Bloomington, IN – Bryan Clauson made it two wins and a second to propel him into the final night of “Indiana Sprintweek” with the point lead after using a late restart to pass Hunter Schuerenberg for the Friday victory at Bloomington Speedway. The two-time and defending AMSOIL Sprint Car champ made it his fourth win of the year in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance #20 Beast/Kistler.
Clauson started on the pole but Dave Darland grabbed the early lead from outside the front row, running the top around the quarter-mile. Clauson fell into second as ProSource “Fast Qualifier” and new track record holder Hunter Schuerenberg was on the move from the third row. Clauson poked under Darland for the lead on lap four, but a caution negated the move.
Schuerenberg was working the top as Darland slid back to the bottom, and Schuerenberg got by Clauson for second just before a red flag on lap ten for Tracy Hines in turn-two. He was unhurt.
After the restart, Schuerenberg got wound up on the top and flew by Darland for the lead on the turn-four cushion, narrowly beating him to the line on lap 11 and then shutting the door into turn-one on lap 12.
After another yellow, Schuerenberg found himself up front as Clauson applied pressure to Darland for second. Clauson finally worked the middle through turns three and four to grab the runner-up spot back and begin to chew into Schuerenberg’s lead. With just six laps left, Tyler Courtney flipped in turn-two. He climbed out uninjured.
On the restart, Clauson cut under Schuerenberg through turns three and four, collecting the lead as they crossed the stripe with five to go. He was flawless up front in the final few circuits, winning by 1.853 seconds for the 29th National victory of his career. He takes a ten-point “Sprintweek” point lead over Darland into the series finale at Tri-State Speedway on Saturday.
“Our car has been really strong, and we felt like we made gains the last time at Haubstadt, but you know you’ll have torun your butt off to beat Dave Darland when something is on the line. That felt like an “old-man” victory. I was trying to be patient, especially with other guys having trouble and the big picture still on my mind. I got to move around after I got to second and found a lane where I could gain on Hunter. The track moved around a lot tonight, so you had to be on your game. We made the right moves at the right time and were able to capitalize on that late restart,” Clauson said.
Schuerenberg dropped down low to protect second, coming home with his best finish of the week in the Customized Service Trucks – Eddie Gilstrap Motors #20N Mach-1/Rider.
“I was gonna be ticked off if we didn’t run good here, as good as we’ve been at Bloomington lately. This is the start to salvaging some good runs this week. I hated to see that last red come out. We lost a bit, I think, after that, and I had a wrong lane choice too. Once he beat me off turn-four, I knew it would be tough to get back by him. I never even saw him before that and wanted to keep doing what I was doing. It was another case of leading the race and the guy behind being able to search and figure something out,” Schuerenberg said.
Darland wound up third, taking the National point lead from Bacon in the Phillips Motorsports – Racer’s Advantage Store #71P DRC/Foxco.
“We’ve got things figured out for tomorrow, so I’m ready. We got this. I led a few at the beginning and went from the top to the bottom after I saw a nose. I got a little too slow holding the bottom and Schuerenberg got rolling up the outside. Bryan got us after that, and we finally got going a bit better when it got tough to hit the marks at the end. We had a decent chance, but didn’t quite get it done tonight,” Darland said.
C.J. Leary closed a strong race to come home fourth in the Leary Construction Company – Green Tech Lubricants #30 DRC/Claxton Mopar, and Chris Windom rounded out the top-five in the Jeff’s Jam-It-In Storage – Hoosier Tire #11 Maxim/Claxton.
