Feels Like the First Time -- Bruce Scores in ASCS Rocky Mountai Region Action WAKEENEY, Kan. (May 14, 2006) -- Tony Bruce, Jr., had been close on several occasions, only to have it slip away. But that all changed on Sunday night, as the ...
Feels Like the First Time -- Bruce Scores in ASCS Rocky Mountai Region Action
WAKEENEY, Kan. (May 14, 2006) -- Tony Bruce, Jr., had been close on several occasions, only to have it slip away. But that all changed on Sunday night, as the 21-year-old Liberal, KS, racer notched his first career Sprint Car feature win in Wakeeney Speedway's American Sprint Car Series Rocky Mountain Region vs. NCRA 25-lap main event.
Bruce took the lead from the outset aboard the Salina-powered Best Well Service No. 18 Maxim and never looked back, amassing a healthy half straightaway advantage by the time the checkered flag flew as all 20 feature starters were around for the finish.
"Finally!" Bruce exclaimed in relief as much as exhilaration.J"We started the year just tearing up a lot of stuff, it's turning around now. We've been going forward lately, but either mechanical stuff or other things have kept us from winning. We knew if we could just get a good starting position, we could pull one off."
And earn a good starting position is exactly what the 2005 O'Reilly ASCS National Tour Rookie of the Year did by earning the pole position through the night's qualifying action by charging from seventh to win his heat race then topping the first dash.
With C.J. Johnson gridded on Bruce's outside shoulder, Bruce gunned into the lead at the drop of the green flag, with fourth-starter Steven King racing into the runner-up slot the second time around.
After the race's only interruption for Mark Walinder's turn two spin on the third lap, Bruce set sail as King tried to keep pace. Bruce gradually slipped away however, and despite lapped traffic that came into play on the ninth round, amassed a half straightaway advantage by the 15th circuit.
Bruce maintained that lead the rest of the way, lapping up to tenth place in the process of recording that elusive first win.
While Bruce and King led the way throughout, Nebraska's Billy Alley was on the march from his eleventh starting position after winning the "B" Main. Alley had picked off a handful of positions in the opening two rounds before the yellow flag flew, then needed just two more laps to battle past Jake Martens and Johnson for fourth.
Alley reeled in third-running Garry Lee Maier and after racing wheel-to-wheel for more than a lap, took command of the third position at the race's midway point.
King held off Alley over the final rounds to post his second runner-up finish in as many nights, with Alley settling for the show position.JMaier crossed the stripe fourth, with Johnson rounding out the top five.
Martens was sixth, with Jason Danley, J.D. Johnson, Patrick Bourke and Gary Taylor completing the top ten.
Martens, Bruce, Michael Woodruff and Maier topped heat race action for the 36-car field. Jake Pierson won the "C" Main, with Alley topping the "B" Main.
ASCS Rocky Mountain Region vs. NCRA Results:
First Heat (10 Laps): 1. 1x-Jake Martens, 2. 10x-C.J. Johnson, 3. 88-Steven King, 4. 14-Jeff Heffner, 5. 20-Luke Cranston, 6. 77d-Jake Pierson, 7. 71-Keith Rauch, 8. X-Kass Cornella. DNS: 51-Mike Peters.
Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 5d-Gary Taylor, 3. 1-Nick Haygood, 4. 97-Brian Herbert, 5. 21-Shane Howard, 6. 81-Jon Freeman, 7. 9-John Jacob, 8. 93-Greg Schaefer, 9. 11p-Preston Peebles II.
Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. 44x-Michael Woodruff, 2. 98-J.D. Johnson, 3. 43-A.J. Selenke, 4. 7-Roger Sundquist, 5. 6-Mark Walinder, 6. 4d-Todd Plemons, 7. 02F-Josh Fellows, 8. 1h-Rick Halverstadt, 9. 4x-Mike Chadd.
Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 2. 88-Steven King, 3. 27-Patrick Bourke, 4. 1m-Billy Alley, 5. 17-Marc Robe, 6. 4-Eric Miller, 7. 11-Chad Corkin, 8. 77-Mark Sweet, 9. 74-Justin Detze.
First Dash (4 Laps -- Finishing Order determined inside rows 1-5 of "A" Main): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 3. 43-A.J. Selenke, 4. 1x-Jake Martens, 5. 98-J.D. Johnson.
Second Dash (4 Laps -- Finishing Order determined outside rows 1-5 of "A" Main): 1. 10x-C.J. Johnson, 2. 88-Steven King, 3. 44x-Michael Woodruff, 4. 82-Jason Danley, 5. 5d-Gary Taylor.
"C" Feature (10 Laps -- Top 10 to "B" Main): 1. 77d-Jake Pierson, 2. 81-Jon Freeman, 3. 71-Keith Rauch, 4. 9-John Jacob, 5. 11-Chad Corkin, 6. 02F-Josh Fellows, 7. 93-Greg Schaefer, 8. X-Kass Cornella, 9. 74-Justin Detze, 10. 77-Mark Sweet, 11. 7-Roger Sundquist, 12. 11p-Preston Peebles II. DNS: 4d-Todd Plemons, 1h-Rick Halverstadt, 4x-Mike Chadd, 51-Mike Peters.
"B" Feature (12 Laps -- Top 10 to "A" Main): 1. 1m-Billy Alley, 2. 1-Nick Haygood, 3. 27-Patrick Bourke, 4. 20-Luke Cranston, 5. 14-Jeff Heffner, 6. 97-Brian Herbert, 7. 77d-Jake Pierson, 8. 4-Eric Miller, 9. 71-Keith Rauch, 10. 6-Mark Walinder, 11. 21-Shane Howard, 12. 81-Jon Freeman, 13. 17-Marc Robe, 14. 9-John Jacob, 15. 11-Chad Corkin, 16. 02F-Josh Fellows, 17. 93-Greg Schaefer, 18. X-Kass Cornella, 19. 74-Justin Detze, 20. 77-Mark Sweet.
"A" Feature (25 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 88-Steven King, 3. 1m-Billy Alley, 4. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 5. 10x-C.J. Johnson, 6. 1x-Jake Martens, 7. 82-Jason Danley, 8. 98-J.D. Johnson, 9. 27-Patrick Bourke, 10. 5d-Gary Taylor, 11. 44x-Michael Woodruff, 12. 1-Nick Haygood, 13. 20-Luke Cranston, 14. 71-Keith Rauch, 15. 77d-Jake Pierson, 16. 97-Brian Herbert, 17. 43-A.J. Selenke, 18. 6-Mark Walinder, 19. 4-Eric Miller, 20. 14-Jeff Heffner.
ASCS Rocky Mountain Region Points (Top Ten): 1. (tie) Garry Lee Maier and Steven King 292, 3. C.J. Johnson 282, 4. Jason Danley 272, 5. Patrick Bourke 270, 6. Tony Bruce, Jr. 264, 7. (tie) Gary Taylor and J.D. Johnson 260, 9. Jake Martens 254, 10. Brian Herbert 246.