By BOBBY SWEENEY
Chris Corbett has certainly racked up frequent flyer miles through the 2018 race season. Corbett is an Australian resident, but had made his way to New York twice this season to compete in a Sportsman.
Corbett had a six-week stint in America back in June and July, racing at tracks such as Brewerton, Fulton, Utica-Rome, and Weedsport. After a brief trip home, Corbett is back and qualified for Super DIRT Week.
In America, Corbett drives a Troyer chassis as a teammate to Tyler Thompson. Corbett explained landing his current ride was a multi-step process.
“I talked to Peter and Kevin Britten, then they sent me to Billy Colton,” Corbett noted. “Billy sent me Jason Simmons (Thompson’s car owner), and they had this car for sale. It all fell into place from there, I bought the car and they helped me get it to the track.”
Corbett snuck into the field through the Sportsman last chance qualifier last night. Only three cars qualified, and with a couple laps to go Corbett was on the far outside looking in.
“I was running tenth with two to go,” said Corbett. “Luckily, we got a green-white-checkered a couple times, it turned our way and we just ran the high line and put it in the show.”
Australian Dirt Modifieds are significantly different than their American counterparts. While the motors are largely similar to a 358 Modified, the rubber they race on is much more Sprint Car.
“These cars are pretty different,” stated Corbett. “Up here, we got a little tire on it, whereas back home we have big rubber on the rears. At home, you can throw it in on the right rear and let it dig, but with he smaller tire you really need to let it roll. It makes it a totally different animal to drive.”
In Australia, bullrings are the norm. There are few tracks in the continent that are barely a third of a mile, meaning Corbett has little experience on tracks like the massive half mile of Oswego.
“The big tracks are way different,” Corbett said. “My first time around here, I thought it was taking forever. I was like ‘wow, this place is absolutely massive.’ A lot of these big tracks are just about wide open, I like it.”
There were 93 Sportsman that attempted to qualify for the Chevy Performance 75, meaning Corbett had his work cut out for him. However, Corbett got his money’s worth out of his trip, as he’ll be starting 33rd on the field.
“You always go there hoping to qualify in the field,” Corbett notes. “I’m really ecstatic just to be in the field, it’s a tough job getting in there. But, we’re in, so we’re enjoying it. We got a long way to go, starting 33rd, but we’re happy to be in.”