Robert Ballou earned the B&W Auto Mart “Hard Charger Award” after moving from 21st to finish sixth. Jerry Coons, Jr. was awarded both the ProSource “Hard Work Award” and the American Racing Ministries “Perseverance Award” for being the slowest qualifier to make the feature and take the final transfer spot from the Semi-Feature in the process.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 18, 2014 – Bloomington, Indiana – Bloomington Speedway – 27th Annual “Indiana Sprint Week”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Hunter Schuerenberg, 20N, Schuerenberg/Nolen-10.920; 2. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-10.935; 3. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-10.945; 4. Chase Briscoe, 5B, Briscoe-10.946; 5. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-10.951; 6. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips-10.995; 7. Bryan Clauson, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-10.997; 8. Jeff Bland Jr., 04, Burton-11.017; 9. Chad Boespflug, 57, Hazen-11.021; 10. Chris Windom, 11, Walker-11.027; 11. Justin Grant, 40, Hery-11.054; 12. Logan Jarrett, 29, Jarrett-11.056; 13. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-11.062; 14. Brady Short, 11p, Pottorff-11.074; 15. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-11.108; 16. Thomas Meseraull, 41, SST-11.119; 17. Jon Stanbrough, 37RW, Dutcher-11.119; 18. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-11.123; 19. Casey Shuman, 21k, Krockenberger-11.138; 20. Jordan Kinser, 5k, Kinser-11.147; 21. Carson Short, 21, Short-11.156; 22. Shane Cottle, 2E, Epperson-11.157; 23. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9k, KT-11.183; 24. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-11.218; 25. Ethan Barrow, 15, Barrow-11.223; 26. Brent Beauchamp, 34, Olson-11.225; 27. Tyler Courtney, 21x, Pollock-11.260; 28. Robert Ballou, 12x, Ballou-11.288; 29. Jay Waugh, 99a, Waugh-11.322; 30. Jerry Coons Jr., 10E, Edison-11.338; 31. Bradley Sterrett, 90, Leer-11.362; 32. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-11.384; 33. Jared Fox, 56, Fox-11.390; 34. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-11.459; 35. Aaron Farney, 15F, Farney-11.466; 36. Chris Babcock, 35x, Babcock-11.485; 37. Chris Gurley, 12G, Team Automotive-11.553; 38. Mark Smith, 1M, Smith-11.603; 39. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-11.607; 40. Lee Dakus, 75, Dakus-11.690; 41. Nick Johnson, 15J, Johnson-11.901; 42. Steve Thomas, 20T, Thomas-12.331; 43. Nathan Moore, 48, Moore-NT.
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Schuerenberg, 3. Stanbrough, 4. Leary, 5. Barrow, 6. C.Short, 7. Gurley, 8. Fox, 9. Waugh, 10. Johnson, 11. Boespflug. NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Cottle, 2. Darland, 3. Windom, 4. Stockon, 5. Jackson, 6. Smith, 7. S.Thomas, 8. Hines, 9. Beauchamp, 10. B.Short, 11. Coons. NT
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. K.Thomas, 2. Grant, 3. Clauson, 4. Shuman, 5. R.Vander Weerd, 6. Sterrett, 7. Courtney, 8. Roa, 9. Andretti, 10. Farney. NT
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Mattox, 2. Briscoe, 3. Ballou, 4. Jarrett, 5. Bland, 6. Dakus, 7. Babcock, 8. J.Vander Weerd, 9. Meseraull, 10. Kinser. NT
QUALIFYING RACE: (10 laps) 1. Babcock, 2. Roa, 3. Jackson, 4. Gurley, 5. Johnson, 6. Farney, 7. S.Thomas, 8. Dakus. NT
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Boespflug, 2. R.Vander Weerd, 3. Andretti, 4. Barrow, 5. C.Short, 6. Coons, 7. Sterrett, 8. Hines, 9. Waugh, 10. Jackson, 11. Roa, 12. Courtney, 13. J.Vander Weerd, 14. Gurley, 15. Fox, 16. B.Short, 17. Babcock. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Bryan Clauson, 2. Hunter Schuerenberg, 3. Dave Darland, 4. C.J. Leary, 5. Chris Windom, 6. Robert Ballou, 7. Justin Grant, 8. Casey Shuman, 9. Jon Stanbrough, 10. Richard Vander Weerd, 11. Jerry Coons Jr., 12. Brody Roa, 13. Carson Short, 14. Chad Boespflug, 15. Chase Briscoe, 16. Ethan Barrow, 17. Brady Bacon, 18. Tyler Courtney, 19. Logan Jarrett, 20. Kevin Thomas Jr., 21. Brandon Mattox, 22. Tracy Hines, 23. Shane Cottle, 24. Jarett Andretti, 25. Chase Stockon. NT
B.Short flipped during the second heat. Hines flipped on lap 10 of the feature. Courtney flipped on lap 25 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Darland, Laps 11-24 Schuerenberg, Laps 25-30 Clauson.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Darland-1,323, 2-Bacon-1,299, 3-Clauson-1,266, 4-Stanbrough-1,195, 5-Stockon-1,137, 6-Hines-1,089, 7-Grant-1,083, 8-Windom-1,055, 9-Schuerenberg-1,014, 10-Leary-918.
NEW INDIANA SPRINT WEEK POINTS: 1-Clauson-364, 2-Darland-354, 3-Ballou-326, 4-Windom-314, 5-Bacon-301, 6-Grant-297, 7-Stanbrough-288, 8-Stockon-248, 9-Schuerenberg-246, 10-Hines-227.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: July 19 – Haubstadt, Indiana – Tri-State Speedway – 27th “Indiana Sprint Week”
– USAC Press Release – Tony Stewart Racing Facebook photo