Kyle Cummins made his front row starting spot count Thursday night, as he led wire-to-wire to pick up the feature win on Night #6 of USAC Indiana Sprint Week at Lincoln Park Speedway. The multi-time MSCS Sprint Car champion and current points leader held off charges from Brady Bacon and CJ Leary in the early going before checking out after the final restart on lap 13.
The Princeton, IN driver nearly lost the pole position for the feature. Cummins started in the third row in his heat race and had to pass two cars late to transfer into the A-Main. As the night changed, the track changed as well, throwing a curveball into his plans for 30 laps around the 5/16ths mile against some of the best Non-Winged drivers in the country.
“The car there at the beginning of the night was good,” Cummins told Speed51.com. “We started on the front row of the feature and we tightened her up a little bit. I didn’t really plan on running the top after watching the B-Main. It was good at the beginning, then it just got so slick, so I went to the bottom and made some good laps there. I thought the car was kind of going away so I was moving the shocks here and there a little bit and watching the track, seeing if any lines were getting different. I kind of made my mind up, I was going to make them pass me on the outside. I thought I heard them sometimes, I don’t know.”
It was the fourth USAC Sprint win of Cummins’ career, and his first since Tri-State Speedway in 2017. Thursday night’s win gives him six wins in Sprint Car touring series competition in 2019, added to a win in the first Sprint Car feature in Indiana at Brownstown Speedway back in March. He says the win at Lincoln Park was the hardest one he has earned.
“Compared to some of my other wins, this is the hardest one because you have to hit your marks here,” he said. “You’ve got roll bumps, whatever and you’ve got to hit your marks. To win here, it’s probably bigger than any of my other ones I’ve won.”
Of his now four career USAC National Sprint wins, three have come during Indiana Sprint Week. He says the success he has had in his limited USAC starts shows what kind of team he has behind him.
“It feels good, three of my USAC wins have been during Sprint Week,” he said. “We don’t run a lot of USAC shows but we show up for all of these. I think it shows we’ve got a good team. This car’s just been on fire this year. Everything we do, the team kind of clicks. We’ve been struggling here at these bigger tracks, I’m not real good at them. I thought these next three nights were going to be pretty good nights for us. To get a win here at the beginning of the weekend for us is pretty big.”
Two-time USAC Sprint national champion Brady Bacon finished second, one spot ahead of current Indiana Sprint Week point leader CJ Leary. Within striking distance of Leary with just two nights left, he believes it will take a mistake by Leary for him to have a shot at the Sprint Week title.
“We started third there and had a good race with CJ (Leary) for several laps,” Bacon said. “We got to second and started trying something different. The lapped cars raced both of us hard. I couldn’t quite get up there to him, he didn’t make any mistakes and we had to settle for second.”
“He’s got to mess up, he hasn’t messed up all year,” he continued. “He qualifies good, he gets points, does good in his heat, then runs good in the feature, so it’s really hard even if you have a really good night too. He’s going to have to have a slip-up if we’re going to catch him.”
Current USAC National Sprint point leader Leary settled for third after a battle with Bacon early on in the main event. He has used consistency to get to the Indiana Sprint Week points lead and with just two nights left, he feels good about his chances of sitting in the famed rocking chair after Saturday night at Tri-State Speedway.
“I’m feeling pretty good, we just keep doing our job getting these podiums and the points take care of themselves,” Leary said. “The No.19AZ has been fast all week and I can’t say enough about Davy Jones and Andy Reinbold and just everybody on the team that gets the thing to and from the track. It’s been a lot of late nights this week and we’ve got two more to go, hopefully we can have the rocking chair at the end of the night.”
Lawrenceburg Speedway winner during Indiana Sprint Week Justin Grant and defending USAC National Sprint champion Tyler Courtney rounded out the top five.
Bloomington and Tri-State are the only two races remaining in this year’s version of Indiana Sprint Week. Leary leads Bacon by fifteen points in the Indiana Sprint Week standings, with Chris Windom in third, thirty-six points back.
