By CAMDEN PROUD
It has been a trying Super DIRT Week for six-time champion Brett Hearn from Sussex, NJ. An intake valve on Hearn’s big block motor broke prior to Thursday time trials, keeping him out of qualifying. However, in Friday heats, Hearn rebounded in a big way, passing more cars than anyone to come from twenty six to ninth and put his No. 20 in the show.
“I really am pleased,” Hearn said. “We woke up Friday morning wondering how we were going to have to do this twice (come from deep in the field), especially in the big block. The track really narrowed up for the big block LCQ’s and we had to come from all the way from twenty sixth, but we did. It takes a lot of pressure off being locked in so we don’t have to worry about any provisionals.”
Hearn was also a force in the first 358 heat race on Friday night. While Saturday’s 150-lap Salute the Troops main event resulted in a disappointing finish outside of the top twenty, the ‘Jet’ was certainly fun to watch in preliminary action. The 20 car was able to power around the top side, with Hearn driving from fourteenth to sixth. The big block result didn’t come as easy.
“The change in track conditions was absolutely huge,” Hearn added. “The small block race was much more fun. In the big block, the track rubbered up quite a bit and you had to work a whole lot more for it. It was very tedious and I had to push it quite a bit to get where we needed to go.”
There’s no question that the BH Racing guys have worked very hard to get their week turned around. In the Friday and Saturday practice sessions, Hearn was able to pick up some speed. The 911-time feature winner; who has wins at Orange County, Albany, and Devil’s Bowl this year, will fire from twenty seventh this afternoon.
“The guys did a really great job getting things fixed and I’m excited,” mentioned Hearn. “We’ve got some good people here from Performance Technology and we also took the engine down to Kevin Enders’ shop twenty minutes south of here. They gathered it all up and did what they had to do. We got down there and changed the engine and it was really good.”