By Dick Jordan
Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. leads the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car series to Friday and Saturday night races this weekend at West Burlington, Iowa and Terre Haute, Ind. respectively. Friday night’s race is at 34 Raceway, while Saturday night’s 43rd “Tony Hulman/Jim Hurtubise Classic” unfolds at the Terre Haute Action Track.
Darland takes a 31-point lead over Bryan Clauson into the two races after they stole all the thunder last weekend in the 2nd “Sprint Car Smackdown” at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway.
Darland wheeled the Phillips Motorsports Racers Advantage/Jockish Flowers DRC/Foxco to spectacular victories Friday and Saturday after finishing second to Clauson’s Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing Chevy Performance/Curb Records Beast/Kistler on Thursday.
Darland led wire-to-wire to win Saturday’s 40-lapper over Shane Cottle, Chase Stockon, Chris Windom and Brady Bacon. The win capped a three-night run producing more than $20,000 in prize money and additional awards, which included part of the $10,000 in total lap prizes posted by numerous race supporters.
On Friday, Darland passed Kevin Thomas Jr. on lap 19 and led the final 12 laps to win the 30-lap prelim over Stockon, Bacon, Clauson and Cottle, who earned the B & W Auto Mart overall “Hard Charger” award for passing 50 cars during the three nights of racing!
Clauson came from 14th starting position on Thursday to record an unexpected victory, erasing a third-of-a-lap deficit to Darland on his way to a convincing 30-lap win over Darland, Jon Stanbrough, Bacon and Jerry Coons Jr.
Numerous Kokomo participants were rewarded for various performances by companies including ProSource, Butlerbuilt, CSI Shocks, Pace Performance Coatings, Posh Canine Design Mobile Grooming, Eddie Gilstrap Motors, Arizona Sport Shirts, Hinchman Racewear, Simpson, Impact by Master-Craft, ‘Rod End Supply, Indy Performance Composites, Wilwood Brakes, PPM Titanium Products, Hoosier Tire, DMI, USAC, AMSOIL, DRC Chassis, Roger & Barb Tapy and GoPro plus all of those donating lap prize awards.
Friday’s race at 34 Raceway will only be the second USAC Sprint car appearance at that track. Levi Jones was the 2010 winner.
Saturday’s race at Terre Haute continues the “Tony Hulman Classic” tradition dating back to 1971, a race rained out in May, while also honoring the late USAC veteran Jim Hurtubise, who once won five straight USAC Sprint races at the half-mile dirt oval. Bud Kaeding won last year’s “Tony Hulman Classic.”
2013 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Point Standings: 1-Dave Darland-1,322, 2-Bryan Clauson-1,291, 3-Brady Bacon-1,277, 4-Chase Stockon-1,196, 5-Kevin Thomas-1,153, 6-Robert Ballou-1,034, 7-Tracy Hines-1,027, 8-Hunter Schuerenberg-976, 9-Chris Windom-874, 10-Shane Cottle-855.