The Inverary, Ont. driver was dealt a blow early on in the night with a pill draw of 40 that placed him seventh on the grid in his heat. He raced his way to second to earn a fourth-place starting spot in the 50-lap main event.
“We had a caution on the first lap and I got to second. I restarted on the inside and I got the lead through turns one and two and never looked back,” O’Brien said.
The track took rubber around lap 20 and made passing difficult as O’Brien encountered lapped traffic. A caution just past the halfway point enabled his efforts as the field was reset.
“We were in lapped traffic, but it was so hard to pass you couldn’t get by them. The yellow came out and we never got back in to traffic, so it helped us out,” O’Brien commented. “The car was fast. I think we were fast enough to win, we just couldn’t pass the lapped cars so we couldn’t get away.”
Regardless, the car was fast enough as O’Brien held off Matt Billings and brother Pat O’Brien to claim the win. The win was O’Brien’s second of the season in a 50-lap distance.
“We won a lot of short races last year and hadn’t won any big ones in a while. We really focused our whole attention on winning some of these longer distance races this year and so far it’s working,” O’Brien explained.
To the casual fan, the difference between a weekly 30-lap feature and a 50-lap special event may seem as simple as an extra 20 laps, but it’s from the case. Preparation changes significantly beneath the body panels.
“The shock package is a little different. The way you cut and how hard you drive with the tires is different. The track’s change in the last 20 laps a lot more than you think and the last 20 laps is when it counts,” O’Brien explained.
The exciting win Saturday night was highlighted by a special kids-oriented giveaway from one of O’Brien’s sponsors, who has asked to remain anonymous. The sponsor giveaway 50 t-shirts to kids at the speedway, french fries and drinks and offered face painting.
“That went over really well. They wanted to do that for the kids and everybody really enjoyed it,” O’Brien said with a smile.
Riding a wave of momentum that includes six straight top-five finishes at Brockville, O’Brien will tackle a double-header weekend beginning Friday at Mohawk International Raceway in Hogansburg, NY for another 50-lap event before heading back to weekly racing at Brockville on Saturday.
“At Brockville, we’re real comfortable and we have Mohawk figured out too,” O’Brien said.
Visit www.mohawkspeedway.com and www.brockvillespeedway.com for additional event details.
Danny O’Brien 2016 Season: 11 Starts – 3 Wins, 9 Top-5s, 11 Top-10s
Facebook: facebook.com/DannyOBrienRacing (@DannyOBrienRacing)
Danny O’Brien’s 2016 DIRTcar 358 Modified season is supported by several dedicated corporate sponsors, including: 1000 Islands RV Centre, ATC World Class Trailers, Bob FM, Ambush, Pat’s Auto Centre, Bicknell Racing Products, Heather-Lynn Topping, Integra Shocks, Northwood 2 Construction, and Snap-On Adam Way.
Prepared By Clayton Johns Media