By Tim Baltz
When drivers return to the seat of a race car after taking some time away, it might take them some time to get used to things and get back to victory lane.
Verona Ontario’s Bobby Herrington has done exactly the opposite since returning to the drivers seat full time in 2021, winning 7 of 8 regular season races and the 2021 DIRTcar Sportsman Track Championship at the Brockville Ontario Speedway.
Fast forward to 2022 and the Kim and Dan Dawdy owned 88Z, authored a season for the record books becoming a force at no matter what track they showed up at, everyone knew that Herrington would be the driver to contend with.
To start this past season the team had their good runs, but the wins were not as frequent as they had been the previous season. By mid-season, Herrington had racked up 3 victories at Brockville Speedway, but he felt they could be better.
Better is exactly how they got.
The team started to pick up the pace and from July. 16th, through the season finale at Brockville, Herrington claimed 5 wins in the final 8 races and finished second in the other three events, which earned him his second straight Brockville Sportsman track title. Along the way, Herrington notched a victory in the Race for the Cure Sportsman Series at Cornwall in late August, his first in that particular series, putting the team on an incredible roll heading into the fall shows that remained on the team’s schedule.
Through the months of September and October, Herrington showed no signs of stopping. The team kicked it off on September 10th, with a victory in the DIRTcar Sportsman event during the Trailer Pro Canada weekend at Brockville.
From there it was off to the Brighton Speedway for the Applefest Shootout weekend double header for the DIRTcar Sportsman. Bobby would hold off William Racine to score the win on Friday night on a late race restart. Saturday the team would take a convincing victory, scoring a weekend sweep and his third Applefest title in only 4 tries in the DIRTcar Sportsman event at Brighton.
After the September dominance, Herrington and the team took on the triple header weekend at the Cornwall Motor Speedway. Friday started off with a big feature win, his 4th victory in 4 starts in the fall and his second of the season at Cornwall. Saturday mechanical failures sidelined the 88Z after only a handful of laps. The team would rebound Sunday with their second win in three days and 5th in their last 6 starts.
The final event of the season would be the 14th annual King Edward Auto Parts/Dirt Outlaw Apparel Fall Nationals presented by St. Lawrence Radiology at the Brockville Ontario Speedway.
Friday night there was plenty on the line for Herrington to accomplish and his team was able to do just that. After mechanical problems for Ogilvie’s Triple Crown Series points leader Jessica Power at the start of the 50-lap event. Herrington would charge to the lead and hold off Shane Pecore to claim his 9th win of the year at Brockville, second in three Oglvie’s Series events, the 2022 series title and his first Fall Nationals championship.
The DIRTcar Sportsman Series finale was up next on Saturday night and Herrington was equally as strong on that evening. Herrington held off repeated challenges from Quebec star Sam Charland to record his 10th win of the season at The BOS, his 2nd career DIRTcar Sportsman Series win and a sweep of the Fall Nationals, something that has never been done in the Sportsman class.
Needless to say, the fall was kind to Herrington, who won 7 of the 8 events he entered in that span.
For Herrington, his 2022 accomplishments speak loudly. He notched 15 feature wins, 10 wins in 20 starts at Brockville, one win shy of tying the single season Sportsman win record and the 2022 Brockville Speedway DIRTcar Sportsman track title.
Bobby also claimed his first Race for the Cure Sportsman Series win at Cornwall, scored two Applefest Shootout Sportsman titles in one weekend and his first Oglvie’s Sportsman Triple Crown Series Title at Brockville, along with a weekend sweep of the Brockville Fall Nationals.
He now sits 4th on the Brockville Speedway Sportsman win list with 20 victories, with 17 in a two-year span.
The now two-time and defending Brockville Speedway DIRTcar Sportsman champion said there will be, little to no change for next year.
Herrington says, “Our schedule for next year is likely going to be very similar to this year, and with our car being as good as it’ s been we don’t want to change much over the winter.”
Herrington is also quick to credit the people who have brought him so much success the last two seasons.
“I feel very fortunate to have such an incredible group of supporters around me that has allowed me to continue my racing career, so to have a season like we did in 2022 is something we can all be proud of as a group.”
Kim and Dan Dawdy along the entire team thank these great sponsors for their support this season and look forward to 2023.