Bradley Babb Back Behind Wheel In 2013
3rd-Generation Beech Ridge Champion Sets Sights On Title Defense, PASS North Series
WINDHAM, Maine – Bradley Babb isn’t one for hyperbole. Ask him about what it means to be a third-generation champion at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, joining his father and grandfather as a champion in the track’s premier division, and he’s already looking ahead.
“I don’t really know what to say to it,” said Babb, 20, of Windham, Maine. “I mean, I still just want to go out and win races like they’ve always done.”
Babb’s father, Bobby Babb Jr., is a five-time track champion at Beech Ridge and still competes in a car fielded by the family out of the same race shop, while grandfather Robert Babb Sr. is a two-time BRMS champion. Last season, though, the youngest Babb took his first step toward cementing his own legacy under the family name – winning the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track and state championships in a three-way battle that came down to the final night (and final laps) of the 2012 season.
After previously spending time away from the weekly wars by touring with the ACT Late Model Tour, Babb said it was the lessons he learned on the road that helped him when he finally returned to his roots at Beech Ridge.
“It’s kind of odd going from long-distance (ACT) races back to short (weekly) races, but I learned patience last year,” Babb said. “When we were running the Tour, the only reason I had patience was because I knew I had to save my tires. Last year, I learned you need to keep the car in one piece and save something for the end there, too.”
Babb posted a win in the season opener and then locked up his title run with three consecutive Top-10 finishes to close out the year in the ultra-competitive Pro Series division for Super Late Model cars. Babb had just two finishes outside the Top-10 all season, the model of consistency he knows he needs to duplicate in 2013 if he wants to join his father and grandfather as a multi-time track champion.
“It’s the only championship I’ve ever won, so I don’t have anything to compare it to,” Babb said. “But one thing I know is that you have to have a consistent car every week and worry about yourself and not what everyone else is doing. It’s a lot easier to run for a championship when you’re only worrying about how your car is going instead of trying to pay attention to how fast everyone else is all the time.”
This offseason, he and his father had a new car built – though they are undecided as to whether Bradley or Bobby will race it. Whoever chooses not to will end up piloting Bradley’s championship-winning car.
To start the season, Babb plans to enter the No. 4 Babb Wood Contractors Chevrolet in PASS North Series events at Oxford Plains Speedway (April 21) and Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (May 5). He said he will evaluate where to focus his racing efforts after those two seasons, along with his crew chief and father, Bobby Babb Jr.
“I wish we never had to stop at the end of last year – but the snow kind of makes that happen, I guess,” Babb said. “Neither one of our cars is quite ready – so I’m glad we have a few more weeks, anyway. Take the new car to Oxford to see how it goes. I’m ready to get started.”