May 4, 2014 — official release — Rich Forman photo — MCCOOL JUNCTION, NE — Hunter Schuerenberg made a return to AMSOIL Sprint Car victory lane on Saturday night at Junction Motor Speedway after nearly two years without a win.
The Sikeston, Missouri driver was one of the winningest on tour for two seasons before a rough stretch in 2013 led to him starting his own team. His eighth career win came aboard the Schuerenberg/Nolen Racing Moses Motor Company – Ron Gorby’s Howard Johnson #20N Mach-1/Rider.
“This one is really satisfying. To be able to put all this stuff together is one thing, but it doesn’t mean much if you can’t win with it. This is huge for our confidence as a team. I’m happy for the people who are supporting us, and especially for the people who have stood behind me. Gene Franckowiak has been with me for really good times and really bad times, and he still believes in me, so it’s rewarding. We weren’t sure we could make this trip, but Steve Moses of Moses Motor Company right down the road from here made it happen and those are the kinds of people who keep us going,” Schuerenberg said.
C.J. Leary got the jump from outside the front row and narrowly squeezed past Dave Darland as they exited turn four to lead the opening lap. Leary ran the extreme high side and used his momentum off the final corner to lead four times around before Schuerenberg cut underneath with the lead.
From there, Schuerenberg paced a non-stop affair as Darland, Tracy Hines, and Brady Bacon took their turns challenging him for the top spot. Hines was on the move from row-three and pressured for the lead in traffic, but slipped up in turn-four, allowing Bacon underneath for second.
From there, fast-qualifier Bacon stalked Schuerenberg and drew alongside in the closing laps as they entered traffic again. Schuerenberg held him off, though, and took the emotional win by .222 seconds to become the seventh winner in eight nights this season. The 30-lapper took just over nine minutes to complete.
“They were gonna have to jerk to get that one from me, and they were gonna have to run me pretty hard. I saw both those guys at different times when I moved around, and especially when I saw Brady I knew I had to run harder. At that point, I wasn’t gonna be content to finish second without knocking down the fence to try and win it,” saidSchuerenberg, who also earned the Weld Wheels “Move of the Night.”
Bacon continued his recent strong runs and took over the series point lead in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green #69 Triple X/Stanton Mopar.
“He slid up there a little, and I just didn’t quite have the run. I had the better grip, but he had enough momentum to hold us back so we couldn’t slide him into one. That was my one shot, and he was able to hold on. I’m glad we got up there, as it was pretty tough to get through those fast guys. We’re definitely knocking on the door, though,” Bacon said.
Hines held on for third in The Carolina Nut Company – Hansen’s Welding #4 DRC/Stanton Chevy.
“I got to Hunter and I pressured him a little, and he withstood the pressure. Brady got me as I was trying to move around in traffic. I struggled a little out of four and couldn’t make up for it no matter what I tried. I tightened it up a bit too much, and I had to do some things I didn’t really wanna do,” Hines said.
After Bryan Clauson made the move for fourth late in the race, Darland came back to snag the spot by two-hundredths of a second in the Phillips Motorsports – Racer’s Advantage Store #71P DRC/Foxco. Clauson rounded out the top-five in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance #20 Beast/Kistler.
RESULTS: AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series; May 3, 2014; McCool Junction, NE; Junction Motor Speedway
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Hunter Schuerenberg, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Tracy Hines, 4. Dave Darland, 5. Bryan Clauson, 6. Jon Stanbrough, 7. Chris Windom, 8. C.J. Leary, 9. Chase Stockon, 10. Justin Grant, 11. Jarett Andretti, 12. Shane Cockrum, 13. Bret Mellenberndt, 14. Tony Rost, 15. Cody Brewer, 16. Brandon Stevenson, 17. Dylan Kadous. 9:11.78
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Leary, Laps 5-30 Schuerenberg.