Rossburg, Ohio…….Dave Darland’s assault on the record books will be a year-long theme in 2014, and he visited victory lane for the first time in National competition on the season in the AMSOIL Sprint Car “Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic” Saturday night at Eldora Speedway. For the Lincoln, Indiana native, it was the 48th Sprint Car score of his legendary career, and now the 22nd consecutive year he has won in USAC National competition. That streak breaks a tie with A.J. Foyt & Mel Kenyon for the all-time record.
Chase Stockon led the field to green and distanced himself from fellow front-row starter Dallas Hewitt until lap six, when Hewitt bounced through turn-three and flipped into turn-four. He was unhurt.
On the restart, Darland got a big run down the backstretch and slid up in front of Stockon, who bounced a little himself but was able to turn back down the banking and get enough speed to slide past Darland into turn-one. Just a few laps later, Jarett Andretti flipped through turns one and two, again bringing out the red. He was also uninjured.
This time, Stockon was better on the restart, but Darland stalked him until lap 12, when he slid low in turn-three just as Stockon bobbled. Darland had the lead and was able to hold off Stockon this time, taking command and racing away from the field.
Darland caught traffic in the waning laps but had no challenges from behind, putting his owners Steve & Carla Phillips in Eldora Speedway victory lane for the first time. Darland’s slide-job for the win was good for the “Weld Wheels Move of the Night,” winning by 2.414 seconds in the Racers Advantage Store – Frank Daigh #71P DRC/Foxco.
“I’m always excited to win at Eldora. I love it here. To win here, and to get the Phillipses a win here, that’s something to be proud of. I thought we were better than Chase, but I just needed the right opportunity to get him after he passed us back the first time. I wanted to make sure we didn’t get hung out and let Tracy by us, either. Once we got out front, I had in my mind that I got too comfortable a couple years back and Tracy got me on the last lap, so I was running hard all the way to the end,” Darland said.
Stockon held on for second, his best Eldora finish in the Superior Tank & Trailer – Crescent Electric Supply #32 DRC/Fisher.
“We really want to win here, and I thought we were really close tonight. I was getting higher and trying to run harder, and when we bounced through a hole down there and busted the right-front arm off of it. So, I guess we were pretty fortunate to be able to finish and get a second-place run,” Stockon said.
Tracy Hines wound up third in The Carolina Nut Company – Hansen’s Welding #4 DRC/Stanton Chevy.
“We were solid all night. It’s good to get another podium finish with the Carolina Nut Company team,” Hines said.
Jerry Coons, Jr. finished fourth in the Edison Motorsports – Crume Evans Insurance #10E Spike/Chevy, and Brady Bacon finished fifth after capturing the ProSource “Fast Time Award” in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green #69 Triple X/Stanton Mopar.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 19, 2014 – Rossburg, Ohio – Eldora Speedway – “Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic”
QUALIFYING: 1. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-15.069; 2. Bryan Clauson, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-15.278; 3. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-15.331; 4. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips-15.345; 5. Jerry Coons Jr., 10E, Edison-15.347; 6. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-15.524; 7. Dallas Hewitt, 22, Simon-15.619; 8. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-15.639; 9. Chris Windom, 11, Walker-15.664; 10. Aaron Farney, 15F, Farney-15.667; 11. Jon Stanbrough, 37RW, Dutcher-15.711; 12. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-15.807; 13. Justin Grant, 40, Hery-15.822; 14. Scotty Weir, 18x, Keen-15.830; 15. Shane Cockrum, 66, Amati-15.880; 16. Hunter Schuerenberg, 20N, Schuerenberg/Nolen-15.893; 17. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-15.981; 18. Bill Rose, 6, Rose-16.136; 19. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-16.137; 20. Daron Clayton, 3R, Rock Steady-16.260; 21. Matt Westfall, 54, Best Performance-16.264; 22. Wes McIntyre, 83, McIntyre-16.308; 23. Brandon Whited, 15, Whited-16.438; 24. Rob Chaney, 9x, SC-16.575; 25. Nathan Moore, 48, Moore-16.649; 26. Mike Miller, 82, Miller-16.706; 27. Derek Hastings, 32m, Marshall-16.722; 28. Logan Jarrett, 29, Jarrett-16.795; 29. Adam Cruea, 83x, Cruea-17.000; 30. Huston Hewitt, 63H, Hewitt-17.898; 31. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-NT.
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Andretti, 2. Windom, 3. Grant, 4. Coons, 5. Bacon, 6. McIntyre, 7. Miller, 8. H.Hewitt. 2:11.94
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Weir, 2. Clauson, 3. Rose, 4. Whited, 5. Farney, 6. Hastings, 7. Ballou. 2:12.93
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Hines, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Swanson, 4. D.Hewitt, 5. Cockrum, 6. Jarrett, 7. Chaney. 2:11.01
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Darland, 2. Schuerenberg, 3. Clayton, 4. Stockon, 5. Leary, 6. Moore, 7. Cruea. 2:10.33
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Ballou, 3. Farney, 4. Leary, 5. Cockrum, 6. McIntyre, 7. Miller, 8. Jarrett, 9. Cruea, 10. Moore, 11. Hastings, 12. H.Hewitt, 13. Chaney. 3:21.18
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Tracy Hines, 4. Jerry Coons Jr., 5. Brady Bacon, 6. Bryan Clauson, 7. Jon Stanbrough, 8. Justin Grant, 9. Robert Ballou, 10. Scotty Weir, 11. Hunter Schuerenberg, 12. Kody Swanson, 13. Chris Windom, 14. Shane Cockrum, 15. Daron Clayton, 16. Bill Rose, 17. C.J. Leary, 18. Wes McIntyre, 19. Brandon Whited, 20. Aaron Farney, 21. Logan Jarrett, 22. Jarett Andretti, 23. Dallas Hewitt. NT
**D.Hewitt flipped on lap 6 of the feature. Andretti flipped on lap 10 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-5 Stockon, Lap 6 Darland, Laps 7-11 Stockon, Laps 12-30 Darland.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Darland-254, 2-Stockon-233, 3-Grant-227, 4-Clauson-226, 5-Bacon-225, 6-Hines-204, 7-Stanbrough-195, 8-Ballou-153, 9-Windom-152, 10-Schuerenberg-146.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: April 25 – Gas City, Indiana – Gas City I-69 Speedway