USAC Sprints: First Time for Everything; Stockon Breaks Through at Kokomo in Smackdown Preliminary

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KOKOMO, Ind. — official series release — David Nearpass photo —

It was an excited victory lane on Friday night at Kokomo Speedway as Chase Stockon held off Dave Darland to win the Sprint Car Smackdown IV preliminary 30-lapper, scoring his first career win at the quarter-mile track.

Stockon made it two wins on the season in the season aboard the Superior Tank & Trailer – Crescent Electric Supply No. 32 DRC/Fisher.

Wednesday’s winner Chris Windom took the lead at the outset over polesitter Tracy Hines, but Stockon cut inside Hines for second on lap two.

Justin Grant was working the high side and took fifth on lap two, but as he looked underneath Scotty Weir for fourth on lap four, the two made contact. Grant ended up in the wall on the backstretch with a broken front end and collected Chad Boespflug.

Windom led Stockon, Hines, Weir, and ProSource Fast Qualifier Dave Darland, who cleared Weir for fourth on a fast surface just before a caution flag on lap 10. That set up a long green-flag stretch, with Stockon trying to keep pace with Windom, while Darland drove by Hines on the restart for third.

Behind the lead trio, a few drivers coming from a back were the show. Hunter Schuerenberg carved in his line up above the cushion, finally taking fifth at the halfway point after starting 13th. AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader Robert Ballou, who broke an axle in qualifying before coming from 18th to transfer out of the semi-feature, tried to protect his point lead with a spirited drive from the back.

Then, there was Brady Short, who had to scratch his primary car after an issue in qualifying. He came from 17th in the Semi-Feature to finish third and transfer to the night’ 30-lap feature. He hit the top-ten with ten laps to go and was still digging.

As Windom hit lapped traffic, the charging trio of Stockon, Darland, and Schuerenberg began to chew on his lead. With five laps to go, Windom was mired in traffic and seeing his lead disipate quickly. On lap 28, Windom charged up on a lapped car and clipped the rear end of it, kicking him sideways and drawing a yellow flag, although Windom was able to right it and continue on in fourth-place. Due to the inadvertent yellow, Windom was put in line there and the race resumed with three laps to go.

Windom slid past Schuerenberg on the restart, but Schuerenberg wasn’t done. He charged the turn-three cushion on the next lap just as he had been doing all night, but this time it bit him. He bounced and flipped over, ending his spectacular run. He was unhurt.

With just two laps to go, Darland nailed the restart to look underneath Stockon for the lead. Stockon hammered the turn-two cushion and flashed past Darland to retain his lead, but a spin at the back of the pack gave Darland one final shot.

This time, Stockon got a jump to pull away and complete the win by .655-seconds, celebrating the big triumph with a backwards victory lap. It was Stockon’s sixth-career win, tying him for 63rd all-time.

“To hold off Dave at his palace for my first win here, that’s a pretty awesome thing,” Stockon said. “This place is so, so hard. You don’t get a fluke wins here. That was all she had. I ran that thing as hard as I possibly could those last two laps. Luckily, we had the car good enough to stay up front and capitalize on Chris’ misfortune. We’ve been fast here two years ago, and now we’re better than we’ve ever been with Matt Hummel’s Factory Kahne shocks, DRC chassis, and Fisher engines. (Crew chief) D.J. (Ott) and I are on the same page right now, and hopefully we can carry it into tomorrow.”

Darland rebounded from a tough opening night of Smackdown to come home second in the Phillips/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Trench Shoring No. 71p DRC/Foxco.

“It makes me feel good when somebody like Chase appreciates the win because he knows how tough it is to beat me here,” Darland said. “We had a nice improvement from last night. The race track was really good tonight and more to my liking. I had a couple runs at Chase, especially on that last restart, but the yellow came out. He got a better restart the second time, and congratulations to him. He always does a good job.”

Hines and Jon Stanbrough completed the top five.

Short’s amazing run ended up sixth to earn him the Crume-Evans Insurance Hard Charger Award presented by Maxim Chassis.

Stockon, Brady Bacon, Windom, Kyle Cummins, Stanbrough, Darland, Thomas Meseraull, and Ballou were the top-eight point earners over the two nights, locking themselves into tomorrow’s B&W Auto Mart King of the Hill.

 

RESULTS: AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series; Kokomo Speedway; Sprint Car Smackdown IV; August 28, 2015

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chase Stockon, 2. Dave Darland, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Tracy Hines, 5. Jon Stanbrough, 6. Brady Short, 7. Brady Bacon, 8. Thomas Meseraull, 9. Robert Ballou, 10. Kyle Cummins, 11. Jarett Andretti, 12. Tyler Courtney, 13. C.J. Leary, 14. Shane Cottle, 15. Scotty Weir, 16. Jerry Coons, Jr. 17. Max McGhee, 18. Chad Boespflug, 19. Brian Karraker, 20. Hunter Schuerenberg, 21. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 22. Kyle Robbins, 23. Ryan Bernal, 24. Justin Grant.

** Schuerenberg flipped on lap 29 of the feature. **

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-27 Windom, Laps 28-30 Stockon.

CREDIT: USAC Racing

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