Ronnie Bassett, Jr. fought his way through the field from 13th starting spot to pull off the win during the UARA-STARS Slawson Transmission 150 at Anderson Motor Speedway on Friday night. Bassett led Brennan Poole, Kyle Grissom, Scott Turlington and George Miedecke across the finish line.
Scott Turlington won his second career Sunoco Pole of the season and started alongside of his teammate, Andy Mercer. The action began less than three laps into the race when Will Burns had a freak failure of the car’s centerlink and slowed abruptly on the racetrack to bring out the first caution. Unable to steer his machine, Burns ran into the car of Bassett during that time, causing severe cosmetic damage to the No. 04 machine but nothing that he was forced to pit to repair.
The second caution of the night waved just a few laps later when eventual Rookie of the Race George Miedecke and rookie driver Joey Herques made contact going into turn one. Miedecke spun in front of the field causing a number of drivers to take evasive action behind him. David Roberts and Jeremy Burns, who won the UARA event at Anderson in June, both were swept up in the melee but all drivers involved were able to continue. For misfortune for the third time in three races, Roberts was awarded the ARBodies Hard Luck Award while Jeremy Burns, after recovering to finish seventh, received the G-Force Shift of the Race award.
When the green flag flew after the second caution, Scott Turlington took off again and led the field until lap 91, claiming the Marlowe Racing Chassis Halfway Leader Award in the process. Seeing lightning in the distance and assuming rain was close by, Brennan Poole closed in on Turlington and took over the lead on lap 92. Poole quickly pulled away from the Virginian as the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled but the rain never came.
“I saw Brennan coming and when he got to me there wasn’t a whole lot I could do,” said Turlington, who borrowed a GM Performance Parts crate motor from Candace Muzny for this race. “My guys worked hard and our car was awesome today. I have to give a big thank you to Candace for loaning me her motor. It really helped tonight and we’re this much closer to winning our first one.”
As Poole prayed for rain, Ronnie Bassett was praying the race would stay green and his prayers were answered. With less than thirty laps to go, Bassett ran down Poole and took over the top spot after starting the event in 13th position. The performance was good enough to earn GM Performance Parts the Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race Award and to award Bassett the Holley Performer of the Race for the most positions gained in addition to the other accolades for his victory.
“Tonight showed just how good this Fat Head Racing team is,” said Bassett in victory lane. “Chris Lawson told me this car would be good and we were good in practice but after qualifying we were a little bit worried. He told me that it would be there at the end of the race and, boy, was it ever. I’m so proud of my guys for getting this win tonight, I can’t tell you how hard they’ve worked to get us here.”
“We saw the lightning and thought the rain would be here any minute,” said Poole after the race. “I went ahead and began to use my stuff up and when Bassett got to me I just had nothing left. I did everything I could to hold him off but it wasn’t enough.”
Poole’s runner up finish was one spot better than Kyle Grissom in third and helped him to maintain his point lead in search of his first UARA-STARS championship. Scott Turlington held on for fourth while George Miedecke recovered from rear end problems in practice and an early race spin to finish fifth. Andy Mercer faded from his second place start to finish sixth, followed by Jeremy Burns, Alex Yontz, Garrett Campbell and R.A. Brown.
UARA President Kerry Bodenhamer and wife Wink took a Saturday trip to Georgia to visit Circle Wheel representative Randy Rabinowitch who was in a horriffic motorcycle accident in July to offer the good tidings from the UARA. Rabinowitch was severely injured in the accident suffering a broken collar bone and ribs with his major loss being his left leg. Thursday was his first day out of the hospital.
His rehab is on temporary hold until his collarbone heals properly. He was presented with some token gifts from Kerry and Wink plus a Sunoco Checkered flag signed by all the UARA staff and drivers at the past two UARA events. Rabinowitch was thrilled beyond belief with the flag. The ultimate surprise for Rabinowitch and wife Dena was the cash contribution from the UARA, it's drivers and fans along with funds raised at the last two events in a 50/50 ticket sale. Rabinowitch has a goal of getting back to work in 30 days and then attending a UARA event. We wish Randy all the best in his recovery and journey to getting his life back on track.
The next stop on the UARA-STARS tour will be on Labor Day weekend, September 3, in the mountains of Virginia at Lonesome Pine Raceway. For more information visit www.uara-stars.com or call (828) 692-3833.