Hunt wins in Sprint Car return
Tony Hunt got the break he needed Saturday night in the season-opener USAC Sprint Car race at All American Speedway in Roseville.
No. 17 Tanner Swanson was on the pole with Hunt, driving car No. 56 on the outside of row one. With an invert of six that put No. 14 Scott Pierovich first out with No. 21 Luis Ramos second.
Pierovich took the lead and led the field for the first 33 laps with Ramos right behind him. They had a good battle going on until lap 33 when both cars were side-by-side going in to turn two then got together and spun, giving Hunt the break he was looking for. Hunt took the lead with Swanson in pursuit.
Swanson stayed close to Hunt for a few laps, but then Hunt’s car took off like a rocket and he was not going to be caught.
"We got shuffled back there at the beginning,” Hunt said. “I was working my tail off during the middle of the race just to recover it and see what we had for the long run.”
The winner credited lapped traffic for helping him out as a couple of the cars up front got bunched up to put the field back together and create a real race.
"I got some good breaks and got up on the outside and made a couple of key moves throughout the race that were pivotal to the victory tonight," Hunt said.
Hunt enjoyed being out in front where he could run a good, clean, solid race without having to deviate his line to avoid other drivers. Swanson had to settle for second.
"We missed the set-up a little bit, but you can't say enough about this team,” Swanson said. “To win 10 out of 13 races last year was awesome. Tony had us tonight. He had a good car."
Micah Palmer won the Legends race.
"It was awesome," he said. "The oil (the No. 05 car spilled oil on the track before the race even started) messed us up a little bit, but other than that it was awesome. It was a lot of fun racing Jeremy Wood (No. 22). He always raced me clean. I've got to thank all my guys for giving me a fast race car."
Vintage Hardtop driver Rob Pitts from Santa Rosa ran away with the trophy dash and the main event.
"It's my father-in-laws car and he's been really sick lately, so he hasn't been able to drive it," Pitts said. "I've been filling in a little bit last year and this year. It's all for him and he absolutely loves having his car race and go out and win."
Pitts said that the car has been undefeated since he's been behind the wheel.
"We're really excited,” Pitts said. “We built a new motor this year because we heard everyone was gunning for us and it's just an absolute blast. I couldn't be happier."
Pitts’ two sons -Spencer and Alec - raced in the Bandolero Series. It was only the second time the boys have raced in the series. They finished third and fourth respectively.
In that race, James Bickford won the trophy dash, the heat race and the feature. Bickford traded the lead back and forth with Logan Zampa. On the last lap they got together and Bickford went on to win.
"I was trying to be patient and wait for the right moment, but I didn't quite get it,” Bickford said. “I accidentally bumped into my friend Logan on the last lap. I didn't want to, but that's racing I guess.”
USAC SPRINT CARS RESULTS
1. No. 56 Tony Hunt
2. No. 17 Tanner Swanson
3. No. 7 JoJo Helberg
4. No. 77 Audra Sasselli
5. No. 5 Shauna Hogg
6. No. 21 Luis Ramos
7. No. 14 Scott Pierovich
8. No. 56jr Marten Hansen
9. No. 68 Marvin Mitchell
10. No. 15 Dave Duncan
11. No. 11 Bob Fillippi
1. No. 96 Micah Palmer
2. No. 22 Jeremy Wood
3. No. 42 Stanislov Osterfund
4. No. 4 Frankie Marks
5. No. 25 Dave Scriaronni
6. No. 63 Cody Berger
7. No. 99 Donny Darter
8. No. 37 Jimmy Walker
9. No. 49 Jack Humphrey
10. No. 5 Bob Kuebler
11. No. 25 Greg Baxter
12. No 2 Willy Davis
13. No. 20 Joe Leduc
14. No 8 Keith Clement
15. No. 71 Jim Mrozinski
16. No. 58 Fred Clement
17. No. 05 Robby Czub
1. No. 25 James Bickford
2. No. 92 Logan Zampa
3. No. 02 Spencer Pitts
4. No. 28 Alec Pitts
Next Saturday, All American Speedway will feature the NASCAR Whelen All American Late Model Series third championship race.
Two Twin 44 Magnums will be on tap for the Late Models. Also racing will be Modifed, Street Stocks and Bombers. For more information go to www.allamericanspeedway.com.