Curtis Gerry has become a familiar figure in the short track scene of Southern Maine over several years, but it has been his triumphs of the last two years that put his name among some of Maine’s legendary drivers. In 2016, the Waterboro, ME resident celebrated his first Super Late Model championship, winning the Pro Series track title at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough.
Then last year, he followed it up by winning one of the biggest Super Late Model races not just in the state, but on the entire continent, the Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway. Gerry also put a bow on 2017 by winning the Pro All Stars Series North season finale at Oxford, going back to back on the 3/8-mile track.
Now, after a long cold winter, Gerry is set to return to Oxford for this Sunday’s 150-lap PASS race, eager not just to go for three straight wins there, but finally get the trusty No. 7 back on track.
“We’re ready to get back to the track and try out our car. We had some rule changes over the winter we had to meet for PASS rules. It’s the same car but we had to change the rear end in it and the ignition box. But nothing too significant,” Gerry told Speed51.com.
This particular car has helped catapult Gerry to being one of the State’s best over the past two seasons, combined with a solid team and some good fortune along the way.
“Everything has come to fruition the last two years with this car. Everything lined up, everything clicked, and we had just an amazing run with our team. We’re basking in it, taking it all in.”
While he is still basking in the success, the reality of the achievements, including that Oxford 250 win, has taken hold. Gerry feels the weight of the burden of success heading into 2018.
“The wins have sunk in by now, but now the pressure is on to defend our winning streak. I think the car is capable and we can do it if everything goes our way. We’ll have a big field, like always, for that first race. It should be a good challenge.”
Of course, this Sunday’s race at Oxford is only the beginning with Gerry next setting his sights on his home track of Beech Ridge, first for the 200-lap PASS race on April 28, and then on an entire season of home track racing. While the goal of winning the PASS Beech Ridge event is at the top of the list, Gerry also hopes to gain good notes and use it as a springboard for the Pro Series title hunt.
“The PASS weekend at Beech Ridge will be a good test for opening day. It’s a race I enjoy. They actually changed it to 200 lap race, but it’s still a long run. We don’t get too many races like that, especially at Beech Ridge.”
But Gerry knows that after that, it will be time to batten down the hatches for a season-long war against some of the best drivers in the region week after week at Beech Ridge.
“It’s going to be a really tough field this year for the Beech Ridge regular shows. With Wayne Helliwell coming on board, Dave Farrington, Mike Rowe, and Reid Lanpher being there, they are all heavy challengers.”
Though the odds are stacked even higher in 2018, the years of experience that got Gerry to this point may put him on track for a second Beech Ridge Pro Series title in three years.
“I think we do (have a chance), but a lot of stuff has to go right. But we have a setup nearly perfected consistently over and over again. We have that advantage and we have two years on this car at that track, so we have a lot of notes that really plays in our favor. But again, everything has to line up and you need to stay out of trouble.”
Speed51.com will have coverage and video highlights of the PASS North events this Sunday, April 22 at Oxford Plains Speedway and Saturday, April 28 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo