KOKOMO INDIANA SPRINT WEEK PREVIEW

Chris Windom Cameron Neveu Photo

By Richie Murray

Kokomo, Indiana (July 22, 2020)………Except for a few years in the mid-2000s, Kokomo Speedway has been a staple of the NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week schedule from day one in 1988.

Twenty-eight previous installments of ISW at the ¼-mile have taken place over the years, and this Saturday, July 25, produces the next in its legacy featuring the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship.

In the most recent ISW round at Kokomo in 2019, a hard to fathom stat was put to rest with the fact that it had been eight years since Chris Windom had last won a feature event during ISW. In that time span, Windom had become a two-time USAC National champion, added another Indiana Sprint Week title to his resume in 2018 as well as multiple Eastern Storm championships all while developing into one of the top stars of his era.

However, year-after-year, Windom’s ISW win record had remained stagnant despite being in contention for the victory in a multitude of races throughout that span.

That night in 2019 at Kokomo changed that narrative after he led the final 12 laps, which included a tight green-white-checkered tussle with Brady Bacon from which Windom prevailed, for his second career ISW victory and first since 2011.

Windom, the 2010 and 2018 Kokomo track champion, has a Kokomo ISW record that includes six top-fives and eight top-tens: a 2nd in 2011, 3rd in 2010 & 2014, 4th in 2018 and 5th in 2013.

Lincoln, Indiana’s Dave Darland, meanwhile, owns more sprint car wins at Kokomo Speedway than any other driver. Perhaps it’s no surprise he also possesses the most ISW wins at Kokomo with four dating back to 1991. He scored again in 2008, 2012 and 2014. The three-time ISW champion’s first Kokomo ISW start came in that first race in 1988. He’s been fast often with three fast qualifying times there during ISW in 2013-14-18, nine top-five finishes and 15 top-tens with a 2nd in 1998, 3rd in 1997-2007-2013 and a 5th in 2006.

Only two drivers have won back-to-back Kokomo ISW races, Jon Stanbrough in 2006-07 and Thomas Meseraull in 2017-18. The San Jose, California’s most recent USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car triumph also came at Kokomo in August of 2019 during Smackdown weekend. He also had a top-ten Kokomo ISW run with a 9th in 2014.

Cullman, Alabama’s Kevin Thomas Jr., the 2016 Kokomo Sprint Car track champion, won the ISW round there in 2013. The 2017 ISW champion earned fast qualifier honors at Kokomo that same year and has scored three top-fives in his Kokomo ISW career to go along with seven top-tens: a 3rd in 2016 and a 5th in 2018 serving as his other two bests.

Kyle Cummins of Princeton, Ind. collected his first career USAC National Sprint Car feature win right there at Kokomo Speedway in 2016. The 2019 HARF Driver of the Year was also 4th in 2019 and 5th in 2017 during the week at Kokomo.

Four-time Kokomo Sprint Car champion Shane Cottle (2004-05-07-11) of Kansas, Ill. notched top-ten runs on four occasions during ISW at Kokomo with a 4th in 2010 as his best to go along with a 7th in 2006, 9th in 2003 and 10th in 2016.

Scotty Weir, a two-time Kokomo Sprint Car track champ himself in 2008 and 2012, had a strong run in the 2019 Kokomo ISW tilt, leading the first 19 laps of the 30-lap feature before finishing 5th. It was his best run during the event since a 4th in 2006. The Marion, Ind. driver also collected a 9th there in 2013.

Tucson, Arizona’s Jerry Coons Jr., who’ll pilot a Baldwin Brothers Racing machine all throughout 2020 Indiana Sprint Week, earned fast qualifying honors during the 2007 ISW round at Kokomo. The 2008 USAC National Sprint Car champ’s results in the event run the gamut with a 4th in 2016, 5th in 2010, 6th in 2008, 7th in 2011, 8th in 2012, and 9th in 2009.

Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) nearly pulled off the ISW victory at Kokomo in 2019, finishing 2nd for his best result in the event. Bacon won his first career USAC National race of any kind at Kokomo in a midget during the 2006 season. The 2016 ISW king took a 3rd at Kokomo in 2017 and a 5th in 2016 among his best efforts in his six career Kokomo ISW top-tens.

Justin Grant, the 2017 and 2019 Kokomo track champ from Ione, Calif., was the hard charger in the 2019 Kokomo ISW race, finishing 8th after starting 18th. He was also the fastest qualifier in the rain abbreviated round in 2015. The current USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader was the runner-up in 2014, 3rd in 2018, 4th in 2011 and 8th in 2019 for his four career top-tens in the event.

