April 18th, 2010

USAC Sprint Car 30 Lap A Main
1. 2B Bryan Clauson
2. 11 Chris Windom
3. 67 Henry Clarke
4. 69 Jerry Coons, Jr.
5. 20 Levi Jones
6. 4 Tracy Hines
7. 68 Jonathan Hendrick
8. 10e Shane Cottle
9. 81 Robert Ballou
10. 12b Scotty Weir
11. 57 Thomas Meseraull
12. 11w Ricky Williams
13. 71p Billy Puterbaugh, Jr.
14. 12 Chris Gurley
15. 10f Blake Fitzpatrick
16. 27 Andrew Elson
17. 7 Caleb Armstrong
18. 17r Kyle Robbins
19. 71 Damion Gardner
20. 53 Jon Stanbrough
21. 67k Dave Darland
22. 17 Shane Hmiel

12 Lap B Main (Top 6 transfer to the A Main)
1. 12b Weir
2. 67k Darland
3. 10f Fitzpatrick
4. 68 Hendrick
5. 27 Elson
6. 17 Robbins
7. 66j Josh Spencer
8. 10x Casey Shuman
9. 5 Justin Grant
10. 24 Landon Simon
DNS 2 Hunter Schuerenberg
DNS 76 JJ Hughes
DNS 1x Kurt Gross
DNS 4u Kyle Cummins

Speed Queen Racing & Design Street Stock 15 Lap A Main
1. H0 Lee Hobbs
2. 8 David Hurst
3. 1 Ervin Turner
4. 3 Craig Walker
5. 00 Landon Miller
6. 11h Ryan Hines
7. 48 Travis Wolford
8. 44 Dave Fritz
9. 14j Jordan Almanza
10. 5h Josh Hotsinpiller
11. 17 Brian Carrico
12. 3n Kaleb Nutter
13. 13 Adam Heady
14. 25 TJ Smith
15. 19 Josh Gamblin
16. 83 Kevin Mullin
DNS 2 Brandon Roundtree
DNS 5 Brent Osborn
DNS 12 Jesse Dixon
DNS 11w Thurman Wines
DNS 9 Glen Gamblin

Thunder Car 15 Lap A Main
1. 215 Gerald Armfield
2. 75 Marvin Uitts
3. 14w Kris Workman
4. 112 Dick Day
5. 2h Tim Huffman
6. 89 John Antoine
7. 0 Frank Downs
8. 92z Jason Richardson
9. 12c Steve Clark
10. 21s Bryar Schroeter
11. 6 Junior Williams
12. 622 Lana Jarvis
13. 1 Matt Toosley
14. 92 Scott Apple
15. 14 Troy Black
16. 215x Scott Warner
DNS 96 Brad Clark
DNS 95 Jeremy Van Ness

Clauson Clips Windom for Opening Night Win
Hobbs, Armfield also victorious

By Derek Fisher

Is it any wonder that Kokomo Speedway, already nearly universally acknowledged as the finest dirt track in Indiana, is gaining serious traction in being recognized as the best in the country?

After all, dirt track season openers in the Midwest can be a dicey proposition. Coming off a long and cold winter, race track operators generally face myriad questions when they open their gates to the paying public for the first time. Will the public address system work all night? Will the lights turn on when it gets dark? Am I going to be able to get the racing surface into shape and have it hold up for the entire evening? Will the weather scare people away, or wash out the program altogether?

The 63-year-old Howard County oval answered all those questions and more in its 2010 lid-lifter on Sunday night. Two of the most pertinent uncertainties addressed in resounding fashion were these: On a night that saw no fewer than seven red-flag delays among three classes of machines, the final checkered still fell before 10:30 p.m., and despite a preceding week rife with sunshine and wind — two factors that normally conspire to turn a dirt track into little more than a black skating rink — moisture was abundant in the clay and not one speck of dust was observed.

And as usual, the racing was outstanding. Kokomo Speedway, hosting its earliest Season Opener in memory, was very much in mid-season form on this night.

