Bryan Kruczek entered his 28th career Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North event on Saturday afternoon at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) just hoping to have a little bit of “Lady Luck” on his side. The Newmarket, New Hampshire driver, who is now in his fifth year of PASS North competition, was hoping to rebound from a rough season-opener at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME).
Lucky for him, he did just that and then some.
Kruczek started on the outside of the front row for the Southern Maine Chrysler Dodge Jeep 150 and took the lead for the first time on lap 3. He would lead 11 laps early on before giving up the lead to Glen Luce, only to take it back on lap 66. From there, it was the “Bryan Kruczek Show” for the crowd of fans braving the cold wind in Scarborough, Maine as he went on to capture his first career PASS North triumph.
“We’ve always run some old, old stuff,” Kruczek told Speed51.com. “This winter we threw everything at it and put this new car together. It was well worth it. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. We’ve run some ACT stuff and ran at Lee for a long time, but we’re glad to be here doing what we’re doing.”
In the past, Kruczek has showed plenty of speed in his No. 00 machine but had been unable to break through and capture that elusive first win. Many of those times when he looked destined to score his first series win, he was handed bad luck in the form of a mechanical failure or another type of unpreventable misfortune.
“I’ve had some great runs going and it’s always something mechanical that costs us a chance,” Kruczek said in victory lane. “We just couldn’t get to the end. Now, it’s just a night and day difference.
“I’ve always had plenty of support behind me; I just haven’t had the money. I’ve done everything out of house. I’ve done all of my own fabrication stuff right to the T. This is the first time I’ve paid someone to do it for me and I spent a lot of hours in a plow truck this winter to get it there. It’s unbelievable.”
Kruczek opened up a lead of nearly a full straightaway in the later stages of the race before a lap 137 caution bunched the field back up. The caution wasn’t at all what Kruczek was looking for with 13 laps standing between him and his first PASS win.
“I just said, ‘get it going, get it going, get it going.’ I just wanted it to go green flag the whole way,” Kruczek said about the late race caution. “The car was just so good on the bottom and the long we ran the better it was. If we slowed down, it took me a couple laps to get going again. Luckily we had some lapped cars jammed in between us and that was probably the difference in the end.”
Former Beech Ridge Motor Speedway track champion David Oliver used an impressive move during the later stages of the race to jump from the fifth to the second position in just one lap. He would stay in that position despite his best effort to chase down Kruczek on the restart.
Joey Doiron charged from deep in the field to round out the podium. Mike Rowe, winner of the season opener at Oxford Plains Speedway, and six-time PASS North champion Johnny Clark completed the top-five.
When all was said and done on Saturday night as the sun began to set on the 1/3-mile oval, one word spoken by race winner Bryan Kruczek summed up the night.
When asked what it meant to finally capture his first PASS North win, Kruczek could only come up with one word.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Southern Maine Chrysler Dodge Jeep 150 Unofficial Results
PASS North – Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME)
Saturday, May 2, 2015
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