By Cody Manmiller
EAST GREENBUSH, NY – On the heels of a top-five-filled Ollie’s Cajun Swing to end his 2022 season, David Schilling flies into the fourth edition of the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco ‘Sunshine Swing’ more prepared than ever.
“It’s all up to the driver now,” Schilling said with a laugh.
“I’ve struggled for a long time with help in the shop, but I’ve never been more supported now with the equipment and the help I have.”
Schilling carried some momentum with him out of last year’s trip to All-Tech Raceway, capping the week with a pair of sixth-place finishes amidst a terrific field of cars. He showed speed again at Orange County Fair Speedway for the STSS Elite Series event at the legendary House of Power, before eventually finishing 15th.
Through the heart of the summer, though, Schilling saw a dip in results.
“I was just missing it as a driver,” Schilling said. “We were off on setup, and we just struggled so bad over the summer. We made some changes to the program and tried to get refocused toward the end of the year.”
Meanwhile, watching the action with a bird’s eye view of everything is Schilling’s car owner and promoter of all things STSS: Brett Deyo.
“Brett has been great,” said Schilling. “Even when we were struggling, he’s backed me 100 percent and we’d just talk about where we can get better, what we can improve upon.
“He’s changed my racing career, honestly.”
Then July 23 happened.
For Fonda’s night of twin 20s, Schilling crossed the line in fourth before capturing the nightcap race at the ‘Track of Champions,’ his second career Modified win and first with Deyo.
A week later he was fifth, then seventh the next week. Heading into the championship season, Schilling seemed more confident than ever.
“We were really fast at Georgetown (in October) before getting a flat and that weekend, plus all the help in the shop, really motivated me to go to Louisiana with something to prove. I knew we could run with those guys.”
The BDR Speed-sponsored No. 20 left the Cajun Swing with a fourth, a second, another second and a fifth. Mission accomplished.
“Our program really needed some strong runs, and it was great exposure for Ollie’s (Bargain Outlet), who we showcased on the car that week, as those races were some of the only races on in the country,” Schilling said.
“That success has all snowballed into this year.”
More than 50 races are on Schilling’s schedule for 2023, beginning with this week’s Sunshine Swing, hosted once again at All-Tech Raceway from Tuesday through Saturday.
Now in charge of one of Deyo’s newest endeavors, BDR Speed, Schilling has a lot on his plate.
“Anytime you start something new there will be growing pains,” Schilling said. “Bringing inventory in, figuring out what you need and what you don’t need, things that you know you can get quickly, setting up with distributors and getting companies like that to buy in to what you want to do, sometimes can be hard.”
Where Schilling believes BDR Speed can shine, though, is through its online presence.
“We are really trying to push our online shop and to be able to compete in the online space,” Schilling added. “We are working on our shop so that it can be as seamless as ever for our customers to buy products online and have stuff shipped to them to make everyone’s life a little easier.”
The BDR Speed parts trailer will have boots on the ground at All-Tech, as well as Fonda, Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, N.Y., Brookfield (N.Y.) Speedway and certain STSS races.
“We are full steam ahead with this operation and we are really excited to be able to service our customers at the track and get them back racing if something happens to them during the night.”
Along with Schilling and the BDR Speed parts trailer, an incredibly talented field of cars have made the trek south to Lake City, Fla., and that will serve as the first test for Schilling’s operation.
This week on FloRacing, the 10th anniversary season of the Short Track Super Series commences, and for Schilling, he hopes – and, maybe most importantly, he believes – it will be a special one.