By Dick Jordan
Defending AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Champion Levi Jones of Olney, Ill. will lead the series to its annual “Indiana Sprint Week” events in July following his second consecutive championship in the “Eastern Storm” last week.
Jones was one of four feature winners in four races and continues to lead the AMSOIL National standings in search of a record fifth series crown.
Rains washed out Saturday night’s “Eastern Storm” finale at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway but spectacular action was the hallmark of the first four races in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Hunter Schuerenberg of Sikeston, Mo. matched Dan Wheldon’s Indianapolis 500 heroics Thursday night when he emerged with a final-lap victory in the 40-lap “Eastern Storm” AMSOIL USAC National Sprint car race at New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway. Schuerenberg, piloting the Hank Byram Fatheadz Eyewear/R & B Truckers Spike/Foxco, had settled in for a second-place finish behind Jon Stanbrough when Stanbrough scraped the wall and spun in turn three after leading the first 39 laps. Robert Ballou took the runner-up spot at the checkered flag ahead of Levi Jones, Tracy Hines and Travis Rilat.
Jones, who nearly swept the 2010 “Eastern Storm,” returned to victory lane Wednesday night at Lincoln Speedway in New Oxford, Pa. He passed Rilat on lap three and led the final 38 laps in his Tony Stewart Racing GM Performance Parts/Chevy Eagle. Bryan Clauson pressured Jones at Lincoln but ended up second ahead of Schuerenberg, Hines and Mark Bitner. A flat tire sidelined Rilat just three laps into the race. Jones was also the fastest qualifier.
Bobby East of Brownsburg, Ind. roared to victory in Tuesday night’s 40-lap race at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa. The second round of the 2011 “Eastern Storm” found Jones leading the first 24 laps but East caught him exiting turn two and led the rest of the way in his Klatt Enterprises Brownsburg Mufflers/East Enterprises Beast/Chevy. Chris Windom and 16th-place starter Ballou pressured East to the flag, while Casey Shuman came from 19th starting spot to take fourth ahead of Dave Darland.
Stanbrough, of Avon, Ind., won Monday night’s “Eastern Storm” opener at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. Stanbrough led all 40 laps in his Jarvis Enterprises/Fatheadz Eyewear DRC/Foxco despite constant pressure from Coleman Gulick. Gulick finished second ahead of Windom, fast qualifier Jones and Ballou.
USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS
1-Levi Jones-538; 2-Jon Stanbrough-467; 3-Hunter Schuerenberg-430; 4-Chris Windom-414; 5-Robert Ballou-407; 6-Damion Gardner-403; 7-Bryan Clauson-400; 8-Bobby East-399; 9-Dave Darland-358; 10-Tracy Hines-321.
USAC “EASTERN STORM FINAL POINT STANDINGS
1-Levi Jones-249; 2-Robert Ballou-223; 3-Jon Stanbrough-213; 4-Bobby East-207; 5-Hunter Schuerenberg-198; 6-Dave Darland-178; 7-Chris Windom-177; 8-Tracy Hines-169; 9-Casey Shuman-169; 10-Travis Rilat-154.