By T.J. Buffenbarger
GAS CITY, In. (September 26, 2019) — Chris Windom was victorious during the second annual James Dean Classic Thursday at Gas City I-69 Speedway with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series. Windom from Canton, Illinois was able to wrestle the lead away from Kevin Thomas Jr. on the opening lap, maintain his lead through slower traffic, and held the lead unchallenged through multiple last race restarts for the victory. The win was Windom’s fourth USAC National Sprint Car Series victory of the 2019 season driving Jason Goacher owned NOS Energy Drink sponsored entry.
After an early challenge by Thomas, Windom knew he had to strike back quickly on the fast racing surface at Gas City.
“On the initial start I didn’t get that great of a jump, but I knew (Thomas) got back to my outside, so just I tried to clear him and slide up in front of him because I knew how vital track position would be,” said Windom. “The track was just so hooked up that if you could get out up front and click off your laps you would be tough to pass”
Windom started on the front row with Thomas for the 30 lap main event. Thomas led initially before Windom led the opening circuit. Further back in the field Gas City I-69 Speedway point leader Thomas Meseraull was making a move through the field up to fourth spot on the top of the racetrack. Meseraull’s run to the front was short lived as engine problems caused Meseraull to slow and bring out the first caution flag of the event.
Windom continued to maintain a comfortable lead following the restart until slower traffic came into play on lap 17. The slower cars forced Windom out of the bottom line of the race track. This was a vital point at the mid-point of the race where Windom was able to open up some distance between himself and the rest of the field.
“I was a little nervous about that, but I felt like I was carrying about as fast of speed as you could around the bottom and when its that fast down there it’s the shortest distance around the track. I had to move up there in lapped traffic and I wasn’t super comfortable going up there with how big the cushion was, but we were able to get through lapped traffic decently and hold everybody off.”
The first of two late race cautions appeared for a spin by Scotty Weir on lap 24 in turn four. Windom pulled away after the restart while Justin Grant and Kevin Thomas found themselves under pressure from seventh starting Tyler Courtney. Courtney dropped Thomas back to third on lap 26 just before the final caution flag appeared for a cone that was knocked onto the racing surface.
Windom was up for the challenge after the final restart as Courtney picked off Grant for the runner up spot. Thomas and Chase Stockon rounded out the top five.
For Windom the victory was exactly the start he was looking for during one of the biggest weekends of the year for USAC.
“We have been strong all year. Lots of top fives and podiums but this is just our fourth USAC win. Its good to get that and we definitely want to go out and win 4-Crown this weekend too.”
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 26, 2019 – Gas City I-69 Speedway – Gas City, Indiana – 2nd James Dean Classic
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. C.J. Leary, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-12.121; 2. Thomas Meseraull, 00, Whitney-12.174; 3. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-12.219; 4. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-12.299; 5. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 19, Hayward/Thomas-12.364; 6. Chris Windom, 5G, Parallax/Goacher-12.441; 7. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-12.479; 8. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-12.491; 9. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-12.555; 10. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-12.557; 11. Chad Boespflug, 98e, EZR-12.561; 12. Anthony D’Alessio, 01, D’Alessio-12.568; 13. Harley Burns, 16K, Knight-12.574; 14. Cole Ketcham, 41, Ketcham-12.614; 15. Scotty Weir, 39G, Goodnight-12.634; 16. Cody White, 26w, White-12.720; 17. Max Adams, 57, Hazen-12.720; 18. Jason McDougal, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-12.733; 19. Tye Mihocko, 5, Mihocko-12.751; 20. Dustin Ingle, 2DI, Ingle-12.767; 21. Tyler Hewitt, 1, RL-12.830; 22. Corey Smith, 66s, CS-12.841; 23. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-12.856; 24. Dave Darland, 43m, Tibbits-12.867; 25. Shane Cottle, 19c, Cooley-12.966; 26. Dustin Clark, 75, Clark-12.996; 27. Jack James, 99, James-13.422; 28. Dustin Smith, 77, Smith-13.582.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 2. C.J. Leary, 3. Isaac Chapple, 4. Cody White, 5. Shane Cottle, 6. Tyler Hewitt, 7. Harley Burns. 2:08.98
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Cole Ketcham, 2. Thomas Meseraull, 3. Jason McDougal, 4. Chris Windom, 5. Dustin Clark, 6. Matt Goodnight, 7. Corey Smith. 2:03.85
AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Scotty Weir, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Tye Mihocko, 4. Tyler Courtney, 5. Chad Boespflug, 6. Matt Westfall, 7. Jack James. 2:04.18
INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Dustin Ingle, 3. Chase Stockon, 4. Dave Darland, 5. Max Adams, 6. Anthony D’Alessio, 7. Dustin Smith. 2:04.03
SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Chad Boespflug, 2. Max Adams, 3. Harley Burns, 4. Matt Westfall, 5. Matt Goodnight, 6. Shane Cottle, 7. Dustin Smith, 8. Dustin Clark, 9. Anthony D’Alessio, 10. Corey Smith, 11. Jack James, 12. Tyler Hewitt. 2:28.28 (New Track Record)
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Chris Windom (1), 2. Tyler Courtney (7), 3. Justin Grant (3), 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (2), 5. Chase Stockon (8), 6. C.J. Leary (6), 7. Brady Bacon (4), 8. Jason McDougal (17), 9. Isaac Chapple (9), 10. Max Adams (15), 11. Scotty Weir (14), 12. Matt Westfall (20), 13. Tye Mihocko (18), 14. Matt Goodnight (10), 15. Harley Burns (12), 16. Cody White (16), 17. Cole Ketcham (13), 18. Dustin Ingle (19), 19. Dave Darland (21), 20. Chad Boespflug (11), 21. Thomas Meseraull (5), 22. Dustin Clark (23), 23. Shane Cottle (22). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Chris Windom
KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Jason McDougal (17th to 8th)
WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Tye Mihocko
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Dustin Smith
ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Harley Burns
NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-C.J. Leary-1,903, 2-Tyler Courtney-1,792, 3-Brady Bacon-1,710, 4-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-1,708, 5-Justin Grant-1,704, 6-Chris Windom-1,702, 7-Chase Stockon-1,649, 8-Jason McDougal-1,436, 9-Carson Short-1,361, 10-Isaac Chapple-1,110.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: September 28, 2019 – Eldora Speedway – Rossburg, Ohio – 38th 4-Crown Nationals presented by NKT.tv