OSWEGO, NY – After blowing an engine last July during Oswego Speedway’s Race of Champions Weekend, Fort Plain, NY, driver Kreig Heroth appeared a long shot for the Pathfinder Bank SBS Series track championship behind the wheel of his Hedger chassis No. 04 machine.
Down 38-points to 2011 champion Mike Bond, Heroth managed to rebound in spectacular fashion over the final three weeks of the season, picking up consecutive feature victories to end the year and overcome the odds to claim his first career track championship by a mere six points over Bond.
While many would look at Heroth’s misfortune in July as a potential write off for a championship bid, Heroth took the disappointment and turned it into a positive.
“The more I think about it, I think it helped out,” said Heroth. “It really helped to ease my mind, because I was really hyped up over the final four or five shows knowing that there was a possibility that we could become the champions. It made me relax and just sit back and say the championship is a ways off now, let’s just touch all of our bases and be as simple as possible. So, we just stayed out of trouble, won a couple races and it was incredible that we were able to overcome that deficit.”
Heroth’s consistency throughout the season is what kept him in the championship hunt, after failing to start the Race of Champions main event last July. With eight top five finishes and eleven top ten finishes in twelve races, the 2008 Oswego SBS Rookie of the Year staked his claim as a yearly championship contender, and there is already plenty in the works at an attempt to repeat as champion.
“We’re really trying to stay ahead of the game,” said Heroth, who is looking to become the first repeat SBS champion since Russ Brown from ’05-’07. “There are a hundred little things that can make something really big. We’ve made some changes with our suspension package for this season, done a lot of motor research, and also made some body changes. I feel like there is still a lot to be gained with aerodynamics in the car.”
While Heroth and his Won 4 Racing team, owned by Doug Soucy and father Dwayne Heroth, are fully prepared to do what it takes to claim a second track title, they realize that it will be a tall order against the growing competition that the SBS class has to offer at Oswego.
“It comes up in our shop all the time,” said Heroth. “We want to win races and contend for a championship, but honestly a perfect season for me would be a top five finish every week. We were pretty close last year; we got eight out of twelve. That would be great you know because an average finish of five or better gives you great odds of staying in the top three in the championship. We made a huge step with our program last year and everyone else is making that step this year, so we are really researching on our program to keep up with everyone because the competition is only getting better.”
Some say the true mark of a champion is never settling for anything.
While Heroth currently stands as the man to beat in the SBS division, he still feels as though there is plenty of room for growth.
“There is always room for improvement,” said Heroth. “Obviously we did really well; we had a brand new team at the start of 2012, but I think there are definitely parts of the season where our team can grow. We can certainly grow in our spares department and also grow as far as our collaboration together as a team. While everything looked perfect as champions with a couple wins, we can definitely learn more and add to our team.”
While a host of top five finishes and another run at the SBS championship stands as the immediate goals of Kreig Heroth, like many other SBS pilots Heroth hopes that one day a chance at Novelis Supermodified racing at Oswego will come his direction.
“The SBS class has afforded me and others a chance to race at Oswego Speedway,” said Heroth. “I live two hours away but I grew up coming to Oswego Speedway and taking in the history and I have always wanted to run a Supermodified. The SBS division has given me my chance and hopefully allowed me to make a name for myself and to learn, so that if I get the chance to move up I will be a better more rounded driver at the Speedway.”
For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com, follow on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway, or like on Facebook at facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.
For more information on Kreig Heroth you can follow him on Twitter @kherothracing.