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Ronnie Bassett Jr. Starts Third, Finishes Fourth in Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown

Ronnie Bassett Jr. Starts Third, Finishes Fourth in Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown

by April 28, 2013 0 comments
Ronnie Bassett Jr. on track at RIR

Ronnie Bassett Jr. on track at RIR

April 28, 2013 – After a successful test session in anticipation for his second Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway, Ronnie Bassett Jr. had high hopes for Thursday’s charity race benefiting Cystic Fibrosis research. After qualifying third and finishing fourth, 17 year old Bassett and his No. 04 Bassett Racing team had little to be disappointed about.

During the first practice session Bassett had his No. 04 Rheem / Rex Younger Galleries Ford sitting fourth on the charts, two tenths off the fast time set by Kyle Busch. He reported his car was a touch free, potentially caused by the warmer temperatures. In final practice Bassett slid to eighth, still just two tenths off quick time, and now reported a tight racecar.

Qualifying for the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown was European style which meant multiple cars would take the 3/4 mile racetrack at a time. During the 30 minute session each car is allowed to make as many laps as desired, but once they exit the track their qualifying session is over.

Ronnie Bassett Jr. took the track early on and toured Richmond International Raceway with younger brother Dillon Bassett. When they exited Ronnie sat second on the charts with a lap of 22.939 and was led by Dillon at 22.825. It was almost a Bassett Racing front row, but David Ragan put in a solid lap besting Ronnie’s and when qualifying wrapped up Ronnie Bassett Jr. sat third.

“We really can’t complain. To out qualify all the NASCAR entries except for Ragan is an accomplishment, especially out qualifying Busch who led both practice sessions and has multiple wins here. We lost a little time on our third lap. I had to pass a car in turns three and four, but starting third behind my brother is awesome,” Ronnie Bassett Jr. commented.

The 36 car field got underway after the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Blue Ox 100 commenced. By lap ten Bassett was third. The first caution displayed at lap 19 and the field got bottled up on the restart at lap 26 causing a big wreck in turn two involving Tony Stewart. They were back underway at lap 36 and Bassett restarted third. A final caution came at lap 45, just short of the lap 50 break and Bassett had slid back to fourth.

The scheduled five minute break was taken at lap 46 and Ronnie Bassett Jr. told crew chief Chris Lawson he was loose in and tight center off. Lawson and the Bassett Racing team made adjustments and put on a fresh set of right side tires before sending Bassett back on track. After restarting fourth Bassett got a great start and jumped into the third position. The field stayed green for the remainder of the race and Bassett held the third position until Ben Rhodes was able to get past with four laps to go.

A fourth place finish was not the goal for Bassett and his Bassett Racing team, but is nothing to complain about when your outrun by Kyle Busch and David Ragan. To finish ahead of late model standouts Pulliam, Falk, Edwards and Deiny Jr. along with NASCAR celebrities Stewart, Kenseth, Stenhouse, Bayne and Larson is quite a feat.

Ronnie Bassett Jr. will rejoin the UARA-STARS on May 18th at Dillon Motor Speedway for the fourth event of the season. He is the current points leader with a 49 point advantage over Ben Rhodes. Bassett is also the defending winner at Dillon Motor Speedway where he went to victory lane last April.

Follow @Bassettjr_04 and @BassettRacing1 on Twitter for the latest news. Visit www.RonnieBassettJr04.com for information on Ronnie Bassett Jr. and his racing career.

Caitlin Tinius

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