MESQUITE, Texas — Topping 49 drivers from 13 states and two countries, Tony Bruce Jr. returned to victory lane Friday night at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on the opening night of the 41st annual Spring Nationals.
The win marks the Kansas driver’s second Devil’s Bowl triumph with the first coming on March 14, 2008.
“It means a ton to me,” said Bruce. “We have a lot of great supporters in this area with people like Bill Jewel with The Oil Medics; you know Bill and Kathy have been with me forever it seems like. We haven’t had a win here on the national tour since I guess 2008. We’ve been in the top-three several times, and run up front all the time when we’re here so, hell yeah, we won at the Devil’s Bowl.”
Earning the pole of for the night’s 25-lap Protect the Harvest A-Feature, Bruce got the jump to the lead over the T&L Foundry No. 95 of Matt Covington.
“Matt’s really good every single time he’s been here,” Bruce added. “He always impresses everybody, so it was all about getting out front then just picking my way through lapped traffic and making sure I didn’t make any mistakes.”
Covington was challenged late in the A-Feature by Kevin Swindell, who worked next to the Oklahoma driver in slower traffic before the caution displayed for the stalled No. 7m of Kevin Ramey.
“It was a great run, but I had the car a little too tight, but I’m not complaining about running second with the national tour,” Covington said.
Swindell settled for the final podium step in the Buffalo Wild Wings No. 82.
“It wasn’t bad, especially when we got to traffic and those guys made mistakes and opened it up. I think I was probably the best car through that stage of the race before the yellow. I managed to get by Bergman and by Matt, then the yellow came out, but overall it was a good night. First night in the car, first time racing since early January so; not too bad,” Swindell said.
Christopher Bell grabbed the final transfer spot into Saturday’s A-Feature, coming from seventh to fourth and in doing so, assumed the Lucas Oil ASCS National points lead. John Carney II finished fifth.
Tony Bruce Jr., Matt Covington, Kevin Swindell, Christopher Bell, John Carney II, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Seth Bergman, Greg Wilson, Aaron Reutzel, Jeff Swindell, Jon Agan, Channin Tankersley, Johnny Herrera, Brad Loyet, Blake Hahn, Jason Johnson, Russ Hall, Josh Baughman, Brandon Hahn, Michael Lang, Sean McClelland, Kevin Ramey, Danny Jennings, Jake Martens.