wins the 29th Annual World Figure 8
Annual World Figure 8 Championship is in the books and Bruce Tunny is back
in Victory Lane. The defending champ had to be assisted from the car after
490 laps and 980 trips through the treacherous crossover at the Blossom
Chevrolet Indianapolis Speedrome. A standing room only crowd witnessed what
could be argued as the most exciting & competitive race ever in the 65 year
history at the World's Home of the Figure 8.
The event began Friday, September 9 with a round of four 25-lap qualifying
races on the Eastside Indy asphalt. The top five finishers from each
qualifying race was guaranteed a starting spot in Saturday's 28-car field.
The remaining positions and the alternate field were to be set by Saturday's
The first set of qualifying races were scheduled for Speedrome regulars with
two-time Late Model king & former World Figure 8 champion Curtis McMurtrey
and 1994 Speedrome champ Rodney Sizemore claiming wins. Race #3 was
exclusively for the "Out-of-Town" drivers where rookie Mark Harmon from
Louisville claimed the gold. Race #4 was a last chance race with all racers
not yet in the big dance hit the track. Louisville's Calvin Crain came out
on top in the 25 car starting field.
Saturday was clear and warm with an hour of practice followed by an
afternoon of qualifying. 2 time & defending World Figure 8 Champion Bruce
Tunny was fastest against the clock but would start from 21st spot after
failing to transfer into the front spots from Friday's qualifiers. The
racing phenom Corey Turner & 2005 Speedrome Late Model rookie of the year
with one minute to go and his sixth and final attempt clocked the fasted
time of the 20 locked in cars and would sit on the pole for the World
Turner jumped ahead at the drop of the green to lead the first twenty-four
laps with former World Figure 8 champs Bill Tunny, Jr. & Curtis McMurtrey
pacing. Bruce Tunny struggled back in the pack and lost laps to the leaders
in a series of early missteps.
Former World Figure 8 champion Bill Tunny, Jr., took over the front spot
from Turner on Lap 25 as the race settled down. Sizemore and McMurtrey would
both rack up some lead laps until Bill Tunny, Jr., would take control of the
event on Lap 154.
Tunny Jr.'s time in front would mark Bruce Tunny's climb back to the top.
Sizemore would lose laps to a flat tire under the green. Turner suffered a
series of collisions and fell well off the pace. Norton Jr. seemed to find
everyone else's troubles and had to pit losing 11 laps at the midway point.
Meanwhile, Louisville's Mark Harmon & Tony Anderson were steadily racking up
laps. McMurtrey found grief in the "X" in a cross over collision with
California's Billy Zieman.
Bill Tunny Jr. had handling problems and had to make a pit stop under the
green thus surrendering the point on Lap 388 to his brother Bruce. Bill
would return just a few laps down but have to go back into the pits a second
time. Bruce found his rhythm and set a blistering pace that was unmatched
until the clock ran out and the checkers flew with 490 circuits in the book.
Harmon and Sizemore dueled for second six laps back with Harmon taking the
runner-up spot and the Sonny Eaton Memorial award as top rookie. Tony
Anderson's quest for the 3-Hour win was good enough for fourth with a savvy
pit crew getting Norton Jr. across the stripe for fifth.
Speedrome Stock Class regular Ricky Schaeffer III & Bruce Tunny both
improved 20 spots from their starting positions with Tunny getting the Sonny
Thompson Memorial Award with the higher over-all finish. Schaeffer picked up
a bonus from Kenny's Auto Sales and the admiration of the standing room only
crowd for the top finishing Stock Class driver in his rookie effort.