And, although Bridge’s status as one of Ontario’s Mini Stock elite is incontestable, the multi-time feature winner knows that a third track title is far from a guarantee.
“I think there are more than a few variables that are going to play a part in wether or not we can put together another championship,” offers Bridge. “The level of competition is a huge one. Guys like [Craig] Kamrath and [Will] Gibbons have some of the best programs in the province. I know they’ve put a target on my back – and they want to keep our team from another championship.”
“The new [NASCAR] sanctioning could also bring some new faces to the speedway,” continues the veteran. “And that’s something I’m really looking forward to. We don’t really know who we’re going to see [at Sauble] this season – and that makes me want to prepare even more.”
During Bridge’s run towards the 2017 Sauble Speedway championship, his team was forced to overcome a pair of potentially costly DNFs. This year, Bridge is insistent that his family-run effort avoid those same mistakes.
“I think we need to make sure that we tighten up our finishes this year,” says Bridge. “There are going to be at least five or six real good teams on the Sauble roster. At the end of the season – the champion is going to be the driver that doesn’t find any trouble on track, doesn’t break and doesn’t get caught slipping in tech.”
“We’re coming to win – without question – but not at all costs,” continues the well-respected veteran. “I have a fulltime job and kids that need my attention, so I can’t be in the shop every week rebuilding our car. If we want to win another championship – we need to be smart.”
And with a fully-stocked roster and a brand new NASCAR sanctioning to its credit, Bridge sees the potential for the 2018 season to be the best in Sauble Speedway Mini Stock history.
“I think the fans can expect to get their money’s worth out of the Mini Stocks every single night. The racing in this division has gotten better and better every week for the last few years and 2018 isn’t going to be any different.”
“There’s going to be a ton of quality talent and none of these guys want to go home at the end of the night without a win,” adds Bridge. “Our team knows what we need to do to be in the mix with the rest of the top guys. It’s not going to be easy work – but we’re ready to do what we need to.”