Cottle Victorious at Kokomo Speedway, Sweeps KISS Weekend

Shane Cottle. - Bill Miller Photo

May 4, 2014 – When an accident eliminated the leaders on the last lap, Shane Cottle scored his second King of Indiana Sprint Series victory in as many races, Sunday at Kokomo Speedway.  With the lead in the series points, Cottle said, “We’re planning on trying to get this.  That would be something to have a KISS championship, that would be neat.”

The victory came after the race leaders had taken the white flag and the caution flag flew, necessitating a one-lap restart.  Hustling into turn one in the bottom lane, Bryan Clauson was hit by Daron Clayton, immediately flattening his left rear tire.  Clayton spun to a stop in the racing groove and while cars scrambled to miss him, Jon Stanbrough got caught in the tangle and flipped.

Shane Cottle. - Bill Miller Photo
Shane Cottle. – Bill Miller Photo

“I went in hard,” Clayton explained later.  “I was happy with second, but I was going to try to make a move for the win.  I was going to try to get a little bit on the outside of him going into turn one, cut under him on the backstretch and then just lock it down on the bottom down there and block him.  But I had a short between the seat and the steering wheel, I think.  I went in there and set the car and the the front end got light and I just ran into the back of him and gave him a flat tire.  It ruined both of our nights and that’s about how it went down.”

Inheriting the lead for a second restart, Cottle held off Jerry Coons Jr., Brady Short, Kevin Thomas Jr. and Scotty Weir.  After returning the #2e Epperson Painting Spike to the pit area, Cottle grinned as he said, “We were definitely the third fastest car.  They had that little skirmish, Bryan and Clayton, and we just lucked into it.”

>From the front row, Scotty Weir paced the first nine laps before Clauson caught and passed him.  Wheeling his own unsponsored #7 Maxim, Clauson built a straightaway length advantage while Cottle worked his way to second.  But at the mid-race point, it became apparent that Clayton had found the sweet spot in the #3r Rock Steady Racing Mach-1.  In the next several laps he worked past Weir and Cottle and as they began to battle through slower lapped cars, chased Clauson.

But Clauson still had a half-straightaway lead when they took the white flag.  C.J. Leary’s spin brought out the caution, erasing the advantage and setting the stage for the final lap drama.  While both Clauson and Clayton were eliminated, Stanbrough returned to the track after a quick check in the pits.

“I thought I made a good corner,” Clauson said pragmatically afterward.  “Obviously not as good as he wanted me to.  There’s not a whole lot you can do up front.  I thought we got a good restart and hit our mark down there on the bottom and obviously got run over.  We did our job, we came from sixth and got the lead.  If not for that yellow coming to the line we would have won.  It’s part of the ballgame, sometime you win some you shouldn’t and sometime you lose some you should win.”

Cottle will lead the KISS racers to the next KISS event on Friday, May 9, at Gas City I-69 Speedway.  Defending series champion Brady Short trails by just 15 points, with Jerry Coons Jr. five points further behind.  Kevin Thomas Jr. and Robert Ballou are fourth and fifth in the standings.

King of Indiana Sprint Series, Round 2
Kokomo Speedway, Kokomo, IN
May 4, 2014
(33 cars)

Heat 1: 1. Daron Clayton 3r (1), 2. Scotty Weir 18 (2), 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. 9k (4), 4. Jon Stanbrough 37r (7), 5. Justin Grant 40 (9), 6. Robert Ballou 12 (6), 7. Dustin Smith 77 (5), 8. Randy Johns 27j (8), 9. Garrett Miller 95 (3)

Heat 2: 1. Bryan Clauson 7 (1), 2. C.J. Leary 30 (7), 3. Gary Taylor 04g (5), 4. Chad Boespflug 57 (6), 5. Max McGhee 17m (8), 6. Aaron Farney 15f (4), 7. Lee Dakus 21x (3), 8. Steve Thomas 20 (2)

Heat 3: 1. Josh Spencer 66j (2), 2. Jerry Coons Jr. 10e (3), 3. Brady Short 11p (6), 4. Kyle Robbins 17r (4), 5. Dave Darland 41 (7), 6. Dalten Gabbard 5 (8), 7. Mike Gass 17 (1), 8. Cole Ketchum 41k (5)

Heat 4: 1. Shane Cottle 2e (6), 2. Jeff Bland Jr. 04 (1), 3. Parker Price-Miller 9p (5), 4. Chris Gurley 12g (2), 5. Brian Karraker 23k (8), 6. Adam Byrkett 78 (4), 7. Tyler Hewitt 97x (3), 8. Logan Jarrett 29j (7)

B Main: 1. Darland (3), 2. Ballou (5), 3. Grant (1), 4. Gabbard (7), 5. Karraker (4), 6. McGhee (2), 7. Farney (6), 8. Byrkett (8), 9. Smith (9), 10. Dakus (10), 11. Gass (11), 12. Ketchum (15), 13. Miller (17), 14. S. Thomas (14), 15. Hewitt (12), 16. Johns (13), 17. Jarrett (DNS)

Feature (30 laps): 1. Shane Cottle (5), 2. Jerry Coons Jr. (3), 3. Brady Short (11), 4. Kevin Thomas Jr. (9), 5. Scotty Weir (2), 6. Gary Taylor (10), 7. Robert Ballou (18), 8. Chad Boespflug (14), 9. Justin Grant (19), 10. Kyle Robbins (15), 11. Josh Spencer (4), 12. C.J. Leary (1), 13. Jon Stanbrough (13), 14. Dave Darland (17), 15. Chris Gurley (16), 16. Dalten Gabbard (20), 17. Jeff Bland Jr. (8), 18. Parker Price-Miller (12), 19. Bryan Clauson (6), 20. Daron Clayton (7)

KISS Points: 1. Shane Cottle 360, 2. Brady Short 345, 3. Jerry Coons Jr. 340, 4. Kevin Thomas Jr. 321, 5. Robert Ballou 304, 6. Dalten Gabbard 292, 7. Chad Boespflug 270, 8. Gary Taylor 266, 9. Aaron Farney 237, 10. Lee Dakus 190


April 27    Terre Haute Action Track    – Rain
May 2     Bloomington Speedway  – Shane Cottle
May 4        Kokomo Speedway – Shane Cottle
May 9        Gas City I-69 Speedway
May 17     Lawrenceburg Speedway
May 25    Tri-State Speedway
May 31    Paragon Speedway