June 8th, 2008

KISS Sprint Car A-Main
1. 11s Hunter Schuerenberg
2. 81 Robert Ballou
3. 82 Bart Grider
4. 10 Daron Clayton
5. 29w Cole Whitt
6. 57 Casey Shuman
7. 53 Jon Stanbrough
8. 34 AJ Anderson
9. 10t Thomas Meseraull
10. 21s Jeff Bland
11. 10e Scotty Weir
12. 5 Jerry Coons, Jr.
13. 93 Dustin Morgan
14. 112 Brent Beauchamp
15. 66j Josh Spencer
16. 71 Caleb Armstrong
17. 0 Kyle Wissmiller
18. 32d Ron Dennis
19. 167 Shain Matthews
20. 10f Blake Fitzpatrick

Sprint Car B-Main
1.10e Weir (TR)
2. 10t Meseraull (TR)
3. 167 Matthews (TR)
4. 57 Shuman (TR)
5. 2 Dave Darland
6. 7p Anthony Peterman
7. 42 Scott Hampton
8. 17r Kyle Robbins
9. 3c Kyle Cummins
10. 39g Matt Goodnight
11. 14 Coleman Gulick
12. 9k Kevin Thomas, Jr.
13. 7a Dakoda Armstrong
14. 87 Lance Grimes
15. 51 Todd Gnat
16. 78 Adam Byrkett
17. 35 Sammy Imel
18. 17w Chris Windom
19. 22b Kenny Biro

Street Stock A-Main
1. 35 James Headley
2. 8 David Hurst
3. 18m Andre Missig
4. 9 Glen Gamblin
5. 1b Shayne Baker
6. 78 Charley Walden
7. 4 Eric Hunter
8. 62 David Jarvis
9. 17 Tristan Ramseyer
10. 11 Ryan Hines
11. 2 Bob Jarrett
12. 56 Thurman Wines
13. 48 Arnie Prater

Thunder Car A-Main
1. 7d Allen Davis
2. 15 Shawn Cullen
3. 215 Gerald Armfield
4. 33 Jeff Shaw
5. 92 Scott Apple
6. 5j Jim Summitt
7. 88 Jeremy Koon
8. 0 Chris Clark
9. 85 Warrel Law
10. 38a John Antoine
11. 92z Chanteal Zimmerman
12. 56 Tony Bowman
13. 1jr James Nutter
14. 77 Rick Ice
15. 2h Tim Huffman

Schuerenberg surges to wild Kokomo victory
Headley, Davis also winners

By Derek Fisher

When Hunter Schuerenberg first found Kokomo Speedway’s victory lane in July of 2007, he did so in somewhat mundane fashion. The Missouri driver started at the front of the field on that evening and had only to hold off a late challenge from the runner-up to best the field.

This week’s second career Schuerenberg triumph at Kokomo was much different. The young driver came from 13th on the starting grid to battle his way to victory through 30 fast and dramatic laps that had the large Kokomo crowd on its feet.

35 sprint cars signed in for the second-to-last leg of the King of Indiana Sprint Series on Sunday, and that field possessed no shortage of heavy hitters. Returning from USAC’s recent East Coast trip in time to compete were Robert Ballou, Jerry Coons Jr., Dustin Morgan, Cole Whitt and Josh Spencer, among others. Ballou and Morgan got the evening started on the right foot by winning their respective heat races, as did Bart Grider and Jon Stanbrough.

After Scotty Weir wired the B main field, Ballou and Stanbrough commenced a memorable A feature event from the front row. Stanbrough, the obvious pre-race choice to run away with the win, bicycled his machine on the cushion on lap one’s second corner, allowing Ballou and second row starter Daron Clayton to dive underneath. Ballou led the first three laps in front of Clayton and Stanbrough until Cole Whitt’s spin in turn four brought out the night’s first caution period. A second yellow flag period before another lap could be completed saw Spencer, Coons, Brent Beauchamp and A.J. Anderson report to the tail of the field.

On the successful restart, Ballou made a bobble of his own in the same spot as Stanbrough and watched the Avon driver and Clayton streak past going down the backstretch. Going three wide into the third turn on the fifth tour of the oval, the trio avoided disaster when Stanbrough lifted enough to give Ballou room to snare second behind Clayton.

