Traveling full-time with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series is one of the toughest tasks on the market.
Logistics go from local to national, the competition goes through the roof, and the grind of an 80-race schedule is something most can’t fathom. If done right, though, it’s one of the most rewarding feelings to battle with the best of the best on any given night.
For Brock Zearfoss, his rookie run with The Greatest Show on Dirt was both fulfilling and challenging in every aspect during 2021.
At 30-years-old, The Jonestown Jet traded in his PA Posse membership for card-carrying platinum status with the Outlaws. He had successfully served as a lethal local at Port Royal and Williams Grove and even proved his prowess against the All Star Circuit of Champions in 2019, but this was the biggest step for the family-owned #3Z operation.
With his first year on tour winding down, Zearfoss currently sits ninth in the championship standings and second in the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award chase to Australian James McFadden, who drives for powerhouse Kasey Kahne Racing.
Five races remain before the season concludes at the NGK/NTK World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Nov. 4-6, and Zearfoss’ goal is to continue improving and bettering his outfit ahead of the 2022 season.
“It’s been up and down,” Zearfoss said. “We started off okay, but my head injury set us back and it was tough once we got behind the eight-ball and confidence was down. We’ve been getting better here the past two months or so, really since Knoxville Nationals. At the end of the day, we could still be better. We’ll keep working and get better for next year.”
A concussion in May at I-70 Motorsports Park was the one incident that sent Zearfoss from one of his highest highs of the season to his lowest lows. He was a front-row starter on both nights at the Odessa, MO facility and led laps before a broken part sent him careening hard into the wall.
Consequently, Brock sat on the sidelines for two weeks while recovering from the incident.
The BZR boys struggled to relocate the speed they had once shown when returning to the road, scoring five top-10 finishes throughout all of June and July. They turned their season around at the Knoxville Nationals with an A-Main appearance which offered a much-needed boost in confidence. Through August and September, Zearfoss earned seven top-10 results in 11 races, including a season-best of sixth-place at I-80 and Black Hills.
He leads the way with five MicroLite Last Chance Showdown wins, and also owns 10 DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash appearances and four Team Drydene Heat Race wins. Another highlight came at Eldora’s Kings Royal with his first-career Slick Woodys QuickTime against the single biggest qualifying flight of the season.
Part of the struggle in your rookie run is all of the unknown Zearfoss admits. The Pennsylvanian had never seen many, if not all of the Midwestern and West Coast facilities that are crucial in chasing a championship, but he knows he’ll have that experience for the next time around.
“We had the speed, but I think we had more unfortunate circumstances and bad luck,” he noted. “I think the biggest downfall is going to a race track for the first time, running one night, and being behind from the beginning. You can’t be behind when you’re racing with the Outlaws, but it’s the nature of the beast being a rookie out here.”
One of BZR’s biggest strengths is veteran crew chief, Shane “Noisey” Bowers, who Zearfoss has trusted for years now.
Bowers, of New Oxford, PA, has been at it for two decades since P.J. Chesson gave him his first opportunity to clean the car, drive the truck, and mount tires. That one door led to the next and eventually “Noisey” became a multi-time World of Outlaws champion while crewing for Donny Schatz and Jason Meyers, among many other respectable stars.
“Noisey” has been the guiding light that helped make it a much smoother transition to the Outlaw tour for Zearfoss.
“It’s definitely different,” Zearfoss spoke on the schedule. “Racing with the All Stars you could come home after the weekend and get ready for next, but with the Outlaws you go to the next state and you work in parking lots. Logistically, Shane has made it a lot easier. Him knowing where to go with simple stuff like car washes, hotels, and other stuff is huge. Him being on the road for as long as he has definitely made a difference for us.”
The #3Z squad returns to racing on Friday at Lakeside (KS) Speedway, then a doubleheader at Lawton (OK) Speedway on October 29 and Devil’s Bowl (TX) Speedway on October 30 leads into the season-ending NGK/NTK World Finals on November 4-6. Fans can BUY TICKETS HERE.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch Zearfoss take on all remaining World of Outlaws events live on DIRTVision – either online or through the DIRTVision App.