Jesse Sobbing's wife's birthday is today.
The driver from Glenwood, Iowa, had planned on being home to help her celebrate.
But Saturday night he had to phone her and let her know he wouldn't be able to make it because something came up, namely sweeping all three feature events in the 2013 Cocopah Speedway IMCA Modified Winter Nationals presented by Sun Graphics.
In fact, Sobbing is on such a roll he said he might be calling his wife to “see about getting a flight home and maybe coming back down here and race somewhere else.”
He added that with his three wins, including Saturday night's big $3,000 paycheck, she would understand.
Sobbing's wins also earned him the Arizona Winter Challenge Championship, a series that started with four races at Canyon Speedway Park outside Phoenix.
Those four races, of which he didn't one of them, were the first ever for Sobbing in what is considered an “A” Modified. In 2012 Sobbing won the IMCA National Championship in the Northern Sport Mod Division before choosing to make the jump to the highest Modified division this season.
His performance at Cocopah Speedway, however, was nothing like someone who was new to the car and the new level of competition.
On Thursday night in the Winter Nationals opener, Sobbing started on the pole and led all 25 laps for his first career “A” Modified win.
“I just kept after it with the little engine that could,” said Sobbing with a smile, referring to his IMCA Crate motor, which is a lower-horsepower, less expensive motor compared to the higher horsepower Claim motors used by other drivers.
If anyone thought Thursday night's win was a fluke, Sobbing put those thoughts to rest on Friday night when he started the feature event inside the second row, made his way to the front and was pulling away when rain started to fall. With seven laps remaining and the track getting wetter and wetter, officials chose to call the race, giving Sobbing the win.
Sobbing said he didn't want to win a race in that fashion, “because we were just starting to get ‘er rolling, and I would have rather ran those last seven laps.
“Tomorrow is the big money race,” he said, referring to Saturday night's $3,000 paycheck. “Maybe we used up all of our luck.”
In what was Sobbing's most impressive performance, he started 10th on the 25-car grid Saturday night and with surgical precision, methodically and patiently made his way around the dry-slick track, moving to the front where he found Phoenix's George Fronsman, who had stared on the pole and led every lap.
Once he caught Fronsman on the seventh circuit, Sobbing moved around and past him for the lead, and just like he did in his first two wins, he then steadily pulled away to the checkered flag.
After putting on a burnout display on the end of the front straight for the appreciative crowd he pulled into victory lane and talked about how “it got a little rough out there for a little bit, everybody wants to race pretty hard on that dry stuff, and you can only go as fast as that dry stuff will hold you.
“But we were nice and steady. I just wanted to try to keep going, going forward.
“I love dry slick! I thrive on it. I don't like that hammer down deal, and that's when this thing will be better anyway. A lot of guys have a lot more horsepower, but this deal is awesome. I'm loving it.”
Following Sobbing to the checkered flag Saturday night was Jeremy Mills in second, Larry Hood in third, Jason Noll in fourth and Dylan Smith in fifth.