By Lonnie Wheatley
WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (October 1, 2010) – Tony Bruce, Jr., shook the monkey off his back by racing to victory lane in Friday night’s 30-lap Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters preliminary event at the fabled Riverside International Speedway.
The Liberal, KS, racer/promoter battled past early leader Brian Brown on the tenth round in heavy traffic atop the ¼-mile gumbo clay oval and held the top spot the rest of the way to snare his first ASCS National win of the year aboard the Bruce Racing No. 18 Maxim.
“Lapped traffic comes into play here big and I couldn’t wait to get to it,” Bruce explained in victory lane. “We had a hell of a car and made it happen.”
With his fifth career Lucas Oil ASCS National triumph, Bruce locked himself into Saturday night’s Second Annual Rock ‘N Roll 50 finale along with the balance of Friday’s top four that included runner-up Danny Wood, 24th-starter Shane Stewart and local rep Derek Hagar.
After the initial feature start was waved off for Andy McElhannon’s turn two flip, pole starter Brown outgunned Josh Fisher for the lead at the drop of the green flag and paced the early circuits in front of Hagar as Bruce worked up to third by the fifth round.
Bruce made his way past Hagar for second on the sixth circuit and went to work on Brown for the point as traffic came into play on the eighth round. Bruce drove underneath Brown exiting turn four to take command on the tenth circuit, with Hagar and then Wood following suit in subsequent laps with Wood taking second away from Hagar by the time the caution flew just after the midway point when Brown and Fisher tangled in turn one. Both Missouri shoes retired to the pit area for the night.
After working his way from 14th to fourth in the opening 16 laps, Jack Dover clipped an infield tire exiting turn four two laps later and came to a stop to bring out another caution.
With Bruce holding steady over Wood out front, defending series champion Shane Stewart was climbing towards a lock-in position after using his third provisional of the year to start the feature in 24th.
Just after Stewart had raced past the battling duo of Marshall Skinner and Jeff Swindell to stake a claim on fourth as the laps clicked off, the red flag flew one last time when Swindell flipped entering turn one after contact with Skinner just five laps shy of the checkered flag.
Bruce was flawless over the final five rounds to secure the win, with Wood holding strong in the runner-up position aboard the Fisher-powered H&H Enterprises No. 94 Maxim. Stewart’s surge resulted in a third-place showing aboard Paul Silva’s Rockstar Energy Drink No. 57 A.R.T., while Marion, AR, shoe Hagar matched his previous best ASCS National finish by crossing the stripe in fourth.
Current Lucas Oil ASCS National points leader Jason Johnson rallied from 16th to round out the top five aboard the JJR Don Ott-powered Haynes No. 41 Maxim, missing out on a lock-in position to Saturday’s Rock ‘N Roll 50 championship main event by just one position.
Utilizing a provisional just as Stewart did, Brady Bacon raced from 23rd to sixth, with Skinner, Darren Stewart, Ernie Ainsworth and 20th-starting Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Matt Covington completing the top ten.
Skinner, Ricky Logan, Anthony Nicholson, Wood, Fisher and Darren Stewart topped heat race action for Friday’s 48-car field, with Channin Tankersley and Justin Sturch winning the twin “B” Mains.
Eddie Gallagher’s night came to an early end when he flipped after contact entering turn one on the second lap of the night’s fourth heat race, with Kevin Kilpatrick turning over contact with a spinning car on the opening round of the second “B” Main.
The Second Annual Rock ‘N Roll 50 at Riverside International Speedway concludes on Saturday night, with racing action going green at 7:30 p.m.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
Second Annual Rock ‘N Roll 50 Preliminary
Riverside Speedway Results:
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to 2 “B” Mains):
Heat One (10 Laps): 1. 26-Marshall Skinner, 2. 40-Ernie Ainsworth, 3. 53-Jack Dover, 4. 3-A.G. Rains, 5. 57-Shane Stewart, 6. 88-Tim Crawley, 7. 44c-Wes Shepard. DNS: 6-Kyle Hirst.
Heat Two (10 Laps): 1. 10a-Ricky Logan, 2. 58-Wade Oliver, 3. 50z-Zach Chappell, 4. 93-Dustin Morgan, 5. 3x-Michael Dupuy, 6. 8x-Chris Williams, 7. 22-Kevin Kilpatrick, 8. C4-Casey Rowland.
