The addition of a Pennsylvania swing in March for the 2023 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car tour was a welcomed shift for Brock Zearfoss.
The Jonestown, PA native shaped his talents with the Pennsylvania Posse throughout the “Keystone State” before transitioning to the World of Outlaws tour full-time in 2021.
Rather than heading west to California like years past, he’ll get to put those talents on display at home again for the final two nights of the Low-E Insulation Spring Showdown at Williams Grove Speedway (March 17) and Lincoln Speedway (March 18).
“It’s nice to be able to get back home,” Zearfoss said. “Obviously, I love racing in Pennsylvania. It’s where I’m from. It’s where I cut my teeth. It’s racetracks I’m super familiar with. All of our sponsors are right there, and it’s nice to race in front of them whenever we get the chance to. Hopefully we can get a win early in the season. Obviously, California is a whole different animal than what I’m used to racing at home with half-mile stuff. It’ll be nice to get home to tracks I’m familiar with and kind of keep that flow going to carry to the Midwest.”
The entire region of central PA is special to any Sprint Car driver from the area, but the next track on tap, Williams Grove, will always be especially meaningful for the “Jonestown Jet.” Back in 2017, making his eighth World of Outlaws Feature start, Zearfoss topped the opening night of Summer Nationals at the Mechanicsburg, PA facility for his first Series win. He’s also posted five of his 53 career top-10s at the iconic half-mile.
“The first Outlaw win is special. It’s something you always remember,” Zearfoss said. “We had a little bit of luck in the Feature when Lance (Dewease) unfortunately got upside down and put us in the lead, but it wasn’t really given to us that night. I had to earn it. I had David Gravel and Donny Schatz breathing down my neck for about 15 laps. It wasn’t easy. I didn’t drive off into the sunset, still had to race my butt off. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
On top of racing at familiar tracks, the simple element of being close to home and his own race shop is another benefit he’s looking forward to. The grind of the World of Outlaws tour rarely allows teams a respite from the road. Now, even with the Port Royal Speedway race weekend canceled due to wintry conditions, Zearfoss gets a couple weeks at home rather than being a few thousand miles from his front door like he would be on the West Coast.
“Anytime that you can rest is good,” Zearfoss said. “Sleeping in your own bed is really nice, too. To start the season off, get racing and get back in the flow of things and kind of get going but still be able to spend some time at home and sleep in your own bed, stay rested is nice. Being in California, you’re sleeping in hotel rooms. It’s a long way out there. There’s a lot of driving in between. Being at home all of the tracks we race at in Pennsylvania are no farther than an hour.”
Heading into home territory, Zearfoss will look to fix his early season performance disparity between Low-E Insulation Qualifying and the Feature.
Time trials have posed some problems as he’s averaging timing in 26th quick through the five completed Volusia Speedway Park races, but the main event has been an entirely different story.
When the green flag drops on the Feature, Zearfoss has proven to be one of the fastest cars on track and able to slice through the field better than anyone. The 32-year-old is averaging passing nearly eight cars per Feature with a net position change of plus-39 so far this season, more than double the next best. His efforts have already earned him two KSE Hard Charger awards.
“We take away that our car can pass race cars,” Zearfoss noted of his early season impressions. “I can take away that I work well with (my crew members) Todd Berkheimer, Matt Frisbie, and Kasey Walters. We’re all working together really well. We all understand each other. Todd understands what I’m looking to feel in the car. I think the adjustments that we’ve made throughout the night, racing five races down there (Florida) throughout the nights, you know, we adjusted our car, and our car responded well to it.”
While weather chopped a pair of nights off the planned PA tilt, Zearfoss still hopes he can build on the strides they made in Florida by performing well on familiar tracks in front of his hometown fans. By the time Williams Grove and Lincoln roll around next weekend he’ll have had plenty of days of work in his own shop and nights of sleep on his own pillow. With the comforts of home on his side, Zearfoss is confident he can perform well and create some early momentum in his third season with The Greatest Show on Dirt.
“It adds a little bit of excitement to get to go home to the tracks you’re familiar with,” Zearfoss said. “It comes back to the confidence level. I have confidence in my race car and my team, but it just gives that little extra bit when you know you’re going home and you’re racing in your backyard.”
For tickets to the final two rounds of the Low-E Insulation Spring Showdown at Williams Grove Speedway, March 17, and Lincoln Speedway, March 18, CLICK HERE.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch both races live on DIRTVision – either online or with the DIRTVision App.