By Dick Jordan
HMIEL REPEATS AT ORP, CLARKE GETS #1 AT TOLEDO
Last year’s “Indiana Sprint Week” championship was decided by a single point. All signs point toward a possible repeat of that type of competition when the 23rd Annual “Indiana Sprint Week” debuts this Friday at the Lawrenceburg Speedway. Gas City I-69 Speedway hosts Saturday night’s round two and round three is Sunday night at Kokomo Speedway.
The 7-race series continues July 14, 15, 16 and 17 respectively at the Terre Haute Action Track, Brownstown Speedway, Bloomington Speedway and Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt for the series finale.
Defending AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car champion Levi Jones beat Bryan Clauson by one point to take the 2009 title. Jones returns as the 2010 AMSOIL point leader, while Clauson ranks third in the current standings. Jones has five wins so far this season, while Clauson has won three times. Both need to keep an eye out for Damion Gardner, who has four 2010 victories and is only 11 points behind Jones in the standings entering this week’s events.
Dave Darland won last year’s ISW race at Lawrenceburg, while Jones was the 2009 Gas City winner. Chad Boat won last year at Kokomo.
Jones could become only the second four-time ISW champion. Kevin Thomas also won four titles, but Jones could be the first to claim three in a row. Other former ISW champs expected to compete are Dave Darland, who also is seeking a fourth title and 2006 titlist Jon Stanbrough.
Henry Clarke of Villa Park, Calif. earned his first-ever USAC National feature victory Friday night at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway, leading the final 31 laps of the 50-lap “Hemelgarn Racing Super Fitness Night” feature. Trailing Clarke’s Advanced Racing/Rise Up Foundation Beast/Speedway Mopar were Shane Hmiel, Bobby East, Jones and Tracy Hines. Jones led the first 19 laps before yielding to Clarke. Hmiel and Clarke contacted each other in the final turn of the final lap, then finished 1-2.
Hmiel, of Pleasant Garden, N.C., is 2-for-2 in AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car racing at O’Reilly Raceway Park after leading the final 18 laps of Thursday night’s 30-lap race at the .686-mile paved oval. Hmiel passed Jerry Coons Jr. on lap 13 and led the rest of the way in his Rotondo Weirich/Benic Enterprises Maxim/ITI Performance machine. Coons finished second ahead of Kody Swanson, Gardner and Brian Gerster. Swanson led the first four laps and Coons led the next eight. Hmiel was also the fastest qualifier.
USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT SERIES POINT STANDINGS
1-Levi Jones-1,110, 2-Damion Gardner-1,099, 3-Bryan Clauson-1,032, 4-Jerry Coons Jr.-993, 5-Chris Windom-952, 6-Tracy Hines-937, 7-Henry Clarke-876, 8-Shane Hmiel-714, 9-Dave Darland-600, 10-Ricky Williams-582.