DARLAND’S 43RD AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WIN COMES ON “SMACKDOWN” NIGHT 2
Kokomo, Indiana…….Dave Darland became the fifth-winningest AMSOIL National Sprint Car driver in history with his win in Friday’s 30-lapper at Kokomo Speedway to lead “Sprint Car Smackdown II” into “AMSOIL Championship Night” on Saturday. The win was Darland’s 43rd in the series and also tied him as the winningest driver in Kokomo Speedway history.
Kevin Thomas, Jr. shot from the pole to the lead and put ground between himself and the rest of the pack as a feverish battle unfolded among the rest of the top-five. Darland, who earlier took home ProSource “Fast Time” with a new USAC Kokomo track record, was on the move quickly as he tracked down Wes McIntyre for the runner-up spot.
Darland and Chris Bell were squaring off for the runner-up spot as Thomas disappeared into traffic, putting three lapped cars between himself and Bell when the caution flew on lap 14. Just after the restart, Darland got by Bell through the lapped cars before Bell caught the turn-four wall and flipped down the frontstretch. He was unhurt.
Without any traffic between him and the leader, Darland went after the top spot, using a turn-three slidejob for the lead on lap 19. Thomas didn’t go away, though, as he clawed his way back to the inside of Darland repeatedly to slide up in front of him in turn-two. Each time, Darland was ready and turned underneath him to reclaim the lead.
Just as Darland had distanced himself from a battle between Thomas and Bacon for second, the final caution flew. On the restart with five to go, Thomas again tried to slide in front of Darland, but the Lincoln, Indiana veteran was too strong. He grabbed the cushion and followed it home to a 1.450-second win in the Phillips Motorsports – Racer’s Advantage #71P DRC/Foxco.
“This is where I grew up racing, and I won my first race here in 1986, so it’s always great to win here. We had a great race with KT. He’d give me a slider into one and I was able to counter back. That’s the way you race here. It worked out to do that every time. It did come to us tonight, especially on the top in one and two. As it got slicker, we were getting better. The one he gave me on the restart, I was pretty concerned about being able to clear him and get away,” Darland said.
Stockon jumped to the top and made a strong charge in the closing laps to come home second in the Superior Tank & Trailer – Crescent Electric Supply #32 DRC/Fisher.
“I was kinda cautiously aggressive right behind the two leaders, making sure I didn’t get caught up in any bobbles. It feels good to rebound from last night – we pulled out our other car and it was the right move. We were pretty tight early, and it finally blew off a little and the bottom went away some, which was good for us. I just kept plugging away on the top and it finally came to me. We usually go good here through the middle, but we’ve gotten better and better on the top,” Stockon said.
Bacon rounded out the top-three as he jumped to the top late to hold onto a podium spot in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green #69 Triple X/Stanton Mopar.
“They got to racing back and forth for the lead, and we snuck up there a little, but the bottom wasn’t really that good. We had a shot at them, but I just missed it once or twice. When I moved up top, we were good there, but I knew ‘what are you gonna do with Dave Darland on the top here?’ I knew we needed a good finish tonight and held off Bryan there at the end, and it should put us in great shape for tomorrow,” Bacon said.
Thursday winner Bryan Clauson came from ninth to finish fourth in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian – Chevy Performance #20 Beast/Kistler. Fifth-place finisher Kevin Thomas, Jr. was repositioned to the tail due to missing the scales after the race, so Shane Cottle was elevated to fifth to cap his PPM Titanium Products “Hard Charger” run from 22nd. Cottle also won the GoPro Semi-Feature from 19th after problems early in the night.
