INDIANAPOLIS — World Figure-8 Championship polesitter Mark Tunny had a plan entering Saturday night’s three-hour endurance Late Model Figure-8 event.
He stuck to it, won the race, and picked up $20.000 for his efforts.
Tunny made history one night earlier when he claimed his 10th career pole position in the 46th annual event. Tunny had a game plan of trying to stay in the top three position all night long, and he did just that. In fact, he dominated the event from the outset.
Tunny got the jump at the start off the race in front of a packed house, which is always the case with this race each year. Tunny would hold the point until 29 minutes into the race when he would surrender the lead to Chad Sizemore.
Over the next hour, Tunny would swap the lead with Sizemore and Eddie VanMeter a handful of times. But Tunny would never fall further than second place and just a few car lengths back each time.
Two minutes prior to the halfway point Tunny would decide to pit on lap 236 under a caution period. Tunny would return three laps later. A quick pit stop saw him reenter the race in third position despite losing three laps in the pits.
Tunny methodically worked himself back into the lead with less than 60 minutes left in the race. As Tunny worked his way toward the front, Ben Tunny and Van Meter would swap the lead. Over the final hour, Mark Tunny would build a three-lap cushion en route to his third career World Figure 8 Championship.
Following Tunny to the checkered were Ben Tunny, Matt Smith, Charlie Hargraves, and Artie Ware rounding out the top five.
“I definitely had to race hard tonight” explained Tunny. “I was in my comfort zone out front and trying to stay out front. I wanted everyone to know I was gonna be the guy to beat. I didn’t wanna over run or anything. I wanted everyone to know I’m the guy. I’m not being arrogant or anything. I wanted everyone to know in a safe way I wanted to lead and be up front.”
Over the course of the three hours, Tunny completed 471 laps.
The event was broadcast by SPEED SPORT affiliate, speedrome.tv.
- 3t-Mark Tunny; 2. 5-Ben Tunny; 3. 87-Matt Smith; 4. 74-Charlie Hargraves; 5. 38-Artier Ware; 6. 69-RJ Norton Jr.; 7. 4-Mike Hadley Jr.; 8. 12-Mike Riddle Jr.; 9. 3d-Steve Durham; 10. 6v-Jeremy Vanderhoof; 11. 80-Donnie Murphy; 12. 28-Jeffrey Shackleford; 13. 33-Doug Greig; 14. 41-Buddy Vertrees; 15. 34-Ronnie Basham III; 16. 55w-Cody Williams; 17. 49-Carig Vandewettering; 18. 99-Ricky Puckett; 19. 58-Dale Shelton; 20. 23-Eddie VanMeter; 21. 77-Donnie Garrigus III; 22. 21-Doug Riddle; 23. 12w-Brandon White; 24. 91-Chad Sizemore; 25. 22-Troy Hughes Jr.; 26. 29c-Bobby Corbin III; 27. 71-Steve Frost; 28. 48-Doodle Farris; 29. 17-Cory Harmon; 30. C4-Calvin Crane; 31.57-Jesse Tunny; 32. 35-Todd Shelby; 33. 2-Jeff Swinford; 34. 24-Pete Bare IV; 35. 29-Tommy St. John; 36. 7-Austin Tunny; 37. 31-Bobby Whitaker; 38. 8-Tim Logue; 39. 33x-Speedy Teepe; 40. 6-Dennis Sloan; 41. 32-Donnie Sloan; 42. 87a-Derick Anson; 43. 13-John Kennybrook