If you were there in person or you saw Russ Lane in the Bassmaster Classic Day 3 episode on ESPN 2, you surely felt the emotional dejection he felt on the final day's weigh-in stage.
Well, life just got a little brighter for the Lane family. Toyota Trucks Bonus Bucks officials just took a little of the sting away for Lane by informing him that he won a $7,500 bonus for being the highest finishing eligible Toyota Truck owner among the Classic participants.
Lane, a three-time Classic qualifier, was seen as one of the "home field favorites" at this year's event on Lay Lake, based on the hundreds of amateur events he has competed in at Lay while honing his skills for the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Lane's beefy Day 3 catch was impressive, but left him in a heart wrenching 4th place. Russ earned $30,000 in prize money versus VanDam's winning $500,000 pot. However, Lane, who became eligible for the Toyota Trucks Bonus Bucks program last year when he purchased a Tundra as his tow vehicle, can use the $7,500 in Bonus Bucks to buy roughly 2,630 gallons of boat and truck gas, a hundred or so nights worth of hotel room rental fees, or a portion of his 2010 Elite Series entry fees.
Cliff Pace who purchased and tows with a Tundra on the Bassmaster Elite Series trail also cashed in at the 2010 Bassmaster Classic as an eligible member of the Toyota Trucks Bonus Bucks program. He earned $2,500 for his 14th place finish in Birmingham as the second-highest eligible Bonus Bucks participant.
Ironically, Pace was the second highest Bonus Bucks participant behind Toyota Sequoia owner Alton Jones at the 2008 Bassmaster Classic. Bonus Bucks is simple. Drive a 2007 or newer Tundra, Sequoia, 4Runner or Tacoma, send in your registration form like Russ and Cliff did, become the highest finishing eligible participant in your BASS or FLW affiliated tournament — and you win the Bonus Bucks. To find out more, and to make sure you're signed-up, visit www.toyotatrucksbonusbucks.com or call Kendell at 918-742-6424.