By Richie Murray
Bloomington, Indiana (July 28, 2020)………Bloomington Speedway and NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week have been synonymous for over three decades. Only the quarter-mile red clay can lay claim to being on the ISW schedule every year since 1988.
That tradition continues this week for a 33rd straight year on Friday night, July 31, for the Sheldon Kinser Memorial when the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars make their 39th ever visit to the uber-scenic southern Indiana facility, which often seems to play a role in the ISW championship outcome.
Eleven times has the Bloomington ISW winner gone on to win Indiana Sprint Week that same year, but not since Kevin Thomas Jr. in 2017. No driver owns more ISW victories at Bloomington than the Cullman, Ala. with three, a number equaled by both Kevin Briscoe and Bryan Clauson.
Thomas led three different times for a total of 13 laps in last year’s ISW feature at Bloomington, but it was one final lap that decided his fate. After swapping the lead multiple times down the stretch, on the final lap, Thomas rocketed around the outside of Jason McDougal in turns one and two, locked up the bottom in three and four and raced to his third victory in the event following triumphs in 2012 and 2017.
Bloomington holds a special place in Thomas’ career as the 2012 race marked his first career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car win, of which he now owns 27 (17th all-time in series history). He’s finished inside the top-four in his last four ISW Bloomington races, wins in 2017 & 2019, a 2nd in 2018 and a 4th in 2016. Thomas was also the fastest qualifier in 2018.
Bloomington Speedway’s USAC Sprint Car track record holder at 10.685, C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) was the 2018 ISW winner at Bloomington where he dominated all 30 laps in the process. The defending ISW and USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion was 4th in both 2014 and during his title run of 2019, picked up a 6th in 2016 and a 10th in his second full-time USAC season of 2013.
Brent Beauchamp (Fairland, Ind.) was victorious at Bloomington in an unpredictable 2016 Indiana Sprint Week which featured four first-time USAC National Sprint Car winners. Beauchamp was one of those four, emerging as the victor in a battle with three-time ISW champion Dave Darland that saw seven lead changes in 30 laps. Beauchamp also took home finishes of 3rd in 2012 and 10th in 2018.
Darland (Lincoln, Ind.) has an incomprehensible 20 top-ten finishes at Bloomington during Indiana Sprint Week dating to 1990. Among those are 11 top-five finishes, including a win in 2007; 2nd place finishes in 2005-11-12; 3rd place results in 2008-14-16; 4th place runs in 1995 & 2001; and a pair of fifths in both 1993 & 2003 for good measure. The USAC Triple Crown champ posted the fastest qualifying time in 2011 and has won three times total in his USAC Sprint career at Bloomington.
Past Indiana Sprint Week and USAC National Sprint Car champions Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) have each won USAC Sprint features at Bloomington, but not so as of yet during ISW. Bacon, the 2016 ISW champ, won at the track in the Spring of 2019 in new track record fashion at 6:47.18 for 30 laps. His ISW resume at Bloomington includes a pair of fast times, during the rain-abbreviated event in 2015, and again in 2019. He was also 2nd in 2016, 3rd in 2013, 4th in 2007, 6th in 2018 and 7th in 2019.
Windom (Canton, Ill.), meanwhile, won a Springtime USAC Sprint race at Bloomington in May of 2011. The 2011 and 2018 ISW titlist owns a total of six top-ten Bloomington ISW runs in his career with a 3rd in 2018 as his best, followed by a 4th in 2013, 5th in 2014, 7th in both 2010 and 2017 and a 9th place result in his Rookie campaign of 2007. He was the fastest qualifier at the ISW race in 2013.
Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.), likewise, has been a USAC National winner at Bloomington, but it came behind the wheel of a Midget back during 2010 Indiana Midget Week. His ISW Bloomington runs have peaked thus far at a 4th place finish in 2008. He took 7th in 2011 and was 9th in 2012 while also picking up fast qualifying honors that same night. His first top-ten run in the event came in 2007, a 10th.
Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) has returned to Indiana Sprint Week in 2020 after missing out on all of last year’s summertime event due to a severe arm injury. During ISW at Bloomington, the 2015 Indiana Sprint Week champion has a best finish of 3rd during his Rookie season of 2003. His most recent top-five run in the event came back in 2017 with a 5th. The driver/owner champion of USAC’s AMSOIL National Sprint Car division in 2015 also tallied a 6th in the race in 2014, 7th in 2008, 8th in 2018 and 10th place results in both 2012 and 2016.
Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) finished as high as 2nd during ISW at Bloomington in 2013 behind winner Bryan Clauson. For the 2019 Jason Leffler Memorial Award recipient, that has been his only top-five run in the event to date. He’s also garnered finishes of 6th in 2012 and 2019, a 7th in 2018 and a 9th in 2017 for top-ten finishes there in each of the past three races.
USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) earned his best Bloomington ISW result one year ago, finishing 3rd. A pair of seventh-place finishes were in order for the 2010 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Rookie of the year in both 2013 and 2014.
Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) has recorded a pair of top-five finishes during the ISW round in Bloomington. His first such being a 5th in 2016 with his best result thus far coming in 2018 with a 4th. Most recently, the two-time ISW feature winner collected a 10th place result in 2019.
Additionally, of note, Pleasant Hill, Ohio’s Matt Westfall was 4th in ISW at Bloomington in 2004; Marion, Ill. native Carson Short was the fastest qualifier in 2017; Collinsville, Oklahoma’s Tyler Thomas picked up a 3rd place result in 2017; and Terre Haute, Indiana’s Brandon Mattox earned his best career USAC National Sprint Car feature finish of 5th there in 2019.
Tickets for all Indiana Sprint Week events are available while supplies last, exclusively at www.usactickets.com. Adult general admission tickets for Bloomington are $25 while kids age 10 & under are free. Pit passes are $30 apiece.
All online ticket purchasers will be allowed an early 3:30pm (local time) entry into the grandstand. Front gate entry is open to all spectators at 4:30pm. Hot laps begin at 6:30pm with racing to immediately follow.
Spectator tickets for all of the 33rd annual edition of ISW are also on sale at www.usactickets.com. ISW tickets will be sold exclusively online and there will be a limited availability based on COVID-19 criteria that is in place at each venue on the schedule for all ISW event throughout the Hoosier state. There is no guarantee of on-site ticket sales at any of the tracks if pre-determined attendance limits are met beforehand.
All seven ISW races will be aired live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/2Zs7zFP.
BLOOMINGTON SPEEDWAY INDIANA SPRINT WEEK HISTORY
31 RACES, 1 RAIN OUT (1988-2019)
FEATURE WINNERS: 1988 – Kelly Kinser (Kinser 4k), 1989 – Chuck Amati (Tate 66), 1990 – Kevin Briscoe (Briscoe 5), 1991 – Danny Smith (Gohr 56), 1992 – Bob Kinser (Bayless 17b), 1993 – Cary Faas (Faas 37), 1994 – Kelly Kinser (Kinser 4k), 1995 – Kevin Thomas (Applebee 3), 1996 – Kevin Thomas (Applebee 3), 1997 – Brad Fox (Fox 53), 1998 – Tony Elliott (Vance/Walker 2), 1999 – Cory Kruseman (Ellis 21), 2000 – Jay Drake (Kunz 67), 2001 – A.J. Anderson (Edison 10), 2002 – Kevin Briscoe (Briscoe 5), 2003 – J.J. Yeley (Stewart 20), 2004 – Kevin Briscoe (Briscoe 5), 2005 – Tracy Hines (Dynamics 69), 2006 – Brady Short (Short 36), 2007 – Dave Darland (Pace 44), 2008 – Jerry Coons, Jr. (Dynamics 69), 2009 – Bryan Clauson (Tucker 7), 2010 – Jon Stanbrough (Fox 53), 2011 – Hunter Schuerenberg (Byram 35), 2012 – Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Black Jack 9k), 2013 – Bryan Clauson (Stewart/Curb-Agajanian 20), 2014 – Bryan Clauson (Stewart/Curb-Agajanian 20), 2015 – Rained Out, 2016 – Brent Beauchamp (Olson 34), 2017 – Kevin Thomas, Jr. (KT 9K), 2018 – C.J. Leary (Leary 30), 2019 – Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Hayward/Thomas 19)
MOST ISW FEATURE WINS AT BLOOMINGTON SPEEDWAY: 3 – Kevin Briscoe, Bryan Clauson & Kevin Thomas Jr.
RACE WINNERS WHO HAVE GONE ON TO WIN THE INDIANA SPRINT WEEK TITLE THAT YEAR: 11 – Chuck Amati (1989), Kelly Kinser (1994), Kevin Thomas (1995 & 1996), Jay Drake (2000), J.J. Yeley (2003), Dave Darland (2007), Jon Stanbrough (2010), Bryan Clauson (2013 & 2014) & Kevin Thomas, Jr. (2017)
USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINS AT BLOOMINGTON SPEEDWAY:
3-Dave Darland & Kevin Thomas Jr.
