By Dean Reynolds
The Buff family name is synonymous with success at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. On Sunday night during the DIRTcar Sportsman Eastern Region Series event it was a Buff one, two and three with Andrew taking home the $1,500 top prize over Justin and Zach.
Back in June for the first East Region event at the Ridge, it was Zach coming out the winner. Andrew is proud to have his siblings behind him on this night, but he did also say it felt good to come out on top.
“It does feel good,” Andrew Buff said. “I mean it’s so cool to have them behind me and on the podium, but it also does feel good to finally get a Series win. When I drew the pole, I knew that was key but I also had to drive a good 40 laps to stay there.”
Andrew Buff, the Glen Ridge points leader, had to fend off Cody Ochs before later having to deal with his brothers.
“I had to make sure I hit the restarts right, those guys are tough and you really just can’t make any mistakes,” Andrew Buff said. “As the laps went on I also made sure I hit the lapped cars right, especially in turn four where it was tricky,”
For Buff, his goal is the overall DIRTcar Sportsman championship.
“We had to miss one East race and we are also trying to run all the Central regions,” he said. “We will see how the bonus points shake out and then we will try for it. The overall championship is what we want.”
Justin Buff might not travel as much as the other two with the same last name in 2022, but there isn’t any lack of talent or drive to get a checkered flag.
“It’s a good finish, you always want to win but I think I had a second place car and to be second to Andrew I’ll take it,” Justin Buff said. “I don’t know If I really needed another caution or lapped cars. I just think everything fell into place and we will take this second.”
While Zach would have liked to repeat his Series win, he also felt a bit lucky to take the final podium spot. The last restart just shy of halfway saw his #01 fall from third to sixth. He needed the 20 or so laps to claw his way back.
“Yeah, I just got a little bit crossed up and then into my brother (Justin) just a little bit and I lost all my momentum,” Zach Buff said. “I was like, man, did I just throw this all away. But I settled down and got all the spots back.”
Of the three, Zach has the least experience, but he’s having a break out year at his home track this year taking two high paying wins. With the success he’s quick to thank the brothers.
“Oh man, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am now,” he said. “I just learned so much from them. Every time I was behind them I study their line, I follow them and try to learn as much as I can.”
Behind the family gathering was Michael Wright and Garrett Poland rounding out the top five. The next five was made up of Derrick McGrew Jr., Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Richard Murtaugh III, John Leathley and Jeremy Huntoon.
Taking home the free Hoosier Tire was Brendan Gibbons.
DIRTcar Sportsman East Region Series – 40 Laps – Andrew Buff ($1,500), Justin Buff, Zach Buff, Michael Wright, Garrett Poland, Derrick McGrew Jr., Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Richard Murtaugh III, John Leathley, Jeremy Huntoon, C.V. Elms, Codu Ochs, Stephen Gray, Brock Pinkerous, Brendan Gibbons, Robert Tucker.