From Bryan Hulbert
Peoria, AZ — (March 2, 2012) — The 2012 season opener for the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MavTV saw Owasso, Oklahoma’s Tony Bruce Jr. take the prelim night victory in the Copper Classic at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Arizona.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into this and you know I just can’t thank everyone enough for sticking with me” commented Bruce in victory lane. “Last year we were just absolutely horrible, probably the worst year I’ve ever had in a Sprint Car, and to have a good winter with the addition of Wayne [Priddy] and having the team back it just proves we’re here to stay.”
Bruce who drew the number one spot for the start of the night’s 25 laps feature event out pulled Seth Bergman on the start to put The Oil Medics / TBJ Promotions 18 on the point. Pulling to a good advantage from the start, Bruce would have the field back on his bumper with only one lap in the books as Matt Covington spun to a stop at the top of turn three while running third.
On the restart, the battle would be for second as sixth starting Danny Wood dove to the bottom of Seth Bergman to steal away the runner up spot. As the 81 of Wood worked on running down the 18, the caution would again wave as Lance Norick brought his car to a stop on the bottom of turn three.
To the restart with three laps completed, the car on the move would be the Fatheadz 99 of Brady Bacon. After starting fifteenth on the field the 99 had already worked into seventh before quickly moving into the top five. Making the pass on Johnny Herrera and then Wayne Johnson the half-way point of the race would see Bacon battling for the runner up spot with Danny Wood.
Working into slower traffic, the lead cars tucked around the bottom groove with Bruce, Wood, and Bacon running within a few car lengths of each other for several laps before the caution waved again as Lance Norick and Logan Forler came together in front of the lead cars while working off the exit of turn four. Neither driver would be able to continue as the field lined up for the restart with eighteen laps complete.
Back under green the 99 of Brady Bacon would renew his battle with Danny Wood’s 81 before the red flag flew for the 45x of Johnny Herrera who found himself flipping several times off the top of turn three after contact with the lapped car of Zach Chappell. Both drives were ok.
The field re-fired for the final seven laps of competition with Bacon working by Wood coming to five laps to go. Working right in the tire track of Bruce, the 99 of Bacon pulled to within striking distance as the white flag waved but would run out of time as Tony Bruce held on to win. Brady Bacon would cross the line second with Wayne Johnson making the best of a loose car to take home third.
Brad Loyet would manage a fourth place finish after falling back to tenth early on from his fifth starting spot. The Brodix Rookie of the Year contender would finish just ahead of the Rossi Feed and Grain 24 of Terry McCarl.
Sixth would go to Danny Wood after the Statewide Services 81 faded in the closing laps with Jason Johnson fighting from twenty-first to take seventh. Roger Crockett, who battled throughout most of the race with the 41 of Johnson, would take the eighth spot as Aaron Reutzel and Seth Bergman rounded out the top ten.
The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MavTV returns to Canyon Speedway Park on March 3, 2012 for the conclusion of the Copper Classic. Races are scheduled to begin at 7pm MST.
Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MavTV
Canyon Speedway Park – Copper Classic Night #1
Car Count: 35
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 81-Danny Wood; 2. 14-Tony Stewart; 3. 99-Brady Bacon; 4. 9-Gary Wright; 5. 55-Trey Starks; 6. 1x-J.T. Imperial; DNF 33-Danny Lasoski
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 23-Seth Bergman; 2. 18-Tony Bruce Jr; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel; 4. 20z-Rick Ziehl; 5. 90-Lance Norick; 6. 17-Bruce Griffith Jr; 7. 15-Bud Goodwin
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 11c-Matt Covington; 2. 24-Terry McCarl; 3. 21-Brian Brown; DNF 22-Mike Rux Jr; DNF 22-Jesse Baker; DNF 33v-Henry VanDam; DNS 41-Jason Johnson
Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 77x-Wayne Johnson; 2. 45x-Johnny Herrera; 3. 2-Dustin Morgan; 4. 5-Josh Pelkey; 5. 41w-Joshua Williams; 6. 2x-Kyle Evans
Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 5h-Logan Forler; 2. 05-Brad Loyet; 3. 11-Roger Crockett; 4. 98M-Mitch Olson; 5. 77-Dalten Gabbard; 6. 74x-Joshua Hodges; DNS 53-Jack Dover
B Feature 1- Top 3 Transfer (12 Laps): 1. 98M-Mitch Olson; 2. 90-Lance Norick; 3. 41-Jason Johnson; 4. 55-Trey Starks; 5. 33-Danny Lasoski; 6. 22-Mike Rux Jr; 7. 41w-Joshua Williams; 8. 17-Bruce Griffith Jr; DNS 53-Jack Dover; DNS 33v-Henry VanDam
B Feature 2 – Top 3 Transfer (12 Laps): 1. 20z-Rick Ziehl; 2. 77-Dalten Gabbard; 3. 74x-Joshua Hodges; 4. 1x-J.T. Imperial; 5. 2x-Kyle Evans; 6. 50z-Zach Chappell; 7. 15-Bud Goodwin; DNS 5-Josh Pelkey; DNS 22-Jesse Baker
A Feature – Top 4 Locked In (25 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce Jr; 2. 99-Brady Bacon; 3. 77x-Wayne Johnson; 4. 05-Brad Loyet; 5. 24-Terry McCarl; 6. 81-Danny Wood; 7. 41-Jason Johnson; 8. 11-Roger Crockett; 9. 87-Aaron Reutzel; 10. 23-Seth Bergman; 11. 14-Tony Stewart; 12. 2-Dustin Morgan; 13. 21-Brian Brown; 14. 20z-Rick Ziehl; 15. 9-Gary Wright; 16. 74x-Joshua Hodges; 17. 77-Dalten Gabbard; 18. 98M-Mitch Olson; 19. 11c-Matt Covington; 20. DNF 45x-Johnny Herrera; 21. DNF 5h-Logan Forler; 22. DNF 50z-Zach Chappell; 23. DNF 90-Lance Norick
Lap Leader(s): Tony Bruce Jr. 1-25
Points (Top 10): 1. Tony Bruce Jr. 150; 2. Brady Bacon 142; 3. Wayne Johnson 135; 4. Brad Loyet 130; 5. Terry McCarl 125; 6. Danny Wood 122; 7. Jason Johnson 119; 8. Roger Crockett 116; 9. Aaron Reutzel 113; 10. Seth Bergman 110.
The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters is scheduled to compete 64 times in 16 states throughout the United States with divers competing for their share of a $250,000 points fund.
The 2012 season marks the 21st year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing for the American Sprint Car Series, which brings the best of Sprint Car racing to dozens of different tracks throughout the nation and into Canada. Anchored by the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series, ASCS also consists of ten different Regions throughout the nation.
Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.