Rick Laubach looked untouchable for much of Sunday evening’s 40-lap ‘South Jersey Shootout’ at New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway. He enjoyed a huge lead for much of the race, even after cautions would erase it.
And yet, even with having a lead of almost 25 car lengths over second place, Laubach described the race as “a little nerve-wracking for a while there,” because it’s difficult to know where the other cars are.
“It didn’t really feel that good, I won’t lie to you,” Laubach told Speed51.com powered by JEGS after his commanding win. “Until the end there, then I could run wherever I wanted to it seemed. You’re just hoping that you don’t see anything or hear anybody.”
For most of the race Laubach didn’t see anybody, at least not anybody that he would be racing for position with. Only on restarts was anybody close enough to possibly do anything with him, and even then he seemed untouchable.
Only one driver appeared to have anything for Laubach, and that was Ryan Watt. Watt started 12th and methodically made his way to the front of the pack. Most drivers ran right around the bottom of the 5/8-mile oval all race long, but not Watt. He used the cushion to his advantage all race long.
Watt, who scored a big win at nearby Big Diamond Speedway (PA) earlier in the weekend, got to second with about 10 laps to go where he battled with Laubach for a few laps before Watt began to fade. Laubach moved to the outside and started to pull away from Watt who then dropped back to fourth in the waning laps.
David Van Horn got by Watt to take second, as did Grandview Speedway (PA) regular Craig Von Dohren who charge from 24th to finish third. Watt and Jack Swain completed the top-five.
“I thought for a little while I was starting to run him down with about ten to go,” said Van Horn. “But Rick is so good here. I knew it was going to be tough to beat him so I’m pleased.”
“It helped starting first tonight, no doubt about it,” said Laubach. “I guess our car was decent to be able to stay out front like that.”
The 40-lap race saw five caution periods, and took a total of 34 minutes to complete.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo
South Jersey Shootout Official Results:
|2||71||David Van Horn|
|3||14S||Craig Von Dohren|
|7||18||Billy Pauch Jr.|
|13||1P||Billy Pauch Sr.|