One to Remember: Tony Bruce Jr. Earns First Career World of Outlaws Win at 34 Raceway in Iowa West Burlington, IA-- July 30, 2008--From the moment he climbed into a sprint car for the first time 12 years ago, Tony Bruce Jr. dreamt of winning...
One to Remember: Tony Bruce Jr. Earns First Career World of Outlaws Win at 34 Raceway in Iowa
West Burlington, IA-- July 30, 2008--From the moment he climbed into a sprint car for the first time 12 years ago, Tony Bruce Jr. dreamt of winning an Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event. That dream became a reality on Wednesday night in the series inaugural visit to 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa, as he led all 35 laps and picked up the win over 20-time series champion Steve Kinser.
Bruce started on the pole after winning the Crane Cams Dash, with local favorite Josh Schneiderman next to him, and quickly jumped out to an eight car length lead. He then endured three cautions and on each restart used a strong jump to stay ahead of Kinser to pick up the $10,000 triumph and put his name in the history books.
"It's unbelievable to lead all 35 laps and to hold off Steve Kinser to win my first World of Outlaws A-Main," said an ecstatic Bruce. "I am so stoked. It will definitely take a few days to sink in. This is amazing. We have been working so hard and to win one means everything."
The race began with Bruce jumping to a quick lead over Kinser, who gained two spots on the opening lap. He opened about an eight-car length lead as he approached traffic on the fifth lap, when the first caution of the race flew.
On the ensuing restart, the second-year driver, who was piloting the Best Well Service Maxim, kept his focus and did not worry about who was behind him, but rather on the open track ahead of him and running smooth, consistent laps. Kinser looked low on Bruce in turns one and two on the restart, but did not have enough to get around him.
"Of course you are going to be nervous, but I knew that I had to do my own thing," noted Bruce, who is a native of Liberal, Kansas. "The only person that could have beat me was me at that moment. I just had to hit my marks. I actually got above the cushion on one of those restarts and packed the left rear with mud and it vibrated the last five laps. As long as that car stayed together when that white flag came out, we were going to win."
As the halfway point of the race neared, Bruce was held up as he tried to lap a couple of cars. This gave Kinser and Joey Saldana a chance to close in on him. Bruce maintained his lead and held off several attempts by Kinser to dive under him. While the pair was even a couple of times exiting the fourth turn, Bruce won the drag race down the front straightaway each time.
While Bruce was negotiating traffic on the 22nd lap, the caution flew for Joey Saldana who was running third. Another strong restart propelled Bruce to a comfortable advantage as the laps wound down.
The final caution of the night flew with just 10 laps remaining, setting up a shootout to decide who would take home the $10,000 top prize. Kinser looked low in turns one and two and again in three and four on the restart, but was not able to complete a pass. With a couple of laps to go, Kinser tried the same move, but again came up just short.
After heavy overnight rain, the track surface at 34 Raceway was very moist and stayed extremely fast for the entire night. Of the 16 cars that were running at the end of the race, 15 of them were still on the lead lap. Several times Bruce lost ground as he tried to lap cars, allowing Kinser to close back in on him.
"It was very hard to pass lapped cars when you got to them," said the sophomore driver. "We were out front and I just had to hold on. We had a good starting spot up there and I just had to do my job and run a smooth race."
Bruce has been shorthanded recently and has been doing a majority of the work on his race car himself, along with driving the truck and trailer, which made the win even more meaningful.
"We recently parted ways without crew chief and there were no hard feelings or anything," he explained. "We just couldn't get going. I just have one kid who is 18 years old right now as my crew and whoever we can pick out of the pits right now to help us change tires and put fuel in."
Kinser pulled even with Bruce several time, but was never able to get around him. He lined up fourth for the 35-lap contest and charged around Chad Hillier and Josh Schneiderman on the opening lap. On the final restart with 10 laps to go, he kept pace with Bruce, and looked low off the first and second turns and again off turns three and four, but
"We're still plugging away and running in the Top-Five," said Kinser, who began the night by setting a new track record in time trials. "I think if we wouldn't have had so many yellows we would have been all right, but you never know. Tony (Bruce) ran a real good race and we ran second. The laps clicked away quicker than I thought they did, but I don't think I could have done anything to him. Maybe in traffic I would have had something for him."
