By Richie Murray
Haubstadt, Indiana (July 28, 2020)………The finale. The climax. The culmination. Whatever you want to call it, the last race of NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week is the ultimate payoff when we discover who has displayed their excellence most consistently throughout the entirety of the seven-race series.
Not to mention, we will also will be witnesses to a field of 48 whose main goal is to win the night – 30 laps of supremacy that lie ahead for a driver and team to reach one of the pinnacles of USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car racing, to reign victorious during Indiana Sprint Week.
Kyle Cummins knows that feeling all too well. Last year, in 2019, Cummins qualified for all ISW eight features, finishing in the top-ten in seven and was in contention night-after-night, finishing with a flourish after a victory two nights prior at Lincoln Park, a near win the night before at Bloomington and closing out the week-plus series with a triumph at Tri-State Speedway after trailing for the first 26 laps.
The Princeton, Ind. driver was literally unbeatable at Tri-State in 2019, going 9-for-9 in Sprint Car competition, including two USAC victories, one of which came during ISW. It was his second in ISW at TSS after earlier winning in the event during the summer of 2017, half of his four total USAC victories at quarter-mile dirt oval in southwestern Indiana. The 2019 HARF Driver of the Year has also finished as the runner-up during ISW at TSS in 2014 and 2016, was 7th in both 2015 and 2018, and 10th in 2012.
ISW’s all-time king in terms of victories (20), Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind., broke through for his first TSS win during 2018 ISW with a late-race pass of Chris Windom. Darland has two other “podium” finishes in the event, a runner-up result in 2001 and a 3rd in 2010, while also gathering a fast qualifying time in 2012, plus a 6th in 2008, an 8th 2006 and a 10th in 2005.
Carson Short (Marion, Ill.) is among the rare breed who’ve won both his first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature and World of Outlaws Sprint Car event at the same venue. Short captured the ISW win at TSS in USAC’s 10,000th race in 2016 and also mastered WoO’s visit this past June. He was also a 10th place TSS ISW finisher in 2017.
Brady Short (Bedford, Ind.), no relation to Carson, has long had a mastery of Tri-State Speedway for the better part of 15 years. His 2015 TSS ISW score is among his two wins at the track and set a new USAC track record for the 30-lap distance. His 5th place run in 2011 served as his second best result in the event while also garnering a 7th in 2008 and a pair of 10th’s in 2006 & 2009.
Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) notched his still lone Tri-State USAC victory during ISW in 2014. His results at the track have progressively gotten better and better over the years with his first top-ten, a 10th, with ISW at TSS in 2008, then bumping up to a 9th in 2009, 8th in 2012, 4th in his ISW title season of 2015-16 and 6th in 2017.
Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) is equaled with Daron Clayton as the all-time winningest driver in USAC National Sprint Car competition at Tri-State with five triumphs during his career. However, none of those five for the 2017 ISW titlist have come during ISW. He’s been as close as you can get on multiple occasions with runner-up results in 2015 and 2017, a 4th in 2018 and a 9th in 2016. He captured fast qualifying honors during that 2018 race.
Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) won the Spring opener at TSS in 2017. Like Thomas, however, that first ISW victory at TSS has thus far eluded the 2011 & 2018 Indiana Sprint Week champ. His 2nd place result in 2018 has been his best so far, with a 3rd in 2015, an 8th in 2010, a 9th in 2012 and a 10th in 2011 to his credit.
Another ISW champ, Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.), has also been a Springtime USAC Sprint winner at Tri-State during the 2015 season. The 2016 ISW champion has flirted with the edges of the top-five in the past half-decade of ISW races at TSS with a 6th in 2014 and a 7th in 2016 before breaking through for his first top-five run in the event in 2019, tallying a 5th.
Chase Stockon’s proximity to Tri-State Speedway, living in nearby Fort Branch, Ind., mirrors his proximity to victory lane during ISW at TSS over the years. The Spring 2016 Tri-State USAC Sprint victor was 3rd during ISW at TSS in both 2016 and 2018, 4th in 2019 and 5th in both 2012 and 2015.
USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) has been the dominator of qualifying in Indiana Sprint Week events at Tri-State, taking home the honor on four separate occasions over the last decade in 2010-15-17-19. He earned his best result in the event in the most recent TSS ISW feature during the Summer of 2019. He’s also been a 4th place runner in 2017, 6th in 2018 and 8th in 2015.
Reigning ISW and USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) has won on multiple occasions with MSCS at Tri-State in his career, but that first USAC victory at the track has not yet been pocketed. His 5th in 2018 is the best on his TSS ISW resume thus far with another trio of top-tens on his tab, a 9th in 2014 and 10th place runs in 2015 and 2019.
Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) nearly collected a USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget victory in the Fall of 2019 at Tri-State. His ISW record there includes a 5th in 2017 and a 9th in 08. Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) was a best of 6th in 2007; Critter Malone (Pittsboro, Ind.) earned a solid 6th in 2016. Kurt Gross (Washington, Ind.) snared his best career Indiana Sprint Week result with a 7th in 2010. Kendall Ruble (Vincennes, Ind.) collected an 8th on his ISW run at TSS in 2019.
Tickets for all Indiana Sprint Week events are available while supplies last, exclusively at www.usactickets.com. Adult general admission tickets for Tri-State are $25 while kids age 13-18 are $20 and children 12 & under are free. Pit passes are $30 apiece.
Pits open at 3pm CT. All online ticket purchasers will be allowed an early 3pm (local time) entry into the grandstand. Front gate entry is open to all spectators at 4pm. 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.
TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY INDIANA SPRINT WEEK HISTORY
19 RACES, 1 RAINOUT (2000-2019)
FEATURE WINNERS: 2000 – Cory Kruseman (Potter 3p), 2001 – Jay Drake (Kunz 67), 2002 – Cory Kruseman (Kunz 67), 2003 – J.J. Yeley (Stewart 20), 2004 – Cory Kruseman (Stewart 21), 2005 – Cory Kruseman (Kunz 67), 2006 – Jon Stanbrough (Fox 53), 2007 – Daron Clayton (Walker/Guiducci 11d), 2008 – Hunter Schuerenberg (Walker/Guiducci 11), 2009 – Levi Jones (Stewart 20), 2010 – Blake Fitzpatrick (Fitzpatrick 10f), 2011 – Damion Gardner (DG 71), 2012 – Jon Stanbrough (Roberts/Tate 21x), 2013 – Rained Out, 2014 – Robert Ballou (Ballou 12x), 2015 – Brady Short (Pottorff 11p), 2016 – Carson Short (Short 21), 2017 – Kyle Cummins (Byram 3R), 2018 – Dave Darland (Goodnight/Curb-Agajanian 36D), 2019 – Kyle Cummins (Rock Steady 3R)
MOST FEATURE WINS AT TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY: 4 – Cory Kruseman
RACE WINNERS WHO HAVE GONE ON TO WIN THE INDIANA SPRINT WEEK TITLE THAT YEAR: 5 – Cory Kruseman (2002 & 2005), J.J. Yeley (2003), Jon Stanbrough (2006) & Levi Jones (2009)
TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINS
1. (5) Daron Clayton & Kevin Thomas, Jr.
3. (4) Kyle Cummins & Cory Kruseman
5. (3) Rick Hood
6. (2) Hunter Schuerenberg, Brady Short & Jon Stanbrough
9. (1) Brady Bacon, Robert Ballou, Steve Butler, Dave Darland, Jay Drake, Tony Elliott, Blake Fitzpatrick, Damion Gardner, Tracy Hines, Kenny Jacobs, Levi Jones, Casey Riggs, Stephen Schnapf, Carson Short, Chase Stockon, Chris Windom & J.J. Yeley
TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY INDIANA SPRINT WEEK ENTRY LIST: (48 cars)
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)
5K KENT SCHMIDT/Owensville, IN (KO Motorsports)
5m MAX ADAMS/Loomis, CA (Scott Adams)
5s CHASE STOCKON/Fort Branch, IN (KO Motorsports)
6p CHRIS PHILLIPS/Plainfield, IN (Chris Phillips)
7 CRITTER MALONE/Pittsboro, IN (Seven LLC)
7R RYAN BOND/Haubstadt, IN (Ryan Bond)
7s SAM SCOTT/Patoka, IN (Sam Scott)
9 BOBBY GRIFFITTS/Bloomington, IN (Bobby Griffitts)
9K KEVIN THOMAS JR./Cullman, AL (KT Motorsports)
11p BRADY SHORT/Bedford, IN (Short-Pottorff Racing)
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)
17K KENDALL RUBLE/Vincennes, IN (Ruble-Martin Motorsports)
19 CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Hayward Motorsports)
19AZ LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA (Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports)
20 CHAYSE HAYHURST/Evansville, IN (Chayse Hayhurst)
28 BRANDON MATTOX/Terre Haute, IN (Brandon Mattox Racing)
30 C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (Leary Racing)
32 GARRETT AITKEN/Paris, IL (Greg Aitken)
34 STERLING CLING/Tempe, AZ (Sterling Cling Racing)
36d DAVE DARLAND/Lincoln, IN (EZR/Curb-Agajanian Racing)
39 MATT GOODNIGHT/Winchester, IN (Goodnight Racing)
44 DAVID HAIR/Indianapolis, IN (David Hair)
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)
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)
79BT MAX GUILFORD/Auckland, NZ (Goodnight Racing)
84 STAN BEADLES/Owensville, IN (Beadles Racing)
98 BRANDON MORIN/Jasonville, IN (Steve Morin)