Heading into the Summer Nationals at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway, Tony Bruce, Jr and his one8 Motorsports team had hopes of erasing their bad luck from the Eagle Nationals, but bad luck from Friday turned into a solid run Saturday as he captured a second place finish.
“The little mechanical failures really make you pull your hair out,” said Bruce. “Fortunately we got our issue fixed, and came back to a nice third place finish on Saturday.”
Kicking of a stretch of nine races in seven nights, known as the Lucas Oil ASCS Sizzlin’ Summer Speedweek, Bruce’s speed week got off to a poor start on Friday.
Scoring a second place finish in his heat, TBJ lined his Pro Auto/Oil Medics/Smileys No.18 machine up in the fifth row, and that was ultimately the extent of his night.
Just a handful of laps into the feature, Bruce was forced into the pits as he experienced rear end problems for the second Friday in a row.
“I honestly could not believe it when it happened,” said Bruce. “We have had very few issues with rear ends over the last few years, and this was the third in the last two months.”
Saturday night Bruce came back to the Devil’s Bowl Speedway with a mission of erasing this string of bad luck and grabbing a solid finish.
Charging from fourth to first in his heat race, TBJ pulled the one pill in the top-eight redraw putting his SWE/Factory Kahne Shocks/Hinchman Racewear entry on the poll for the 30-lap finale.
Getting underway, Bruce charged his way to an impressive lead as he put his right rear right up on the cushion as much of the field followed suit.
“We were really good early, and were using the cushion almost to perfection, but so was the rest of the field, and it started wearing out fast,” Bruce explained.
By the tenth circuit the lead pack got into traffic, as Bruce and second running Wayne Johnson hooked up in a battle for the top-spot.
On the 13th lap, Johnson grabbed the lead, as TBJ tried to fend off a resilient Danny Lasoski, who had fallen back to the fifth spot after starting on the front row.
Bruce would hold the position as he still worked the high side, but Johnson had stretched away to a very healthy lead.
The caution waved on the 21st lap, bunching the field back up, but Bruce would fall back to third as Lasoski got the better of him getting into turn one, and then fell back to fourth as a rapidly charging, Brian Brown, snuck by under Bruce as well.
With two to go, Lasoski had an engine expire, and was forced out of the race, and Bruce reclaimed the third spot, where he would ultimately go on to finish.
“It’s nice to be standing here on the front stretch after such a rough stretch,” Bruce explained. “The top started going away and we weren’t very good on the bottom, so I’ll take the third and use the momentum for the rest of speedweek.”
Bruce would like to thank all of his sponsors, Hinchman Racewear, Pro Auto, The Oil Medics, Smileys, SWE, Maxwell Industries, FK Rod Ends, Butlerbuilt, Factory Kahne Shocks, Randy’s Racing Filters, DriversWebsites.com, Racinboys.com, Wilwood, Zemco Headers, Hoosier Tires, Gaerte Engines, Pro Powder Coating, Fuel Safe, Bell, Weld Wheels, and ISC Racer’s Tape for their support through the 2012 season.
ON TAP: The one8 Motorsports team will continue to exciting and action packed speedweek as they are scheduled to return to action Monday night at the Jones Motorspeedway in Chatham, LA, Tuesday they will head to the Diamond Park Speedway in AR, followed by Lawton Speedway in Lawton, OK on Weds, the Salina Highbanks on Friday and finally finish up at the Lucas Oil Speedway on Saturday.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay updated with TBJ by visiting his website at
www.tonybrucejr.com, or by following him on twitter @tonybrucejr