Boris Jurkovic charged to the opening night win at Berlin Raceway during the 8th Annual Icebreaker 100 Saturday night. Jurkovic’s victory came behind the wheel of the sixth Rowdy Manufacturing car that has been built since NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch took over as President of the merged company.
General Manager Cody Glick was on hand to assist Jurkovic at the track to help guide a Rowdy Manufacturing car to victory lane for the second straight race one had competed in, following Preston Peltier’s SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour win at Irwindale Speedway in California last month.
“It doesn’t get better than that,” Jurkovic stated. “I haven’t won a race in a little while and I had to change my luck. I know Cody (Glick) and the guys pretty good. They promised me it would be a good race car and it is, so I can’t thank them enough.”
The driver from Manhattan, Illinois charged from the sixth starting spot to the lead in just eight laps and dominated the rest of the way to steal the victory from his Wolverine State counterparts at one of the trickiest short tracks in the nation.
“It was pretty fun, not much to see,” Jurkovic told Speed51.com. “They kept telling me to manage my tires and I felt like I was. On that last restart there, I drove it into the first corner and got a little loose. Every lap after that with Brian (Campbell) pressuring me, it stayed pretty free in, I just had to manage the brakes the best I could. Other than that, the car drove awesome. It was the first time I’ve ever drove that car. It’s a Rowdy car and it’s just awesome.”
Despite leading 67 of the race’s 75 laps, Jurkovic’s win was hard-earned. He was forced to hold off one of the best in all of Super Late Model racing in Brian Campbell after a restart with 14 laps to go. Campbell was able to get to Jurkovic’s door late in the race before getting into the dirt in turn four and losing ground and ultimately, the race.
“I knew he would race me good. He raced me clean. He’s got a lot of laps here, so to even be able to keep up with him is in a feat itself. To be able to beat him tonight is pretty awesome.”
Campbell is arguably one of the most successful drivers in the long history of the 7/16-mile oval. A rare mistake by the Wyoming, Michigan driver made with less than five laps to go ended his chances of winning. However, he admits passing Jurkovic would have been a hard task to complete, even if the mistake was not made.
“We would’ve had a lot better shot at it,” Campbell said. “Our car was not to our liking but I don’t want to take anything away from what Boris did today. He led pretty much the whole race. I don’t know if we would’ve got by him, but it was fun to race him.
“Just trying to chase Boris down and came up a little short,” he continued. “Congrats to Boris and all the guys at Hamke/Rowdy Manufacturing. To come up here and to win is a good thing for them guys.”
Nate Walton finished third, followed by multi-time track champion Tom Thomas, who charged from the 15th starting spot to finish fourth. Chris Koslek completed the top five.
Race fans can find on-demand updates, photos and more from Saturday night's Icebreaker 100 by visiting Speed51.com's Race Day Now.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IL & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com