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Youngsters Chase Veterans as KISS Heads to Bloomington and Lawrenceburg Speedways

From Mike O’Leary

May 18, 2010 – A savvy group of veterans lead the King of Indiana Sprint Series into this weekend’s exciting events. Dave Darland, Tracy Hines and Jon Stanbrough top the points following last weekend’s dramatic opening rounds. But while these three drivers may have more time standing in the pay line than most others have on the race track, several members of the next generation are right at their heels. Only eight points separate first and third, but Chris Windom is just one point further behind, followed by Hunter Schuerenberg and Blake Fitzpatrick, less than 20 points further back. Illustrating their youth, while Windom is 19 and Schuerenberg 20, Fitzpatrick graduates from West Vigo High School this month.

While all six drivers are racing well, Windom could be one to watch. He scored his first KISS win on the Bloomington clay last year, and led most of the laps before finishing second at Kokomo, Sunday night. At Gas City, he was sixth. Darland captured last week’s Gas City event and ran fifth at Kokomo, Hines registered fifth and fourth, and Stanbrough was seventh at Gas City before winning at Kokomo. Schuerenberg was ninth on Friday and third Sunday, while Fitzpatrick raced home in fourth and eighth.

While these six are currently on top of the mountain, several top drivers have struggled in the early KISS events. With 44 cars in the pits and tough racing on the track, defending series champion Brady Short missed the cut on Friday. Also not transferring to the feature were Robert Ballou, Damion Gardner, Shane Cottle and Dickie Gaines. Ballou and Cottle missed the feature again at Kokomo; Ballou after clouting the wall his his heat and then flipping in the B-Main, while Cottle was the victim of a mechanical problem.

The important point is that the table is set for Friday’s program at Bloomington, and Saturday’s at Lawrenceburg. Several drivers will have to work hard to make up ground lost last weekend, while others will be fighting for the royal title, trophy and the KISS champion’s helmet.

The racing program at Bloomington Speedway includes UMP modifieds and UMP super stocks. The pit gate opens at 4:30 and the main grandstand at 5:30, with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:30. General admission is $15, and pit passes are $30, while kids (12 and under) are admitted free general admission with a paid adult. More information and directions are available at www.bloomingtonspeedway.com.

Saturday’s KISS program at Lawrenceburg Speedway will begin with hot laps at 6 pm and racing at 7. The pit gate opens at 4 and general admission at 5. Admission tickets are $30, youngsters 7 – 12 are just $7, while those 6 and younger are admitted free. Pit passes are $30. The program will include UMP modifieds and AMSA mini-sprints. Information and directions can be found on the web at www.lawrenceburgspeedway.com.

KISS points (after May 16): 1. Dave Darland 290, 2. Tracy Hines 285, 3. Jon Stanbrough 282, 4. Chris Windom 281, 5. Hunter Schuerenberg 264, 6. Blake Fitzpatrick 263, 7. Bryan Clauson 256, 8. Ted Hines 230, 9. Billy Puterbaugh 222, 10. Caleb Armstrong 203

2010 King Of Indiana Sprint Series
Gas City I-69 Speedway Friday, May 14 Dave Darland
Kokomo Speedway Sunday, May 16 Jon Stanbrough
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).