By Mike O’Leary
May 6, 2013 – With the first two events of the 2013 King of Indiana Sprint Series in the books, the attention turns to Gas City’s I69 powerplant. The top non-wing sprint car racers in the Hoosier state unload at the quarter-mile this Friday and the war for the King’s crown is getting hot.
With his victory at Bloomington Speedway, Friday, and a fifth place finish at Kokomo Speedway on Sunday, Brady Short is on top of the points by a narrow margin. Sunday’s winner, Robert Ballou is only 12 points behind, with Levi Jones just a single point further back. Ballou had an eight place finish at Bloomington, while Jones earned seventh at Bloomington and second a Kokomo. Hunter Schuerenberg took second at Bloomington and eleventh at Kokomo, and is only 28 points out of the lead. Dave Darland makes up the top-5 following a third at Kokomo and 12th at Bloomington.
The anomaly that most fans will quickly notice in these standings is the absence of six-time KISS champion Jon Stanbrough’s name from that list. Short and Darland are the only drivers to out-point Stanbrough in KISS competition since 2006. Unfortunately, when Stanbrough struggled with his new ride for this year, the team decided it was necessary to go their separate ways. Stanbrough skipped Sunday’s Kokomo race, but promised he would be back in a different car this coming weekend.
Looking at the record book, Dave Darland has won the last two KISS events at the Gas City facility. Bryan Clauson collected his only KISS win at Gas City in 2009, and Stanbrough won the two races before that. Among the racers, Gas City’s oval is both liked and hated. Some drivers admit that even though they haven’t done well there, they respect it and understand that they need to step up big time when they tow through the gates. Friday is a prime opportunity to do just that, against the toughest competition in the state.
Gas City’s Speedway is located on Highway 2, a 1/4 mile west of I-69 at Exit 59. Grandstand admission for the KISS program is only $20, kids 7 – 12 are $5, and ages 6 and under are free with a paying adult; pit passes are $30. The program will include Gas City’s UMP modifieds and thunder cars. The track opens at 4:00, with racing beginning at 7:30. More information is available at www.gascityi69speedway.com.
KISS Points: 1. Brady Short 340, 2. Robert Ballou 328, 3. Levi Jones 327, 4. Hunter Schuerenberg 312, 5. Dave Darland 304, 6. Shane Cottle 296, 7. Kevin Thomas Jr. 290, 8. Casey Shuman 280, 9.Jerry Coons Jr. 272, 10. Wes McIntyre 250
Lawrenceburg Speedway will host the fourth KISS stop on Saturday, May 18. The racing moves to Tri-State Speedway on May 26, with the final events at Paragon Speedway on June 1 and the Terre Haute Action Track on July 2.
2013 KISS SCHEDULE
May 3 Bloomington Speedway – Brady Short
May 5 Kokomo Speedway – Robert Ballou
May 10 Gas City I-69 Speedway
May 18 Lawrenceburg Speedway
May 26 Tri-State Speedway
June 1 Paragon Speedway
July 2 Terre Haute Action Track