Haubstadt, IN – Robert Ballou won the battle on Saturday night at Tri-State Speedway, while Bryan Clauson won the war as the 27th “Indiana Sprintweek” came to a close. Both drivers picked up two wins on the week, and Clauson came out 30 points ahead of Ballou in the final tally for the week-long crown.
Ballou began from the pole and took the early lead, as local favorite Kyle Cummins stayed tucked in tightly with the track being very fast early on. Cummins came on as the track started to blow off some, working underneath Ballou off nearly every corner. He finally edged past as they completed lap seven.
The race’s lone caution flew on lap fourteen, as Casey Shuman slowed, and it was exactly what Ballou needed. He attacked Cummins on the high side this time, nearly nipping him at the line on lap 14 before clearing Cummins for the top spot through turns one and two. Cummins kept Ballou in sight as they worked through traffic, but could never mount a charge.
For Ballou, it was an emotional victory, marking his seventh career score in the Ballou Motorsports – Deaton’s Waterfront Services #12x Maxim/Ott.
“There ain’t a guy here who tries harder or wants it more than me. I had a long dry spell with USAC and haven’t been able to run all the races lately, and this means a lot. I came here a long time without ever winning. We’ve finally started to see it pay off. This is one of my favorite places. We have a ton of people helping us, and it’s mostly little contributions, but those people mean a lot to me,” Ballou said.
Cummins finished off a fine showing in his only race of the week, finishing second in the Vincennes University – Greenwell Auto Body #3c Spike/Cummins.
“I wanna win a USAC race worse than anything, and we don’t run a lot of them, so it was great to have that opportunity tonight and hurts to miss it. Driving by him for the lead in a Sprintweek show here in front of all of our fans was an incredible feeling. I don’t know if something went away a bit under the yellow, but we just didn’t have what we did before that. It seems like the bottom to middle has been better in the last few shows here. I could stay there with him towards the end but never could capitalize,” Cummins said.
Jon Stanbrough, who started the night as the ProSource “Fast Qualifier,” came on to round out the podium in the Griffin’s Propane – Indiana Underground Construction #37RW Maxim/Fisher.
“I felt like I had to work really hard for those spots, and I probably ran too hard and hurt the tires a bit trying to get there. A yellow may have helped toward the end, but I think I just got too excited when I got to third. We ran third in the last race here, so sooner or later we’ll knock one out,” Stanbrough said.
Clauson came home fourth, taking another “Indiana Sprintweek” championship for him and the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance #20 Beast/Kistler. Ballou finished second in points, while Dave Darland, Brady Bacon, and Stanbrough rounded out the top-five for the week.
“I think we’ve shown that we refuse to lose. That’s the mindset of me, and of my guys. We all take this seriously and they dug deep and worked hard to get ourselves here. We closed this week strong and were good when it counted. I’ve felt defeat at the end of this week and I think I lost three of these by ten or twelve points combined, but I think you have to lose a couple to know how to close it. It’s such a mentally taxing week, and it’s hard to be perfect for seven nights, but we have managed it well and gotten it done,” Clauson said.
Daron Clayton came from tenth to round out the top-five in the ProGlide Coatings – Merry Go Round Restaurant #92 Spike/J&D.
Chase Stockon had a very eventful night, starting with a broken rear axle during qualifying that sent him upside-down. After some thrashing from his crew and countless others in the pits, he recovered to drive from last to a transfer spot in his heat, earning the ProSource “Hard Work Award.” His drive from 22nd to 14th warranted the B&W Auto Mart “Hard Charger Award,” and that accumulated to his overall prize for the week in the $500 Jonathan Byrd’s/Bryan Clauson Inc. “Passing Master Award” for the driver passing the most cars throughout the week in the feature events.
