GREENWOOD, Neb. — Seth Bergman captured his second career American Sprint Car Series Regional feature win by charging to victory in Friday night’s season-opening 25-lap Speedway Motors ASCS Midwest Region event at I-80 Speedway.
Bergman, who picked up his first win during the initial weekend of Northwest action under the ASCS banner in 2008, battled into the lead on the second round and, after some early pressure in traffic from Brian Brown, checked out in the latter stages to take the $3,000 victory with a comfortable straightaway margin.
“I knew Brian would be on me on that restart, so I drove it even harder after that,” the 23-year-old Lucas Oil ASCS National title contender explained. “I didn’t know if he was close or not.”
Finding the four-tenths-mile dirt oval that was made heavy by rain the previous day to his liking, Bergman rallied from seventh to second in his heat to earn a spot in the redraw, where he drew the front row outside starting position for the feature.
While pole starter Don Droud, Jr., paced the initial circuit, Bergman blasted into the lead in turns one and two the next time around and held the point the rest of the way aboard the Petersen Motorsports Wesmar-powered Superior Marine No. 23 Eagle, lapping all the way up to ninth in the process.
It wasn’t without at least a challenge or two along the way, as fifth-starter Brown worked past Droud for second by the time Bergman reached traffic on the eighth circuit. Brown moved in on Bergman’s tailtank to challenge, with Bergman splitting a pair of lapped cars to maintain the lead moments before the caution flew on the 10th round for Ryan Roberts, who slowed to a halt in turn two.
“When we got in dirty air, the car got pretty tight if I got right behind someone,” Bergman explained. “In open track, the car was great.”
With a pair of lapped cars between himself and Brown, Bergman checked out and raced on to a straightaway advantage as Brown struggled to get past the lapped machine of Ryan Anderson until a final caution flew after 13 laps for Justyn Cox, who stopped in turn two with steering woes.
Brown disposed of the lapped car on the restart but was no match for the fleet Bergman, who again opened up a healthy lead that wasn’t even diminished as he sliced through traffic over the final handful of circuits.
Bergman took the checkered flag well ahead of Brown, with Droud settling for third. Wayne Johnson slipped around Jack Dover for fourth on the 24th lap, with Dover rounding out the top five.
Seth Bergman, Brian Brown, Don Droud, Jr., Wayne Johnson, Jack Dover, Lee Grosz, Tony Bruce, Jr., Russ Hall, Gregg Bakker, Chad Meyer, Logan Forler, Jason Danley, Jake Ossenfort, Ryan Anderson, Jordan Boston, Mark Pace, C.J. Johnson, Danny Lasoski, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Bryan Gossel, Justyn Cox, Ryan Roberts, Terry McCarl, Lou Kennedy, Jr.