Peoria, Arizona…….Dave Darland of Lincoln, Indiana opened up the AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series tour of the southwest with a clutch victory in the 30-lap Main Event, co-sanctioned by USAC/CRA, to kick off “Arizona Hall of Fame Classic” weekend at Canyon Speedway Park. It was Darland’s sixth win of the season, tying him atop the charts with championship rival Bryan Clauson, who came home second and actually chipped a point off Darland’s advantage, leaving it at 22 markers heading into Saturday night.
Kevin Thomas, Jr. led from the pole and appeared to be the man to beat as the bottom line became the obvious choice as the race wore on. After a flurry of cautions in the race’s opening half, they found a rhythm as Darland stalked Thomas for the lead, eventually slipping under the Cullman, Alabama driver in turn-two on lap 18.
From there, Darland hit his marks as he and Clauson, who also moved by Thomas, stretched out a lengthy advantage over the rest of the field. As Clauson tried to go to the top in the final corner, Darland scooted to the checkered flag for a 1.093-second victory aboard the Jeff’s Jam-It-In Storage – Hoosier Tire #11 Maxim/Claxton. It was Darland’s 40th career National Sprint Car win, tying him with Gary Bettenhausen for sixth all-time.
“The race track was pretty slick tonight, and we got up into second when Bryan was up trying the top. KT slipped wide a little bit there in turn-two and that was our opportunity. The race track kinda dictated what we had to do there, but we stayed patient and took advantage. I want to thank Kevin Montgomery (Canyon Speedway promoter) for having us out here, and my whole team for giving me a great car, and thank Steve (Stroud, of Parker Store) and everybody for coming out,” Darland said.
Clauson came home second but was disappointed in a missed opportunity to pick up another win and gain valuable points on Darland, but was happy to continue his string of strong runs at Canyon in the Curb Records – R&B Trucker’s #7 Maxim/Fisher.
“I tried to go to the top there and make something happen, and I should have just been a little more patient. We kinda missed an opportunity there, but all the guys on this team gave me a great car. I made that one little mistake, but we come out here to win and sometimes that happens. We’ll come back tomorrow and look for more,” Clauson said.
Thomas recovered and held on for third in the Black Jack Oil Company – Indy Metal Finishings #9K Spike/Claxton.
“I made a mistake going into one and locked the brakes up. I missed the moisture a little and that let him get by. We definitely weren’t the fastest car, but I probably threw that race away, the way the track was. To come out here and get a podium on night one is nice for us and motivates us to finish out the year strong,” Thomas said.
CRA point leader Mike Spencer set Fast Time and finished fourth in the Madera Produce – Grubstake Mini Storage #50 Maxim/Shaver, and Robert Ballou finished up fifth in the Rossie Feed & Grain – Manvel Motorsports #81 Maxim/Ott.
AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: October 26, 2012 – Peoria, AZ – Canyon Speedway Park – “Arizona Hall of Fame Classic”
QUALIFYING: 1. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-13.545; 2. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byram-13.583; 3. Damion Gardner, 71, DG-13.702; 4. Robert Ballou, 81, MPHG-13.719; 5. Bryan Clauson, 7, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-13.739; 6. Dave Darland, 11, Walker-13.783; 7. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 9K, BlackJack-13.854; 8. Thomas Meseraull, 5x, Baldwin-13.914; 9. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-13.931; 10. Nic Faas, 4x, Alexander-13.966; 11. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-13.984; 12. Brody Roa, 91, BR-14.007; 13. Jon Stanbrough, 21x, Leer-14.040; 14. Bruce St. James, 7K, St. James-14.042; 15. Cory Kruseman, 7x, Priestley-14.043; 16. Chase Stockon, 32, Stockon-14.046; 17. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-14.060; 18. Charles Davis, Jr., 4G, Cook-14.111; 19. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-14.179; 20. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-14.200; 21. Ronnie Clark, 6, Clark-14.231; 22. Chris Windom, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-14.238; 23. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-14.250; 24. Casey Shuman, 2A, Yeley-14.312; 25. Wes McIntyre, 5, Baldwin-14.321; 26. Jeremy Sherman, 18, Kittle-14.339; 27. Josh Pelkey, 4JR, Reagles-14.405; 28. Tom Ogle, 48, Ogle-14.543; 29. Dalten Gabbard, 77, Gabbard-14.581; 30. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-14.661; 31. Stevie Sussex, 1, Sussex-14.739; 32. Michael Dayney, 3D, Dayney-15.242.
FIRST HEAT:: (8 laps) 1. Clauson, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Hines, 4. McIntyre, 5. Spencer, 6. Clark, 7. C. Williams, 8. Gabbard. 1:53.87
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Windom, 2. Davis, 3. Schuerenberg, 4. Darland, 5. Faas, 6. St. James, 7. Martin, 8. Sherman. 1:53.54
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Thomas, 2. Johnson, 3. Gardner, 4. A. Williams, 5. Kruseman, 6. Hodges, 7. Sussex, 8. Pelkey. 1:55.52
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Meseraull, 2. Stockon, 3. Roa, 4. Ballou, 5. R. Williams, 6. Shuman, 7. Ogle, 8. Dayney. 1:55.45
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Sherman, 2. Spencer, 3. Faas, 4. Hodges, 5. R. Williams, 6. Kruseman, 7. St. James, 8. Shuman, 9. Pelkey, 10. Ogle, 11. Clark, 12. Gabbard, 13. Martin, 14. Dayney, 15. Sussex, 16. C. Williams. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Bryan Clauson, 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 4. Mike Spencer, 5. Robert Ballou, 6. Tracy Hines, 7. Thomas Meseraull, 8. Chris Windom, 9. Josh Hodges, 10. Damion Gardner, 11. Cory Kruseman, 12. Chase Stockon, 13. Jon Stanbrough, 14. R.J. Johnson, 15. Charles Davis, Jr., 16. Rip Williams, 17. Nic Faas, 18. Wes McIntyre, 19. Jeremy Sherman, 20. Hunter Schuerenberg, 21. Austin Williams, 22. Brody Roa, 23. Cody Williams. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-17 Thomas, Laps 18-30 Darland.
NEW AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Darland-1,942, 2-Clauson-1,920, 3-Stanbrough-1,853, 4-Hines-1,735, 5-Gardner-1,669, 6-Stockon-1,629, 7-Levi Jones-1,615, 8-Ballou-1,600, 9-Schuerenberg-1,554, 10-Thomas-1,513.
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS: 1-Spencer-1,292, 2-Faas-921, 3-Roa-900, 4-Ryan Bernal-816, 5-R.Williams-814, 6-A.Williams-775, 7-Kruseman-724, 8-C.Williams-619, 9-David Cardey-465, 10-Matt Mitchell-461.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT RACE: October 27 – Peoria, AZ – Canyon Speedway Park – “Arizona Hall of Fame Classic”