Darland Wins Independence Day Feature at Kokomo

By TJ Buffenbarger

Kokomo, IN – (July 4, 1999) — Dave Darland was able to take advantage of his outside front row starting position and held off multiple challenges by Bill Rose and Tony Elliott to win the feature Sunday night at the Kokomo Speedway on our Nation’s Independence Day in front of a large crowd. Darland drove his father Bob’s Competition Welding, Beachy Engine’s, Thrifty Muffler, Print Express, Pennzoil, Henry’s Marathon, McCreary Tires sponsored car to the convincing victory.

Rose and Darland were on the front row for the 30-Lap feature event. Darland got the jump at the start, but Rose was able to pull along side down low on the backstretch. Darland and Rose continued to race side by side for another lap until Rose bobbled in turn four and Darland was able to pull ahead. Meanwhile Elliott was working his way up from the sixth starting position. Elliott was able to first get under Mike Mann for the fourth position, and then one lap later put the same move on Justin Marvel.

Further back in the field, Mann, Terry Pletch, and Jay Drake had a great battle going for the fifth position. Several times the triowas three wide through the corners battling wheel to wheel around the tight confines of the Kokomo ¼ mile. Rose and Elliott then began to battle for the second position on lap 11. While racing side by side through turns three and four, Elliott jumped the cushion while trying to chase the low riding Rose and lose ground. Just as that happened Drake and Jack Hewitt made heavy wheel to wheel contact going down the frontstretch. Both drivers were able to gather up their racecars as the collective gasp for relief from the crowd. Hewitt then brought out first caution of the event with a flat right rear tire from the incident. Hewitt retired from the event.

The caution allowed Rose and Elliott to close in on Darland, who had built up a sizeable lead before the caution. Darland had the lapped car of Charlie Sarver separating himself from the rest of the field. On the restart Rose held close to Darland and dove to the bottom in turns one and two. Rose was able to nose ahead coming out of turn two, but Darland had the momentum at the top and stormed back into turn three with the lead. Rose got a little crossed up trying to get a run on the Darland, but was saved by the caution flag when Justin Marvel hit the wall and spun in turn four.

Rose once again got a run down low on Darland in turns one and two during the restart, but Darland once again pulled out front. This time Rose had to deal with Elliott, and the hard charging Pletch to hang on to the second position. All three drivers drove up into the cushion in turns three and four, and then took different lines through turns one and two on lap 20. Coming off two Pletch pulled a massive wheelstand going down the backstretch to the delight of the large crowd. Three laps later Elliott bobbled in turn three and allowed Pletch to dive underneath for third. The crowd then came to it’s feet on lap 24 wheel Rose jumped the cushion in turn four and allowed the Kokomo points leader Pletch to rocket into the second position.

Even with the great late race charge by Pletch, Darland had checked out and held on to win another Kokomo feature event. Pletch, Rose, Elliott, and Drake rounded out the top five. Elliott set quick time with a lap of 14.619 seconds. Pletch, Tony Plough, and Rose won the heat races, while Jason Robbins won the B-Main Event. Next Sunday the Non-Winged Sprint Cars return to the Kokomo Speedway with the UMP Modifieds and Street Stocks.


Fast Time: Tony Elliott, 14.619

Heat 1: Terry Pletch, Tony Elliott, Mike Mann, Robbie Rice, Charlie Sarver, Mark Clark, Tom Davies, Terry Starks, Jason Laser

Heat 2: Tony Plough, Corey Smith, Ande Possman, Dave Darland, Jay Drake, Brian Hayden, Randy Donaldson, Jason Robbins

Heat 3: Bill Rose, Tony Jarrett, Corey Smith, A.J. Anderson, Joe Roush, Ed Klinkhamer, Jr., Justin Marvel, Bill Boggs

B-Main: Robbins, Marvel, Clark, Hayden, Donaldson, Starks, Boggs, Davies, Klinkhamer, Laser

A-Main: Darland, Pletch, Rose, Elliott, Drake, Roush, Clark, Possman, Mann, Anderson, Hayden, Plough, Smith, Marvel, Rice, Sarver, Hewitt, Robbins, Jarrett