INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.: You could make the argument that Brock Zearfoss learned more last season than at any point in his Sprint Car career.
It was the part of the sport you can’t teach. Zearfoss got a crash course in the peaks and valleys off the racetrack that are associated with this sport.
Zearfoss started the year running his own equipment in central Pennsylvania. Before the Knoxville Nationals, he hooked up with the Destiny Motorsports team in a deal that was supposed to put him on the road full time.
The Destiny Motorsports organization fell apart at the end of the year for various reasons. Luckily, Zearfoss had a fallback plan with his family-owned equipment and was able to finish out the season.
More important, Zearfoss didn’t get rattled or quit. That persistence paid off, as he inked a deal with car-owner Pete Grove to partner for an all-out assault with the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions in 2019.
“It was, definitely, educational,” Zearfoss said of 2018 campaign. “I learned a lot about myself. I, definitely, learned a lot about the racing world, more than I thought I knew.
“It was an eye opener, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Being able to do what you love to do for a job and making a living at it, it’s pretty cool. I’m just very fortunate to be set up with the right people.”
Continued Zearfoss, “It’s, obviously, a learning curve, so you live and learn from your mistakes, move on to the next one, and make it better.”
This deal seems a little more solid. Grove is a long-time owner who knows the ins and outs of this sport. He is established, something he showed last season with Hall of Fame driver Dave Blaney running his car.
That alone should make Zearfoss feel comfortable. It also doesn’t hurt that Grove has his own equipment and showed interest and confidence in the Jonestown, Pa., throughout the process of putting this deal together.
“It’s, definitely, a good opportunity,” Zearfoss said. “I’m very thankful to Pete and his whole family for giving me this opportunity and believing in me. Obviously, if they didn’t believe in me, they wouldn’t have approached me to put the deal together.
“It’s good equipment. We have J&J Chassis and really good motors. It’s a good package, and everything on the car is top notch.
“I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a good year. Pete is confident in me, I’m confident in Shane Bowers, Pete, and everybody involved in the team. I’m very fortunate to keep Shane from the Destiny team. We started working well off the bat [last year], so it’s good to be able to keep meshing with him.”
Along with running the full All Star tour, Zearfoss plans to compete in central Pennsylvania and at select big events to fill out his 80-to-90 race schedule. The team is slated to kick off the season in Florida.
Every new partnership has some growing pains and obstacles to overcome. That’s Sprint Car racing. But after last season, Zearfoss is better equipped to deal with any adversity that comes his way moving forward.
Part of that is due to what he learned and experience. The rest is having the right people around him, including a strong family presence and a dedicated crew.
“I was always taught that if you surround yourself with good people, good things will happen,” Zearfoss said. “That’s what my dad did with his business, and he’s successful.
“I try to do that the best I can in the racing world, and it’s paying off. It comes around full circle, and that’s what parents are for … to teach you and lead you down the right path.”
Said Zearfoss, “Even though my dad didn’t tell me what to do, I took little bits and pieces of what he did to grow his business and tried to use that in the racing world.”
And it appears to be working.
Zearfoss gave up his day job when he started driving for the Destiny Motorsports team. He learned how to save his money, to put equipment and people in the right place, and have attention to detail.
It’s made Zearfoss a more complete driver. And now, he is more equipped to race on the road with the All Star Circuit of Champions and follow his dream.
“I feel pretty good about this deal with Pete,” Zearfoss said. “The way the All Star schedule is laid out, I think we are going to get off to a good start.
“A lot of those tracks are home tracks for me. If we get off to a good start in Virginia and carry that through the whole week, I think we will be alright. I’m just fortunate to be able to keep racing, so I’m pretty excited.”