TULSA, Okla. – Before the start of the 2013 season, Tony Bruce, Jr. changed everything in his team, except maybe the brand of shoes he wore in the car. Chassis, engine, rear-ends, you name it a different lineup of supplies was bolted to the OneEight Motorsports entry.
“We pretty much redeveloped our race team last year and so, at the beginning of the season we had some flaws, and some of those things we had to work out, but once we got those things worked out, I feel like we were really right where we needed to be,” said Bruce when asked about how the changes affected his 2013 season.
Enter the 2014 season, and the laundry list of changes is not the case.
“This winter, we really haven’t changed anything,” said Bruce. “We’re using all the same car manufactures, engine builders, rear-end, steering; just all the same stuff so I think by staying the same and not making any changes over the off-season is really going to be our key to being consistent.”
Pointing out using the same engine builder, Tony brings reference to Chris Moss who was the key Sprint Car engine builder at Roush/Yates before the program was scrapped at the latter part of 2013. Because of that, Tony is able to use the full assortment of engines he began with in 2013; be it Chevrolet or Ford.
“Last year, I felt like Fords ran better on certain race tracks, but at the same time felt like Chevys probably ran better at different styles of tracks as well. We kept the Chevys from my previous years of racing, so this year I feel like we’re going to have a nice assortment of engines because we’ll have two Chevys, and two Fords.”
Again a Racer/Promoter in 2014, TBJ Promotions will kick off the 2014 ASCS Lineup with the Eagle Motorsports Rock ‘N Roll 50 at the Riverside International Speedway on May 3, followed by the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour’s return to Lakeside Speedway on May 8.
The Hinchman Race Wear Eagle Nationals is scheduled for action on May 31 at the famed Eagle Raceway. June 28 and 29 will feature the Steve King Memorial, which this year will be an ASCS Sooner Region / NCRA event split between the Dodge City Raceway Park and 81-Speedway.
Adding a new race to the ASCS National lineup, the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real will make a second trip to “The Ditch” for the Mid-South Showdown on August 21.
Asked if the promotional company ever takes away, or hinders, his ability to compete, Bruce gave no indication of it slowing him down, “I’ve got a great promotional staff. My wife does a real good job, my sister helps at every race, and my dad tries to make as many as possible. This year we added Chris “Snow” Giddings to help out as well so with such a great support staff, it really makes it a lot easier to be a driver too than some may think.”
One difference that Bruce will have for the 2014 season is the chance to race in other equipment. Taking advantage of some the down time at the start of the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour season, it gives the Kansas native a chance to learn from others.
“Sometimes just getting a different perspective, and driving someone else’s car, and doing some other things, it really helps you on your own stuff so you don’t get tunnel vision and focus on one thing.”
With nearly all of Tony’s 2013 sponsors coming back for the coming run, Bruce points out companies like The Oil Medics, which has been with Bruce for the past five years.
“To have a partnership last that long is something that’s really important to me, and is rare in racing.”