By KEN BRUCE
Zubi’s Racing will expand their efforts in 2021 as owner Dave Zubikowski announced that Jeff Strunk will drive for the team at Big Diamond Speedway and Grandview Speedway full-time this season. With the addition of Strunk to the team, which already consists of youngster Dillon Steuer, the Zubi’s Racing team with both Strunk and Steuer will be a potent team on the PA circuit.
Talking with owner Dave Zubikowski, the New York native is happy with where his team is heading for the upcoming racing season.
“You know about Dillon (Steuer) already, he will be driving for me at Middletown on Thursday nights with the big-block,” explained Zubikowski. “He will also be racing full-time at Big Diamond and then there’s a good chance he will be racing on Saturday’s in PA or at Bridgeport, but probably at Grandview. Dillon is my boy; I love him like a son.”
Strunk is no stranger to driving for Zubikowski having driven for him back in 2015 with the pair notching five wins at Grandview (4) and Accord (1).
“I have bought two new Bicknell cars and two (Morrison) spec motors for Jeff,” cited Zubikowski. “Jeff will be racing full-time at both Big Diamond and Grandview. He will have one car for each track. We might do some other stuff too, but we will wait to see how things go. All of Dillon’s stuff was brand new last year so we are okay there. Jeff’s cars will be numbered No. 88.”
With a new daughter on the way in March, it will be a big year for the man they call “Zubi.”
Strunk excited to be back with Zubi’s
Strunk, who found himself out of a ride after parting ways with the Glenn Hyneman No. 126 at the end of last season, was not sure what the future held for him in 2021. Strunk has remained good friends with Zubikowski over the past few years reached out to his friend for advice and at the end of it all, the duo was able to reach an agreement to get the gang back together for the upcoming season.
“The deal with Dave will be a good one for me, we had fun together before and I am looking forward to having some more with him,” said a happy Strunk. “We’ve had success together in the past and had fun while doing it. I am looking forward to doing that again with him. He is a good guy and came to my rescue once before and now he is doing it again. I am very grateful for his friendship and am really looking forward to this year.”
The team will focus mainly on Big Diamond and Grandview with possibly some other races thrown in. Both of Strunk’s new cars will be housed at a new race shop that is in the process of being built now at his house.
“We are just taking it one step at a time right now,” explained Strunk. “We are building this thing from the ground up; I am in the process of putting a new shop up here at my house so there’s a lot going on right now. It is going to be good when it’s all done but right now it’s all in the process, but we are looking forward to it. It is definitely a challenge, but we should be all good to go when it’s time to go racing. I like a good challenge. It is going to be close, but we’ll work hard and it’s nothing I haven’t done in the past. It’s not something you want to get used to, but I am not afraid of what’s ahead.”
Like any good driver will tell you, you need a good group of guys to make it all work and Jeff is no different as many of his former crew members will be right there with the Bechtelsville, PA driver by his side on this new venture.
“I have a great group of guys who have been with me a long time,” mentioned Strunk. “There are a couple of them who have been with me for almost 11 years and others that have been with me for at least six or seven years and that was part of my focus when I was looking for something. I wanted to keep the guys together because it’s so hard to find good help and help in general and I am grateful for these guys who have stood by me through the years. It’s good to have that support because this sport is not a one-man band. It’s good to have a group of guys beside me and to have my back when I need it and hopefully, we can continue with that success and have some fun while doing it.”
Strunk has driven for many car owners over his long and successful career and is very humble as he talked about what they all meant to him and how they have contributed to his success.
“Losing the ride with Glenn last year is never fun, but that’s part of the profession,” cited Strunk. “Glenn and I had great success together and I appreciate everything he and Bonita have done for me as well as all the owners I have raced for. If you are not appreciative of them, there is something wrong with you. To get the opportunities I have had and to be able to race professionally for as long as I have is something I am very grateful for.
“There were a lot of people along the way that were a big part of that. This is just another phase of my career and we will keep winning races and keep on going forward. I haven’t ever thought about retiring and plan to race quite a few more years.”
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