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KISS Round 1 To Darland at Gas City

By Mike O’Leary

King of Indiana Sprint Series, Round 1
Gas City I-69 Speedway, Gas City, IN
May 15, 2009

Gas City, IN – Lincoln, Indiana’s Dave Darland romped to victory as the 2010 King of Indiana Sprint Series opened at Gas City/I-69 Speedway on Friday. Driving Matt and Gene Goodnight’s Pallet Builder Maxim, Darland led all thirty laps while Bryan Clauson raced from eighth to grab second in a controversial finish. Tracy Hines, Blake Fitzpatrick and Casey Shuman filled the top five finishing slots.

“It means a lot,” Darland said afterward. “There’s a lot of reasons for it. Being the King of Indiana Sprint Car Series, Indiana is just a great sprint car tradition and history. It’s too bad this series didn’t start back in the 40’s and 50’s when there was good race car drivers then, too. It’s just winning races here in Indiana is just a thrill and pleasure and honor. This is the third time I’ve driven this car for Matt and Gene Goodnight. Just for all of those opportunities and reasons, it’s special for me to win this KISS race tonight.”

With 44 cars in competition, Darland powered around Hines through the third and fourth turns to lead the first lap and quickly opened a comfortable advantage. Levi Jones took second from Hines on the third circuit, and began chasing Darland. But Darland was running as fast as anyone on the quarter-mile and maintained a full straightaway lead until he began catching slower cars at the halfway mark. By lap 20, Darland and Jones ran nose-to-tail through packs of slower cars and Clauson had taken third and joined the battle.

As Darland continued to run out front, the battle between Jones and Clauson became a war. For most of ten laps, Clauson tried every move possible to get past Jones, but each time Jones countered with his own move. Almost like a knife fight in a narrow alley, the two battled at each end and made contact more than once. Jones used the infield and the wall on the front straight to keep Clauson’s 2B Racing Maxim behind him. Finally, going into turn three with a strong run on the last lap, Clauson looked high, and when Jones moved up, the two made contact again. When Jones began to spin, Clauson’s front and Jones’ rear bumpers became hooked and both pirouetted in unison. When Clauson’s bumper broke free, he quickly gunned the car, spun it 180 degrees and raced to the checkered flag, while Jones sat motionless in the middle of the track.

Back in the pits, Clauson said that his car was a rocket and he was trying to catch Darland. Then he added, “He’d been running me all over the place. I tried passing him high and he ran me off the track and I tried passing him low and he ran me into the infield three or four times. Finally I just didn’t lift. Finally I didn’t lift and unfortunately he got the worst end of it. You can only get pushed around so much, and take so much before you finally have to keep your nose in it and stay with the move. Unfortunately it ended like that.”

The official scorers ruled that the caution came out after Darland had taken the checkers and that the scoring reverted to the last lap scored. Jones was moved to the end of the lead lap because he was ruled to have been the cause of the yellow.

Outside the Tony Stewart Racing hauler, Jones inspected a tire on his machine. Clearly frustrated, he explained, “I didn’t race quarter midgets, so I didn’t know that I’m here to, I didn’t know you’re just supposed to move over and let someone go. I didn’t take him out racing and at the end he had to take me out. But part of it is that’s why the fans come and we’ll get ready and go again tomorrow night.”

“I was in the right spot at the right times,” Darland noted later, as they began to load equipment into the hauler. “I know that when I moved to the top of 3 and 4, that’s when I kind of sealed the deal. I was better up there and just early in the race I could just run the middle of the track and be pretty aggressive that way. After 10 to 12 laps, it started to slicken off and I had to move around and by that time I was catching some lapped cars and I could judge whether I was in the right spot by whether I gained or lost on them. Leading the race is hard when you have to decide what lane to choose but I just used the lapped cars as a marker.”

The KISS racers reconvene on Sunday, at Kokomo Speedway. Adult general admission is $15, and kids aged 10 and under are free with a paying adult. Pit passes are priced at $30. The racing program includes street stocks and thunder cars. The pit gate opens at 3:30 pm and grandstand gates at 4:30. The first race will start at 6:15. More information and directions are available at http://www.kokomospeedway.net.