The couple of times that the leaders did encounter lapped traffic, Kinser quickly gained on Bruce. On the 17th lap he dove under Bruce exiting the fourth corner and the pair was nearly even coming down the front straightaway, with Bruce just inches ahead.
"The first couple laps I got by a few cars on the start and made it to second and I thought I would have a shot," noted the native of Bloomington, Indiana. "He (Bruce) was fast all night and ran good in the heat and started up front and set a good pace and didn't fall off that much."
Kinser aboard the Q Oil Maxim nearly added to his impressive record at tracks hosting their inaugural event as he almost won at 34 Raceway. In his career he has won over 50 times in races that are debut events at tracks for the World of Outlaws.
"It's a nice race track," he said of 34 Raceway. "I would have liked to have seen it open up a little bit more. Right at the end it was still a little too fast and too sticky to see a lot of passing. From what I understand, it's not usually like this, but there was a lot of rain last night."
Schneiderman, making his first career Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature event ran at the front of the field all night, finishing a very impressive third, after battling Steve Kinser for the second spot for a number of laps.
"This is awesome," said the hometown driver. "My crew did a great job tonight and made my job very easy. I couldn't imagine a better evening. I was on the front stretch getting ready to be pushed off and they called my name I heard the fans go crazy. It's an indescribable feeling to have the fans cheering like that."
The 21-year old driver began the night by turning in a very solid effort in time trials, followed by a second-place performance in the third heat race which earned him a spot in the Crane Cams Dash, where he also finished second. He raced with 20-time series champion Steve Kinser for a number of laps and was able to keep pace with him.
"I just kept telling myself to not get intimidated," he explained. "If I started thinking about who that was and what he has accomplished in over 30 years of racing I knew I would be intimidated. I just kept telling myself to drive my race and I could hear the fans cheer every time we were on the front stretch and that helped even more."
Schneiderman had the capacity crowd on their feet for a number of laps, as he kept pace with the leaders, as he looked for the upset win. He was torn on whether lapped traffic would have helped him any.
"It might have helped, but being where we were and racing against who we were, I was happy to not get in lapped traffic," he commented. "I wanted to see it for a couple of laps to see if I could do it, and I'm happy. I was dreaming of that win, when we were rolling down the back stretch before the green. We are very happy to finish third against these guys."
Jason Sides turned in his second consecutive strong run, finishing fourth in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim. At Paducah International Raceway on Monday night when he finished sixth, he had veteran driver Terry Gray helping his team out and again on Wednesday had an extra set of hands in the pit area as he earned his seventh Top-10 finish of the season.
"It seems like when we have an extra guy helping that it puts less pressure on us to get things done, and we can watch the race track and do other things," said Sides. "That really seems to help out. We qualified decent and had a good heat race and made it to the dash. We went forward some in the feature, so it was a good night."
Jason Meyers finished fifth in the GLR Investments KPC, with Daryn Pittman coming from 14th to sixth to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award in the Titan Garages Maxim. Donny Schatz was seventh in the Armor All J&J and remains the only driver that has finished in the Top-10 in every event this season. Jac Haudenschild was eighth in the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Maxim. Chad Hillier picked up his second consecutive Top-10 finish and fourth on the season. Craig Dollansky rounded out the Top-10 aboard the Snap-on Tools Maxim.
The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to action on Friday, August 1 at Wilmot Speedway in Wisconsin, in the opener of the Badger Classic.
34 RACEWAY NOTEBOOK
* FAST QUALIFIER: Steve Kinser paced the 23 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the high-banked 3/8-mile oval at 12.250 seconds at 110.204 mph. For his qualifying effort, Kinser earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Sam Hafertepe Jr. (4), Paul McMahan (3), Jason Meyers (2), and Shane Stewart (1).
