THOMAS TAKES KOKOMO “INDIANA SPRINTWEEK” FEATURE
Kokomo, Indiana…….Kevin Thomas, Jr. of Cullman, Alabama had not won an AMSOIL National Sprint Car Feature since his three-race win streak in April and May, but he picked a fine time to nail down his fourth win of the season on Saturday night in Round 2 of “Indiana Sprintweek” at Kokomo Speedway.
Thomas started eighth, and it was Jerry Coons, Jr. darting from the front row to pace the opening four laps. Wes McIntyre was on the move, though, and he made a big move for the lead on lap five. The young McCordsville, Indiana driver was looking for his first career USAC win, but a frenzy of cars scattered behind looking for him to move forward.
Thomas snuck his way through using the bottom and middle, joining a race for the lead including McIntyre, Coons, Chad Boespflug, and Dave Darland. Boespflug got things wound up and took the lead from McIntyre on lap nine. Thomas was on the move, though, and he made it a three-wide battle, taking the lead on lap eleven.
Thomas moved away from his pursuers running the bottom, but McIntyre would not go away, separating himself from third on back as he attacked the cushion up against the fence. McIntyre reeled Thomas in as the bottom seemed to go away, but with less than ten laps to go, Thomas jumped to the top as McIntyre seemed to have a run for the lead.
Thomas was flawless as he moved to the middle of the track in turns one and two before challenging the tricky cushion in turns three and four, winning by a stout 3.806-second margin in the Mike Dutcher/RW/Tri-Star Motorsports – Black Jack Oil Company #17RW Maxim/Fisher.
“This does wonders for our team. We’ve had a couple bad breaks, and I made some stupid mistakes the first two nights. I needed to be a little more patient, but we have a great team and bounced back tonight. We knew that the track would hold some grip low and through the middle for quite a while, so we wanted to use that to get moving early. I moved to the top after I caught a glimpse of Wes Mac, and I never really saw anybody after that,” Thomas said.
McIntyre helped on for second, notching his best-career USAC National Sprint Car finish in the J.D. Byrider – Carrington Homes #83 DRC/J&D.
“Those guys were going good on the bottom, but I got to the top and finally got it cleaned off. It ended up really good up there, and I could run it a lot harder than I thought I could. I stuck to it, but we just couldn’t quite get him cleared. I love this track and had so much fun racing for the lead. I wish we could have beaten him, but he’s a good friend and it’s awesome to run second,” McIntyre said.
Darland, who again picked up the ProSource “Fast Time Award,” wound up third, continuing to stand atop the point standings for the season in the Phillips Motorsports – Racer’s Advantage #71P DRC/Foxco.
“I knew it was gonna slick off and go to the fence, so I was trying to get as many spots as I could early. He had a great car throughout the race and drove away from us after he went by us. I got slowed down a few times when I had really good runs up high and guys jumped up there, and we lost a big restart too, but it was another great night with the Phillipses, and we’re happy to get outta here with a third-place finish,” Darland said.
Chris Bell came home fourth in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Advanced Racing Suspension #67 Bullet/Speedway, and Chris Windom rounded out the top-five in the Jeff’s Jam-It-In Storage – Hoosier Tire #11 Maxim/Claxton.
Bryan Clauson came from 20th to finish seventh and pick up the ProSource “Hard Charger Award” while Hunter Schuerenberg continued to lead the way for the week-long B&W Auto Mart “Josh Burton Hard Charger Award” after climbing from 15th to finish eighth.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 13, 2013 – Kokomo, Indiana – Kokomo Speedway – “Indiana Sprintweek”
