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Bergman Hot On Opening Night Of Stewart Show At TMS Dirt Track

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 7 2018

Tony Stewart is back at TMS – in a dirt car. (RacingToday/HHP file photo by Andrew Coppley)

RacinToday.com

FORT WORTH, Texas – For the third time in his career, Washington resident Seth Bergman rolled into Victory Lane at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track to cap the opening night of Tony Stewart Presents the Vankor Texas Sprint Car Nationals.

“This place has been good to me,” Bergman said. “We’ve won a couple of races here over the past few years, but nonetheless, he (defending event champion Texan Sam Hafertepe Jr.) made me earn it.

“The track was heavy and I was good in open air, but when I got into traffic, it really dirtied up the wing and made it tough to get around there. That made lapped traffic even tougher and Sam obviously did a good job getting to me. I feel like I made a few mistakes there that let him get close, but we got lucky with the caution when he got to the inside of me. Sometimes it pays to be lucky like that, and tonight it did.”

Drawing the pole for the 25-lap feature event, Bergman would have to take two shots at holding the lead as the red flag flew following the first attempt for Harli White, who flipped wildly into the wall through Turns 1 and 2 after contact from Wayne Johnson. Both drivers were unharmed.

With the field restacked, Bergman again took off with the lead in the No. 23 Oil Field Equipment and Manufacturing entry with Matt Covington and event organizer Tony Stewart giving chase. Caution working the third-lap, Matt Covington dropped to the tail of the field as the left sideboard came off the top-wing of his No. 95 Covington/Graves Motorsports car.

Keeping Stewart at bay on the restart, Bergman pulled several car lengths over the No. 14 Rush Truck Center entry with Hafertepe holding third. Racing past Stewart on Lap 10 for the runnerup spot, Hafertepe began to close the gap as Bergman started to contend with slower traffic.

Stalking into the final two laps, the stage was set for Hafertepe. Building the run as the leaders ran to the white flag, Bergman worked into Turn 1 only to have dirty air again come into play as the two trailed a slower car. Trying to diamond through Turns 1 and 2, Hafertepe shot into the race lead only to have the caution lights blink on as Chance Morton spun to a stop off Turn 2.

Back to the last fully completed lap, the final two circuits saw Bergman hit his marks perfectly as he stretched his advantage to 1.007-seconds over Hafertepe at the drop of the checkered flag. Working up to third on Lap 17, Sammy Swindell held on to claim the final podium step. Stewart fought a failing power-steering gear to hold the final transfer spot into Saturday’s A-Feature. Running from the ninth starting spot, Blake Hahn completed the night’s top-five.

Danny Jennings held on to finish sixth. Having to transfer through the second B-Feature, Australia’s Scott Bogucki stormed through the field from 20th to earn the CP-Carrillo Hard Charger of the Night. Brandon Hanks was eighth with Robbie Price coming from 18th to ninth. The top-10 rounded out with Johnny Herrera.

A field of 35 drivers was on hand to open up the two-day program. Five Heat Races were topped by Wayne Johnson, Zane Lawrence, Harli White, Blake Hahn and Stewart _ the retired three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. BMRS B-Features went to Alex Sewell and Robbie Price. Two provisional starts were utilized by Travis Rilat (BDS Motorsports), and Skylar Gee (Skylar Gee Motorsports).

The American Sprint Car Series program continues Saturday with grandstands opening at 6 p.m. (CDT) and racing at 7:30.

Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour/ASCS Red River Region 

Heat Races (Top-16 in Passing Points advance to the A-Feature)

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 2C-Wayne Johnson, [2]; 2. 84-Brandon Hanks, [1]; 3. 1J-Danny Jennings, [4]; 4. 28X-Brady Bacon, [3]; 5. 28-Scott Bogucki, [5]; 6. 99-Skylar Gee, [6]; 7. 9-Bobby Breen, [7].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 76-Zane Lawrence, [1]; 2. 23-Seth Bergman, [4]; 3. 95-Matt Covington, [7]; 4. 7M-Chance Morton, [6]; 5. 77X-Alex Hill, [3]; 6. 5X-Tyson Hall, [5]; 7. 56X-Mark Chisholm, [2].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 17W-Harli White, [1]; 2. 3-Sammy Swindell, [2]; 3. 91T-Tyler Thomas, [4]; 4. 05-Zane Hendricks, [5]; 5. 12H-Tony Bruce Jr, [3]; 6. 12W-Dale Wester, [6]; (DNS) 6-Dustin Gates.

