Wheatland, Missouri (April 3, 2019) - With the Lucas Oil MLRA season opener now less than two weeks away, series officials are excited to announce that Joseph Gorby has tossed his hat into the ring with intentions on competing for the Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the year. Gorby will join Omaha, Nebraska's Jake Neal as the early season candidates for the lucrative season long contingency award.
Gorby has spent the long off season in the shop getting prepared for what will be his first run at following a series points battle. "I am super excited and ready, and actually wish the season would have started a couple of weeks ago," stated the 39-year old driver.
The Bartlesville, Oklahoma native comes from a family that is deeply rooted in dirt track racing. His brother Kerry is the Promotor at Caney Valley Speedway while father Gary is a fellow Late Model driver. He credits his father as being one of his biggest supporters and the one that likely influenced his decision to follow this years MLRA series. Gorby commented, "I usually race thirty some shows a year anyway, so dad thought it would be as good of time now as ever to go try and run for points somewhere."
While following the 2019 MLRA Series might be a new experience, it will come backed with a lengthy stat sheet that is not without its fare share of notable accomplishments. Following the ladder or progression, Gorby got his start in 2000 racing Pure Stocks before moving to Street Stocks and eventually into the Modified ranks. This upcoming season will now mark his 8th behind the wheel of a Late Model.
Gorby, who is a building demolition contractor by day, knocked down the 2015 late model points championship at the 1/4 mile Caney Valley Speedway, which will host the MLRA late this month on April 27th. In addition, he is a two-time winner with the Sooner Late Model Series, scoring a 2017 victory at Enid Speedway as well as the series season finale in 2018 at Oklahoma Sports Park, in Ada, OK.
Planning to debut a new 2019 Swartz Chassis during the MLRA Spring Nationals at Lucas Oil Speedway, he acknowledges that the first few laps on a new car can often be nerve racking for a driver. "I was looking to do some testing before heading to Wheatland and settle some of the nerves about the new car being ready, but unfortunately the weather is not helping us do that," noted Gorby.
The upcoming season will also come with lots of travel time for Gorby, as the series will again stretch north with multiple stops in Iowa and Illinois along with a first time visit to Beaver Dam Raceway in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. With the majority of those tracks being new to him, he admits that too can always make a driver a bit nervous.
Gorby's successful track record and experience running on ¼ mile facilities should provide a boost to his ROY quest, as this year's MLRA slate is dotted with numerous short track venues, most of which will be first time stops for the series and its drivers alike.
The driver of the G&G Dozer # 9 stated, "I really like the quarter miles and the smaller bull rings where you can get up on the wheel and drive. Caney will be a real fun race for everyone--it will be high action. I have seen it be three and four wide there running through lapped traffic and it always seems to put on a good show and that's the kind of racing I really like."
At the end of the day Gorby has one goal in mind for the upcoming season- having fun. "My only concern is to go and have fun, and it seems like when you can go and have a good time everything else falls into line and good finishes follow," said Gorby.
The Lucas Oil MLRA Series will open next weekend, April 12th and 13th with the running of the 6th Annual RacingJunk.com Spring Nationals at the Lucas Oil Speedway. A strong contingent of drivers is expected to be on hand to compete for the $3,000 top prize both nights, including defending MLRA Champion Chad Simpson of Mt. Vernon, IA.
Gorby Racing Specs: 2019 Swartz Chassis-by Boggs, powered by a Kuntz & Co. Racing Engine
Team # 9 Marketing Partners: G&G Dozer, Schaeffer's Lubricants by Joe Archambeau, & FB Designs