Spending his weekend in Brandon, SD competing at the 2nd Annual USAC Nationals, Robert Ballou was the class of the field as he used an opening night win to propel himself to the weekend points Championship.
“Huset’s is one of the trickiest places we go to all year, and to be as consistent as we were all weekend and win a race and the points deal is huge for our team,” Robert Ballou said. “I have to thank everyone that is one the side of this car for their support, Derrick, Tom, and all of the people that help me get this car around the track.”
Friday night the three-night event kicked off at Huset’s Speedway and Ballou timed the Deaton’s Waterfront Service/Suburban Subaru/Rossie Feed and Grain backed No. 12 in fourth fastest in his qualifying group.
Flexing his muscle in his heat race, Ballou’s presence was felt as he surged to the win and pick up max points for his efforts.
Lining up eighth in the feature event, Ballou continued to showcase a strong machine as he quicky began working his way to the front during the opening night feature event.
Racing into fourth in the race’s first five circuits, a restart on lap six saw the Rocklin, CA native make quick work of Jadon Rodgers and Ryan Bernal to overtake second. Continuing to work around the 1/3 mile oval, Ballou would begin to cut into Thomas Meseraul’s lead, as he visibly cut down the advantage lap after lap.
While ‘T-Mez’ went high in traffic, Ballou stuck the bottom on the 14th lap, and went on to assume the race lead. Leading the final 15 laps unscathed, Ballou raced on to his fourth USAC win of the year, and fifth overall.
A complete show on Saturday night had more points up for grabs for Ballou and company and he kicked the second night off by timing in third quickest in his time trial group.
Racing to a second-place finish in his heat, Ballou sat fourth in points on this night a and another 12-car inversion lined him up ninth in the feature event.
Just as he did a night prior, Ballou made quick work of the field as he sliced and diced his way to third before the leaders tangled on lap 20 and handed him the lead with just 10-laps left in the race.
Looking to go two for two to open the big event up, Ballou would get off to a nice restart as he left Ryan Bernal and Brady Bacon in his wake. A slight bobble in turns three and four saw Ballou get up over the cushion and it was the opening Bernal needed as he raced by to take the lead. Able to attempt to retake the lead, Ballou’s effort would not stick, and it resulted in him slipping back to fourth.
Getting some momentum built up, Ballou would take a shot to get back on the podium but would not stick as he capped his night off with a fourth-place finish.
Sitting very strong in event points, Ballou’s second place finish in his Saturday night heat race left him atop the event standings heading into the 40-lap feature event where another 12-car inversion placed him in the sixth row.
Following extensive track prep, the surface was extremely fast and a bit narrow when the race came to life, but Ballou had his elbows up and got what he could early in the feature in his pursuit towards the front.
Getting as high as fourth, a late restart allowed Bacon to slip by him and drop him back to fifth as the race came to a close.
Taking the checkered flag in fifth, Ballou’s efforts would be rewarded as he earned the USAC Nationals Points Championship.
“I really want to thank Matt Wood for putting a lot of money up for this event,” Ballou said. “It is pretty cool to race for some serious money and we all appreciate it and hope this event can continue for years to come.”
Robert Ballou would like to thank Suburban Subaru, Deaton’s Waterfront Service, Rossie Feed and Grain, Berks Western Telecom, Inc., Dan Roberts Motorsports, Dragonfly Aviation, Hinchman Indy, Don Ott Racing Engines, Manvel Motorsports, CSI Shocks, Walker Performance Filtration, Amsoil Inc, Murray’s Body Shop, Pacific Grass and Turf, MPHG Promotions Inc, Team Jack Foundation, Olson Custom Design, Konnected Clothing, Hooker Harness, Indy Race Parts, Hoosier Tire, Schoenfeld Headers, ISC Racers Tape, Chalk Racing Products, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Saldana Racing Products, Moose Blocks, Inc., AO Designs, and Arai Helmets for their support.
ON TAP: Robert Ballou will climb aboard a Winged 410ci Sprint Car on Friday night and compete with the Midwest Open Wheel Association in Lincoln, IL.
BY THE NUMBERS: Starts-25, Wins- 5, Top 5’s- 15, Top-10’s- 20
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