Shane Cockrum was the recipient of the American Racing Ministries “Perseverance Award” as the last transfer out of the Semi-Feature.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 19, 2014 – Haubstadt, Indiana – Tri-State Speedway – 27th Annual “Indiana Sprint Week”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Jon Stanbrough, 37RW, Dutcher-13.203; 2. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.516; 3. Bryan Clauson, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-13.542; 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 20N, Schuerenberg/Nolen-13.583; 5. Kyle Cummins, 3c, Cummins-13.614; 6. Robert Ballou, 12x, Ballou-13.640; 7. Jerry Coons Jr., 10E, Edison-13.649; 8. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips-13.653; 9. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9k, KT-13.655; 10. Daron Clayton, 92, Clayton-13.710; 11. Chad Boespflug, 57, Hazen-13.846; 12. Casey Shuman, 21k, Krockenberger-13.905; 13. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-13.948; 14. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-13.985; 15. Chris Windom, 11, Walker-13.994; 16. Justin Grant, 40, Hery-14.00517. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-14.040; 18. Max McGhee, 17, McGhee-14.079; 19. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-14.097; 20. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.117; 21. Mark Smith, 1M, Smith-14.259; 22. Kent Schmidt, 5k, Schmidt-14.260; 23. Donnie Brackett, 4B, Brackett-14.275; 24. Carson Short, 21, Short-14.306; 25. Shane Cockrum, 66, Amati-14.429; 26. Aaron Farney, 15F, Farney-14.443; 27. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-14.443; 28. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-14.448; 29. Nathan Moore, 48, Moore-14.456; 30. Chase Briscoe, 5B, Briscoe-14.567; 31. Jay Waugh, 99a, Waugh-14.941; 32. Lee Dakus, 75, Dakus-15.179; 33. Logan Jarrett, 29, Jarrett-15.191; 34. Brian Wallace, 27, Wallace-15.828; 35. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-NT; 36. Bradley Sterrett, 90, Leer-NT.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Cummins, 2. Thomas, 3. Stanbrough, 4. Leary, 5. Andretti, 6. Smith, 7. Moore, 8. Cockrum. 2:17.43
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. McGhee, 2. Ballou, 3. Bacon, 4. Clayton, 5. R.Vander Weerd, 6. Schmidt, 7. Briscoe, 8. Farney, 9. Wallace. 2:17.11
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Windom, 2. Hines, 3. Stockon, 4. Clauson, 5. Brackett, 6. Boespflug, 7. Coons, 8. Roa, 9. Waugh. 2:21.28
FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Mattox, 2. Schuerenberg, 3. Darland, 4. Grant, 5. Dakus, 6. J.Vander Weerd, 7. Shuman, 8. C.Short.
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Boespflug, 2. Coons, 3. Shuman, 4. Brackett, 5. R.Vander Weerd, 6. Cockrum, 7. Schmidt, 8. Briscoe, 9. C.Short, 10. Roa, 11. Smith, 12. J.Vander Weerd, 13. Dakus, 14. Farney, 15. Waugh, 16. Moore, 17. Andretti, 18. Wallace. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Robert Ballou, 2. Kyle Cummins, 3. Jon Stanbrough, 4. Bryan Clauson, 5. Daron Clayton, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Hunter Schuerenberg, 8. Jerry Coons Jr., 9. C.J. Leary, 10. Chad Boespflug, 11. Dave Darland, 12. Chris Windom, 13. Richard Vander Weerd, 14. Chase Stockon, 15. Brandon Mattox, 16. Kevin Thomas Jr., 17. Donnie Brackett, 18. Shane Cockrum, 19. Tracy Hines, 20. Justin Grant, 21. Max McGhee, 22. Jace Vander Weerd, 23. Casey Shuman. NT
**Stockon flipped during qualifying.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-6 Ballou, Laps 7-14 Cummins, Laps 15-30 Ballou.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Darland-1,360, 2-Bacon-1,355, 3-Clauson-1,326, 4-Stanbrough-1,261, 5-Stockon-1,168, 6-Hines-1,111, 7-Grant-1,101, 8-Windom-1,092, 9-Schuerenberg-1,066, 10-Leary-959.
FINAL INDIANA SPRINT WEEK POINTS: 1-Clauson-424, 2-Ballou-394, 3-Darland-391, 4-Bacon-357, 5-Stanbrough-354, 6-Windom-351, 7-Grant-315, 8-Schuerenberg-298, 9-Stockon-279, 10-Coons-264.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: August 21 – Kokomo (IN) Speedway – “Sprint Car Smackdown III”
USAC PR – Rich Forman photo