QUALIFYING: 1. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips-12.668; 2. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-12.713; 3. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-12.761; 4. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-12.830; 5. Wes McIntyre, 83, McIntyre-12.844; 6. Kevin Thomas Jr., 17RW, Dutcher/RW/Tri-Star-12.918; 7. Christopher Bell, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.001; 8. Chris Windom, 11, Walker-13.012; 9. Jerry Coons Jr., 10E, Edison-13.015; 10. Kyle Cummins, 3c, Cummins-13.031; 11. Chad Boespflug, 57, Hazen-13.075; 12. Robert Ballou, 12x, Ballou-13.104; 13. Gary Taylor, 40, Hery-13.107; 14. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-13.132; 15. Scotty Weir, 18, Keen-13.182; 16. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byram-13.191; 17. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-13.223; 18. Brady Short, 11p, Pottorff-13.238; 19. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-13.256; 20. Shane Cottle, 2, Epperson-13.286; 21. Bobby East, 5E, East-13.288; 22. Chris Gurley, 12G, Team Automotive-13.303; 23. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-13.335; 24. Jon Stanbrough, 66, Wade-13.344; 25. Ted Hines, 12, Hines-13.394; 26. Bryan Clauson, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-13.407; 27. Justin Grant, 27a, Elson-13.418; 28. Tyler Courtney, 23c, Courtney/Anderson-13.602; 29. Caleb Armstrong, 11J, Yeley-13.629; 30. Logan Jarrett, 29, Jarrett-13.664; 31. Brent Beauchamp, 34, Olson-13.664; 32. Ryan Pace, 44, Pace-13.750; 33. Tyler Hewitt, 97x, Hewitt-13.772; 34. Davey Ray, 21x, Pollock-13.779; 35. Nick Drake, 55, Cline-13.804; 36. Casey Shuman, 21k, Krockenberger-13.858; 37. Travis Welpott, 18x, Welpott-13.963; 38. Dalten Gabbard, 77x, Arizona Heat-14.156; 39. Chad Shields, 81, Shields-14.156; 40. Max McGhee, 17, McGhee-14.214; 41. Daylan Chambers, 4c, Chambers-14.265; 42. Mark Smith, 1m, Smith-14.321; 43. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-14.423; 44. Kent Schmidt, 5k, Schmidt-14.547; 45. Nathan Moore, 48, Moore-14.976; 46. Bradley Sterrett, 90, Leer-15.132.
QUALIFYING RACE: (8 laps) 1. Hewitt, 2. Drake, 3. Shuman, 4. Ray, 5. Welpott, 6. Shields, 7. Jackson, 8. McGhee, 9. Gabbard, 10. Sterrett, 11. Chambers, 12. Schmidt, 13. Moore. 1:49.60
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. R.Vander Weerd, 2. McIntyre, 3. Darland, 4. Coons, 5. Ted Hines, 6. C.Armstrong, 7. Taylor, 8. Hewitt, 9. Welpott. NT
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Short, 2. Bacon, 3. Clauson, 4. Bernal, 5. Cummins, 6. Gurley, 7. Shields, 8. Drake, 9. Jarrett, 10. Thomas. NT
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Boespflug, 2. Weir, 3. Stockon, 4. Grant, 5. Bell, 6. Shuman, 7. Leary, 8. Beauchamp, 9. Jackson, 10. J.Vander Weerd. 2:18.93
FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Cottle, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Ballou, 4. Schuerenberg, 5. Windom, 6. Courtney, 7. Pace, 8. Ray, 9. McGhee, 10. Tracy Hines. 2:20.68
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Bell, 2. Thomas, 3. Tracy Hines, 4. Cummins, 5. Windom, 6. Courtney, 7. Shuman, 8. Beauchamp, 9. J.Vander Weerd, 10. Pace, 11. Gurley, 12. Taylor, 13. Ted Hines, 14. Drake, 15. Ray, 16. Shields, 17. Welpott, 18. C.Armstrong, 19. Jarrett. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Wes McIntyre, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Christopher Bell, 5. Chris Windom, 6. Chad Boespflug, 7. Bryan Clauson, 8. Hunter Schuerenberg, 9. Scotty Weir, 10. Brady Short, 11. Tracy Hines, 12. Jon Stanbrough, 13. Brady Bacon, 14. Robert Ballou, 15. Chase Stockon, 16. Shane Cottle, 17. Tyler Courtney, 18. Casey Shuman, 19. Jerry Coons Jr., 20. Kyle Cummins, 21. Davey Ray, 22. Jace Vander Weerd, 23. Richard Vander Weerd, 24. Justin Grant, 25. Ryan Bernal. NT
**Taylor & Hewitt flipped during the first heat. Hewitt was transported to a local hospital for treatment of a broken shoulder and ribs. Bernal flipped on lap 7 of the Feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Coons, Laps 5-8 McIntyre, Laps 9-10 Boespflug, Laps 11-30 Thomas.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Darland-931, 2-Clauson-879, 3-Thomas-855, 4-Schuerenberg-834, 5-Stockon-825, 6-Bacon-812, 7-Hines-764, 8-Ballou-715, 9-Cottle-563, 10-Courtney-545.
NEW INDIANA SPRINT WEEK POINTS: 1-Darland-127, 2-Clauson-110, 3-Schuerenberg-106, 4-Bell-104, 5-Stanbrough-104, 6-Boespflug-103, 7-Thomas-101, 8-Cottle-98, 9-McIntyre-87, 10-Windom-83.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: July 14 – Lawrenceburg, Indiana – Lawrenceburg Speedway – “Indiana Sprintweek”