Inside Line Promotions
– KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Aug. 16) – The transition from 360 racing to 410 isn’t an easy one.
Tony Bruce Jr. has witnessed that firsthand a couple of times this year, including last weekend at the 51st annual Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa.
The Liberal, Kan., native had only three starts in his 410 this season in 33 races prior to the Nationals, which featured approximately 100 of the top drivers in the country.
“It’s a really difficult transition,” he said. “Sometimes you just stumble on what you need and everything is easy from there on. But a lot of times it’s an uphill battle from the start.”
Bruce Jr. faced that battle at his qualifying night last Wednesday, when he was the second-to-last driver to qualify on a track that began to decline after the first dozen cars on the ½-mile dirt oval. He timed in 31st quick, which was just inside the invert.
“I felt like when we went out in qualifying, we laid down a decent lap,” Bruce Jr. said. “Nobody in that back half of qualifying really timed in that well.”
It lined him up on the outside of the front row for his heat race, which he finished second in to lock into the feature. Bruce Jr. started 14th in the 30-lap main event and finished 17th.
“I would have liked to have been a little better in the A Main,” he said. “I felt like we were a little behind.
“We were bad, bad loose. Anytime I got on the throttle, it just seemed all I could do was spin the tires.”
He finished with the 41st-most points after the qualifying nights, which started him on the pole of Saturday’s C Main. It began well, with Bruce Jr. driving into the lead off turn two before a red flag was waved for a car that had flipped.
“On the first start, we took off really well,” he said. “I think if that would have held up, we probably would have transferred. The outside row got a better jump than the inside row on the second start. I was in third before we got to turn one.”
Bruce Jr. lost another spot and finished fourth, missing a transfer to the B Main by two positions.
“I felt my car was just as fast as the guys who transferred,” he said. “It was all about the start.”
Bruce Jr. returns to 360 action this weekend with the ASCS National Tour at the 33rd annual Jackson Nationals at Jackson Speedway in Jackson, Minn. He also picked up a brand new Gaerte engine to use this weekend.
“I’m real excited about it,” he said. “We’ve had some engine trouble with our 360s. This will be a little bit different combination from what we had early, so I’m excited to test this thing out.”
He is ninth in the ASCS National Tour standings.
For live updates of Bruce Jr. and the rest of the Jackson Nationals, visit www.insidelinepromotions.com throughout the weekend.
QUICK RESULTS –
Aug. 10 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – Qualifying: 31; Heat race: 2 (2); Feature: 17 (14).
Aug. 13 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – C Main: 4 (1).
SEASON STATS –
35 races, 29 features, 1 win, 4 top fives, 13 top 10s, 20 top 15s, 27 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Friday and Saturday at Jackson Speedway in Jackson, Minn., with the ASCS National Tour at the 33rd annual Jackson Nationals
FAVORITE NUMBER –
2: Positions out of transferring to the B Main in last Saturday’s 51st annual Knoxville Nationals C Main at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS –
ON THE AIR –
Bruce Jr. was a featured guest on the ASCS Show by Racinboys on May 24. Check out the link below for his interview, which starts at approximately 44:20 into the show.
He was also on the April 26 edition. Click on the link below to listen to Bruce Jr.’s interview, which begins around the 52:25 mark.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – TBJ Promotions
TBJ Promotions is a full-service promotional company with an emphasis on sprint car racing. Owned and operated by Tony Bruce Jr. and Jesse Douglas, TBJ Promotions runs the Rock-N-Roll 50 at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. (May 7), the Steve King Memorial at Jetmore Motorplex in Jetmore, Kan. (May 28-29) and the Eagle Nationals at Eagle Raceway in Eagle, Neb. (June 10-11). For more information, visit www.tbjpromotions.com.
“We know what to do and know how to do the right thing in racing,” Bruce Jr. said. “I’ve lived the promotional side and the racing side. I’m out to win for the competitors and I’m out to win for the fans.”
Bruce Jr. would like to thank his sponsors, including The Oil Medics, Travelwizer.com, Ticketmob.com, LRB Manufacturing, Hoosier and Smiley’s Racing Products for their continued support.