Bryan Kruczek waited five years to carry his first Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North checkered flag. With the monkey off of his back, he only had to wait three more months to score his second career win on the competitive Super Late Model touring series.
Kruczek of Newmarket, New Hampshire, took the lead from Mike Hopkins following a lap 90 restart and pulled away from the rest of the 36-car field to win Sunday’s H.P. Hood 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway.
“I’m extremely excited about this,” Kruczek told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I really thought we had it in the bag at Beech Ridge just to lose the engine with five to go chasing the leader down. I’m extremely excited to come back here at the end of the month.”
Kruczek started the 150-lap event from the 21st position and quickly charged to the front just like he did at Beech Ridgeon July 11. The only difference this time was that the engine under the hood of his No. 00 stayed faithful and didn’t put an end to his charge towards the front.
“Starting deep again, I think that’s my new thing is starting deep,” Kruczek said with a laugh. “It hasn’t been hurting us. I usually don’t draw well anyways. The last two races I haven’t drawn, so maybe that’s a good thing.”
Jeremy Davis started from the outside of the front row and jumped out to the lead early on. He stayed within the top-three for the majority of the race while swapping positions with eventual fourth-place finisher Mike Hopkins. At the end of the day, the driver from Tamworth, New Hampshire put in another strong showing with a runner-up finish.
The second-place finish is his fifth top-five finish in the last six races. His only finish outside of the top-five came at Beech Ridge on July 11 when he retired from the event early.
“I’m definitely happy with second; I’m not going to complain at all,” said Davis, who also helped to prepare Kruczek’s race-winning car. “It’s going really good. I only got beat today by a car that I built, so it doesn’t hurt too bad.”
Despite his consistency, Davis has yet to break out for his first career Pro All Stars Series win. He’s hoping that win will finally come on August 30 in the Oxford 250, and if it does he says it will be well worth the wait.
“It’s huge,” Davis said of his momentum going into the 250. “I’m excited for it. I hope we have a good run. If I had to wait all the way until the 250 to win one, I’d be happy to wait.”
Garrett Hall turned heads throughout the race on Sunday before slipping by Nick Hopkins on the last lap to grab the final podium spot. The rookie Super Late Model driver started 26th on the field and in the later stages of the race appeared to be the strongest car on the race track.
After the race, Hall wasn’t 100-percent sure whether he wanted a caution or not, but at the end of the day his third-place run provided him with a load of confidence heading into the Oxford 250.
“I’ve had cautions before and it has screwed me because of the lapped cars,” said Hall. “I’m really happy to come in third. It’s only my second race here. It was a good test for the 250 and it felt good.”
Hopkins took over the lead from Davis during the middle portion of the event before fading back to finish fourth. Former Busch North Series champion Kelly Moore rounded out the top-five.
Kruczek’s win on Sunday continued his strong run of performances on flat tracks in the state of Maine. After recording his first series win at Beech Ridge on May 2, charging to the front at Beech Ridge on July 11 and picking up his second win at Oxford on Sunday, Kruczek is very confident about his flat track program.
“Something about the flat tracks, we’ve just got it under control right now,” Kruczek said. “We run the same setup at both tracks. In the spring we unloaded real quick but we just didn’t know what we were doing with the car. We did a lot of homework on the week off and started running some tracks we know and learned a lot over those weeks. When we went back to Beech Ridge I think we really hit on something and we’ve been trying to stay right with it.”
Kruczek’s win and recent speed on flat tracks like Oxford has him thinking big heading into the prestigious Oxford 250. He believes that if his car is as good as it was on Sunday that he’ll have a good chance of pocketing $25,000-plus.
“I just want to move forward to the end of the month. I’m looking forward to putting some cash in my pocket.”
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
H.P. Hood 150 Unofficial Results
Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) – August 2, 2015
|17||23||Dave Farrington, Jr.||149|
|19||27NH||Wayne Helliwell, Jr.||149|
|22||46||Dennis Spencer, Jr.||149|