USAC: Home Track Hero; Cummins Knocks Down Sprint Win At Tri-State

RaceChaser Staff Featured, Midwest, Racing Nation, Sprints & Midgets, USAC 0 Comments

Kyle Cummins (inside) battles Tyler Courtney (outside) for the lead during Saturday night's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series Haubstadt Hustler at Tri-State Speedway. (Ryan Sellers photo)

Kyle Cummins (inside) battles Tyler Courtney (outside) for the lead during Saturday night’s USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series Haubstadt Hustler at Tri-State Speedway.
(Ryan Sellers photo)

HAUBSTADT, Ind. — It took Kyle Cummins a decade to kick open the door that separated him from his first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series victory in July at Kokomo Speedway’s Indiana Sprint Week round.

It took two more months for the Princeton, Indiana native to get his first USAC victory at his home track, Tri-State Speedway.

Cummins took the lead near the halfway point in the race and gracefully navigated through traffic and withstood a late caution that bunched up the field to take the victory in his Rock Steady Racing/ProGlide Bearings – Tim Mason ReMax/Mach-1/Cummins in Saturday night’s Haubstadt Hustler, which was co-sanctioned by the Midwest Sprint Car Series.

“We had the car a little looser than we planned on,” Cummins said. “I knew I couldn’t get Tyler (Courtney) off the middle to bottom. I ran with him up top and adjusted on the shocks and tried the bottom again. I could hang with him, but I couldn’t pass him. I just started hammering the top and, when he made a mistake, we were there to pounce.

“The track was tricky,” Cummins added. “The cushion was built up probably a foot tall, so I backed the corner up a lot and tried to just catch it on the exit. As soon as it hit on exit, the car would launch and I knew there was no way somebody was going to get around us. I just kept trying to hit my marks and get through the lapped cars. I got into a rhythm for a little bit and just tried to keep clicking them off. I’ve had a yellow with one to go on both races I’ve won, so that makes it nerve-racking, but tonight was great and we took home a little bit of money. I can’t complain.”

Cummins started fifth in the 23-car starting field, while Carson Short — Tri-State’s Indiana Sprint Week winner two months prior — took the lead from the pole.

It was smooth sailing for Short early on as he looked to replicate his most recent USAC visit to the southwestern Indiana quarter mile paperclip, cruising to a healthy 10-car-length lead in the opening laps over Tyler Courtney in second.

But on the eighth lap, Short’s dream of a repeat performance came to a rest upside down in the second turn after he bicycled on the high side of the racetrack, making slight wall contact with his right rear tire that tipped him over. Incredibly, Short restarted from the tail and worked his way back to finish seventh.

Courtney inherited the lead at that point, but he had a hungry Cummins right on his tail tank for the lap eight restart. Cummins went low while Courtney utilized the top side to pull away a bit from Cummins initially, but a bobble on the cushion in turns three and four by Courtney allowed Cummins to close, initiating an intense side-by-side duel.

Each time, Cummins was able to edge ahead underneath Courtney exiting turns two and four, Courtney was able to successfully use the downhill momentum off the banking to beat Cummins to the stripe by a half-car length on laps 9-11.

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