BY JEFF FALK
LONG POND – The adrenaline, the elevated heart rate, the spirit of competition. Racing keeps Bobby Gerhart young.
But when you’re that passionate about a sport, it also has the power to turn your hair gray.
Gerhart has scratched out a 43-year racing career by making positives out of negatives. It is a resiliency which is the secret to his longevity.
On a sun-drenched Friday evening on Pocono Raceway’s 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle, during the ARCA series’ annual staging of the General Tire AnywhereIsPossible 200, Gerhart again endured another disappointing run, then again vowed to make the best of it. After electrical difficulties slowed the Lebanon stock car racer on the track, Gerhart officially broke on the 19th of the 80-lap event and was awarded a 16th-place finish.
The checkered flag in the 200-mile race was accepted by Ty Majeski, while Riley Herbst was the runner-up, followed by Christian Eckes, Raphael Lessard and Bret Holmes. Majeski beat Herbst to the finish line by more than three seconds.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” said Gerhart. “It’s been a lot of everything here. Many of them have been out of my control. Failure’s going to be a part of it (in racing). The electrical failure is the stuff you can’t control. It’s brutal. It was the second race on this engine.
“When we’ve run real good here, we’ve gotten wrecked multiple times,” continued Gerhart. “Today, it was never hitting on all eight cylinders, electrically.”
“We’ve been around this game too long to be angry,” said Billy Gerhart, Bobby’s brother and crew chief. “But we’re disappointed. The guys worked hard to get this car ready for today. We’ve got to update our equipment and try harder.
“I was hoping for a top seven or eighth-place finish,” Billy Gerhart continued. “This car has performed half-decent here. It goes back to not racing enough. The guys we’re running against run almost every race, and it shows. It comes down to funding, and more funding.”