Bubba McPhee: Why Racing Florida Speedweeks is Tough

Bubba McPhee: Why Racing Florida Speedweeks is Tough

Competing during Florida Speedweeks isn’t easy, as Bubba McPhee and his team found out. The day-to-day grind against some of the sport’s best tests one’s will to continue on, and McPhee had plenty of tests.

McPhee hauled from Rutland, Vermont, to race the Short Track Super Series Sunshine Swing at All-Tech Raceway in Lake City, Florida. He looked to gain experience racing a big-block engine after competing with crate engines before.

Tuesday, the first night, the big-block engine blew up after two laps in the feature.

Wednesday, he and his team pulled out their engine and swapped in a small block.

Thursday, a racing incident damaged the front clip.

Friday, he and his team tried to make racing with a bent front clip work, but encountered one more setback in the feature.

“We were coming out of turn two and a car spun out,” McPhee, of Rutland, Vermont, said. “The whole field stacked up. You can only imagine being mid pack as everyone charged to the front. It was like being a pinball in a pinball machine.”

That ended his Sunshine Swing one night early. The damage the chassis incurred required the team to send it back to its builder, Bicknell.

Down an engine, down a chassis, Bubba McPhee still felt the experience was worth it.

“We learned quite a bit,” said McPhee. “We learned how to set up our modified with a small-block engine. I learned how it handles and how to drive it.”

At the end of the week, McPhee came away with a 26th, 21st, and a 24th, but he qualified for every feature he attempted, competing against some of the finest in the class.

“To be in features with drivers like Matt Sheppard, Larry Wight, Stewart Friesen, Mat Williamson and Erick Rudolph is a learning experience in itself,” McPhee said.