By BILL FOLEY
Soon to be World of Outlaw Sprint car rookie Brock Zearfoss, despite being one of the few Americans going Down Under this year, is flying home with the Australian title after a spectacular performance.
Dirt Track Digest reached out to Brock and he provided exclusive insight into his travel, racing and plans for the upcoming season.
It was a long way from his Jonestown, Pa., to the spot of his latest success, but it was well worth it.
Dirt Track Digest: What were your expectations of Australia trip?
Brock Zearfoss: “I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I knew the quarantine was going to be long and it was, but once I got out and got to the race shop and saw what I was going to be driving, I knew we were going to be fast.”
DTD: What does winning the title and winning three races while having podium finish mean?
BZ: “It means a lot. The Carren family and the No. 95w have a lot of history and meaning to Western Australia. To come to a country you’ve never been to and race tracks you’ve never seen and to be as competitive as we were is pretty special. I’m very lucky and honored to run the 95 in Western Australia and represent my country and the number as well as we did.”
DTD: What are Australian tracks like compared to USA in regards to surface and atmosphere?
BZ: “The race tracks here are all very similar to one another where at home tracks have unique things to every one of them. The surface here has a lot of sand in it where as at home you have multiple surfaces. The atmosphere is amazing here. The fans love Sprint Car racing and the tracks and country itself does a fantastic job at promoting Sprint Car racing and helping it flourish.”
DTD: How did this opportunity come about?
BZ: “It all came about pretty fast. I got a message from Lynton Jeffrey asking if he could find a car for me to drive if I would be interested, of course I said yes. It’s always been a dream of mine to come over and race in Australia. This all happened just before Thanksgiving and thankfully the Carren family said yes and by December 7 I was on a plane heading overseas.
“A lot went into getting over here from Lynton to the Kendrick family setting up everything along with the Carren family organizing everything as well, to paperwork and visas and exemptions to be able to travel it was a lot in a short amount of time.”
DTD: You mentioned the history of car and family you drove for. Can you explain?
BZ: “The Carren family has a rich history in sprint car racing over here. Sean has had many successful drivers drive for him like Steve Kinser, Danny Lasoski, Max Dumsney just to name a few and the 95 is a special number to WA which is home to the Krikke family who has a storied history in Sprint Car racing here as well. Krikke lost his life going to the race track. He had a promising career ahead of him. I’m glad I got to represent him, the Krikke family, and the Carren family with success like he would have.”
DTD: Are there any adaptions to racing in Australia?
BZ: “I didn’t really have much to adapt to. With my own seat in the car it was fairly easy to adjust. It’s mainly about getting to the track and just getting comfortable on the race track as fast as possible, which we were able to do.”
DTD: Why do you think you were so successful?
BZ: “I think our success came from having good equipment to race with and just connecting with each other. It was really easy to get along with everyone, we all had fun and enjoyed the two weeks of racing that we did.”
DTD: What tracks did you race and finish at each?
BZ: “In order: Perth Motorplex third, Perth second, Bunbury Speedway second, Ellenbrook Speedway first and Perth first and first for double features.”
DTD: You didn’t know the drivers you were racing against so how does that impact you?
BZ: “I wasn’t sure what to expect from the drivers, you watch video and study how they race here and you see they are aggressive and all out. I learned some things watching video, but you have to get on the track and race to really figure things out. I learned a lot the first two nights about how they race you and used that to adjust how I need to drive on the race track.”
DTD: Was there any USA vs Australia on the track?
BZ: “I think I had a target on my back being the only full American racing so I’m sure they all wanted to beat me and defend their home turf. I was very fortunate to be able to race with some really talented racers who all raced me clean and with respect just like I gave them. It was fun to race hard, but clean at the same time and put on a good show for the fans.”
DTD: With all of the COVID-19 restrictions, how were you able to go?
BZ: “It was very difficult to get over to Australia. Western Australia is about the only place in the world with zero Covid cases so border protection is very tight. It took a lot of paperwork and letters from the WA government to be able to come over and race.”
DTD: What was fun of racing in Australia?
BZ: “Just seeing new places and how they do things in Australia. Meeting new fans and just being able to race in-front of a new atmosphere and audience to show them what I can do on the race track.”
DTD: What might be the most difficult thing about going to race there?
BZ: “I’d have to say Sprint Car racing can be demanding in Australia. The race tracks have a lot of character to them and you have to be on your game physically and mentally.”
DTD: What are you 2021 season plans and how did your woo ride come about?
BZ: “We plan on racing with the World of Outlaws in our rookie season. It’s our family owned team, but we have been working towards this goal for a few years. We’re all excited for this new journey.”
DTD: Have you raced down under before? What kind of success?
BZ: “This was my first time flying internationally and first time to Australia, so I guess you could say it has been very successful!”
DTD: For those that don’t know you, what is your racing background?
BZ: “I started racing in go karts in 1999, I won my first ever race and was hooked from there. I raced go karts until 2005 and moved up into the 600cc Micro Sprints. We bought a 358ci sprint car motor and ventured into full sized sprint car racing in 2012. I broke my leg on opening day in 2013, but by June I was healed up and in July we purchased a 410ci motor. 2014 was my first full season as well as racing 360ci Sprint Cars also.
“I won my first 410 race at Williams grove in 2016, the Port Royal track championship along with my first career WoO win in 2017. In 2018 I made the Knoxville Nationals in my first attempt. In 2019 I raced full time with the All Star Circuit of Champions with three wins in my rookie season including the Brad Doty Classic. In 2020 we won the only motorsports event held in the world during COVID at Park Jefferson Speedway in South Dakota, along with an All Star win at Southern Oklahoma. For 2021 I finished on the podium every race of USA vs WA Speedweek with three wins and the overall championship.”