KOKOMO, Ind. — official series release — Travis Branch photo —
It had been since September of 2013 since Chris Windom had won on the AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship tour, but Wednesday night he fended off Dave Darland to win the 30-lap feature that was postponed from the July 11 Indiana Sprint Week event.
The race precedes “Sprint Car Smackdown IV” weekend at Kokomo Speedway, with three more nights ahead culminating with Saturday’s $10,000-to-win main event.
Windom took the lead from outside the front row as polesitter Darland kept pace and set up a race-long battle for the lead. A lap-three yellow prefaced a long green-flag that put the leaders in traffic just before halfway. Darland finally darted inside Windom on lap 16 through turns three and four as
Windom was stuck behind cars racing two wide. As they came to the stripe, Darland moved low and crossed just .067 seconds behind Windom at the line.
A big move to the inside netted Darland the lead on lap 17, but as they came around to complete the lap, Kevin Thomas, Jr. spun around after colliding with Brady Bacon in a battle for third. With the race reverting back to lap 16, Windom was back out front.
Darland wasted no time going at Windom, using the low side of turn one to draw underneath him, but Windom’s momentum on the high side kept the lead. Behind them, 15th-starting Chase Stockon and 17th-starting Robert Ballou were the two cars on the move, as Stockon powered inside the top five on lap 19, while Ballou was up to eighth at the same time.
With less than ten to go, another yellow gave Darland a restart to attack Windom, and he again drove to the bottom of turn-one, sliding all the way up just as Windom rocketed by on the cushion. Stockon moved past Scotty Weir for fourth and Ballou took seventh with five laps to go.
The final caution of the night appeared with three laps to go as sixth-running Max McGhee slowed off turn-four. This time, Windom nailed the restart, completing the final three laps without issue to post a .848-second victory in the Rick Pollock – Bates Commodities No.21x Maxim/Advanced.
It was Windom’s 10th national sprint car win, tying him with Tony Stewart for 44th all time.
“This is definitely one of my favorite tracks in the world and to hold off Dave Darland here is a tall task,” Windom said. “I thought on the restarts we’d be OK, but he was good at trying to get past me through one and two. He threw everything at us, and we just had to work hard to hold him off. Rick Pollock basically built a brand new car for this event and has worked hard for this week, so hopefully we can keep it going and make a run at it Saturday night.”
Darland finished second in the Phillips/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Trench Shoring No. 71p DRC/Foxco.
“It seems like I’ve gotten screwed by the yellows right as I take the lead and it’s starting to make me mad. It’s definitely getting old,” Darland said. “Chris was fast, and we just about had him there before the yellow and on the restarts, but we weren’t quite good enough toward the end to have something for him. The O’Connors did a great job with the track tonight and it’ll be even better the rest of the weekend.”
Bacon held off Stockon for third in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green No. 69 Triple X/Williams Mopar, with Justin Grant rounding out the top five.
RESULTS: AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series; Kokomo Speedway; Kokomo, Ind.; Indiana Sprint Week Make-Up Event; August 26, 2015
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Dave Darland, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Chase Stockon, 5. Robert Ballou, 6. Scotty Weir, 7. Aaron Farney, 8. Brady Short, 9. Tracy Hines, 10. Shane Cottle, 11. Tyler Courtney, 12. Jon Stanbrough, 13. Jarett Andretti, 14. Max McGhee, 15. Chad Boespflug, 16. Kyle Cummins, 17. Cole Ketcham, 18. Casey Shuman, 19. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 20. Landon Simon, 21. Hunter Schuerenberg, 22. Brian Karraker (Jackson #3), 23. C.J. Leary (Leary #30).
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Windom.
CREDIT: USAC Racing