King of Indiana Sprint Series; Round One
Gas City I-69 Speedway, May 14, 2010

Heat 1: 1. Tracy Hines 24 (3), 2. Ted Hines 12 (6), 3. Caleb Armstrong 7c (1), 4. Scotty Weir 22w (4), 5. Jonathan Hendrick 68 (7), 6. Damion Gardner 71g (5), 7. Joe Bares 19 (8), 8. Mike Burkin 48 (9), 9. Steve Ott 41 (2)

Heat 2: 1. Bryan Clauson 2b (9), 2. Casey Shuman 4g (2), 3. Kyle Robbins 17r (1), 4. Brandon Petty 42g (3), 5. Casey Riggs 37 (4), 6. Critter Malone 7m (6), 7. Thomas Meseraull 57 (5), 8. Joshua Clemons 71c (8), 9. Todd Kirkman 16k (7)

Heat 3: 1. Levi Jones 20 (1), 2. Billy Puterbaugh Jr. 71p (3), 3. Matt Westfall 54 (2), 4. Justin Grant 5g (4), 5. Brady Short 36 (6), 6. Shane Cottle 10e (9), 7. Bobby East 5e (7), 8. Jared Harris 81h (8), 9. Johnny Heydenreich 4h (5)

Heat 4: 1. Dave Darland 39 (1), 2. Travis Welpott 18 (2), 3. A.J. Anderson 34 (5), 4. Jason Holt 99 (4), 5. Jon Stanbrough 53 (7), 6. Josh Spencer 66j (9), 7. Andrew Elson 27a (8), 8. Robert Ballou 81 (3), 9. Jeff Wimmenauer 15j (6)

Heat 5: 1. Blake Fitzpatrick 10f (1), 2. Chris Windom 11 (3), 3. Hunter Schuerenberg 2e (6), 4. Anthony Peterman 7p (2), 5. Dickie Gaines 21x (9), 6. Wes McIntyre 83 (8), 7. Landon Simon 24 (5), 8. Russ Harper 9h (4)

C Main: 1. Meseraull (2), 2. Elson (4), 3. East (3), 4. Bares (1), 5. Ballou (9), 6. Clemons (7), 7. Kirkman (10), 8. Burkin (6), 9. Ott (13), 10. Harris (8), 11. Wimmenauer (12), 13. Heydenreich (11), 14. Harper (14)

B Main: 1. Weir (1), 2. Petty (2), 3. Stanbrough (9), 4. Riggs (7), 5. East (18), 6. Hendrick (6), 7. Ballou (20), 8. Elson (17), 9. Gaines (10), 10. Cottle (13), 11. Grant (3), 12. Short (8), 13. McIntyre (15), 14. Holt (4), 15. Bares (19), 16. Gardner (11), 17. Peterman (5), 18. Malone (12), 19. Meseraull (16), 20. Spencer (14)

Feature (30 laps): 1. Dave Darland (2), 2. Bryan Clauson (8), 3. Tracy Hines (1), 4. Blake Fitzpatrick (5), 5. Casey Shuman (6), 6. Chris Windom (3), 7. Jon Stanbrough (18), 8. Scotty Weir (16), 9. Hunter Schuerenberg (15), 10. Ted Hines (9), 11. Travis Welpott (7), 12. Bobby East (20), 13. Matt Westfall (13), 14. Billy Puterbaugh Jr. (10), 15. Caleb Armstrong (11), 16. Casey Riggs (19), 17. Levi Jones (4), 18. Kyle Robbins (12), 19. AJ Anderson (14), 20. Brandon Petty (17)

KISS Points (after May 14): 1. Darland 180, 2. Clauson 175, 3. Tracy Hines 170, 4. Fitzpatrick 165, 5. Shuman 160, 6. Windom 156, 7. Stanbrough 152, 8. Weir 148, 9. Schuerenberg 144, 10. Ted Hines 140

2010 King Of Indiana Sprint Series
Gas City I-69 Speedway Friday, May 14 Dave Darland
Kokomo Speedway Sunday, May 16
Bloomington Speedway Friday, May 21
Lawrenceburg Speedway Saturday, May 22
Tri-State Speedway Saturday, June 5
Paragon Speedway Saturday, June 26

The King of Indiana Sprint Series is organized and conducted by the individual Indiana sprint car race track promoters to provide the best sprint car racing. Many thanks to the series sponsors, including Indiana StoneWorks for the B-Main, Simpson Performance Products, Sprint Car & Midget Magazine and Van Horn Tint & Accessories for the champion’s helmet, Elliottbrand Web Designs, in Westport, IN, and Kiva Networking in Bloomington for the KISS website (www.kissracing.com).