Jerry Coons Jr. won the Sprint Car portion of the Bob Darland Memorial Sunday night at Kokomo Speedway after leader Dave Darland broke an axle with three laps remaining.
Justin Grant was quick timer tonight in front of a good crowd. Heat number one went to Dave Darland. Tracy Hines claimed the 2nd heat race. Jon Stanbrough was scheduled for heat #2 but didn’t make the call. The 3rd heat would prove to be the best of the evening with Justin Grant winning over Chris Windom and Andrew Elson.
The 30 lap finale saw Justin Grant line up on the pole with Tracy Hines outside front row. Grant would lead the initial circuit with a caution coming on lap two for a spin by Brady Short in the 11T. As the race resumed Grant was on the hammer with Jerry Coons Jr (in the 71 car) in tow with Darland, a fast Kurt Gross, Chris Windom and Tracy Hines all running under a blanket.
Another yellow on the 4th tour for the 66J of Josh Spencer slowed proceedings again. Stanbrough who had started the main on the tail had already moved up to 9th. Lap seven saw Darland move into 2nd behind Grant and ahead of Hines. The red would appear on lap eight when Kurt Gross broke an axle and went for a tumble in turn four. Chris Windom received damage during the crash and was also done for the event. Gross was ok.
After the restart Grant was still using the high side to maintain his lead now over Coons, Darland, Elson, Stanbrough and Hines. The high side would bite Grant on lap 15 when he jumped the cushion coming out of two and got out of shape. Darland made a move around Grant and made some contact, and he tangled with Stanbrough on the back stretch with Stanbrough done, but Darland kept going . Grant would change a tire and return to the tail.
When the green came out Coons was your leader with Darland hot on his heels. The 39 of Darland drove to the point on lap 17 and by the 25th circuit it looked as though Dave Darland would win the “Bob Darland Memorial” with Coons, Hunter Schuenburg, Hines and Chris Gurley following.
Lap 27 saw Darland coming out of four when his rear axle broke, bringing his night to a disappointing end. At the green it was Jerry Coons Jr. over Elson, Schuenburg, Hines, Riggs and Gurley and that proved to be the finish three laps later.
In victory lane Coons said “that was a tough break for Dave, as we had a second place car. But we’ll take it”. Darland said he received damage in the earlier incident with Grant that eventually cut the axle in two.
Check out some pictures in the Kokomo Gallery with more going up this morning.