KOKOMO’S “SMACKDOWN” NEXT FOR SPRINT CARS;
CLAUSON, BALLOU SWEEP ISW CLOSERS;
CLAUSON EARNS 2ND STRAIGHT INDIANA SPRINT WEEK TITLE
The AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car championship has tightened after four final Indiana Sprint Week races this past week. Only 34 points separate the top three drivers in the standings going into the August 21-22-23 “Smackdown III” at the Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway.
Dave Darland, still pursuing the all-time record of 52 series wins set by Tom Bigelow, needs one win at Kokomo to tie Bigelow and two to break the record. He has a five-point lead over Brady Bacon in the latest standings, with Bryan Clauson now just 34 back.
Clauson closed the gap with victories Wednesday at the Terre Haute Action Track and Friday at Bloomington Speedway and added a second at Putnamille Thursday before taking fourth in Saturday’s finale at Haubstadt, Ind. That gave Clauson and his Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team their second consecutive Indiana Sprint Week championship. He finished 30 points ahead of Robert Ballou., who captured wins Thursday at Putnamville and Saturday at Haubstadt. Darland ended up third in the final tally.
Ballou, of Rocklin, Calif., led all but seven laps of Saturday’s race at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt in his Rossie Feed & Grain/Deaton’s Waterfront Services Maxim/Ott. Kyle Cummins led seven laps and took second ahead of Jon Stanbrough, Clauson and Daron Clayton.
Ballou led all 30 laps to win Thursday night’s race at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, beating Clauson, Thomas Meseraull, Stanbrough and Darland.
Clauson, of Noblesville, Ind., led the final 14 laps of Wednesday’s “Don Smith Classic” at Terre Haute to beat Ballou, Bacon, Chris Windom and Brady Short. Bacon led the first 13 laps and Ballou led three before yielding to Clauson and his Chevy Performance/Curb Beast/Kistler. On Friday, Clauson passed Hunter Schuerenberg six laps from the finish at Bloomington and beat Schuerenberg, Darland, C.J. Leary and Windom to the checkered flag. Darland led the first 10 laps and Schuerenberg led the next 14.
Special performance awards during “Indiana Sprint Week” went to Chase Stockon (Jonathan Byrd’s & Bryan Clauson, Inc. “Passing Master Award” for passing the most cars during the series), Darland (2), Chase Stockon, Ballou, Bacon, Schuerenberg and Stanbrough (ProSource fast qualifiers), Brady Short, Shane Cottle, Stockon, Jerry Coons Jr., Tracy Hines and Brian Hayden (ProSource Hard Work for the slowest qualifier earning a feature spot), Stockon (2). Short, Ballou, Hines and Justin Grant (B & W Auto Mart Hard Charger), Shane Cockrum, Coons, Jarett Andretti, Hayden, Scotty Weir and Jimmy Light (American Racing Ministries Right Rear Tire Perseverance Award) and Hunter Schuerenberg, Short, Casey Shuman, C.J. Leary, Logan Jarrett and Brandon Mattox (Roger & Barb Tapy Customized Service Trucks Random Right Rear Tire).