August 22nd, 2010

25 Lap Omni Source Sprint Car Feature
1. 10f Blake Fitzpatrick
2. 39 Dave Darland
3. 7 Caleb Armstrong
4. 57 Thomas Meseraull
5. 10e Shane Cottle
6. 66 Josh Spencer
7. 71s Jon Stanbrough
8. 5 Justin Grant
9. 76 JJ Hughes
10. 83 Wes McIntyre
11. 58 Jamie Fredrickson
12. 3 Braylon Fitzpatrick
13. 42 Conner Donelson
14. 40 Travis Hery
15. 11 Chris Windom
16. 71c Jerry Coons, Jr.
17. 17 Kyle Robbins
18. 24 Landon Simon
19. 16 Todd Kirkman
DNS 89 David Gravel

25 Lap Speed Queen Racing & Design Street Stock Showdown Feature
1. 9 Glen Gamblin
2. H0 Lee Hobbs
3. 00 Landon Miller
4. 2 Brandon Roundtree
5. Z Jesse Simmons
6. 11 Kaleb Nutter
7. 3n Eric Hunter
8. 18 Kevin Kemp
9. 5s Robert Schmidt
10. 62 David Jarvis
11. 83m Kevin Mullin
12. 83p Josh Presley
13. 17 Brian Carrico
14. 92 Scott Apple
15. 82 Milton Gibbs
16. 5h Josh Hotsinpiller
17. 3w Craig Walker

15 Lap Thunder Car Feature
1. 50 Jason Shrout
2. 26 Jason Larrison
3. 37 Josh Hesson
4. 215 Gerald Armfiled
5. 86 Nick Glassburn
6. 95 Jeremy Van Ness
7. 215a Paul Whitaker
8. 31 Frank Downs
9. 44 Jason Fritz
10. 622 Lana Jarvis
11. 38 John Antoine
12. 14 Kris Workman
13. 6 Junior Williams
14. 28 David Atkins
15. 55 Jerry Taylor
DNS 12 Steve Clark

Fitzpatrick’s Fast
Gamblin and Shrout win

By Derek Fisher

Since its 2005 reconfiguration, the Kokomo Speedway has had a knack for making juggernauts out of first-time winners. Be it Hunter Schuerenberg, Chad Boat or Cole Whitt, something seems to click with the sprint car shoe who finally breaks through to win on Howard County soil after many near misses.

Case in point: The three aforementioned drivers combined to win 18 of their next 41 — nearly a 44% clip — feature events at the local oval after shaking the monkey off their respective backs, with an incongruous 15 of those coming in consecutive fashion. So, what’s the secret these drivers have discovered that allows them to dominate Kokomo’s banks? That answer is up for debate, but one thing is certain: Blake Fitzpatrick knows.

Fitzpatrick, a native of West Terre Haute, may well be the next name added to the juggernaut list after snaring his second Speedway win in as many weeks on Sunday night. His most recent triumph came just seven days after his first career Kokomo connection, a blowout performance in his 38th A-main attempt.

“To win two weeks in a row feels good,” Fitzpatrick said from the Crume-Evans Insurance / All-Star Performance / Kokomo Honda victory lane. “I figured the car might be a little tight but it was really good. I’ve got to thank Bubby [Jones] and all the guys for working hard.”

Despite leading the last 24 circuits of the 25-lap OmniSource main event, Fitzpatrick had much more to worry about than just a tight racecar. After starting from the pole, the fourth-year pilot surrendered an opening-lap lead to front-row mate Chris Windom before regaining a slight edge in the middle groove on the second circuit.

Windom rode in Fitzpatrick’s shadow for the ensuing 16 tours, applying heavy pressure from the cushion at times, before altering his line on lap 19’s first set of corners. Diving under Fitzpatrick exiting turn two, the sprint points leader pulled even with the pacesetter and looked to have enough momentum to nose ahead down the backstretch before the pair banged wheels. As Windom’s wounded machine spun to a stop, Fitzpatrick bounced and nearly turned his sprinter over but was able to keep fire in his powerplant.

With Windom forced pitside, Fitzpatrick kept the lead and was not seriously challenged by the new second-place car of Dave Darland over the final seven circuits.

“I feel bad about getting into the side of Chris,” said Fitzpatrick. “He’s been fast and I figured he was going to be the car to beat, but it was just one of those racing deals. I did see Dave’s nose, and I figured he was waiting for the last lap [to make a pass], but it all worked out.”

Darland, Caleb Armstrong, Thomas Meseraull and Shane Cottle rounded out the top five. Cottle’s effort was notable after starting 19th on the grid.

In the Speed Queen Racing & Design Street Stock Shootout, Glen Gamblin and Lee Hobbs may have delivered the race of the year. Gamblin was declared the winner of a photo finish after he, Hobbs and a gaggle of lapped cars crossed beneath the flag stand under a virtual blanket at the event’s conclusion.

Hobbs started the 25-lap affair from the pole but was quickly relegated to runner-up status by second-starting Craig Walker. Walker led the initial two tours before heading pitside with mechanical woes, handing the lead to Hobbs and second to Gamblin, who started inside the second row.

Hobbs stretched out a half-straightaway lead on Gamblin as the pair worked through backmarkers beginning on lap six, but following a lap nine caution period, Gamblin turned up the pressure. Working lappers again by the 16th circuit, Gamblin used the extreme top of the racing surface entering turn three to gain ground on Hobbs and nearly saw it pay off with the lead on the 17th and 18th laps.

After repelling that challenge, Hobbs looked to be on the way to his eighth straight Kokomo feature win before encountering a final set of lapped machines with two circuits left. Following a backmarker low into turn one on the final lap, the Bedford shoe was slightly boxed in heading down the backstretch as Gamblin quickly gained ground. With Hobbs forced to remain on the bottom entering the south set of turns, Gamblin shot to the middle of the track and threaded a needle through two slower machines before gliding to the cushion exiting turn four, making himself the top bun in a leader and lapped-car sandwich.

Hobbs fought for ground as the bottom bun with two backmarkers in the middle as the pack reached the line, with Hobbs ending up sideways after making contact with one of the machines mere feet after crossing the stripe. After some discussion and a look at the replay, Gamblin was declared the winner by little more than a foot.

“That was a pretty good race,” said Gamblin. “If it hadn’t have been for the lapped traffic, I wouldn’t have gotten [Hobbs]. Second’s the first loser, and we weren’t gonna settle for that [Sunday]. You guys may have called [the margin] a foot, but it looked like an inch to me.”

Landon Miller, Brandon Roundtree and Jesse Simmons completed the top five.

Jason Shrout’s victory in the 15-lap thunder car event was his fourth of the 2010 season at the Kokomo Speedway. Shrout started inside the third row and used the bottom groove to overtake race-long leader Jason Larrison on the ninth circuit to snare the win.

“[Larrison]’s a real good driver and real fast,” Shrout said. “He makes the top work but there are so many grooves on this track to use.”

Larrison settled for second in front of Josh Hesson, series points leader Gerald Armfield and Nick Glassburn.