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Bassett Racing: 2012 Year in Review

Bassett Racing: 2012 Year in Review

by January 5, 2013 0 comments

Ronnie Bassett Jr. and Dillon Bassett drove for different teams during the 2011 race season and the Bassett brothers saw very different schedules. Ronnie Jr. raced under the Fat Head Racing banner in the UARA-STARS tour and late model stock circuit, while younger brother Dillon remained under the family team in limited late models.

Following a successful 2011 season where Ronnie Jr. collected his first late model stock victory followed by three more, and Dillon earned 12 victories en route to his Ace Speedway Championship, Ronnie Bassett Sr. made the decision to bring both young drivers back under one roof at Bassett Racing.

The foundation formed during the off season with Chris Lawson and Seth Smith comprising Ronnie’s #04, in addition to Kenyon Davidson and Kris Bradley on Dillon’s #44. New Marlowe chassis were built at Performance Center and the goals for 2012 were set – chasing the UARA Championship and Rookie of the Year titles with Ronnie, 16, and Dillon, 15, respectively.

Several speculated the team would struggle at the start of the season but right out of the gate at Hickory in the UARA season opener Ronnie Bassett Jr. put his #04 Bassett Gutters & More Ford in victory lane. Bassett Racing went on to the following event at Dillon Motor Speedway and couldn’t have asked for a better turnout – a 1-2 finish with Ronnie collecting victory number two and Dillon battling him to the finish in second place.

The 2012 season kicked off with momentum but the fourth event held at Kingsport in May brought the first obstacles. Dillon crashed out early and while Ronnie went on to visit victory lane a third time, he was disqualified from the race following a motor infraction.

A month later the team entered Anderson looking for redemption. Dillon posted a solid top five and Ronnie Jr. took the checkered flag only to meet his fate again in the tech shed where he was disqualified on a controversial rule change from last season regarding brake fans. The speculations and allegations began surrounding Ronnie Bassett Jr. and his #04 team. Unable to fight for the UARA title, they altered their 2012 plans and decided to diversify their schedule to complete in NASCAR sanctioned late model events as well.

Ronnie Bassett Jr. in victory lane at SNMP

Ronnie Bassett Jr. in victory lane at SNMP

Determined to prove themselves and show their integrity, the team rolled into the UARA event at Newport and Ronnie Bassett Jr. earned his only pole of the season. Never losing sight of their goals they went on to collect two more UARA wins and five NWAAS victories. In his seven NASCAR sanctioned events Ronnie visited victory lane five times including the Bobby Isaac Memorial at Hickory and swept back to back twin races at Southern National Motorsports Park in his first appearance.

As the wins compiled Ronnie Bassett Jr. proved himself a worthy competitor, shattering allegations of cheating. At 16 years old he accumulated 9 victories in 17 events with win statistics greater than 50%. Participating in only 10 of the 16 UARA events, Ronnie won 25% of the tour schedule making himself the winningest UARA driver of 2012 with four official victories.

Although a remarkable season, Ronnie Bassett Jr. wasn’t the only one turning heads in the Bassett Racing stables. In his eighth start 15 year old Dillon Bassett earned his first UARA-STARS career win at Hickory in June, giving Bassett Racing a sweep of the UARA Hickory events. He backed up his win with victory number two at Kingsport in September, the same weekend Ronnie won at SNMP, making a flawless weekend for Bassett Racing.

Dillon Bassett celebrates Rookie of the Year honors with BR team

Dillon Bassett celebrates Rookie of the Year honors with BR team

Dillon Bassett went on to earn his first career Sunoco pole in the final event of the season at Rockingham Speedway where he also posted a runner-up finish. His performance solidified his Rookie of the Year title and he finished second in the championship battle, just 18 points behind Travis Swaim. Dillon Bassett made quite a statement in 2012 collecting two wins and 11 top 5’s in 18 events – 16 UARA and two NWAAS. He also received Rookie of the Race honors seven times and Holley Performer of the Race five times.

The season contained highs and lows along with its share of controversy, but as the Bassett Racing team looks back on 2012 they had a year to remember. They turned visions into reality, standing in victory lane 11 times and accumulating 22 top 5’s. Bassett Racing thanks everyone involved for making it possible – Performance Center, G-Force South, Pig Wire, Wes Page Shocks, Rex Younger, Kerry Lawrence Exhaust and Roush Yates Performance Parts.

As the 2012 season ended preparations for the 2013 race season began. Dillon Bassett plans to compete in his second full UARA-STARS season to contend for the Championship again. Ronnie Bassett Jr. will run a varied schedule included UARA-STARS events, select NWAAS events and plans to make his NASCAR K&N debut with a select number of races.

Be sure to follow the Bassett brothers on Twitter @Bulldog_04 and @Dillon_Bassett, as well as @BassettRacing1. Visit www.ronniebassettjr04.com and www.dillonbassett44.com for information and sponsorship opportunities.

Caitlin Tinius

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