August 24th, 2008

Sprint Car A-Main
1. 11 Hunter Schuerenberg
2. 10e Scotty Weir
3. 4 Shane Cottle
4. 10t Thomas Meseraull
5. 10f Blake Fitzpatrick
6. 5 Jon Stanbrough
7. 35 Sammy Imel
8. 66s Corey Smith
9. 82 Bart Grider
10. 77s Dustin Smith
11. 78 Adam Byrkett
12. 32 Ron Dennis
13. 66j Josh Spencer
14. 71 Joshua Clemons
15. 12 Chris Gurley
16. 11r Tyler Reddick
17. 22k Kurt Gross
18. 9k Kevin Thomas, Jr
19. 96 Larry Bontrager
20. 57 Casey Shuman
21. 14 Coleman Gulick
DNS 91 Ryan Kline

Street Stock A-Main
1. m41 Steve Maisel
2. 1 Jimmy Nutter
3. 24 Lee Hall
4. 11 Ryan Hines
5. 18m Andre Missig
6. 17 Tristan Ramseyer
7. 2 Bob Jarrett
8. 94 Joshua Collis
9. 25 Ervin Turner
10. 89b Bobby Burton
11. 62 David Jarvis
12. 74 Kyle Lennon
13. H0 Lee Hobbs
14. 9 Glen Gamblin
15. 49 Jonah Buyno
16. 84 Thurman Wines
17. 8 David Hurst
18. 48 Arnie Pratter
19. 83 Kevin Mullin

Thunder Car A-Main
1. 56 Tony Bowman
2. 26 Jason Larrison
3. 11h Loren Sharp
4. L215 Paul Whitaker
5. 7d Allen Davis
6. 215 Gerald Armfield
7. 00 Bryan Martin
8. 75 Marvin Uitts
9. 2h Tim Huffman
10. 33 Jeff Shaw
11. B1 Brandon Nutter
12. 92 Scott Apple
13. 12c Steve Clark
14. 92z Chanteal Zimmerman
15. 85 Warrell Law
16. 83 Ray Molder
17. 0 Chris Clark
18. 5j Jim Summitt
19. 28d David Atkins
20. 88 Jeremy Kohn

DNS 901 Jumior Williams
DNS 1e Eric Hunter
DNS 952 Chris Hunter
DNS 19 Rick Paul

Schuerenberg Still Sizzling
Maisel, Bowman record victories on memorable night

By Derek Fisher

For many years under the reign of the Lipkey family, Kokomo Speedway hosted an annual race called the “Kokomo Klassic.” Paying more to win than the average weekly card, the event always attracted a few more big names to the pit area and, more often than not, lived up to its namesake by providing a classic main event.

These days at the Kokomo Speedway they may as well promote every race as another Kokomo Klassic, because week in and week out the action will leave you shaking your head and wanting more. This week was no different: The sprint car A-main featured three different leaders in two separate two-car battles, the street stock feature had a last-to-first winner and the thunder car main event saw a driver win his eighth consecutive race. It was just your typical Kokomo Sunday night.

Accustomed to blowout wins so far in 2008, Hunter Schuerenberg was pushed harder than ever before in netting the sprint car victory. Starting fifth in the 21-car A feature field, Schuerenberg met his first obstacle of the evening in lap one’s second turn. The Missouri transplant, fourth-place starter Scotty Weir and a handful of other cars were caught up in a bottleneck that didn’t bring out a caution, but negated precious momentum for those involved for a few brief moments.

With that scrum sorted out by the third turn, the field settled in behind front row mates Sammy Imel and Corey Smith. By lap three the evening’s true players were on the move, as Shane Cottle and Casey Shuman slipped into second and third, respectively, ahead of Smith. As the top three strung out the next time by, Schuerenberg was up to his usual tricks: Running dangerously close to the wall at the Speedway’s north end and carrying tremendous speed into the south end. The momentum gained in his high line carried him past Smith and to the rear bumper of Shuman by the sixth lap.

Prepared to circle Shuman high in turn one on lap seven, Schuerenberg ran into his second bump in the road: The first turn concrete. Pounding the wall with the right side of his machine after misjudging his entry, Schuerenberg again lost ground to the leaders, and also his right nerf bar, in the process. The caution flew on the ensuing lap for the wayward bumper, allowing Schuerenberg to make up the ground lost and remain in fourth.

A lap after the restart, business picked up. Cottle shot low off the second turn to snag the lead from Imel, and by the time the leaders reached the flagstand Shuman had taken second while Imel fell into the clutches of Schuerenberg. Before Schuerenberg could complete the pass for third, the race was again halted for Coleman Gulick’s turn two tumble. Under red flag conditions, one could observe that 2006 track champion Jon Stanbrough had advanced to 14th after starting dead last.

Imel did lose third to Schuerenberg after Gulick’s spill was cleaned up, just as Shuman began applying heavy pressure to Cottle up front. Working the low side to perfection, Shuman nearly claimed the lead on laps 10 and 11 by rocketing off the bottom of the fourth corner. Behind them Imel was fading fast, losing fourth and fifth on successive laps to Thomas Meseraull and Weir. Just when it looked as though Shuman was posied to corral Cottle back at the front, the second-generation driver slowed with a flat left rear tire and pulled pitside.

When the green flew again, Schuerenberg made good use of his newly-found second position and began hounding Cottle up high. Using a diamond move off turn four on lap 13 Schuerenberg was second by just inches at the line, a feat that would be duplicated on the next circuit. Diving low into turn three on lap 15, Schuerenberg exited high and took a narrow lead at the stripe with Cottle on the low side. Reversing roles on the subsequent lap, Cottle dove deep into the third corner under Schuerenberg and looked to reclaim the lead, but bobbled on the cushion and saw Schuerenberg shoot underneath and hold the point. Regaining his momentum and again leading into turn three on lap 17, Cottle still wasn’t able to stifle Schuerenberg as the 19-year old pilot again diamoned the fourth corner and led at the line.

While Cottle and Schuerenberg were playing slide-and-dive up front, Weir was on the wheel behind them. After moving by Meseraull and into third on the 17th circuit, Weir used the still-moist low groove to pass Cottle for second on lap 19.

As Schuerenberg encountered lapped traffic at the front, Weir made huge gains on the leader and may have taken the lead at the conclusion of lap 22 had he not run into lapped traffic himself. Undaunted and very fast down low, Weir launched into turn three side by side with Schuerenberg on the 23rd circuit, but was unable to overtake Schuerenberg, who was still on the high side. After losing some momentum with the turn three effort, Weir watched Schuerenberg extend his lead to five car lengths as the white flag flew. On last low lunge by Weir out of the final corner made the deficit two car lengths, but was too little too late.

“That was really fun,” Schuerenberg said after his sixth Kokomo win of 2008. “I’ve got to thank Weir and Cottle for running me clean out there. I didn’t run Shane too clean on Friday night, and that just shows what kind of racer he is. I think I may have broken something in the rear end when I hit the wall, we’ll have to get it back to the shop and look at it. That was the most fun I’ve had in awhile.”

Cottle held on for third in front of Meseraull, who claimed fourth. Third-place starter Blake Fitzpatrick rebounded for fifth after some early struggles, and Stanbrough completed a great drive from 21st to claim sixth.

In the Street Stock Spectacular event Steve Maisel was the winner, charging to the lead in 18 laps after starting on the tail.

Front-row starters Glen Gamblin and David Hurst tangled in the second corner of lap one, sending Gamblin scrambling back to third and Hurst to fifth. Lee Hobbs was the beneficiary, as he inherited the early lead with Arnie Prater in tow.

It wasn’t long before Hurst and Gamblin were back on the move, however. Gaining on the leaders, Gamblin was riding in third before Hurst passed the multi-time Kokomo champion to take the show position. Unfortunately for Hurst, his charge was halted when he made contact with Prater off the second turn on lap four. Prater was done for the night and Hurst dropped to the tail, eventually retiring from the race on lap seven.

On the restart, Hobbs led Gamblin with Lee Hall in third. Never quite able to get the lead, Gamblin was persistent in his low-side pursuit of Hobbs, who rode the favored high line. By lap 10 Jim Nutter had moved into fifth, followed by Andre Missig in sixth and Maisel, already up to seventh.

As Gamblin still pressured Hobbs up front, Maisel worked past Nutter and Missig to take fourth on lap 14. After Gamblin dropped out on a lap 16 caution, Maisel rode second in front of Hall, Nutter and Missig. When Hobbs made a bobble in turn four on the 18th circuit, the lead was finally Maisel’s.

After Hobbs fell out with a flat tire on the next lap, Maisel drove away to a convincing victory. He was followed by Nutter, Hall, Ryan Hines and Missig.

It was again all Tony Bowman, all the time in the thunder car division; the driver won his eighth consecutive Kokomo feature.

After a lap one pileup eliminated Jim Summitt and sent Allen Davis and Gerald Armfield to the tail, Bowman wasted little time in finding the lead. Surging low off the second corner, Bowman outdistanced Jason Larrison into the third turn and took the top spot.

Larrison settled into second behind the fast Bowman as Paul Whittaker rode third. By lap six, Davis had made his way back up to fifth and was battling with Loren Sharp for fourth. As the front-runners encountered lapped traffic, Sharp circled Whittaker for third as Davis was now mired in a battled for fifth with Armfield.

Working through lapped traffic through the end, Bowman won going away over Larrison, Sharp, Whittaker, Davis and Armfield.