Sunday's final URSS show of the season.
The young gun from Colorado won that region in 2012 while earning national rookie of the year honors.
This year, Bubak was expecting to make a few races here and there, but not as many as he eventually ended up making. He alternates racing seasons with his sister, but when she took an internship, that allowed him to move behind his sprint car for enough of the full season to make a run at the title.
"I didn't put any pressure on myself because we weren't even going for a national title this year," Bubak said. "At the beginning of the year, we missed a couple races for my sister racing. This was supposed to be here year to race, but she ended up doing an internship for nursing. We were able to come out and go for points. I'm very happy for Adam (Trimble). I wish we would have gotten the Colorado (Region), too. But he did a good job, did what he had to do."
While Bubak and Cranston were battling for the national title, Bubak and Adam Trimble were in a tight clash for the Colorado Region crown. Trimble entered Sunday with a two-point edge over Bubak. That meant he had to finish at least one spot ahead of Bubak to win the regional title.
Trimble went on to win the race, while Bubak finished six spots behind.
"Finishing in front of the 9x, that was my main goal," Trimble said. "Congrats to Jake, too. He won the national championship. That's an awesome deal. This is a great way to cap off the season with the championship, too."
Bubak came up to give Trimble a friendly tap after the race concluded, and Trimble then did a few well-planned donuts on the front stretch before posing for the winner's photo.
But Bubak was waiting just off to the side of the track for his national championships picture, too.
"It feels great," Bubak said. "I wish I wouldn't have screwed up in this main event because I thought I had something for those guys. But I jumped the cushion, fell off the back. It would have been nice to get Colorado, too, and to back this race up too since I won it last year."
Bubak became the first Colorado Region driver to win the URSS national title. He joins the list of Jon Johnson, Smokey Fairbank, Brian Herbert (twice), C.J. Johnson and Ray Seemann as national winners.
For the season, Bubak won four URSS features -- all since July 13.
"It's really exciting," Bubak said. "I was hoping to do it next year, because that's when I was going to run for points. But it's great to get it a year early."