Also in mid-season form was Bryan Clauson, who captured the evening’s 30-lap United States Auto Club Amsoil National Sprint Car feature event. The win was Clauson’s fifth career Kokomo triumph, but just his second in a sprint car. Clauson’s other three victories here all came aboard a midget.

Clauson started inside row two in the feature and advanced to second behind polesitter Chris Windom after getting around front-row starter Jerry Coons, Jr. on lap two. Windom and Clauson quickly set about creating separation between themselves and the rest of the field, and had done so to the tune of nearly a straightaway by lap six.

That advantage was erased at the end of the eighth circuit when Kokomo veteran Dave Darland got tangled up with fellow stalwart Jon Stanbrough and somersaulted high into the air down the front straightaway. Darland was unhurt in the spectacular crash, but both his machine and Stanbrough’s were finished for the event.

On the restart, Windom continued to ply his craft in the middle groove with Clauson trying both the high and low sides in pursuit. At the completion of lap 10, Clauson provided a glimpse into the future as he snuck underneath Windom entering turn three, only to see Windom cross over and back underneath to lead the circuit at the flagstand.

Perhaps losing some momentum on the attempted overtake, Clauson lost a bit of ground to the leader and by the 22nd circuit Windom held a half-straight lead. On the ensuing lap, just as Windom approached a pack of backmarkers that most certainly would have negated his lead, he saw his advantage evaporate anyway as the yellow flew for Kyle Robbins’ stalled mount.

With the green again in the air Windom led Clauson, Henry Clarke, Scotty Weir and Coons in a seven-lap shootout to the finish. As Coons, Weir and newcomer Levi Jones battled for fourth place, Clauson steadily stalked Windom until executing the same turn-three pass he had earlier on the 28th circuit. Windom again countered to lead the lap at the stripe, but Clauson realigned his sprinter to beat Windom to the bottom of the first turn and rocketed low out of turn two with the lead. Carrying a wheelstand for the length of the backstretch in pursuit, Windom simply had nothing for Clauson over the final one and one-half laps.

“[The car] was pretty good early in the race,” Clauson said from the Crume-Evans Insurance / All-Star Performance / Lowe’s Racing Engines victory lane. “Then it got a little bit freed up as the race went. During the red, [car owner] Scott [Benic] gave me a sign to make adjustments on the car. I did that and I was able to capitalize on Chris’ mistakes. He got a little sideways a couple of times, and I got a run on him, but he did a great job. I’ve got to thank Scott and all the guys in the pits.”

Clarke, Coons and Jones rounded out the top five.

Lee Hobbs was victorious in the season-opening SpeedQueen Racing & Design street stock feature event.

Hobbs started outside the front row in the 15-lap main and quickly gained the lead over polesitter Thurman Wines. As Hobbs wasted no time in building a large lead, Wines faded while second-row mates David Hurst and Ervin Turner battled for second.

Encountering lapped traffic on lap six, Hobbs was unfazed and continued to construct a large advantage over Hurst. Caution periods on the ninth and eleventh circuits erased Hobbs’ lead, and the latter allowed Hurst and Turner to apply pressure on the point.

Hobbs was too strong over the final four laps, however, and Hurst was able to hold off Turner for second. Craig Walker and Landon Miller rounded out the top five.

“We worked really hard on this car, it took us three weeks to build it,” Hobbs said post-race. “We built it to run here every Sunday, and we’d like to try for the track championship.”

In the initial 2010 thunder car main event, Gerald Armfield was a runaway winner.

Armfield started on the front row alongside teammate Scott Warner and surged into the point as Warner struggled with the handling on his machine and quickly went backwards. Warner was relegated even further back in the pack after a lap four spin, and Armfield built a big lead over Marvin Uitts and Matt Toosley, who waged a war for the second spot.

With Armfield checked out, things got even worse for Warner when he pounded the wall and turned over on lap 10. Warner was relatively unscathed, and an unshaken Armfield wired the rest of the field over the last five circuits.

“This is awesome, getting a win right away is the way to do it,” said Armfield. “My dad had some operations over the winter, so this win is for him.”

Uitts, Troy Black, Dick Day and Tim Huffman completed the top five.