Burdick, Ouellette looking for breakout seasonwaterford
Press release from New London Waterford Speedbowl
Burdick, Ouellette looking for breakout season
WATERFORD — Last season car owner Harold Burdick and driver Bert Ouellette just dipped their toes in the SK Light division pond.
This year, they plan on diving in head first. Burdick and Ouellette are going all-in for 2018, competing in the SK Lights on a full-time basis at the New London Waterford Speedbowl.
Not only has the commitment been upgraded, so has the equipment.
The team has purchased a SK Modified from Doug DiPisa of Norwalk, a car that was driven at the Speedbowl during the 2015 season by Ted Christopher. Obtaining that car was an opportunity that Burdick couldn’t pass up.
“Last year our red-and-white No. 151 was destroyed in the final race of the year at the Speedbowl,” Burdick said. “Our sponsor, Martin Streb of Streb Family Chiropractic and Massage wanted us to keep racing, so we purchased the former Doug DiPisa-owned car. Martin and Burt get along well, so hopefully we’ll have a successful season. This is a great opportunity to go full time racing and the best place to do that is the New London Waterford Speedbowl.”
Ouellette, who has had a successful career in karting and in the New England Truck Series before moving up to the SK Lights, is just as pumped up as Burdick is.
“I am extremely psyched,” Ouellette said. “We have a newer car, a fresh motor and more sponsors. I’ve always enjoyed racing at Waterford because it’s a two-groove race track. If you have a good car, you can get to the front. I’ve never been bashful about moving to the outside groove.”
After moving to the SK Lights from the truck series following the 2016 season, the team hit a speed bump the type of bump that’s also known as a learning curve.
“We just wanted to get our feet wet last year and we struggled a lot,” Burdick said. “It was tough — we were used to winning a lot of truck races and we didn’t have that kind of success in a Modified. “
Even with new equipment, however, Burdick says it may take a while for the team to get up to speed.
“We’re hoping to finish in the Top 10 in points, and maybe win rookie of the year,” Burdick said. “I know the SK Lights is a very tough division — you have some great drivers. But we think we can be competitive and we have the driver who can do it. Bert is ready to run with the big boys.”
“By the middle of the season, I think we can be running up front, competing for podiums,” Ouellette said. “This is the best car I could have asked for. And it’s pretty cool to know that this is the car that Teddy Christopher drove and Doug DiPisa built. It’s 16 years younger than the car that we drove last year.”
Not only is the car new, but Burdick has added new sponsorships. Primary sponsor Streb Family Chiropractic and Massage will be joined by a familiar sponsor to race fans — Polar Beverages of Worcester, Mass.
“Polar wanted to get its feet wet in racing again and they have joined us to make that happen,” Burdick said.
Polar is best known for its long-time relationship with Whelen Modified Tour driver Rick Fuller.
The car also will be sponsored by Salvadore Chevrolet of Gardner, Mass., Lyman Signs, Passing Bird Photography, Lickit Signs and Don Wood at RAD Auto Machines.
The Cindy Burdick Motor Sports team will be known as B.O.S. Racing in 2018. The initials stand for Burdick, Ouellette and Streb.
The paint scheme also is changing on the car, but one thing will remain the same — the car number, 151, one of the iconic car numbers in New England motor sports.
“The number got its start at the Danbury Arena with Chick Stockwell,” said Burdick, referring to a driver who is a member of the New England Racing Hall of Fame. “When Danbury closed, I took the number over and I’ve had it ever since.”
Burdick and Ouellette are hoping that number will be seen on the podium many times in 2018.
“I have been chomping at the bit all winter, Ouellette said. “We’re looking to have a breakout year in a Modified,”
“Bert knows how to get to victory lane at Waterford,” Burdick said. “He did it in a truck. Now he’ll have to do it in an open-wheel car.”
He’ll get that opportunity on May 5 and May 6 when the New London Waterford season opens with the annual Blastoff.