By Zach Tasker
Patrick Bruns put on a driving clinic Saturday night at Rockford Speedway, besting the 16 Illini midgets taking to the high banks. Scott Koerner and Loran Critchett Jr. led the field to the green flag for the 25 lap feature which once again was caution free. Bruns and quick time setter Sean Murphy quickly asserted themselves through the field. After ju
st a few laps Bruns was already slicing through heavy lapped traffic.
The "Smurfinatior" had a harder time getting past the lapped cars which let Bruns start to pull away. Mike Anderson, Lamont and Loran Critchett all battled hard from 2nd-6th place throughout the whole race, often coming close to making contact but keeping it clean. In the end 6th place was the last car on the lead lap, showing the dominance of the 83 car. For the driver of the #83 Tin Cup RV Park/Advanced Financial/Cains Marine Welding/Mobil 1/Triple T Car Wash & Lube Beast/Focus it was his 4th victory of the year and 2nd at Rockford. Murphy came across the line in a distant 2nd followed closely by his SETRacing teammate Mike Anderson. Lamont Critchett and Freedie Teer Jr. rounded out the top 5.
For Bruns, it is one step closer to the series championship "I really thought I had the 5 car breathing down my neck the majority of that race, these cars don't have mirrors so you don't really know if somebody is on you or not but we got off to a great start in the feature. The holes opened up for us and I think 2nd on back got held up in traffic and once we got clear road the car just kept getting better and better as the night went on. It was a pretty clean race and it went really quick, the car kept getting better as the night went on and Brad made the right changes on the car. This series is a lot of fun to run, good sportsmanship, everyone respects one another and you don't have a lot of DNFs from cars breaking down and that's a testament to guys taking care of their equipment and putting good cars on the track and having a good night." The Champaign driver hopes that his recent success in the IRS will catch the eye of some USAC team owners "You know its really fun to run with the Illini Racing Series ,but my heart today was really in Springfield for the USAC Silver Crown race, unfortunately rides have kind of dried up in that department. I wish we could have been in Springfield perhaps next year things will turn back around and we can get back into a champ car but in the mean time I'm having fun running the Illini Racing Series."
For Murphy, who set his 4th straight fast time in qualifying at Rockford, dating back to last year, 2nd wasn't enough "Early on in the race everyone was stacking up and Bruns made kind of a wild move from the outside right across my nose. I didn't think there was room but he forced it in there. But he cut through traffic good and I got really tied up with a couple cars for what seemed like an eternity out there." The driver of the #5 SETRacing Twister/Ecotec has a mountain to climb with 6 races remaining if he wants the championship.
Rounding out the podium was the driver of the #7 Merlins 200,000 mile shop Stewart/Ecotec. Mike Anderson was very pleased with his improved performance at Rockford. "I have never really ran this track as well as I did tonight. I talked to Sean and Bruns about what I was doing wrong in the heat race before they eventually blew by me and they gave me a couple pointers and in my head the whole time I was thinking about what they had said and tried to hit the marks they were telling me about, and the car ran as best as it has ever ran here. I saw Sean on the inside of me a couple times and I was consciously trying to give him enough room to race and he eventually got by and the same thing with Critchett and we made some pretty good laps and some pretty good racing there and the people enjoyed it I hope." The Carter/Anderson classic winner from earlier this year knows how hard the SETRacing team races against other competitors and even each other. "I think its a good team because you have a combination of everything, you have great drivers, you have great guys who want to make their cars go faster and keep them together and work on them and that's what it takes and it just so happens that we are up front battling each other and you want the position more than anything else so yea we fight pretty hard but I think it would go with anyone."
Lamont Critchett and Bob Adams were the two heat races winners, Adams just beating Doug Orseske to the line for the victory. For Adams it was his first career IRS heat race win. The Illini Racing Series will be back in action Saturday August 25 at the Grundy County Speedway as part of the D'Arcy Shootout.
Feature (25 laps): 1) #83 Patrick Bruns 2)#5 Sean Murphy 3)#7 Mike Anderson 4)#77 Lamont Critchett 5) #54 Freedie Teer Jr. 6)#52 Mike Gass 7)#33 Loran Critchett Jr. 8)#9a Bob Adams 9)#8 Jason Allen 10) #0 Doug Orseske 11)#17 Brian Dobis 12)#11b Kourtney Borman 13)#53 Aaron Schuck 14)#2a Andrew Henning 15)#9k Scott Koerner 16)#24 Ben GIllis
Heat race 1(8 laps): 1)#77 Lamont Critchett 2)#5 Sean Murphy 3)#83 Patrick Bruns 4)#7 Mike Anderson 5)#52 Mike Gass 6)#9k Scott Koerner 7)#33 Loran Critchett Jr. 8)#24 Ben Gillis
Heat race 2(8 laps): 1)#9a Bob Adams 2)#0 Doug Orseske 3)#8 Jason Allen 4)#54 Freedie Teer Jr. 5)#53 Aaron Schuck 6)#17 Brian Dobis 7)#11b Kourtney Borman 8)#2a Andrew Henning
Qualifying: 1) #5 Sean Murphy 13.824 2)#83 Patrick Bruns 13.999 3)#77 Lamont Critchett 14.028 4)#52 Mike Gass 14.177 5)#9k Scott Koerner 14.206 6)#7 Mike Anderson 14.316 7)#24 Ben Gillis 14.484 8)#33 Loran Critchett Jr. 14.489 9)#54 Freedie Teer Jr. 14.662 10)#8 Jason Allen 14.744 11)#9 Bob Adams 14.931 12)#0 Doug Orseske 14.975 13)#11 Kourtney Borman 15.121 14)#17 Brian Dobis 15.299 15)#2a Andrew Henning 15.954 16)#53 Aaron Schuck 15.194
This article was posted to the website on August 20th, 2012
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