Corey Bubar drives his Pro Series entry through Turn 2 at Beech Ridge earlier this season. Bubar won the season opener on May 5 and has his sights set squarely on the points championship in 2018. (Jamie W. Williams/Finish Line Photography)
In the premier Pro Series division at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, drivers who wheel those high-horsepower, built-strictly-for-speed machines are some of New England’s finest.
Among them are veterans like Hall of Famer Mike Rowe, 25-year veteran Dan Mckeage and former Oxford 250 winner Wayne Helliwell Jr., of Dover, New Hampshire.
For 26-year-old Corey Bubar, a second-generation racer himself, racing in such a competitive class is not only a way of life, but a challenge he loves meeting head-on. He kicked off his 2018 season with a win on Opening Day (May 5) and has recorded two top-five finishes in four starts.
“It’s been a decent start, but we missed the setup last time out by quite a bit,” Bubar said. “Something went wrong, we got into it with a couple of cars in qualifying and didn’t get it right for the feature. The car has been pretty fast, just not as fast as Curtis (Gerry). We’re working hard to gain a little more.”
Corey is the son of Beech Ridge veteran and 1994 Limited Sportsman champion Dan Bubar, one of the top drivers of his era. Corey began his career in 2004 in Karts and moved into a full-sized car in 2007. He won the Sport Series championship in 2011 and advanced into the premier Pro Series class in 2012.
“My father had his own style, but I’ve kind of established my own following now and come out from racing in his shadow,” Bubar said candidly. “I’ve had a lot of fans come up to me and tell me they’re happy I’m carrying on his tradition of success. I’m just doing my own thing in my own style of driving.
“I might put a little more pressure on myself to do well with him involved, but he doesn’t put pressure on me in any way. I like to see him happy when we do well, it makes me proud to see him pleased.”
With 10 career Pro Series victories to his credit, Bubar is a proven winner in a highly-competitive class. When the division’s longest race went from 100 laps to 125 in 2014, Bubar drove his car to victory.
“That was a big relief off our shoulders,” Bubar said. “We had always run strong in the long races, but had never been able to win one. It felt pretty nice to finally seal the deal that day.”
Winning in general at Beech Ridge is difficult, given the high level of competition, particularly in the Pro Series. It takes a fast car, a talented driver and maybe even a little luck on your side.
“It’s very tough to win at Beech Ridge these days,” Bubar added. “Everything has to line up just right. You need to hit the right lines to move forward, and getting caught in traffic really hurts your chances of a decent finish. If there aren’t many yellows in a 40-lap feature, you can run out of time quickly.”
Bubar is blessed to have a sizable support team that works hard to keep his program moving forward. No talented driver has ever achieved success in racing without a dedicated crew in the shop and pits.
“Alan Berry and Tom Mason are my car owners, so I need to thank them for allowing me to drive for them,” Bubar said. “They are first class owners with a passion for racing. I couldn’t ask for any better.
“I also have to thank my father for all of his support. I appreciate crew members Jay Gillette, Blake Berry, Jeff Gillette, Tinker Doughty, Keith Sparks, my mother and sister for all the work they do.”
Along with a hard-working race team, Bubar is also fortunate to have a fine group of marketing partners who make his efforts competitive at the top level.
“I’m very thankful for our gracious sponsors, including Coastal Road Repair, Macpage Certified Public Accountants, Strictly Roofing, T&L Racing and CNC Blocks Northeast. We couldn’t do this without them, and I’m proud to represent each one in 2018. We strive to do the best we can for them.”
With the heart of the 2018 campaign now upon drivers, those who are chasing points know they can’t afford to have many bad finishes from here on out. Bubar says his team can still contend for the crown.
“I feel like once we get this consistency thing straightened out, we can have a legitimate shot at earning the championship,” Bubar said. “That was our original goal for the season and I don’t think we’re so may points behind that we can’t make it up.
“We just need to eliminate those bad weeks and find the consistency it takes to contend for that crown. With the 125 postponed from last week to this coming Saturday, we’ll focus on that one for now. We’re getting into the heart of the season, so every race from now on is pretty important in the big picture.”