Butlerbuilt Heat Races presented by CSI Shocks went to Jon Stanbrough, Hunter Schuerenberg, Thomas, and Blake Fitzpatrick. The Wilwood Brakes “Hard Work Award” also went to Cottle, and the Indy Performance Composites “Close Call Award” winner was Logan Jarrett.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: August 23, 2013 – Kokomo, Indiana – Kokomo Speedway – “Sprint Car Smackdown II”
QUALIFYING: 1. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips-12.618; 2. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-12.798; 3. Scotty Weir, 18, Keen-12.844; 4. Nick Drake, 55, Cline-12.851; 5. Chad Boespflug, 57, Hazen-12.863; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-12.938; 7. Christopher Bell, 67, Kunz-12.953; 8. Wes McIntyre, 83, McIntyre-13.037; 9. Gary Taylor, 40, Hery-13.047; 10. Daron Clayton, 35, Byram-13.092; 11. Kevin Thomas Jr., 17RW, Dutcher/RW/Tri-Star-13.130; 12. Bryan Clauson, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-13.173; 13. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-13.177; 14. Robert Ballou, 12x, Ballou-13.189; 15. Casey Shuman, 21k, Krockenberger-13.195; 16. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-13.201; 17. Jon Stanbrough, 66, Tate/Wade-13.204; 18. Hunter Schuerenberg, 41, SST-13.206; 19. Chris Windom, 11, Walker-13.271; 20. Logan Jarrett, 29, Jarrett-13.299; 21. Thomas Meseraull, 5, Baldwin-13.301; 22. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-13.331; 23. Jerry Coons Jr., 10E, Edison-13.337; 24. Tyler Courtney, 23c, Courtney-13.370; 25. Blake Fitzpatrick, 10, Fitzpatrick-13.384; 26. Kyle Robbins, 17R, Robbins-13.431; 27. Darren Hagen, 21x, Pollock-13.476; 28. Chris Gurley, 12G, Team Automotive-13.482; 29. Todd Keen, 18x, Keen-13.562; 30. Braylon Fitzpatrick, 3F, Fitzpatrick-13.585; 31. Dustin Smith, 77s, Smith-13.708; 32. Josh Spencer, 66J, Spencer-13.950; 33. Jarett Andretti, 18a, Andretti-14.278; 34. Ray Kenens, K9, Kenens-14.793; 35. Billy Wease, 59, Powell-14.411; 36. Shane Cottle, 2, Epperson-NT.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Stanbrough, 2. Hines, 3. Darland, 4. Braylon Fitzpatrick, 5. Taylor, 6. Robbins, 7. Boespflug, 8. Meseraull, 9. Wease. NT
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Schuerenberg, 2. Bacon, 3. Stockon, 4. Leary, 5. Clayton, 6. Ballou, 7. Smith, 8. Hagen, 9. Kenens. 2:15.42
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Thomas, 2. Windom, 3. Bell, 4. Courtney, 5. Cottle, 6. Weir, 7. Gurley, 8. Shuman, 9. Spencer. NT
FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Blake Fitzpatrick, 2. Clauson, 3. Jackson, 4. McIntyre, 5. Jarrett, 6. Drake, 7. Andretti, 8. Keen. 2:16.33
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Cottle, 2. Weir, 3. Shuman, 4. Ballou, 5. Boespflug, 6. Meseraull, 7. Jarrett, 8. Drake, 9. Keen, 10. Taylor, 11. Gurley, 12. Andretti, 13. Robbins, 14. Hagen, 15. Kenens, 16. Clayton, 17. Spencer, 18. Smith, 19. Wease. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Bryan Clauson, 5. Shane Cottle, 6. Tracy Hines, 7. Chris Windom, 8. Casey Shuman, 9. Scotty Weir, 10. Robert Ballou, 11. Chad Boespflug, 12. Tyler Courtney, 13. Wes McIntyre, 14. Jon Stanbrough, 15. Dakota Jackson, 16. Blake Fitzpatrick, 17. C.J. Leary, 18. Thomas Meseraull, 19. Hunter Schuerenberg, 20. Daron Clayton, 21. Christopher Bell, 22. Braylon Fitzpatrick, 23. Kevin Thomas Jr. NT
**Bell flipped on lap 18 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-18 Thomas, Laps 19-30 Darland.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Darland-1,262, 2-Clauson-1,246, 3-Bacon-1,229, 4-Thomas-1,153, 5-Stockon-1,142, 6-Ballou-1,005, 7-Hines-991, 8-Schuerenberg-975, 9-Windom-823, 10-Cottle-798.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: August 24 – Kokomo, Indiana – Kokomo Speedway – “Sprint Car Smackdown II”