Born a Hoosier, USCS' Rookie Bruce Cline cruises into O'Reilly USCS top 15 finish Atlanta, GA. - Apex, North Carolina's Bruce Cline was born in Kokomo, Indiana and spent his early childhood making visits to Kokomo Speedway with his father.
Born a Hoosier, USCS' Rookie Bruce Cline cruises into O'Reilly USCS top 15 finish
Atlanta, GA. - Apex, North Carolina's Bruce Cline was born in Kokomo, Indiana and spent his early childhood making visits to Kokomo Speedway with his father. Cline started the 2004 O'Reilly Auto Parts United Sprint Car Series (www.uscsracing.com) season as a sprint car rookie driver who was following his childhood dream of becoming a sprint car driver like his favorite drivers at his hometown track in Indiana, Cline says, "I was hooked the first time I saw them fly around that flat quarter mile oval in Kokomo". When asked who his favorite driver was in those days, Cline didn't hesitate, but, named one of sprint car racing's great ones, Hall of Fame driver Bob Kinser. As most of us know, Bob Kinser is the Father of World of Outlaws great Steve Kinser and Midwest hot shoe Randy Kinser and Grandfather to third generation rising WOO star Kraig Kinser and a Midwest legend himself.
Cline spent nine years in the Armed Services and started his racing career in the Mini Stock division at Pecos Valley Speedway in Roswell New Mexico while stationed there in 1992. During the 1993 season Cline left the Mini Stock class in mid-season and moved up to the Super Stock class. By the end of the 1993 season Bruce looked to loose some fenders and to progress toward his open wheel dreams. He purchased an Open Wheel Modified and was leading the 1994 title chase in that class when his duties sent him to the Middle East for the Desert Watch Operation after Desert Storm. When the 1994 season was ended and the Pecos Valley Speedway championship lost to his Middle East experience, Cline decided to return to the Modified wars in 1995. This continued a ten year career that took him to tracks in New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee and finally the Carolinas. This is where Cline decided it was time to make the dream reality and purchased a winged Sprint car to race with the Carolina based AOAS which merged with the O'Reilly USCS series in January of 2004.
Cline started the O'Reilly USCS 2004 season slowly and took the patient approach to progressing while racing with some of America's best winged sprint car drivers. About halfway through his intended schedule, Cline started to show rapid improvement racing to two top ten finishes in the competitive O'Reilly USCS Dirt Series. Cline finished in tenth place in the July O'Reilly USCS event at Oglethorpe Speedway Park's 5/8 mile clay tri-oval and he had a sixth place finish on Crossville's Raceway USA's 1/3 mile clay oval on August 13th. USCS races on dirt and paved ovals and Cline added winged pavement sprint car racing to his resume and with solid finishes in the O'Reilly USCS "Asphalt Thunder" Tour he seemed to improve his driving when he returned to the dirt tracks as well.
Usually behind a good racer is a supportive family and this is Cline's case as his crew consists of wife Tami and daughter Brittani. "We are looking for some extra help that is a little more knowledgeable on chassis setups and just another strong hand at the track" says Cline. "We really enjoy racing as a family and we want to run a lot more of the O'Reilly USCS schedule in 2005. There are going to be a lot more races in the Carolinas next season and we really want to be able to participate as much as possible in the series and race a lot more" said Cline. "Pete Walton and Ernie Irvan are doing a lot to improve the series and grow sprint car racing in the Southeast and I want to be part of the benefits they are bringing to the sport." concluded Cline.
Since Cline participated in less than twenty five events on the O'Reilly USCS 2004 schedule, he will still be eligible to compete for 2005 O'Reilly USCS Rookie of the Year honors. O'Reilly United Sprint Car Series President and Founder, Pete Walton said," Bruce has tremendously improved his skills from his first race until the end of the season and I really believe if he can get a little more help at the track and decent sponsorship he can make a great run at the 2005 O'Reilly USCS "Rookie of the Year" title. Cline will finish the season in the top 15 in two O'Reilly USCS categories. He finishes fourteenth in the O'Reilly USCS National point standings. Cline also finished in the twelfth position in the O'Reilly USCS "Sunbelt Thunder" regional series that raced in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.