By Ron Green
BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Wednesday, June 30, 2010 – Fans at Bloomington Speedway witnessed a special finish last Friday night, June 25, when Jon Stanbrough beat Brady Short by approximately one foot in the closest Grimes Pools & Spas Sprint Car finish in modern Bloomington Speedway history.
Stanbrough, from Brownsburg, Ind., used his front row starting position to jump into the lead. He raced on the point until the white flag lap.
While Stanbrough was cruising, Short was bruising his way to the front in an intense race for 2nd place back to 6th place. Once he cleared third place, he tracked down the leader, catching him on the last lap.
The pair ran side-by-side through Turns 1 and 2 along with a lapped car, and Short pulled even going down the back straightaway. With a slight lead and using a lower groove entering Turn 3, it appeared the defending Bloomington sprint car champion was going to snatch the victory from Stanbrough.
Though Stanbrough was covering more distance racing around the top of the track, he was able to carry more speed through Turn 4 which allowed him to rocket past Short just inches before the checkered flags.
The banked, red clay ¼-mile oval is known for its close wheel-to-wheel racing, but finishes like last Friday night are a rare treat.
“You see a finish like this about once every three to four years in all of sprint car racing,” said Bloomington Speedway public address announcer Pat Sullivan, who with his partner Brad Dickison has been announcing at the track for the last 16 years. “Since 1993 I have seen a few of them (close finishes), though this one may have been the closest.
“Dave Darland had a race won at Bloomington when he literally lost a front wheel and then the race by inches. Another track favorite, Kevin Briscoe, has won his share of nail-biters on the red clay, and Darland was also involved in another memorable duel with Mark Cassella in a USAC National Sprint Car race at Lawrenceburg (Speedway) in 1996 that remains one of my all-time favorite races. ”
The Grimes Pools & Spas Sprint Cars, the O’Neal Wood Products UMP Modifieds and the Tire and Wheel Center UMP Indiana Super Stocks will continue their season Friday night, July 2, for Bloomington Power Sports Night, featuring a gigantic, aerial fireworks display.
Spectator gates for Bloomington Power Sports Night open at 5:30 p.m., hot laps are at 6:30 with racing beginning at 7:30. General admission is $12 for adults, and kids under 12 are always FREE general admission at Bloomington Speedway with a general admission paying adult.
For more information, go to www.bloomingtonspeedway.com or call (812) 824-7400.