Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW
Published: December 2, 2016
SUSSEX, NJ – Over twenty years. That’s how long it’s been since Brett Hearn went winless on the Super DIRTcar Series. That was, until this past season. The driver of the Madsen Overhead Doors Teo Pro Car didn’t grace victory lane on the tour in 2016, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
“Our team started out behind the eight-ball last winter, even before we went to Florida,” Hearn said. “We had a lot of new help…a lot of inexperienced help…that gave me everything that they had, but we just didn’t have a lot of experience.”
This past season was an uncharacteristically off year for the Madsen Motorsports team on the Super DIRTcar Series. They were able to secure eight top 5 finishes and 17 top 10’s, but the wins eluded them.
“We just didn’t have the consistency this year,” he said. “We had some really bad races. We had some races that should have been good for us that we didn’t finish. It was hard because Matt (Sheppard) didn’t leave many crumbs on the table for anyone else this year.”
Even though his best series finish was a second in the Bud Light 200 at Oswego during Super DIRT Week, Hearn knows that to be a championship contender, you need to run up front and contend for wins. Plans are already in the works to make 2017 better.
“Our front office is looking at things to improve our situation going forward,” he said. “We’re going to make some big changes for next year.”
With those changes will come a renewed fire for Hearn and his entire team.
“We’re not done,” Hearn said. “Not by a long shot. We’re going to come back strong next year. We have a lot of things planned. Our front office will be expanding. We’re already working hard to make next year better.”
Brett may have gone winless on the tour this year, but he was once again the top man at his Saturday night home, the Lebanon Valley Speedway, where he took home five wins and the track title. He was able to hold off the “King of the Valley,” Kenny Tremont, and the “Ravena Rocket,” Keith Flach, in an extremely tight points battle which came down to the last night.
“The Jet” almost took home the track championship at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway last season as well, but fell short by just a single point to the “White Knight,” Marc Johnson. He did, however, grab two checkered flags at the “Great Race Place.”
Even with some new personnel on his crew, Hearn was quick to give his crew all the credit for the success they enjoyed.
“I have to thank all of my guys for the effort they gave this year,” he said. “It’s not an easy lifestyle that we have. Many of the races seemed to be compacted into the summer schedule, which made things even tougher for us, but they gave everything they had.”
He also made sure to give credit to his marketing partners.
“I have to thank Madsen Motorsports for everything they do and Kevand Cross for what he does for our engine program,” Hearn said. “Performance Technologies, my brother (Bobby) and his group at Teo, Cedar Peaks and all of our great sponsors that have been involved with my racing for a long time. It’s only going to get better.”
To some, having a 10-win season (overall) with 31 top 5’s and 53 top 10’s in 76 starts would seem like a great year, but to a driver like Brett Hearn, it means there’s room for improvement. He’s a professional, and is always looking to be the best in the game.
While he’s only a handful of wins shy of #900 for his career, you can be rest assured; “Brett the Jet” isn’t sitting on his laurels. He’s ready to visit victory lane again, and often.