Ronnie Bassett Jr. Wins UARA Season Opener, Stays Undefeated at Southern National

Ronnie Bassett Jr. Wins UARA Season Opener, Stays Undefeated at Southern National

by March 11, 2013 0 comments

Bassett wins SNMPRonnie Bassett Jr. returned at Southern National Motorsports Park to rejoin the UARA-STARS for the first time since winning at Anderson Speedway in October. The 17 year old driver picked up right where he left off, putting his #04 in victory lane.

Going into the weekend, the Bassett Racing team knew they had a good racecar based off their test session, but they didn’t know just how good. After Friday’s practice sessions Bassett and his team were very happy with the car’s handling and made only minor adjustments during the two practice sessions held Saturday morning.

Ronnie Bassett Jr. was the first to take the track for qualifying and turned a lap of 15.428, placing him fifth on the starting grid. For Bassett’s driving style, fifth is exactly where he likes to be. While remaining towards the front of the pack, Bassett chooses to hang back and conserve his equipment for later in the race.

Saturday afternoon was no exception. Ronnie Bassett Jr. took over the fourth position early on in the 150 lap event and remained there until after the halfway mark. At lap 88 he turned it up a notch and took the third position from Ben Rhodes. The first caution waived at lap 104 and the field was back underway shortly at lap 108.

Following the restart the top three were nose to tail with Ronnie Bassett Jr. tailing younger brother Dillon Bassett and Travis Swaim who had been out front since the drop of the green. On lap 115 Bassett Jr. made the move to take second from his brother, and ten laps later he was all over Swaim’s back bumper.

With a racecar that could roll the bottom of the track, Bassett tucked to the inside of Swaim entering turn three and took over the lead at lap 128. Swaim made one final attempt to regain the top spot, making contact exiting turn four, but Bassett was able to maintain control and set sail to claim the first UARA-STARS checkered flag of the season.

While the UARA-STARS had not visited the Kenly, NC racetrack since 2007, Ronnie Bassett Jr. was no stranger to the 4/10 mile asphalt oval. His visit to victory lane on Saturday afternoon marked his fifth appearance in Southern National’s winner circle, keeping alive the streak he started last September by winning four events in one weekend and remaining undefeated at the track.

Excited about the victory, Bassett said, “I’ve been counting the days to get back into the racecar, and it’s unbelievable to start the season this way. I cannot thank my family and team enough for all their hard work. I also want to thank Rex Younger, Rheem, Performancenter, G-Force, Pigwire, Wes Page Racing Shocks, Ford and everyone else who makes it possible.”

His victory marks the second consecutive season Ronnie Bassett Jr. has claimed the UARA-STARS season opener, making him the first driver to accomplish this feat. In 2012 the tour opened up at Hickory Motor Speedway where Bassett took the win in his first race back under the Bassett Racing banner after competing in 2011 for Fat Head Racing.

Although his entire 2013 racing plans are not set in stone, Bassett plans to be a part of UARA’s next event at Hickory Motor Speedway on March 23rd. In his two events last season at the Newton, NC track, the UARA opener and the Bobby Isaac Memorial, Ronnie Bassett Jr. ended in victory lane.

This week the Bassett Racing team will take their #04 Ford up to Hickory for testing in preparation for the event. Keep up with Ronnie and Bassett Racing on Twitter @Bassettjr_04 and @BassettRacing1. Be sure to visit and like us on Facebook

Caitlin Tinius

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