By Dick Jordan
This week’s “Sprint Car Smackdown” at the Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway will offer three consecutive nights of AMSOIL USAC Sprint racing at one of America’s most competitive short tracks, but will also feature a torrid battle for the series point lead between Jon Stanbrough and Levi Jones, separated by only six points entering the week’s races.
A total of over $85,000 in prize money is posted, with Saturday’s feature winner raking in $10,000. Additional incentives, such as lap prizes, are also posted for what promises to be one of the season’s most memorable weekends of USAC racing. Preliminary night features Thursday and Friday are 30 laps, while Saturday’s finale is a 40-lapper.
Stanbrough, of Avon, Ind., recorded his worst finish of the season when the series competed in the “Indiana Sprint Week” at Kokomo in July, a 17th. Jones, on the other hand, was third in the July race behind Dave Darland and Bryan Clauson.
Stanbrough has more than a dozen podium finishes already this year, including wins at Wilmot, Wisc. and Haubstadt, Ind. Jones has only a half-dozen podiums, but found the winner’s circle at Cameron, Mo. earlier this month.
Stanbrough has a pair of Kokomo wins to his credit, in 2006 and 2007, while Jones won there in 2010. Other former Kokomo USAC Sprint winners expected to compete are Dave Darland (3 wins), Bryan Clauson and Hunter Schuerenberg.
Darland, with five wins so far this season, will bear watching at Kokomo, his “home” track. He ranks third in the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car standings, 99 behind Stanbrough, but a total of 208 points are available at Kokomo this week.
2012 AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR POINTS
1-Jon Stanbrough-1,505, 2-Levi Jones-1,499; 3-Dave Darland-1,406, 4-Bryan Clauson-1,298, 5-Damion Gardner-1,222, 6-Tracy Hines-1,195, 7-Robert Ballou-1,157, 8-Chase Stockon-1,147, 9-Kevin Thomas Jr.-1,137, 10-Hunter Schuerenberg-1,105.