Haubstadt, Indiana…….Daron Clayton of Sikeston, Missouri delivered one of the most dominant performances in recent AMSOIL National Sprint Car history as he lapped up to sixth while winning the 30-lap “Spring Showdown” by 8.174 seconds. Clayton became the sixth different winner in six nights on the season, as he put the Rock Steady Racing-owned ProGlide Coatings – Afco Shocks #3R Mach-1/Foxco in victory lane for their first time together.
“Tonight is an indication of our potential, and I think people probably took notice. The track was a little slower than normal, so I didn’t really realize how fast we were until I was catching really fast cars and passing them. I just kept pushing. I was just reading the cars as I came up on them and hoping they kept going the direction it looked like. We’ve been trying a ton of different stuff as this is a lot different car than I’d been used to, and tonight finally showed how fast we’ve been,” Clayton said.
Clayton hooked the pole for the feature and out-gunned Brady Short to the lead, dancing the front end as he raced away from what became a race-long intense battle for second through fifth. Justin Grant followed Clayton to take the second spot early ahead of Short and Jon Stanbrough, as the lone caution of the race appeared after four laps when Kevin Thomas, Jr. was spun and collected Chris Windom.
From there, Clayton went on an impressive run as he sliced through thick traffic for the remainder of the thirty-lap distance, finally putting National Sprint Car point leader Bryan Clauson a lap down in the final laps.
Brady Bacon picked his way from 11th to finally separate himself from the pack for second. He claimed the runner-up spot by nearly four seconds in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green #69 Triple X/Stanton Mopar.
“We had a really good car and got a great first run. I was able to slow up and get to the bottom better than everybody else. Once we got to fifth, we used lapped traffic to get by everybody else. He was so far out there once we were second, there was no tracking him down. That’s the best my car has ever been here, but we just need to start a little farther forward,” Bacon said.
Stanbrough rallied late to clear a large pack of lapped cars and a three-way battle for position to finish third, his best result of the season in the MP Environmental Services – Indiana Underground Construction #37RW Maxim/Fisher.
“We always shoot to be good at the end of the race, so we gave up some ground early and were better at the end. The traffic helped me a little bit to get to third, but then it kinda held me up. I would have liked a late caution to have a chance for more, but I really don’t think we had anything for the leader. Tonight is better than last night, since we don’t have to fix it, and we’re making ground so I know a win is coming soon,” Stanbrough said.
Hunter Schuerenberg was on the move late and finished fourth in the Ron Gorby’s Howard Johnson – Roof Bolt Express #20N Mach-1/Rider and Short rounded out the top-five in the Pottorff Logging – Indiana Stone Works #11P Maxim/SPEC.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 26, 2014 – Haubstadt, Indiana – Tri-State Speedway – “Spring Showdown” (co-sanctioned by Midwest Sprint Car Series)
QUALIFYING: 1. Bryan Clauson, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-13.365; 2. Hunter Schuerenberg, 20N, Schuerenberg/Nolen-13.378; 3. Jon Stanbrough, 37RW, Dutcher-13.472; 4. Justin Grant, 40, Hery-13.488; 5. Chase Stockon, 32/TBI-13.520; 6. Brady Short, 11P, Pottorff/Short-13.571; 7. Daron Clayton, 3R, Byram-13.696; 8. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-13.732; 9. Dave Darland, 71P, Phillips-13.738; 10. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-13.782; 11. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.817; 12. Shane Cockrum, 66, Wade-13.841; 13. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-13.930; 14. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-13.931; 15. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 9K, KT-13.942; 16. Bradley Sterrett, 90, Sterrett-14.010; 17. Thomas Meseraull, 41, SST-14.048; 18. Chris Windom, 11, Walker-14.128; 19. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.128; 20. Wes McIntyre, 83, McIntyre-14.145; 21. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.146; 22. Carson Short, 21, Short-14.210; 23. Kyle Cummins, 3c, Cummins-14.293; 24. Jeff Bland, Jr., 04, Burton-14.365; 25. Aric Gentry, 10, Gentry-14.595; 26. Nick Hale, 02, Hale-14.634; 27. Nathan Moore, 48, Moore-14.777; 28. Chet Williams, 38, Williams-14.827; 29. James Lyerla, 11L, Lyerla-14.870; 30. Daylan Chambers, 4c, Chambers-15.146; 31. Charlie Belden, Jr., 76, Belden-15.448.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Ballou, 2. Hines, 3. Darland, 4. Clauson, 5. Meseraull, 6. Stockon, 7. Lyerla, 8. Gentry. 2:18.93
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. B. Short, 2. C. Short, 3. Schuerenberg, 4. Leary, 5. Jackson, 6. Windom, 7. Chambers, 8. Hale. NT
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Clayton, 4. Cummins, 5. Thomas, 6. Mattox, 7. Moore, 8. Belden. NT
FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bland, 2. Grant, 3. Sterrett, 4. Cockrum, 5. Williams, 6. McIntyre, 7. Andretti. 2:19.60
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Stockon, 2. Andretti, 3. Meseraull, 4. Thomas, 5. Windom, 6. Mattox, 7. Jackson, 8. Williams, 9. Gentry, 10. Lyerla, 11. Hale, 12. Chambers, 13. Moore, 14. Belden. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Daron Clayton, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Jon Stanbrough, 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 5. Brady Short, 6. Justin Grant, 7. Bryan Clauson, 8. C.J. Leary, 9. Jarett Andretti, 10. Chase Stockon, 11. Carson Short, 12. Kyle Cummins, 13. Robert Ballou, 14. Tracy Hines, 15. Thomas Meseraull, 16. Bradley Sterrett, 17. Dave Darland, 18. Shane Cockrum, 19. Jeff Bland, Jr., 20. Brandon Mattox, 21. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 22. Chris Windom. NT
**C. Short flipped in Hot Laps. Hale flipped in the Semi-Feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Clayton.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Clauson-343; 2-Bacon-329; 3-Stockon-324; 4-Grant-312; 5-Darland-303; 6-Hines-299; 7-Stanbrough-289; 8-Schuerenberg-251; 9-Windom-217; 10-Leary-196.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: May 2 – Eagle, Nebraska – Eagle Raceway