INDIANAPOLIS – Chad Boespflug’s season last year began with an extreme dose of optimism.
Coming off a career year in 2016 in which he won six USAC-sanctioned features, Boespflug combined his team’s resources with those of the defending champions and winningest team in the history of the series: the legendary Hoffman/Dynamics Inc. No. 69.
After a seemingly strong start – which included an instant classic triumph on the red clay of Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway last April – success became harder to find, as the combination found more valleys than peaks on its way through a trying season.
Like barbecue and ice cream – both great in their own right – sometimes the mixture of two entities at the top of their game just doesn’t jell. Thus, for the upcoming USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season, the two have decided to part ways.
For Boespflug, this year is all about getting back to the basics. Call it a year of rejuvenation, if you will.
For one, Boespflug’s ride has been renumbered to No. 98, the same numerals he sported in his magical 2016 season. With plans to attack the full USAC schedule once again this season, the 29-year-old driver is aiming to return to that form.
“This year, we’re going to have fun,” Boespflug said. “Last year was honestly the most non-fun year I’ve had in racing. I’m going back to what we did in 2016 and we’re just going to have fun and race. No pressure, but obviously, without having any major sponsors, we must make every night count as far as being able to go onto the next night. I’ll be working on the cars every night throughout the week and taking care of it all on my own.”
“There’s no plans for a crew chief or anything like that right now. We’re going to take it one night at a time and just have fun again.”
Winning is the remedy that cures all of a racer’s ails, at least most of the time. Boespflug reached the pinnacle a total of seven times in a 41-race span in USAC-sanctioned sprint car races between 2016 and early 2017, but is currently under a 34-race winless spell.
Now, he’s hoping a new year will bring less pressure compared to the 2017 season.
“The fun part of racing is not being under a lot of pressure,” Boespflug said. “I did this deal on my own in 2016, and last year was pretty much on my own as well, but under completely different circumstances. The workload was the same in both years, but I guess you could call it pressure and the significance of everything that was going on that added to the pressure of performing and making sure everything was right. You carry on a corporate sponsor, then everyone thinks you get everything handed to you and it’s not that way at all.”
This year, it will be operated the same … under a different format in a sense, but everything is the same more or less. I don’t really have an answer as to why last year wasn’t fun. I always try to make it as fun as possible, but it just didn’t work out.”
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