As the top three began to pull away ever so slightly, Schuerenberg was beginning his march to the front. He began stalking the stout fourth-place mount of Grider on the sixth lap, and gained enough momentum to take that position on lap eight. By the 10 circuit, the eventual winner was closing on third-place Stanbrough, as was second-place Ballou on the leader. The next time around, Ballou saw Clayton complete the cycle of mistakes by the leader on the tough second-turn ledge, and seized the top spot.

Just as Ballou began to lengthen his newly-regained advantage, the race was halted on lap 13 by a massive crash involving Shain Matthews. Matthews, who started the event from the last row, had rocketed to the eighth position before tagging the backstretch wall and flipping violently into the third turn. At one point, Matthews’ car appeared to sail higher than the catch fence, but luckily came down on the racing surface between the third and fourth turns. Matthews was miraculously unhurt.

As the action resumed, Schuerenberg made quick work of Stanbrough and stole third behind Ballou and Clayton. Stanbrough continued to fade, as he lost fourth and then fifth to Grider and a surging Ron Dennis on lap 15. Dennis, much like Matthews, was a man on the move. As Schuerenberg took second from Clayton on the 18th circuit, Dennis darted around Grider and into fourth. One lap later, Dennis was around Clayton for third and suddenly hot on the heels of Schuerenberg for second. Perhaps hearing Dennis coming, Schuerenberg turned up the wick and began to reel in Ballou.

As the field completed the 21st and 22nd circuits, the lapped car of Caleb Armstrong came into play in a big way. Running in the middle of turn four on lap 21, Armstrong bottled up Ballou enough to let Schuerenburg around and into the lead. The next time by, Ballou dove underneath Armstrong in the first corner, sending the lapped machine high and into the path of Dennis. Dennis, still charging on the high side, was forced a bit too high in the cushion and found the wall before turning over twice in turn two. Dennis was unhurt, but his run to the front was over.

On the restart with just eight laps remaining, the resurgent Ballou began to gain on Schuerenberg. Behind them Clayton and Grider waged a big battle for the third spot while Cole Whitt, recovering from his early spin, and Casey Shuman, who started last, were lurking in fifth and sixth, respectively.

Creeping closer and closer as the laps wound down, Ballou executed a huge slide job in the fourth turn of lap 28, briefly taking the lead before Schuerenberg crossed over and darted to the inside of Ballou at high speed. There was one problem with that, however: The lapped car of Kyle Wissmiller was nearly stopped along the top of the race track at the flagstand, necessitating a yellow flag that waved just as Ballou and Schuerenberg passed the stalled machine with just inches to spare.

Ultimately, it was that close call that ended Ballou’s shot at victory. Aside from a failed slide job in turn one of the last lap, he had nothing for Schuerenberg during the ensuing two-lap shootout, and settled for second. Grider held his ground and took the show position, relegating Clayton to fourth. Whitt was credited with fifth and Shuman, Stanbrough, Anderson, Thomas Meseraull and Jeff Bland rounded out the top 10.

In the street stock main event, James Headley returned to his familiar Kokomo stomping grounds and walked away with the win.

Headley started from outside the front row and led every lap, wiring the field for the entire 15-circuit distance. Headley was challenged early by polesitter Thurman Wines, but mechanical woes sidelined Wines’ machine on lap three.

David Hurst was the benefactor of Wines’ trouble, as he took the second position after Wines retired and held tight to the spot for the remainder of the race. As has been the case for the last two weeks, Andre Missig and Glen Gamblin, two former multiple-time Kokomo champions, battled throughout the main event. Missig finished with the upper hand, besting Gamblin for third at the finish. Shayne Baker was fifth.

In thunder car action, Allen Davis captured his third win of the 2008 season, but it wasn’t easy.

Davis started in the seventh position, working his way through the field to take fourth on lap three and third on the fourth circuit.

In control early was Tony Bowman, who started from the pole. Bowman looked to have things in hand, as he led with a comfortable margin over second-place James Nutter for the first nine laps.

On lap 10, Nutter began to experience handling issues, giving second to Davis. The next time around, Bowman had something break in his No. 56 machine off turn two, and was forced out of competition.

It was easy going for Davis from there, as he held off Shawn Cullen, Gerald Armfield, Jeff Shaw and Scott Apple for the win.