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Ronnie Bassett Jr. Finishes Third at The Rock, Leads UARA Points

Ronnie Bassett Jr. Finishes Third at The Rock, Leads UARA Points

by April 16, 2013 0 comments

RB - RockinghamApril 16, 2013 – Ronnie Bassett Jr. turned in a strong performance this weekend, but is still chasing an eluded Rockingham victory. The UARA-STARS put on a show during their 75 lap event at The Rock Saturday afternoon. After qualifying fourth, Bassett came home with a third place finish, keeping him on top the UARA points.

After the rain passed Friday afternoon, the UARA-STARS took the track and Ronnie Bassett Jr. trailed Clay Rogers in the first practice session. Most cars battled tight conditions at some point during the weekend, and Bassett was no exception. His team was able to adjust the car to his liking and during the final practice Bassett ended third on the charts behind NASCAR Camping World Truck drivers Ty Dillon and Darrell Wallace Jr.

Ronnie Bassett Jr. was the fifth car to take the track Saturday morning in qualifying, turning a lap of 25.124, fast enough to give him the fourth starting position. Going into the race he and his crew chief, Chris Lawson, had concerns about tire wear. The UARA-STARS made the switch to Hoosier tires this season, and after putting approximately 50 laps on them in practice they were showing signs of tearing.

When the 24 car field took the green flag Ronnie Bassett Jr. immediately took the third position and remained single file behind Clay Rogers and Brodie Kostecki until the first caution waived at lap 26. Under the caution he and Lawson discussed how well the car was handling. Bassett was able to keep his car tucked to the bottom of the racetrack while most competitors were fighting tight conditions, forcing them to the high side.

Although with a strong car, Lawson reminded his driver it’s too soon to race hard, keeping in mind the concerns of tire wear. The field restarted at lap 32 and by lap 40 Bassett had his #04 in second, setting his sights on race leader Ty Dillon. The two battled for multiple laps and Bassett was inside Dillon exiting turn two when they encountered a lap car. Slight contact was made, causing Bassett to get loose and settle back to the third position.

The second and final caution came at lap 55. When the field restarted with 15 laps to go Ronnie Bassett Jr. missed a shift, allowing Ben Rhodes around and dropping Bassett to fourth. With ten to go the top four of Kostecki, Dillon, Rhodes and Bassett were nose to tail but shortly thereafter Kostecki set sail in the clean air and Dillon dropped back to fourth. Ronnie Bassett Jr. came home third, ending his win streak but keeping him in the point lead heading into Dillon Motor Speedway on May 18th.  

“We had a really consistent car and it was a good finish for us. I messed up on the last restart missing a shift, so we had some ground to make up. We were a little hesitant all race after the tire issues we saw in practice, but if I have the chance in November to be out front I’m taking it. Clean air can be a big advantage and I want to win at The Rock,” Bassett commented.

The Bassett Racing team arrived at the shop in Winston-Salem Saturday evening, unloaded and got to work switching the cars over for the test session at Richmond on Tuesday in anticipation for the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. It is a short turn around, but Bassett and his crew worked all day Sunday and Monday to get loaded in time for the test.  

Stay tuned on Twitter to @Bassettjr_04 and @BassettRacing1 for updates from Richmond as the test session progresses. Be sure to visit www.RonnieBassettjr04.com.

Caitlin Tinius

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