Jesse Sobbing: Bookend Wins in Australia and U.S.

Jesse Sobbing: Bookend Wins in Australia and U.S.

You might want to call Jesse Sobbing “Mr. Worldwide,” as he scored wins in Australia and the U.S. within weeks of each other.

How Jesse Sobbing Wound Up Down Under

In Australia, he ventured to Heartland Raceway in Moama, New South Wales, about three hours north of Melbourne. Sobbing had met Australians Paul Kendall and Darin Tindle while in Iowa.

“We became friends, and they constantly have been on me since to go over there to Australia and give their type of racing a try,” Sobbing, of Malvern, Iowa, said. “Then they found someone with a car.”

Sobbing linked up with Atkins Family Racing, of Hamilton, Victoria. They owned a super sedan. What’s a super sedan? The car consists of a purpose-built, symmetrical chassis, with a 100-inch minimum wheelbase. Speedway Sedans Australia permits a few options to power the car, but Sobbing’s ride used a Chevrolet CT525 engine. With that power plant, Sobbing’s car must weigh a minimum of 2,200 lb.

“I took two weeks off to fly out there and help them set up their car,” said Sobbing. “I would only drive it in one race, but it was a big one.”

Jesse Sobbing at Heartland Raceway in Australia.

Racing in Australia vs. Racing in America

He competed on March 31 in the North/South 50 SSA Super Sedans race, which paid $10,000 AUD to win. Sobbing’s biggest challenge was getting use to driving on the right side of the vehicle.

“There is a learning curve to drive from the right side,” Sobbing said. “I started by driving cars on the highway to get the feel for the opposite.”

This affected driver visibility, too.

“It was a strange feeling, sitting down in a hole without seeing anything from the air cleaner to the left side of the car,” Sobbing said. “That was hard to get used to because you’re hiked up sitting on the left in the U.S. and can see much more of what is going on around the car.”

Furthermore, Sobbing worked on the car’s balance in a different way he normally would when sitting on the left side.

“My weight would add 200 lb. on the right rear as opposed to the left in the U.S.,” said Sobbing. “I had to balance the car with more right-side load by adding some lead to the left side. Different bar angles and different loads had to be considered.”

Back in the U.S.

Less than two weeks after winning in Australia, Jesse Sobbing started the season off at Shelby County Speedway with a win. The triumph came in the stock car class at the Harlan, Iowa, dirt oval. For Sobbing, he steered a familiar car against a familiar opponent.

“Mike Nichols is no slouch at Harlan or anywhere else he races,” Sobbing said. “We started in the fourth row; he started in the first row. Midrace, we got around him. To prevail against Mike Nichols is another big win. On the other side of the world, [it was] driving on the other side of the car. One just as tough as the other.”

Sobbing doesn’t plan to let up, either, with racing. He estimates he’ll hit more than 50 events this year, which stints in late models, stock cars, and modifieds.

Jesse Sobbing at Shelby County Speedway in Harlan, Iowa.

Outside Groove Note of Transparency: Corrected the names of Paul and Darin Tindle (2024-04-17).