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Ronnie Bassett Jr. Opens UARA Season with Back to Back Wins

Ronnie Bassett Jr. Opens UARA Season with Back to Back Wins

by March 25, 2013 0 comments

RBJ Hickory WinMarch 25, 2013 – When it comes to Hickory Motor Speedway, Ronnie Bassett Jr. has figured out how to maneuver around “The Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars”. On Saturday evening, Bassett claimed his fourth consecutive win at the Newton, NC track and back to back UARA-STARS victories.

Coming off his win in the UARA season opener at Southern National Motorsports Park just two weeks ago, Bassett was eager to head into one of his favorite tracks. “I’ve always been a big fan of Hickory, not just because of our success on track, because it always provides good racing,” said Ronnie Bassett Jr.

Following a good test session last week, Bassett and his #04 team had to adjust to changed track conditions but got the set-up to their liking during Saturday’s practice sessions. Ronnie Bassett Jr. turned an impressive lap of 15.073 in qualifying, giving him his first Sunoco Pole Award of the season and first at Hickory Motor Speedway. RBJ Hickory pole

“To be honest, we really weren’t expecting a pole run in qualifying. Our car reacted better on old tires in practice” said Bassett. While many teams bolt on multiple sets of fresh Hoosier tires during practice, the Bassett Racing team utilizes just one new set. “I’d rather see how our car reacts on old tires over long runs than see us on top the practice charts. Qualifying is two laps and pays $100, the race is 150 laps but pays $3,000,” crew chief Chris Lawson stated.

Bassett dropped his #04 back to the fifth position by lap 50, letting Garrett Campbell and Chandler LeVan take the early leads. While the leaders checked out, Bassett set the pace and had a freight train following him. He asked his team if everyone was simply riding behind him to which they responded that it appeared so. When the caution waived just short of halfway at lap 71, Bassett found himself as far back as seventh, and Lawson told him to not go back any further as the field was racing pretty aggressively.  

The next caution came at lap 88, and Bassett had worked his way up to fourth. On lap 114 he took the third position and with less than 25 to go was sitting second. Ronnie Bassett Jr. set his sights on leader Garrett Campbell. The two battled side by side for multiple laps, but at lap 142 Bassett took over the top spot. The caution filled event would produce on more yellow flag at lap 145, creating a Green-White-Checkered finish and one more attempt for Campbell to regain the lead.

Campbell gave it one final effort, but Bassett cleared him and claimed the UARA checkered flag for the second consecutive event, making this the second season he has taken the win in the first two events. Since earning his first victory at Hickory in the 2011 Dwight Huffman Memorial, Ronnie Bassett Jr. has seen victory lane in every start at the historic track, with Saturday’s win being his fourth.

“That was a great race to be a part of. There was a lot of on track action and I had a lot of fun battling Garrett (Campbell) in the end,” said Bassett. “My team consistently gives me a good racecar, and I’m blessed to be in victory lane. Thanks to everyone for supporting us – RexYoungerArtGalleries, Rheem, Pig Wire, G-Force South, Performancenter, Wes Page Racing Shocks and Ford.”

The UARA-STARS put on a great race with multiple lead changes and passing throughout the field. It appeared everyone played Ronnie Bassett Jr.’s game, but in the end Bassett showed he can still play it best. Sitting on top the UARA-STARS points, Ronnie Bassett Jr. has a 31 point advantage as the tour prepares for their next stop at Rockingham Speedway on April 13th.

Follow @Bassettjr_04 and @BassettRacing1 on Twitter, and visit www.ronniebassettjr04.com for the latest news.

Caitlin Tinius

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