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 52-Blake Hahn, [1]; 2. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [2]; 3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [6]; 4. 21-Robbie Price, [5]; 5. 26M-Fred Mattox, [3]; 6. (DNF) 1-Travis Rilat, [7]; 7. (DNF) 55-Brad Queen, [4].

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 14-Tony Stewart, [3]; 2. 8M-Kade Morton, [4]; 3. 5J-Jamie Ball, [1]; 4. 8-Alex Sewell, [5]; 5. 17-Derek Hagar, [7]; 6. 44-Chris Martin, [2]; 7. (DNF) 11-Roger Crockett, [6].

BMRS B-Main (Top 3 in each advance to the A-Feature)

B-Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 8-Alex Sewell, [2]; 2. 28X-Brady Bacon, [3]; 3. 77X-Alex Hill, [4]; 4. 26M-Fred Mattox, [5]; 5. 44-Chris Martin, [7]; 6. 05-Zane Hendricks, [1]; 7. 55-Brad Queen, [9]; 8. (DNF) 12W-Dale Wester, [6]; 9. (DNF) 56X-Mark Chisholm, [8]; (DNS) 1-Travis Rilat.

B-Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 21-Robbie Price, [1]; 2. 28-Scott Bogucki, [3]; 3. 12H-Tony Bruce Jr, [4]; 4. 11-Roger Crockett, [8]; 5. 5X-Tyson Hall, [6]; 6. 9-Bobby Breen, [7]; 7. 99-Skylar Gee, [5]; 8. (DNF) 17-Derek Hagar, [2]; (DNS) 6-Dustin Gates.

A-Feature

A-Feature (25 Laps): 1. 23-Seth Bergman, [1]; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [5]; 3. 3-Sammy Swindell, [10]; 4. 14-Tony Stewart, [6]; 5. 52-Blake Hahn, [9]; 6. 1J-Danny Jennings, [13]; 7. 28-Scott Bogucki, [20]; 8. 84-Brandon Hanks, [12]; 9. 21-Robbie Price, [18]; 10. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [11]; 11. 1-Travis Rilat, [23]; 12. 28X-Brady Bacon, [19]; 13. 5J-Jamie Ball, [16]; 14. 8-Alex Sewell, [17]; 15. 2C-Wayne Johnson, [4]; 16. 99-Skylar Gee, [24]; 17. (DNF) 7M-Chance Morton, [15]; 18. (DNF) 91T-Tyler Thomas, [14]; 19. (DNF) 76-Zane Lawrence, [7]; 20. (DNF) 77X-Alex Hill, [21]; 21. (DNF) 95-Matt Covington, [3]; 22. (DNF) 8M-Kade Morton, [8]; 23. (DNF) 12H-Tony Bruce Jr, [22]; 24. (DNF) 17W-Harli White, [2].

Lap Leader(s): Seth Bergman, 1-25
CP-Carrillo Hard Charger: Scott Bogucki, plus-13
FSR High Point Driver: Tony Stewart
Provisional(s): Travis Rilat/Skylar Gee

2018 ASCS National Driver Points (Top-15): 1. Sam Hafertepe Jr. 284; 2. Seth Bergman 258; 3. Sammy Swindell 257; 4. Blake Hahn 241; 5. Wayne Johnson 235; 6. Scott Bogucki 229; 7. Johnny Herrera 229; 8. Danny Jennings 224; 9. Roger Crockett 215; 10. Matt Covington 214; 11. Robbie Price 201; 12. Harli White 199; 13. Jamie Ball 198; 14. Skylar Gee 195; 15. Tony Bruce, Jr. 191.

2018 ASCS National Tour Wins: Roger Crockett – 1 (3/16 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway); Seth Bergman- 1 (4/6 – Texas Motor Speedway).

 

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 7 2018
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