Bruns Scores First O'Reilly Midwest All Star Victory at Thunderhill Raceway It wasn't a matter of "If" but a matter of "Where?" and "When?" AJ Bruns, in the Bruns Service Center ...
Bruns Scores First O'Reilly Midwest All Star Victory at Thunderhill Raceway
It wasn't a matter of "If" but a matter of "Where?" and "When?" AJ Bruns, in the Bruns Service Center #44, finally got his chance to claim victory with the "Best in the Midwest" Saturday, July 20th at Thunderhill Raceway in Summertown, Tennessee. Bruns capped off an excitng night of O'Reilly Midwest All Star racing before a near sell-out crowd on the high-banked, red clay facility.
Bruns would also take home top honors in his heat race and the dash event and became the first person in 2008 to claim all 211 points in a given night. The night started out a little rough for the Lincoln, Illinois native as he was called pitside and missed his scheduled hot laps due to a concern of a wobbly right rear tire. After the tire was assessed by the team, a decision was made to allow Bruns to run the second flight because of the intentions of the driver safety.
In the hot-lap session, Bruns would find his Eagle chassis testing the top side of the embankment a little too much forcing him off into the famous "Thunderhill Valley." Both car and driver were on harmed. Bruns, with only one crew member, his father Roger Bruns, would make the proper adjustments to the car to make for a fast mount.
Bruns was patient in the onset of the feature as he hit his marks and kept his eye on the front runner, Alex Shanks in the Shane Wade Enterprises #39W. Working his smooth line and a couple of caution flags, Bruns overtook the lead midway and never looked back. Jerrod Hull in the Ozarc Gas Welding Supercenter #12 ran down Bruns in the closing laps but fell just short of victory. As the checker flag flew, all 3 of the top drivers in the O'Reilly Midwest All Star Series Points would take podium finishes as Hull would take second with a hard charging Ryan Bunton in the Morton Collision Center #6R in 3rd .
Bunton was relegated to the work area midway through the feature event for a flattened left rear tire. The team, with the assistance of crew members from the Jerrod Hull team, worked hard to get the car in performable shape and back out onto the track. Brad Greer brought home his second top 5 of the weekend in his Greer Farms #3B, and Lee Sowell in the Leland Sowell Frame and Alignment #51 would round out the top five.
Sowell was the top qualifier on the night. Drivers used a variety of lines in the one lap attempt, Sowell found a smooth spot a little higher than some of he rest to show that he would be a contender all night long.
In Heat Race 1 it was once again Sowell making the moves. This time it was froma 4th place starting position as he carefully worked his way to the front. Alex Shanks would come home second, Brad Greer third, Greg Merritt came home fourth and Shane Wade rounding out the top 5.
Heat Race 2 showed a dicey affair as cars were still trying to figure out the high banks. AJ Bruns found the fast way around followed by Ryan Bunton, Miranda Throckmorton in the M&W Aluminum Products 22T in third. Tony Wilson in the 10W would come home 4th and Jerrod Hull would round out the top five having gone pitside with a busted torque tube.
The Dash event showed that there was still a lot of racing left in the track as AJ Bruns grabbed onto the valuable 6 points. Jerrod Hull would overcome his heat race woes to finish a strong second with Ryan Bunton in tow for 3rd .
Representatives of RubbnRepair were on hand both nights of the First Annual Tennessee Stampede lending advice and sample materials of their product to many of the drivers "We were very happy to be a part of this event," stated John Riggins of RubbnRepair. "It was a great opportunity for us to meet and talk to drivers and to show off how RubbnRepair can work for them." "The exposure for us was fantastic; we were able to help a bunch of guys out by handing out samples and being able to make repairs to their cars on the spot. RubbnRepair was used tonight (Saturday) on the winner's car."
The O'Reilly Midwest All Star Series will be in New Florence, Missouri at the Montgomery County Speedway on July 26th . Following that, many drivers are looking to be a part of yet another big event weekend as they head the Thunder Through the Plains with the O'Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions, July 31 -- August 3.