From Richie Murray
PUTNAMVILLE, IN (September 12, 2020) – Exactly six weeks after basking in the limelight as the Indiana Sprint Week champion,, Chase Stockon finally achieved that long sought after first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory of the season during the first of two features run Saturday night at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind.
While Stockon’s triumph won’t officially go in in the books as an official Indiana Sprint Week victory, it did come in an event that resumed Saturday, having been suspended for a month and a half following a heavy storm on the final night of July when it was then part of the ISW series, the night in which nearly all the preliminary events had been completed.
“I know it’s a bit delayed, but I’m definitely glad to get another (Indiana) Sprint Week win,” Stockon said with a grin.
The win also continued one of the most impressive streaks with the series by a driver who is known for setting records. Stockon, the series’ “Ironman” from Fort Branch, Ind., in making his 316th consecutive feature start, ran his annual checkmark in the win column to nine consecutive years, picking up a USAC win each year since the 2012 season, an active streak that is second only by Brady Bacon’s 10 straight years dating back to 2011.
Stockon’s 13th career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car win surpassed Eric Gordon and tied both Don Branson and Steve Chassey for 43rd all-time.
Lincoln Park is the place where Stockon began his driver/owner relationship with KO Motorsports in terms of USAC competition back in early July. A pair of top-five runs in the KO Motorsports/Hutson John Deere – Ravens Manufacturing – AMSOIL/Velocity/Fisher Chevy that weekend has led Stockon to elevate his game and put him in contention for a first career series title, while also providing the KO team its first career USAC victory on Saturday at LPS.
Pole sitter Stockon initially shared the front row alongside Darland, the winningest USAC Sprint Car driver at the 5/16-mile dirt oval with six victories. Stockon grabbed the early lead while Darland fought with Carson Short before emerging with the second position in the early going.
Meanwhile, defending series champ and fourth starting C.J. Leary made the topside work to his liking and surged up through the thick to beat Stockon to the line by one car length at the stripe on the 10th lap. Stockon called it a comeback and was able to stick even Steven with Leary at the exit of turns two and four before, ultimately eking out his own one car length advantage at the conclusion of lap 14.
As Leary fought to regain the position, Stockon nipped Leary again at the line under the crossed flags indicating halfway to completion of the 30-lap feature. Nonetheless, Leary was undeterred, digging in to supplant Stockon from the top of the throne once again by a single car length at the line. That proved short lived as Stockon gained a big drive off the bottom of four to re-corral the race lead once and for all on the 17th circuit.
In that instant, it became more than just a two-horse race with Darland, Logan Seavey and Brady Bacon each joining the fray along with Leary, while Stockon suddenly left his home on the bottom to try the top. Darland nearly took advantage of Stockon’s switch with 10 laps remaining by securing the bottom line, just missing out on leading the 20th lap by inches.
Darland became pinned behind the car of Colten Cottle on the tail end of the lead lap on the bottom of turn two as he raced side-by-side with Leary for the race lead. Nose-to-tail contact was made between Darland and C. Cottle, sending Cottle sideways and veering off into the infield to maintain control while Darland lost his stride of momentum, allowing Seavey to shoot the gap into second.
A lap later, the event’s fastest qualifier, Brent Beauchamp, slowed to a stop on the back straightaway to end the lengthy green flag run and restack the deck in a single file manner without the aid, or hindrance of traffic, in the distance. Stockon continued to tiptoe around the tires of the infield variety when racing resumed with nine laps left. Darland followed Stockon on the limbo line while Bacon jostled into third on lap 24, then to the runner-up spot on lap 25 when Darland left the door open on the bottom of turn two for Bacon to scoot on by.
Bacon made every attempt to try to reel himself into lead contention at the end, but a slight issue with a cut tire placed him into conservation mode instead of attack mode for the final five-lap run to the checkered. Searching high and also stalking the bottom, Bacon couldn’t catch Stockon, who was the picture of perfection on the low line to win by a 0.819 second margin over Bacon, Darland, Leary and Seavey.