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 25, 2019 – Lincoln Park Speedway – Putnamville, Indiana – 32nd NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING GROUP ONE: 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 19, Hayward/Thomas-12.558; 2. Jordan Kinser, 70, Hurst-12.570; 3. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-12.712; 4. Mario Clouser, 6, MCM-12.774; 5. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-12.872; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-12.885; 7. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-12.911; 8. A.J. Hopkins, 4J, 4J-12.919; 9. Max Adams, 5m, Adams-12.948; 10. Nate McMillin, 24m, McMillin-13.021; 11. Brayden Fox, 53, Fox-13.027; 12. Jadon Rogers, 14, Rogers-13.030; 13. Jason McDougal, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-13.059; 14. Joe Stornetta, 04, Burton-13.082; 15. Dickie Gaines, 44, Soudrette-13.117; 16. Shane Cottle, 2E, Epperson-13.182; 17. Dustin Smith, 77, Smith-13.200; 18. Terry Richards, 18m, Richards-13.299; 19. Scotty Weir, 42, Cheney-13.339; 20. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-13.523.
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING GROUP TWO: 1. Carson Short, 21, RCM-12.662; 2. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-12.749; 3. C.J. Leary, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-12.782; 4. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-12.813; 5. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-12.878; 6. Thomas Meseraull, 00, Whitney-12.913; 7. Brian VanMeveren, 24, VanMeveren-13.068; 8. Chris Windom, 5G, Goacher-13.085; 9. Dave Darland, 17c, Cunningham-13.089; 10. Travis Berryhill, 77s, Sturgeon-13.114; 11. Brent Beauchamp, 34, Olson-13.136; 12. Colten Cottle, 5c, Cottle-13.277; 13. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-13.311; 14. Dustin Christie, 75, Christie-13.313; 15. Brady Short, 11p, Short/Pottorff-13.413; 16. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-13.474; 17. Alec Sipes, 99, Sipes-13.494; 18. Jesse Vermillion, 5, Vermillion-13.549; 19. Harley Burns, 12, Burns-13.847; 20. Eric Perrott, 45, Perrott-14.102.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Max Adams, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Josh Hodges, 5. Brayden Fox, 6. Jason McDougal, 7. Scotty Weir, 8. Dustin Smith, 9. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 10. Dickie Gaines. NT
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. A.J. Hopkins, 2. Jadon Rogers, 3. Jordan Kinser, 4. Chase Stockon, 5. Mario Clouser, 6. Nate McMillin, 7. Joe Stornetta, 8. Shane Cottle, 9. Brody Roa, 10. Terry Richards. 2:11.02
AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. C.J. Leary, 2. Carson Short, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Brady Short, 5. Brent Beauchamp, 6. Isaac Chapple, 7. Alec Sipes, 8. Brian VanMeveren, 9. Brandon Mattox, 10. Harley Burns. NT
INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Tyler Courtney, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Kyle Cummins, 4. Thomas Meseraull, 5. Travis Berryhill, 6. Colten Cottle, 7. Dakota Jackson, 8. Dustin Christie, 9. Jesse Vermillion, 10. Eric Perrott. NT
C-MAIN: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the semi) 1. Shane Cottle, 2. Alec Sipes, 3. Dustin Smith, 4. Terry Richards, 5. Scotty Weir, 6. Jesse Vermillion, 7. Harley Burns, 8. Eric Perrott, 9. Dakota Jackson. NT
SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 2. Brandon Mattox, 3. Mario Clouser, 4. Jason McDougal, 5. Shane Cottle, 6. Brian VanMeveren, 7. Isaac Chapple, 8. Nate McMillin, 9. Joe Stornetta, 10. Brayden Fox, 11. Terry Richards, 12. Dustin Christie, 13. Alec Sipes, 14. Dustin Smith, 15. Travis Berryhill, 16. Brent Beauchamp, 17. Colten Cottle. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Kyle Cummins (1), 2. Brady Bacon (3), 3. C.J. Leary (2), 4. Tyler Courtney (4), 5. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (7), 6. Carson Short (6), 7. Brandon Mattox (10), 8. Justin Grant (9), 9. Shane Cottle (22), 10. Chris Windom (16), 11. Mario Clouser (8), 12. Brady Short (21), 13. Jason McDougal (20), 14. Chase Stockon (11), 15. Thomas Meseraull (12), 16. Josh Hodges (13), 17. Max Adams (17), 18. A.J. Hopkins (15), 19. Dave Darland (18), 20. Brian VanMeveren (14), 21. Jadon Rogers (19), 22. Jordan Kinser (5), 23. Isaac Chapple (23), 24. Dustin Christie (24). NT
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com