Heat Three (10 Laps): 1. 16-Anthony Nicholson, 2. 0-Andy McElhannon, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 9-Justin Sturch, 5. 99-Brady Bacon, 6. 90-Jeff Swindell, 7. 3g-Darren Long, 8. 24-Justin Carver.
Heat Four (10 Laps): 1. 94-Danny Wood, 2. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. 71-Channin Tankersley, 4. 44-Ronny Howard, 5. 35-Rick Wright, Jr., 6. 46-Jan Howard, 7. 1x-Gary Taylor, 8. 1-Eddie Gallagher.
Heat Five (10 Laps): 1. 5h-Josh Fisher, 2. 21-Brian Brown, 3. 9h-Derek Hagar, 4. 17-Brad Bowden, 5. 01-Jeremy Newkirk, 6. 17x-Jeff Leach, 7. 16p-Dewayne Prince, 8. 14-Jordon Mallett.
Heat Six (10 Laps): 1. 91-Darren Stewart, 2. 21x-Taylor Velasquez, 3. 51s-Lee Sowell, 4. 95-Matt Covington, 5. 47-Dale Howard, 6. 9x-Gary Wright, 7. 5-Jerod Roller. DNS: 11-Carl Zaniboni.
“B” Mains (Top 3 From Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 71-Channin Tankersley, 2. 93-Dustin Morgan, 3. 17-Brad Bowden, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 99-Brady Bacon, 6. 46-Jan Howard, 7. 47-Dale Howard, 8. 6-Kyle Hirst, 9. 3g-Darren Long, 10. 14-Jordon Mallett, 11. 3-A.G. Rains, 12. 8x-Chris Williams, 13. 44-Ronny Howard, 14. 16p-Dewayne Prince, 15. 9x-Gary Wright, 16. 5-Jerod Roller.
Second “B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 9-Justin Sturch, 2. 95-Matt Covington, 3. 90-Jeff Swindell, 4. 57-Shane Stewart, 5. 1x-Gary Taylor, 6. 51s-Lee Sowell, 7. 24-Justin Carver, 8. 35-Rick Wright, Jr., 9. 17x-Jeff Leach, 10. 44c-Wes Shepard, 11. 3x-Michael Dupuy, 12. 01-Jeremy Newkirk, 13. 22-Kevin Kilpatrick. DNS: c4-Casey Rowland, 1-Eddie Gallagher, 11-Carl Zaniboni.
Riverside Speedway Rock ‘N Roll 50 Preliminary “A” Main:
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 94-Danny Wood, 3. 57-Shane Stewart, 4. 9h-Derek Hagar, 5. 41-Jason Johnson, 6. 99-Brady Bacon, 7. 26-Marshall Skinner, 8. 91-Darren Stewart, 9. 40-Ernie Ainsworth, 10. 95-Matt Covington, 11. 93-Dustin Morgan, 12. 10a-Ricky Logan, 13. 71-Channin Tankersley, 14. 50z-Zach Chappell, 15. 16-Anthony Nicholson, 16. 9-Justin Sturch, 17. 21x-Taylor Velasquez, 18. 90-Jeff Swindell, 19. 17-Brad Bowden, 20. 53-Jack Dover, 21. 21-Brian Brown, 22. 5h-Josh Fisher, 23. 58-Wade Oliver, 24. 0-Andy McElhannon.
Lap Leaders: Brian Brown 1-9, Tony Bruce, Jr. 10-30.
Note: Shane Stewart used his third provisional of the year, a partial-point provisional, and Brady Bacon used his mid-season bonus full-point provisional to start the main event. Stewart has one partial-point provisional remaining, while Bacon has two partial-point provisionals remaining.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 15): 1. Jason Johnson 2,531, 2. Brady Bacon 2,466, 3. Shane Stewart 2,437, 4. Tony Bruce, Jr. 2,271, 5. Tim Crawley 2,264, 6. Zach Chappell 2,238, 7. Jack Dover 2,233, 8. Danny Wood 2,133, 9. Ricky Logan 2,071, 10. Kyle Hirst 2,054, 11. Matt Covington 1,989, 12. Dustin Morgan 1,865, 13. Darren Long 1,817, 14. Channin Tankersley 1,739, 15. Justyn Cox 1,513.