Rod Tucker Wins Inaugural Thunder Bomber Feature At World Short Track Championship

Story By: NICK GRAZIANO / DIRTCAR – CONCORD, NC – Rod Tucker became a two-time World Short Track Championship winner Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. However, this time, also counted as another first-time win.

Tucker won the inaugural SRI Performance Thunder Bomber Feature at the prestigious short track event – four years after winning his first World Short Track Championship race in a Monster Mini-Stock.

“It feels awesome,” Tucker said after celebrating in Victory Lane. “Like I said, I haven’t won here since 2018, but the cream did rise tonight. We fought our way up here. Played the restarts into our favor. This thing was really good through the slick and that’s how we set it up to run.”

Tucker started 11th in the 20-lap Feature but powered to eighth on the initial start. However, that start was short lived when one car spun and collected others in its path, taking out Friday night Heat winner Steve Greene.

When the race resumed, Hunter Funderburke and Greg Carroll dueled for the lead in front of the field.

Funderburke eventually slid over the cushion in Turn 4, allowing Carroll to pass him for the lead.

Then, another caution on Lap 4, and another chance for Tucker make quick work of stealing a few more positions on the restart. This time going from eighth to fifth.

Back out front, Fundkerburke got a strong run to the outside of Carroll and reclaimed the lead before another caution on Lap 8.

Like clockwork, when the race resumed, Tucker turned up his thrusters to speed his way from fourth to second down the front stretch. Two laps later, Tucker dove under Funderburke into Turn 3 and then slid ahead of him off Turn 4.

Mark Towell, who was also on a charge forward from eighth, followed Tucker’s line and passed Funderburke for second with eight laps to go. However, he didn’t have anything for Tucker.

Once the Greenville, SC driver got the lead and clean air, he pulled further away every lap, closing the Feature with a more than five second lead over Towell.

“[I needed] a little bit more drive off the corner,” Towell said. “I think I would have been better then. We didn’t adjust quite far enough. We were good, though.”

Along with the track conditions falling into Tucker’s favor, he said some advice from his friend Trent Ivey, who had won the Fox Factory Pro Late Model race earlier in the night, gave him all the confidence he needed to win from 11th.

“I watched Ivey earlier in that other race. He came from deep in the field,” Tucker said. “Me and him are good buddies. He told me, ‘Just bide your time. You know you’re fast. Take your time. You’ll be there.’ And sure enough, we was.”

Due to that approach, Tucker will now be etched in the World Short Track Championship history books as the first SRI Performance Thunder Bomber winner.

RESULTS:

Feature – 20 laps:
1. 12-Rod Tucker[11]; 2. 97T-Mark Towell[8]; 3. 12X-Benji Knight[7]; 4. G1-Greg Carroll[2]; 5. 78-Hunter Funderburke[1]; 6. 12B-Blake Bentley[9]; 7. 47-Tyler Guice[5]; 8. 14-Jonathan Hinson[6]; 9. B4-Brandon Satterfield[10]; 10. 2F-Bradley Weaver[18]; 11. 19-Stetsen Todd[13]; 12. 2-Ricky Bogan[20]; 13. 46-Bailey Hipp[17]; 14. 04-Nate Jackson[12]; 15. 32-Brandon Greene[23]; 16. K10-Josh Ayers[22]; 17. 20-Isaiah Parker[14]; 18. 43-Jacob Funderburke[19]; 19. 48-Grant Parr[4]; 20. 16-Benny Peeler[25]; 21. T2-Tyler Abernathy[26]; 22. 54-Daniel Massey[24]; 23. 912-John Williams[16]; 24. 02-Lloyd Dean Burgess[21]; 25. 39-Steve Greene[3]; 26. 97-Luke Doggett[15]

Last Chance Showdown – 8 laps:
1. 46-Bailey Hipp[2]; 2. 43-Jacob Funderburke[5]; 3. 02-Lloyd Dean Burgess[8]; 4. 54-Daniel Massey[6]; 5. T2-Tyler Abernathy[4]; 6. 32-Brandon Greene[9]; 7. 16-Benny Peeler[12]; 8. 08-Duce Miller[7]; 9. 40-Todd Bolin[3]; 10. 75-Travis Jamieson[1]; 11. 34-Joey Powell[10]; 12. (DNS) 6-Dylan Montgomery; 13. (DNS) 54B-Brian Bentley; 14. (DNS) 54A-Ashley Massey

Last Chance Showdown – 8 laps:
1. 2F-Bradley Weaver[1]; 2. 2-Ricky Bogan[3]; 3. K10-Josh Ayers[5]; 4. 10W-Justin Watts[7]; 5. 14P-Tyler Parker[9]; 6. 00-Jerry Mckeel Jr[14]; 7. M7-Cole Dockery[10]; 8. 64-TJ Penfield[2]; 9. 75EC-James Gottlieb[4]; 10. 78S-David Stone[12]; 11. (DNS) 483-Hannah Wall; 12. (DNS) 82-Corey Certain; 13. (DNS) 15-Garrison Krentz; 14. (DNS) 19F-Willie Fowler

Heat 1 – 6 laps:
1. G1-Greg Carroll[2]; 2. 47-Tyler Guice[11]; 3. 12B-Blake Bentley[6]; 4. 19-Stetsen Todd[7]; 5. 75-Travis Jamieson[5]; 6. 40-Todd Bolin[3]; 7. 43-Jacob Funderburke[10]; 8. 08-Duce Miller[8]; 9. 32-Brandon Greene[4]; 10. 6-Dylan Montgomery[1]; 11. 54B-Brian Bentley[9]

Heat 2 – 6 laps:
1. 48-Grant Parr[10]; 2. 14-Jonathan Hinson[4]; 3. B4-Brandon Satterfield[1]; 4. 20-Isaiah Parker[3]; 5. 46-Bailey Hipp[5]; 6. T2-Tyler Abernathy[8]; 7. 54-Daniel Massey[11]; 8. 02-Lloyd Dean Burgess[6]; 9. 34-Joey Powell[7]; 10. 16-Benny Peeler[2]; 11. (DNS) 54A-Ashley Massey

Heat 3 – 6 laps:
1. 78-Hunter Funderburke[1]; 2. 12X-Benji Knight[7]; 3. 12-Rod Tucker[6]; 4. 97-Luke Doggett[8]; 5. 2F-Bradley Weaver[11]; 6. 2-Ricky Bogan[3]; 7. K10-Josh Ayers[4]; 8. 10W-Justin Watts[2]; 9. 14P-Tyler Parker[10]; 10. (DNS) 15-Garrison Krentz; 11. (DNS) 19F-Willie Fowler

Heat 4 – 6 laps:
1. 39-Steve Greene[5]; 2. 97T-Mark Towell[10]; 3. 04-Nate Jackson[4]; 4. 912-John Williams[11]; 5. 64-TJ Penfield[1]; 6. 75EC-James Gottlieb[3]; 7. 483-Hannah Wall[8]; 8. M7-Cole Dockery[6]; 9. 82-Corey Certain[7]; 10. (DQ) 78S-David Stone[9]; 11. (DQ) 00-Jerry Mckeel Jr[2]

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