His last name is synonymous with success in southern Maine racing circles, and he’s carrying on the family tradition in fine fashion. While it might have taken him slightly longer in this pandemic-shortened season to reach full throttle, he’s back up to speed and winning races again.
For 28-year-old Corey Bubar, a feature win at historic Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on July 25 put that familiar smile back on his face and a spring in his step. It was a long, long wait for The Ridge faithful in 2020; they didn’t throw their first green flag until July 18. Yet Bubar got an early jump.
“We went down to White Mountain Motorsports Park for the second Pro All Stars Series (PASS) they ran on June 21,” Bubar said. “Unfortunately, we struggled there and didn’t fare very well. We got a bad draw and just didn’t have enough speed to pass any cars.
“It was also really hot down there and the car ended up overheating, so we couldn’t finish the race. It was tough, I ended up burning my foot a little. It wasn’t the way we wanted to start a delayed season.”
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.
In this year’s season opener at Beech Ridge, Bubar finished 10th but did not complete the feature. The next week, however, it all came together. His car is truly a custom piece, built by he and Alan Berry.
“It felt great to have the speed and have the car stay strong for all 75 laps,” Bubar said. “Alan and I have a ton of work in this car, so to win like that gives us so much pride. This is my fourth year with him, and I’m happy to give him that victory. There aren’t many cars like this one, I’m lucky to drive it.”
This week, Bubar and his Beech Ridge rivals return to the Holmes Road for another 75-lap tilt. He knows it’ll take another stellar run to repeat, and he’s confident the team is well prepared for battle.
“I hope we can have another competitive run and contend for another win,” Bubar added. “We work really hard to keep things consistent on the car, to eliminate all the variables we can. I think that’s part of the reason we’ve had some success. It takes a real effort to be organized, or it just won’t work.
“This year, we’ve stepped it up over 2019 with keeping detailed notes on the car. We need to have full knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, so we’re documenting everything we do in detail. When we make a change to the car, we know how it should react. That’s the way it’s supposed to work.”
As is the case with all talented and dedicated racers, Bubar has several good folks working hard behind the scenes to keep his program moving forward.
“I’m lucky to have such incredible support and help from my family and crew members,” Bubar said. “I need to thank my car owner, Tom Mason, Alan Berry, my father, Dan Bubar; Jeff Gillette, Jay Gillette, my mother, Karen Bubar; my sister, Kelsey Bubar; Mike Landry, Tinker Doughty and Dylan Bilodeau.
“Nick Cusack has been helping out this year when we raced away from Beech Ridge, and I appreciate his time and efforts. I also get unconditional love and support from my wife, Ashley, and my daughter, Kinsley. I really couldn’t do this without those two. They are my world.”
Bubar is also fortunate to have a fine group of marketing partners contributing to the cause and helping him run up front on a regular basis.
“I am blessed to have some great companies on board the 12 car in 2020,” Bubar explained. “I need to thank Coastal Road Repair, J. A. Simpson Roll-Off Container Service, T&L Racing, Strictly Roofing, CNC Blocks Northeast, and Berry Racecars and Customs. We couldn’t do this without their support.”
As this bizarre and far shorter than normal season starts to wind down, Bubar has no lofty or unreal goals in mind, which is no surprise from the man who looks more like a college professor than a local short track driver.
“I really just want to be competitive,” Bubar said. “I just want to be able to go to the track ever week and run up front. We’re going to run that Granite State Pro Stock Series race at The Ridge on Aug. 15. Ever since that race was announced, it’s been circled on our calendar. It would be nice to win that one.
“We are also planning to run the Oxford 250 this year, although we haven’t filed an official entry yet. We’ve had some offers from folks to help with tire expenses, and I think we’ve got a car capable of making the show. We did run the first PASS race at Oxford this year, and I led 94 laps of the 150.”
With a recent performance like that and pocket full of confidence, Bubar is ready to go.
“We weren’t expecting to run quite that well, but it felt fantastic,” he said very honestly. “We have another car we’ve been building for a couple years, and that was the first time we’ve raced it. It was pretty fast. We’re a little hit or miss sometimes, but hopefully we can go back there and be just as fast.”
-Story and photo by Phil Whipple, Speed51.com Northeast SLM Correspondent