C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.), another past Kokomo track champ in this year’s field (2015), earned his first career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature win there during Smackdown weekend of 2016. The reigning USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion was the fastest qualifier in 2019 and finished 3rd for his best result in the event. He also booked top-ten runs of 8th in 2017, 9th in 2018 and 10th in 2014.

Interestingly, Chase Stockon and Robert Ballou each mirror each other in terms of their best finishes during ISW at Kokomo. Stockon was 2nd in 2018, 7th in 2012 and 10th in 2019. The 2015 ISW titlist, Ballou, meanwhile, finished 2nd in 2016, 7th in 2014 and 10th in 2017.

Tyler Courtney, the 2018 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ, is expected to suit up for Kokomo’s Indiana Sprint Week appearance this Saturday. He has four total USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature wins there in his career but is seeking his first during ISW. He finished a best of 4th in 2017 and was the fastest qualifier en route to a 7th place finish in 2016. He was 7th again in 2018 and 9th most recently in 2019.

Tyler Thomas has been tabbed as the driver of the Dutcher No. 17GP for Indiana Sprint Week. Thomas (Collinsville, Okla.) snared his lone career USAC Sprint victory in 2018 at Kokomo. Earlier that same summer, he earned his best Kokomo ISW finish of 8th.

Carson Short (Marion, Ill.) was the runner-up in the 2017 ISW feature at Kokomo and 6th in 2019. His team, the Daigh-Phillips No. 71p, has won six USAC National Sprint Car races at Kokomo, all with Dave Darland. Jarett Andretti (Mooresville, N.C.), meanwhile, scored a best ISW finish at Kokomo in 2016, taking 8th.

Tickets for all Indiana Sprint Week events are available while supplies last exclusively at www.usactickets.com. Adult general admission tickets for Kokomo are $25 while kids 12 and under are free. Pit passes are $30 apiece (all ages).

2020 NOS ENERGY DRINK INDIANA SPRINT WEEK SCHEDULE:

Fri., July 24: Gas City I-69 Speedway – Gas City, Indiana
Advance Ticket Entry: 3pm ET, Walk-Up Sales: 4pm, Hot Laps: 6:30pm

Sat., July 25: Kokomo Speedway – Kokomo, Indiana
Advance Ticket Entry: 3pm ET, Walk-Up Sales: 4pm, Hot Laps: 6:30pm

Sun., July 26: Lawrenceburg Speedway – Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Advance Ticket Entry: 3pm ET, Walk-Up Sales: 4pm, Hot Laps: 6pm

Wed., July 29: Terre Haute Action Track – Terre Haute, Indiana
Advance Ticket Entry: 3pm ET, Walk-Up Sales: 4pm, Hot Laps: 6:30pm

Thu., July 30: Lincoln Park Speedway – Putnamville, Indiana
Advance Ticket Entry: 3:30pm ET, Walk-Up Sales: 4:30pm, Hot Laps: 6:30pm

Fri., July 31: Bloomington Speedway – Bloomington, Indiana
Advance Ticket Entry: 3:30pm ET, Walk-Up Sales: 4:30pm, Hot Laps: 6:30pm

Sat., August 1: Tri-State Speedway – Haubstadt, Indiana
Advance Ticket Entry: 3pm CT, Walk-Up Sales: 4pm, Hot Laps: 6pm

**All events live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/2Zs7zFP

KOKOMO SPEEDWAY INDIANA SPRINT WEEK HISTORY:

28 RACES, 2 RAIN OUTS (1988-2003 & 2006-2019)

FEATURE WINNERS: 1988 – Tim Gee (Gee 88), 1989 – Danny Smith (Gohr 56), 1990 – Chuck Amati (Tate 66), 1991 – Dave Darland (Darland 36d), 1992 – Tony Elliott (Newkirk 17), 1993 – Kevin Thomas (Black 2b), 1994 – Kelly Kinser (Kinser 4k), 1995 – Mike Mann (Mann 37m), 1996 – Brad Marvel (Black 2m), 1997 – J.J. Yeley (Yeley 4j), 1998 – Tony Elliott (Vance/Walker 2), 1999 – Cory Kruseman (Ellis 21), 2000 – Jay Drake (Kunz 67), 2001 – Tony Elliott (Walker/Gratton 66), 2002 – Rained Out, 2003 – Bud Kaeding (BK 29), 2006 – Jon Stanbrough (Fox 53), 2007 – Jon Stanbrough (Fox 53), 2008 – Dave Darland (2B Racing 2b), 2009 – Chad Boat (Boat 30), 2010 – Levi Jones (Stewart 20), 2011 – Hunter Schuerenberg (Byram 35), 2012 – Dave Darland (Walker 11), 2013 – Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Dutcher/RW/Tri-Star 17rw), 2014 – Dave Darland (Phillips 71p), 2015 – Rained Out, 2016 – Kyle Cummins (Byram 3R), 2017 – Thomas Meseraull (Briscoe 5B), 2018 – Thomas Meseraull (Briscoe 5B), 2019 – Chris Windom (Parallax/Goacher 5G)