* QUALIFYING WINNERS: Chad Hillier, Joey Saldana and Jason Sides won heat races... Tony Bruce Jr. won the Crane Cams Dash.
* UP NEXT: A trip to Wisconsin for the Badger Classic at Wilmot Speedway on Friday, August 1 and Charter Raceway Park on Saturday, August 2.
Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; 34 Raceway; West Burlington, IA; July 30, 2008
1) 11-Steve Kinser 12.250
2) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 12.258
3) 6-Paul McMahan 12.260
4) 14-Jason Meyers 12.263
5) 83-Shane Stewart 12.378
6) 15-Donny Schatz 12.436
7) 24-Terry McCarl 12.452
8) 9-Joey Saldana 12.452
9) 49-Josh Schneiderman 12.464
10) 5C-Chad Hillier 12.470
11) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. 12.493
12) 7S-Jason Sides 12.509
13) 55-Kerry Madsen 12.537
14) 2-Craig Dollansky 12.592
15) 21-Daryn Pittman 12.627
16) R19-Jac Haudenschild 12.657
17) 20-Kraig Kinser 12.752
18) 8K-Chad Kemenah 12.780
19) 96-Bronson Maeschen 12.846
20) 75-Jesse Hockett 13.021
21) 55B-Joey Moughan 13.036
22) 51J-Ryan Jamison 13.223
23) 15X-Bobby Mincer 13.333
Heat 1 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 5C-Chad Hillier
2) 11-Steve Kinser
3) 14-Jason Meyers
4) R19-Jac Haudenschild
5) 55-Kerry Madsen
6) 51J-Ryan Jamison
7) 96-Bronson Maeschen
8) 24-Terry McCarl
Heat 2 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 9-Joey Saldana
2) 18-Tony Bruce Jr.
3) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
4) 83-Shane Stewart
5) 2-Craig Dollansky
6) 20-Kraig Kinser
7) 75-Jesse Hockett
8) 15X-Bobby Mincer
Heat 3 (8 Laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)
1) 7S-Jason Sides
2) 49-Josh Schneiderman
3) 6-Paul McMahan
4) 15-Donny Schatz
5) 21-Daryn Pittman
6) 8K-Chad Kemenah
7) 55B-Joey Moughan
Crane Cams Dash (6 laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting
positions of A-feature)
1) 18-Tony Bruce Jr.
2) 49-Josh Schneiderman
3) 5C-Chad Hillier
4) 11-Steve Kinser
5) 9-Joey Saldana
6) 7S-Jason Sides
7) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
8) 83-Shane Stewart
9) 14-Jason Meyers
10) 6-Paul McMahan
A-main (35 laps) - Starting Position [#]
1) 18-Tony Bruce Jr. [$10,000]
2) 11-Steve Kinser [$5,500]
3) 49-Josh Schneiderman [$3,200]
4) 7S-Jason Sides [$2,800]
5) 14-Jason Meyers [$2,500]
6) 21-Daryn Pittman [$2,300]
7) 15-Donny Schatz [$2,200]
8) R19-Jac Haudenschild [$2,100]
9) 5C-Chad Hillier [$2,050]
10) 2-Craig Dollansky [$2,000]
11) 55-Kerry Madsen [$1,500]
12) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [$1,200]
13) 20-Kraig Kinser [$1,100]
14) 24-Terry McCarl [$1,050]
15) 8K-Chad Kemenah [$1,000]
16) 51J-Ryan Jamison [$900]
17) 83-Shane Stewart [$800]
18) 9-Joey Saldana [$800]
19) 55B-Joey Moughan [$800]
20) 75-Jesse Hockett [$800]
21) 6-Paul McMahan [$800]
22) 15X-Bobby Mincer [$800]
23) 96-Bronson Maeschen [$800]
Lap Leaders: Tony Bruce Jr. 1-35
Chicken Hawk Hot Lap Award: Tony Bruce Jr.
Penske Power Position Award: Josh Schneiderman
SuperClean Start of the Night Award: Josh Schneiderman
KSE Hard Charger Award: Daryn Pittman