SIKESTON, Mo. – Vermeer Motorsports announced Saturday that the team will run the full Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions schedule next year with driver Hunter Schuerenberg.
Team owner Tony Vermeer broke the news on Twitter.
Schuerenberg ran predominately at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway this season, also making select starts with the All Stars and the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series as well.
He earned three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 15 All Star feature starts this year, and Vermeer is eager to put a full campaign together next year with Schuerenberg and start building consistency.
“We just tried to hit as many race tracks as we could this past year,” Vermeer explained. “Some were ones we’d never been to before and others were ones that he (Schuerenberg) had raced a lot without the wing. But with Knoxville getting a late start and then canceling the rest of the season (due to COVID-19), it was really a good time to do it (start traveling) though. We just decided, ‘hey, let’s take it week by week and we’ll race here this weekend and figure out where we’re going on Monday the next week.
“That worked out pretty good for us, but we want to strengthen the foundation of our program and really have something good going week-to-week next year, and we feel that going All Star racing will help us do that.”
Though it took Schuerenberg and Vermeer most of the season to find the speed they were looking to have aboard the familiar, Vermeer family-owned No. 55, by year’s end things began to trend in the right direction.
“We did get off to a rough start, not only on the track, but we had some issues getting to the race track and getting home after the races. That’s never fun,” Vermeer recalled. “But once we got 20 or 25 nights under our belt, we found some issues with our race car and got those resolved, and we just kind of said to each other that we needed to get consistent. We set up the race car the same for six nights in a row and just made really, really small adjustments to get the consistency that we didn’t have early on.”
After working with other drivers in the past, Vermeer has found a comfortable position with Schuerenberg behind the wheel, allowing him to feel ready for the team to take the next step.
“Hunter just ups the level of professionalism for us,” Vermeer noted. “He respects the equipment and takes care of it like it’s his own, and that’s important to me. I’m handing it over to, basically someone I just met a year ago, and saying ‘Here, let’s go race this thing; take care of my stuff.’ You know what I mean? And that requires a lot of trust, not only from me, but a lot of people.
“I told Hunter from day one, that if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right. We weren’t going to scrimp here and scrimp there. If that means missing a race or missing a weekend to regroup or refocus, that’s our mentality. That’s always been my mentality.
Though racing full time with the All Stars will be a new step next year, Vermeer believes that his and Schuerenberg’s part-time schedule on tour this season allows them to set their goals relatively high.
“We raced against them a lot this year, and at times we were very competitive. At times, we were not so competitive,” Vermeer said. “But when I asked Hunter about his personal goals for this deal, he said he wanted five wins and a podium finish in the season championship. So it sets the bar high. Before he said that, I’d have looked at a top-five in the championship … I don’t really have a number on how many races we’d like to win, but we just want to be very, very consistently in the hunt every night we can be.
“It’s going to take some time, but I think we’re building this (program) into something special.”
The All Star Circuit of Champions season begins Jan. 29 at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga.