By Richie Murray
Kokomo, Indiana (September 21, 2020)………Three races remain to decide the 2020 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion – two are on the schedule this weekend with Saturday’s critical event marking the penultimate race of the campaign on September 26 at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway for the second and final night of the Indiana Donor Network Driven2SaveLives Double Double, a doubleheader along with the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets.
Point leader Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) has won three times in his USAC National Sprint Car career at Kokomo in 2012, 2015 and 2019. The 2010 & 2018 track champion has finished inside the top-ten in all four of his Kokomo USAC Sprint starts this season with a 9th, 8th, 2nd and 6th to his credit. He also took the victory during the sprint car portion of Indiana Midget Week at Kokomo this past June.
Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) resides second in the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car standings, just eight behind Windom. Bacon won Kokomo’s track championship this season by a single solitary point. Though he owns three career USAC National Midget wins there, he has yet to score a USAC National Sprint Car victory, finishing 2nd on five different occasions, including twice this year to go along with a 4th and a 5th.
Nine of Dave Darland’s (Lincoln, Ind.) 62 career USAC National Sprint Car victories have come at Kokomo dating back to 1993, that’s more than any other driver for the track’s all-time winningest driver and four-time track champion in 1987, 1991, 1993 and 1994.
Tyler Courtney’s five USAC Sprint Car wins at Kokomo rank second all-time among active drivers and third all-time. The Indianapolis, Ind. driver won his last time out at Kokomo in the Smackdown IX finale to end the month of August. He’s run strong in every event in 2020 at Kokomo, leading three of the four he’s competed in and finishing 3rd in the other. His active streak of four consecutive years with a USAC National Sprint Car win at Kokomo leads all drivers.
C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) has notched three career USAC Sprint wins at Kokomo, including his first career series triumph in 2016, plus one in 2017 and again in this year’s Indiana Sprint Week round in July. The 2015 track champion has followed suit with three more top-ten Kokomo USAC Sprint runs in 2020, a 10th, 7th and 3rd.
Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) has won in both USAC National Sprint and National Midget competition at Kokomo, with his three Sprint wins coming first in 2013, then twice in 2016. Kokomo victory lane was the 2016 track champion’s home this past September 6 after winning the non-sanctioned Vince Osman Season Championship race.
Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.), likewise, has won three times at Kokomo behind the wheel of a USAC Sprint Car, taking the checkered for his first series win in 2016 followed by back-to-back victories during the first two prelims of Smackdown this past August. In his other two 2020 Kokomo USAC Sprint starts, he was 6th and 2nd.
Another three-time winner in this Saturday night’s field is Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.), a victor in each of the last three seasons of USAC Sprint Car competition at Kokomo. During the recent three nights of Smackdown, “T-Mez” was the mark of consistency with finishes of 5th, 9th and 8th.
The 2017 and 2019 Kokomo track champion, Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.), owns one USAC Sprint win at Kokomo, which came in the Smackdown finale of 2018. Standing fourth in the points at the moment, Grant led a lap and finished 3rd during July’s stop at Kokomo.
Third in the standings, just 36 from the lead, is Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.), a 2015 USAC Sprint winner at Kokomo. Just as he’s been all throughout his 2020 season, and throughout the entirety of his career, the “Ironman” has placed 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th in his four series starts at Kokomo this year.
Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) earned his first career USAC National Sprint Car victory at Kokomo in August of 2019. His results of 10th, 6th, 3rd and 7th in four USAC Sprint starts at Kokomo in 2020 have made showcased the consistency that has made him one of the frequent front-running performers throughout the season.
Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) has had two of his best runs of the year at Kokomo Speedway, where he was a winner during his 2015 USAC National Sprint Car championship season. The 29-time series winner collected a 4th during Indiana Sprint Week there this past July and was 3rd on the opening night of Smackdown in August.
Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) is one of the all-time greats at Kokomo Speedway with four track championships to his name in 2004-05-07-11. This year, he’s finished 8th and 10th in his USAC Sprint battles at Kokomo as he seeks to rack up his second USAC Sprint win of 2020, and the first of his career at Kokomo.
Carson Short (Marion, Ill.) took 7th during Kokomo’s Indiana Sprint Week A-Main in July. He’s taken over the wheel of Michael Dutcher’s No. 17GP, a ride that’s won twice with the series at Kokomo over the years, in 2013 with Kevin Thomas Jr. and again in 2014 with Jon Stanbrough.
Clinton Boyles (Greenwood, Mo.) is the new pilot of the Daigh/Phillips Motorsports beginning with last weekend’s set of races, the ride in which Short formerly wheeled. Boyles has taken a liking to Kokomo of late, earning his best career USAC National Midget finish of 4th there in June, then won his first Sprint Car race at the track on Independence Day weekend of this year. His Daigh/Phillips ride has won six USAC Sprint features at Kokomo over the years between 2013 and 2015.
Chase Johnson (Penngrove, Calif.), a stalwart of the western U.S. racing scene as a winner with both the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars and USAC Western States Midgets, will be piloting a sprint car for Goodnight Racing in both races this weekend along with Tom Malloy’s midget in double duty action. Johnson earned hard charger honors for his advancement from 19th to 11th during July’s Indiana Sprint Week feature at Kokomo.
The 67th USAC National Sprint Car points paying event at Kokomo Speedway arrives this Saturday night, Sept. 26. There are no limits on the number of entries for the event. Pit gates and spectator gates open Saturday for Kokomo at 3pm ET with hot laps at 6pm. Adult general admission tickets are $25 for adults and free for kids age 12 and under. Pit passes are $35 apiece. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.usactickets.com as well as at the gate on raceday.
Both nights of this weekend’s Double Double, including Friday’s event at Gas City I-69 Speedway, can be watched LIVE on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/2ZpafUr.
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-1,511, 2-Brady Bacon-1,503, 3-Chase Stockon-1,475, 4-Justin Grant-1,430, 5-C.J. Leary-1,425, 6-Kevin Thomas Jr.-1,228, 7-Carson Short-1,136, 8-Dave Darland-1,092, 9-Kyle Cummins-1,012, 10-Logan Seavey-971.
KOKOMO SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINS:
3-C.J. Leary, Chris Windom, Jack Hewitt, Jon Stanbrough, Kevin Thomas Jr. Kyle Cummins & Thomas Meseraull
1-Brad Marvel, Bud Kaeding, Chad Boat, Chase Stockon, Cory Kruseman, Dean Shirley, Hunter Schuerenberg, J.J. Yeley, Jay Drake, Justin Grant, Kelly Kinser, Kevin Thomas, Levi Jones, Logan Seavey, Rich Vogler, Robert Ballou, Russ Gamester, Tom Bigelow & Tyler Thomas