“I could feel those guys breathing on me there toward the end of the race. I was just trying to hit my marks and make no mistakes,” Stockon revealed after leading a race-high 25 laps. “The topside around here was just a little bit too far around for me tonight.”
Bacon’s journey from 8th to 2nd earned him B & W Auto Mart / KSE Racing Products Hard Charger honors in the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native’s Dynamics, Inc./Fatheadz Eyewear – DriveWFX.com/Triple X/Rider Chevy.”
“We got a cut in our tire there at the end,” Bacon explained. “I kind of felt it getting soft, so I had to get a little conservative. It was really good on the bottom of three and four and I hadn’t been down there as much as them, so I didn’t exactly know what to do. We were better than them in one and two, but (Stockon) got to start in front and keep his nose clean. We might’ve used our stuff up a little bit to get there.”
Darland’s best 2020 USAC finish came in a 3rd place performance Saturday night for the driver who earned a pair of Lincoln Park Speedway Sprint Car track championships during the 1990-91 seasons, piloting the EZR-Curb-Agajanian/Marchand’s Window Tinting – Fox Paving – Windmill Grill/DRC/Claxton Chevy.
“We had a good race, but those guys just beat me a little bit,” Darland said. “I didn’t really want to see that yellow; traffic was going to help me. We were decent, but they were too. I knew Chase wouldn’t screw up too many times too often. Then brady came through and he had a good racecar too. There on that yellow, I was just hoping I could run real low around one and two on the restart and maybe get Chase out in the slick or something, but it was better to be up in the middle off turn two. He was in the right spot and he knew what he was doing, so there’s always a lot going through your mind of just what you’re going to do and what’s going to happen. It didn’t work out for the win, but we had a good run, a good finish and we’re happy about that.”
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 31 & September 12, 2020 – Lincoln Park Speedway – Putnamville, Indiana – 5/16-Mile Dirt Oval
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING FLIGHT ONE: 1. Brent Beauchamp, 34B, Olson-12.688; 2. Carson Short, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-12.716; 3. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-12.784; 4. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9K, KT-12.800; 5. Shane Cottle, 74x, Hodges-12.848; 6. Chris Windom, 19, Hayward-12.851; 7. Thomas Meseraull, 2E, Epperson-12.915; 8. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-12.922; 9. Tony DiMattia, 50, TDM-12.981; 10. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-12.994; 11. Colten Cottle, 5c, Cottle-13.019; 12. Dustin Smith, 77, LG-13.051; 13. Jonathan Vennard, 54, KO-13.074; 14. Anton Hernandez, 5, Baldwin-13.081; 15. Jake Bland, 20B, Bland-13.112; 16. Jadon Rogers, 61m, Edwards-13.162; 17. Brandon Morin, 98, Morin-13.167; 18. Logan Hupp, 69JM, Gindling-13.232; 19. Kurt Gross, 1x, Gross-13.238; 20. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51T, Tafoya-13.251; 21. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-13.264; 22. Travis Berryhill, 77s, Sturgeon-13.306; 23. Shelby VanGilder, 22v, VanGilder-13.631; 24. Chayse Hayhurst, 20, Hayhurst-13.654.
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING FLIGHT TWO: 1. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-12.392; 2. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-12.595; 3. Dave Darland, 36d, EZR/Curb-Agajanian-12.632; 4. Brayden Fox, 53, Fox-12.653; 5. Chase Johnson, 68, Thomas-12.802; 6. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-12.869; 7. Jake Swanson, 34AZ, Team AZ-12.913; 8. Stevie Sussex, 77w, Wingo-12.940; 9. Dakota Jackson, 17, On The Gass-12.941; 10. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-12.947; 11. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-12.949; 12. Chris Phillips, 6p, Phillips-12.955; 13. Evan Mosley, 27, Mosley-13.085; 14. Tyler Thomas, 17GP, Dutcher-13.118; 15. Max Adams, 37, Felker-13.141; 16. Charles Davis Jr., 47, Davis-13.167; 17. Matt McDonald, 5m, McDonald-13.211; 18. A.J. Hopkins, 04, Burton-13.242; 19. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-13.248; 20. Max Guilford, 79BT, Goodnight-13.427; 21. Harley Burns, 16, Burns-13.469; 22. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-13.584; 23. Nate McMillin, 24, McMillin-14.290; 24. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-14.375.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Shane Cottle, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Brent Beauchamp, 4. Thomas Meseraull, 5. Colten Cottle, 6. Tony DiMattia, 7. Brandon Morin, 8. Kurt Gross, 9. Sterling Cling, 10. Jonathan Vennard, 11. Jake Bland, 12. Shelby VanGilder. NT
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Robert Ballou, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Kevin Thomas Jr., 4. Carson Short, 5. Brandon Mattox, 6. Anton Hernandez, 7. Dustin Smith, 8. Chayse Hayhurst, 9. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 10. Logan Hupp, 11. Jadon Rogers, 12. Travis Berryhill. NT
AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Logan Seavey, 2. Jake Swanson, 3. Dakota Jackson, 4. Dave Darland, 5. Justin Grant, 6. Chase Johnson, 7. Max Adams, 8. Matt McDonald, 9. Matt Westfall, 10. Harley Burns, 11. Evan Mosley. 2:49.862
INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. C.J. Leary, 3. Kyle Cummins, 4. Stevie Sussex, 5. Chris Phillips, 6. Charles Davis Jr., 7. Max Guilford, 8. Brayden Fox, 9. Tyler Thomas, 10. Matt Goodnight, 11. Robert Bell, 12. A.J. Hopkins. NT
C-MAIN: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the semi) 1. Matt McDonald, 2. Brandon Morin, 3. Logan Hupp, 4. Max Guilford, 5. Matt Westfall, 6. Sterling Cling, 7. Matt Goodnight, 8. Harley Burns, 9. Chayse Hayhurst, 10. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 11. Robert Bell, 12. Charles Davis Jr., 13. Kurt Gross. NT
INDY METAL FINISHING SEMI: (12 laps, final 4 laps completed on Sept. 12, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Brandon Mattox, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Brayden Fox, 4. Mario Clouser (#69JM), 5. Colten Cottle, 6. Max Adams, 7. Brandon Morin, 8. Matt McDonald, 9. Chris Phillips, 10. Tony DiMattia, 11. Chase Johnson, 12. Anton Hernandez, 13. Max Guilford, 14. Jonathan Vennard, 15. Evan Mosley, 16. Dustin Smith, 17. Tyler Thomas, 18. Jake Bland. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses, completed on Sept. 12) 1. Chase Stockon (1), 2. Brady Bacon (8), 3. Dave Darland (2), 4. C.J. Leary (4), 5. Logan Seavey (6), 6. Shane Cottle (7), 7. Kevin Thomas Jr. (11), 8. Chris Windom (13), 9. Carson Short (3), 10. Kyle Cummins (12), 11. Robert Ballou (9), 12. Brandon Mattox (17), 13. Stevie Sussex (16), 14. Brayden Fox (10), 15. Justin Grant (18), 16. Mario Clouser (#69JM) (22), 17. Thomas Meseraull (15), 18. Brent Beauchamp (5), 19. Jake Swanson (14), 20. Max Adams (20), 21. Aric Gentry (#17) (21), 22. Colten Cottle (19), 23. Jadon Rogers (23). NT
**Justin Grant flipped during qualifying. Nate McMillin flipped during qualifying. Travis Berryhill flipped during the second heat. A.J. Hopkins flipped during the fourth heat. Jake Bland flipped during the semi.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-9 Chase Stockon, Laps 10-13 C.J. Leary, Laps 14-15 Chase Stockon, Lap 16 C.J. Leary, Laps 17-30 Chase Stockon.