By Dick Jordan
The AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car series returns to three Indiana ovals this week following a weather-plagued week two weeks ago which ended with all three races rained out.
Friday night’s venue is Gas City Speedway, while Lawrence Speedway hosts Saturday night’s “College Night @ The Races.” Sunday night’s race is at the Kokomo Speedway.
Damion Gardner of Concord, Calif., winner of two of three February races in Florida, enters the weekend with a 21-point lead over defending AMSOIL National Sprint champ Levi Jones.
Based on last year’s results at each track, Jones holds the upper hand. He finished no worse than seventh in the six races held at this week’s tracks. Gardner, on the other hand, landed top-10 finishes in three of those races.
The three races should also have a profound impact on the early battle for USAC’s 2011 National Drivers Championship, currently led by Bryan Clauson, winner of both USAC Mopar National Midget races this past weekend in Kansas. Gardner is third and Jones fifth after six NDC events this year.
Competition should be at a high level, since last year’s races at these ovals produced six different winners. Tracy Hines and Dave Darland were the Gas City winners, while Jerry Coons Jr. and Jon Stanbrough won at Lawrenceburg. The 2010 Kokomo winners were Clauson and Jones.
AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS
1-Damion Gardner-201; 2-Levi Jones-180; 3-Bryan Clauson-178; 4-Hunter Schuerenberg-163; 5-Jon Stanbrough-163; 6-Blake Fitzpatrick-153; 7-Bud Kaeding-143; 8-Bobby East-123; 9-Casey Riggs-121; 10-Scotty Weir-116.