2-Kevin Briscoe & Tony Elliott
1-A.J. Anderson, Bob Kinser, Bobby East, Brad Fox, Brady Bacon, Brady Short, Brent Beauchamp, C.J. Leary, Chad Boespflug, Chris Windom, Cory Kruseman, Hunter Schuerenberg, J.J. Yeley, Jack Hewitt, Jay Drake, Jerry Coons, Jr., Jon Stanbrough, Kevin Thomas, Larry Martin, Rich Vogler, Rick Hood, Sheldon Kinser & Tracy Hines
BLOOMINGTON SPEEDWAY INDIANA SPRINT WEEK ENTRY LIST: (48 cars)
04 A.J. HOPKINS/Brownsburg, IN (Jerry Burton)
1H KORBYN HAYSLETT/Troy, OH (Kim & Dave Hayslett)
1x KURT GROSS/Washington, IN (Kurt Gross)
2E THOMAS MESERAULL/San Jose, CA (Epperson Racing)
3R KYLE CUMMINS/Princeton, IN (Rock Steady Racing)
4 JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (TOPP Motorsports)
5 ANTON HERNANDEZ/Arlington, TX (Baldwin Brothers Racing)
5m MAX ADAMS/Loomis, CA (Scott Adams)
5s CHASE STOCKON/Fort Branch, IN (KO Motorsports)
5T TYE MIHOCKO/Phoenix, AZ (Tye Mihocko)
6p CHRIS PHILLIPS/Plainfield, IN (Chris Phillips)
9 BOBBY GRIFFITTS/Bloomington, IN (Bobby Griffitts)
9K KEVIN THOMAS JR./Cullman, AL (KT Motorsports)
12 ROBERT BALLOU/Rocklin, CA (Ballou Motorsports)
13 DENNIS GILE/Phoenix, AZ (Gene Gile Racing)
17 DAKOTA JACKSON/Elizabethtown, IN (On The Gass Racing)
17GP TYLER THOMAS/Collinsville, OK (Michael Dutcher Motorsports)
19 CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Hayward Motorsports)
19AZ LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA (Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports)
20 JAKE BLAND/Bloomington, IN (Jake Bland)
22v SHELBY VanGILDER/Terre Haute, IN (JR & Debbie VanGilder)
28 BRANDON MATTOX/Terre Haute, IN (Brandon Mattox Racing)
30 C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (Leary Racing)
33m MATT WESTFALL/Pleasant Hill, OH (Ray Marshall Motorsports)
34 STERLING CLING/Tempe, AZ (Sterling Cling Racing)
34AZ JAKE SWANSON/Anaheim, CA (Team AZ Racing)
34x BRENT BEAUCHAMP/Fairland, IN (Jeff Olson)
36d DAVE DARLAND/Lincoln, IN (EZR/Curb-Agajanian Racing)
39 MATT GOODNIGHT/Winchester, IN (Goodnight Racing)
47 CHARLES DAVIS JR./Buckeye, AZ (Davis Race Team)
50 TONY DiMATTIA/Malvern, PA (Tony DiMattia Motorsports)
51T EDDIE TAFOYA JR./Chino Hills, CA (Eddie Tafoya)
52 ISAAC CHAPPLE/Willow Branch, IN (LNR/Isaac Chapple Racing)
53 BRAYDEN FOX/Avon, IN (Fox Brothers Racing)
54 JONATHAN VENNARD/Vincennes, IN (KO Motorsports)
61m JADON ROGERS/Worthington, IN (Randy Edwards)
68 CHASE JOHNSON/Penngrove, CA (Shawn Thomas)
69 BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (Dynamics, Inc.)
69JM LOGAN HUPP/Columbus, IN (Evan Gindling)
71 ROBERT BELL/Colfax, IA (Robert Bell)
71p CARSON SHORT/Marion, IL (Daigh-Phillips Motorsports)
74x SHANE COTTLE/Kansas, IL (Hodges Motorsports)
75 DUSTIN CLARK/Washington, IN (Dustin Clark Racing)
77 DUSTIN SMITH/Russiaville, IN (LG Motorsports)
77c SHANE COCKRUM/Benton, IL (Wingo Brothers Racing)
77s TRAVIS BERRYHILL/American Canyon, CA (Tyler Sturgeon Racing)
79BT MAX GUILFORD/Auckland, NZ (Goodnight Racing)
98 BRANDON MORIN/Jasonville, IN (Steve Morin)