RAPID CITY, S.D. — official release — ASCS photo — On a dusty night in South Dakota, the Miller Truck Lines No. 05 of Brad Loyet found victory lane for the third time this year with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real; this time at the Gold Rush in the Black Hills presented by Peerless Tires and AtoZ Promotions at the Black Hills Speedway.
“It was dusty, but I knew we had a really good car,” said Loyet. “I really thought it was going to stick on the top, but then I started seeing some noses from the guys on the bottom and got down there and pulled the wing back to the trunk.”
After two starts were brought back by crashes, the race finally got underway with second starting Sam Hafertepe Jr. jumping into the lead. Pacing the first seven rounds, the inside line was ripe for Jason Johnson as the MVT No. 41 bolted the lead exiting turn four.
Having raced to second on the start, Loyet fell to fourth on lap six. Playing catch-up through cautions and reds, the No. 05 worked back to the runner up spot by lap 10. Giving chase to Johnson through the heavy traffic and dust, Loyet finally snagged the lead on lap 21. Challenged on restarts by Johnson in the closing laps, Loyet was not to be denied.
Crossing runner-up for the second consecutive race, Johnson, like Loyet, was also taken by the fact that the track didn’t stay topside.
“I thought it was going to be around the top in the beginning of the race to be quite honest,” Johnson said. “You know, we all went up there and just slid around until somebody ran over a cone at one point. Then they took the cones away and it was just how low you could get down and still see.”
Gridding the field 14th, Aaron Reutzel blasted through the field to claim his second show position in as many nights.
“We put ourselves behind the eight-ball in that Heat Race and made a couple mistakes,” Ruetzel said. “You know, we worked together as a team and got the car right. We talked about what we needed to go and got up though there and I’ll say, this car was really good.”
After leading early on, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. settled for fourth with Johnny Herrera making moves through the field from 17th to fifth.