Bergman double dips Runnels to win 34th Brickyard Classic
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Mar. 24, 2016
Justin Bergman
Justin Bergman
Justin Bergman came from the loss side to double dip Ike Runnels in the finals of the 34th Brickyard Classic, otherwise known as the Midwest Bar Table Classic, held on the weekend of March 19-20. Run since 1981, and to the best of our knowledge, the second oldest major event in the sport (next to the US Open 9-Ball Championships), the Brickyard Classic did not celebrate 35 years, because they missed a year. The event drew 64 entrants to Brickyard Billiards in Indianapolis, IN.
 
Bergman's path to the winners' circle, which, given his recent history, one might have assumed would go undefeated, ran into a speed bump in a winners' side semifinal against Alex Olinger, who sent him to the loss side 9-7. Olinger moved on to face Runnels in the hot seat match; Runnels, having sent Dennis Hatch over, 9-4. Runnels claimed the hot seat rather handily, defeating Olinger 9-1 and waited on Bergman's return.
 
On the loss side, Bergman picked up Billy Thorpe, who'd gotten by Mark Hanson 7-2 and Roger Wall 7-4. Hatch drew Shane Winters, who'd defeated Jason Klatt 7-5 and eliminated Drake Niepotter 7-1. From the point at which Bergman and Hatch arrived on the loss side, every match, leading to the finals, was won by a 7-5 score. 
 
Bergman and Winters defeated Thorpe and Hatch, respectively, and advanced to the quarterfinals. Bergman then eliminated Winters, and in the re-match, wreaked his vengeance on Olinger in the semifinals.
 
Bergman completed his title run in a double elimination final. He won the opening set 9-4 and gave up only a single rack in the second set, winning it 7-1.