MOST FEATURE WINS AT KOKOMO SPEEDWAY: 4 – Dave Darland

KOKOMO WINNERS WHO HAVE GONE ON TO WIN THE INDIANA SPRINT WEEK TITLE THAT YEAR: 6 – Chuck Amati (1990), Kevin Thomas (1993), Kelly Kinser (1994), J.J. Yeley (1997), Jay Drake (2000) & Jon Stanbrough (2006)

2020 NOS ENERGY DRINK INDIANA SPRINT WEEK SCHEDULE:

Fri., July 24: Gas City I-69 Speedway – Gas City, Indiana

Sat., July 25: Kokomo Speedway – Kokomo, Indiana

Sun., July 26: Lawrenceburg Speedway – Lawrenceburg, Indiana

Wed., July 29: Terre Haute Action Track – Terre Haute, Indiana

Thu., July 30: Lincoln Park Speedway – Putnamville, Indiana

Fri., July 31: Bloomington Speedway – Bloomington, Indiana

Sat., August 1: Tri-State Speedway – Haubstadt, Indiana

INDIANA SPRINT WEEK CHAMPIONS

1988 Randy Kinser/Bloomington, Ind.

1989 Chuck Amati/Freeman Spur, Ill.

1990 Chuck Amati/Freeman Spur, Ill. & Gary Trammell/Bloomington, Ind.

1991 Bob Kinser/Bloomington, Ind.

1992 Kevin Thomas/Danville, Ind.

1993 Kevin Thomas/Danville, Ind.

1994 Kelly Kinser/Bloomington, Ind.

1995 Kevin Thomas/Danville, Ind.

1996 Kevin Thomas/Danville, Ind.

1997 J.J. Yeley/Phoenix, Ariz.

1998 Dave Darland/Lincoln, Ind.

1999 Tony Elliott/Kokomo, Ind.

2000 Jay Drake/Val Verde, Calif.

2001 Dave Darland/Lincoln, Ind.

2002 Cory Kruseman/Ventura, Calif.

2003 J.J. Yeley/Phoenix, Ariz.

2004 Levi Jones/Olney, Ill.

2005 Cory Kruseman/Ventura, Calif.

2006 Jon Stanbrough/Avon, Ind.

2007 Dave Darland/Lincoln, Ind.

2008 Levi Jones/Olney, Ill.

2009 Levi Jones/Olney, Ill.

2010 Jon Stanbrough/Avon, Ind.

2011 Chris Windom/Canton, Ill.

2012 Levi Jones/Olney, Ill.

2013 Bryan Clauson/Noblesville, Ind.

2014 Bryan Clauson/Noblesville, Ind.

2015 Robert Ballou/Rocklin, Calif.

2016 Brady Bacon/Broken Arrow, Okla.

2017 Kevin Thomas, Jr./Cullman, Ala.

2018 Chris Windom/Canton, Ill.

2019 C.J. Leary/Greenfield, Ind.

ALL-TIME INDIANA SPRINT WEEK WINS: (1988-2019)

1. (20) Dave Darland

2. (16) Jon Stanbrough

3. (12) Cory Kruseman

4. (9) J.J. Yeley

5. (7) Bryan Clauson

6. (6) Jay Drake, Danny Smith & Kevin Thomas, Jr.

9. (5) Kevin Briscoe, Tyler Courtney, Tony Elliott, Brady Short & Kevin Thomas

14. (4) Robert Ballou, Kyle Cummins, Jack Hewitt, Levi Jones & Kelly Kinser

19. (3) Brady Bacon, Daron Clayton, Jerry Coons, Jr., Tracy Hines, C.J. Leary & Hunter Schuerenberg

25. (2) Chuck Amati, Kevin Doty, Tim Gee, Justin Grant, Rick Hood, Bud Kaeding, Thomas Meseraull, Chase Stockon & Chris Windom

34. (1) A.J. Anderson, Brent Beauchamp, Jeff Bland, Jr., Chad Boat, Shane Cottle, Derek Davidson, Cary Faas, Aaron Farney, Blake Fitzpatrick, Brad Fox, Dickie Gaines, Damion Gardner, Tray House, Bob Kinser, Mike Mann, Brad Marvel, Mat Neely, Terry Pletch, Casey Riggs, Bill Rose, Carson Short, Mickey Smith, Brad Sweet, Brian Tyler & Cole Whitt