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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

C.J. Leary and Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports recorded their first victory Saturday night at Bubba Raceway Park. (Rich Forman Photo)



LEARY LOGS FIRST WIN FOR NEW TEAM IN WINTER DIRT GAMES X FINALE

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ocala, Florida (February 16, 2019).........The first weekend with a new race team is normally a period when driver and team get accustomed to one another and learn on-the-fly how to win races together.

There were very few bumps in the road for C.J. Leary and Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports throughout "Winter Dirt Games X," which culminated Saturday night with the combo's first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory together at Bubba Raceway Park.

Leary was highly successful on the USAC trail in his own family car over the past several seasons. This past offseason, Leary made the move to the Arizona-based team, bringing with him a familiar face to a new setting to make the transition as smooth as silk.

"The cool thing was Andy (Reinbold) brought me and (crew chief) Davey (Jones) on as a team since we had already been working together and we get along so well on and off the track," Leary pointed out. "I'm just learning this new racecar and this new engine package is quite a bit different than what I was running the past couple of years on our family car. We did a lot of unique things to the racecar and it paid off for us down here in Florida."

Winning this early on in the season is always a good sign that things are clicking. With a 6th, 2nd and a 1st during the three-night mini-series, plus the early season point lead, the team is already enjoying the fruits of their labor after thrashing to get their operation ready to go for the new year.

"We had high expectations with this new team," Leary exclaimed. "Andy gave us the best of everything. Davey and I have put a lot of hours into this car. Just to see it pay off is really awesome for Davey and me. I'm sure it is for Andy just because he's spent a lot of money getting this thing where it is. This kind of caps off that he hired the right two guys."

Leary started the 30-lapper from the outside of the front row alongside Robert Ballou. Ballou got the initial jump to the lead, but Leary wasn't taken aback.

"He got the jump on us at the start," Leary recalled. "The outside lane was pretty slick, and I knew the bottom still had pretty good moisture. I knew he was probably going to get the jump on us, so I was hoping to cross him over into (turn) one."

However, Leary slid into second behind race leader Ballou as the two hit the back stretch of the 3/8-mile D-shaped dirt track. The first stoppage came early as Dave Darland and Kent Schmidt tangled off turn four. Both would be finished for the evening.

Following the lap two restart, Ballou extended his lead as Leary fought with Kevin Thomas, Jr. for the second spot. But, gradually, Leary was able to chip away at Ballou's lead as the frontrunners began to work lapped traffic by lap nine where Leary was able to take a sneak peek underneath Ballou heading into turn one.

Leary retained his presence just a few car lengths behind Ballou when, on the 12th lap, Ballou drifted high off turn four, allowing Leary underneath to grab the lead.

"I just stalked him there and then we had that yellow," Leary remembered. "Our car was really good on the restarts, and when he made that small mistake in three and four, it got tight on him and let us capitalize, drive up under him and it was pretty smooth sailing from there."

C.J. Leary's 8th career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car win moves him to 54th on the all-time list alongside Mike Bliss, Chet Fillip, Johnny Rutherford and Joe Saldana. (Rich Forman Photo)



Leary's only close encounters were dealing with lappers and having to endure multiple restarts down the stretch, first on lap 21 for an excursion by Friday night winner Justin Grant and on lap 28 for a turn four Matt Westfall spin. The restart with just three laps remaining pit Leary versus Thomas back in second. Usually a caution with a late-race lead is something to fret about, but Leary had no qualms.

"I was just really happy to see those yellows to be real honest," Leary reiterated. "I normally hate seeing yellows when I'm the leader. This 19AZ was super fast on the restarts and we were digging hard. I'm just happy to be with this new team. It's a great way to start the season off."

On the lap 28 restart, Leary bolted to a five-car-length lead that built to six, seven, eight, nine, then ten car lengths that would prove to be insurmountable in the final stanza, with the Greenfield, Indiana driver pulling away for a 1.502 second victory over Thomas. Tyler Courtney made a substantial charge on the final restart from sixth to third. Chase Stockon was fourth with opening night winner Chris Windom rounding out the top-five.

Courtney captured the title of Passing Master courtesy of Indiana Mafia/Hughes Racing/Flamingo Sandy worth an extra $800, picking off a total of 25 cars throughout the USAC Sprint feature events of "Winter Dirt Games X."

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Bubba Raceway Park were Timmy Buckwalter (Fatheadz Eyewear/EPA Photography Fast Qualifier), Justin Grant (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Dakota Jackson (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Chad Boespflug (Auto Meter Third Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Indy Race Parts Semi Winner & KSE Racing Products/ProSource Hard Charger), Joey Biasi (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier), Chad Boespflug (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Stephen Schnapf (ProSource Hard Work) and Ty Tilton (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 16, 2019 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - "Winter Dirt Games X"

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR/EPA PHOTOGRAPHY QUALIFYING: 1. Timmy Buckwalter, 7, LNB-13.689; 2. Jason McDougal, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-13.715; 3. Damion Gardner, 20, Dyson-13.750; 4. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-13.783; 5. Chris Windom, 5G, Goacher-13.789; 6 Kevin Thomas, Jr., 19, Hayward/Thomas-13.800; 7. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-13.841; 8. C.J. Leary, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-13.883; 9. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-13.894; 10. Carson Short, 21, RCM-13.930; 11. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.966; 12. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-14.005; 13. Joey Biasi, B1, Biasi-14.011; 14. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-14.067; 15. Chad Boespflug, 98e, EZR-14.095; 16. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-14.096; 17. Kent Schmidt, 5K, KO-14.105; 18. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.117; 19. Dave Darland, 5, Briscoe/Curb-Agajanian-14.159; 20. Ty Tilton, 42, Tilton-14.178; 21. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-14.337; 22. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-14.417; 23. Travis Hery, 21H, Hery-14.423; 24. Dustin Christie, 75, Christie-14.511; 25. Noah Gass, 20G, Gass-14.860; 26. Stephen Schnapf, 61m, Edwards-14.999; 27. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-15.555.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer) 1. Grant, 2. Short, 3. Biasi, 4. Stockon, 5. Darland, 6. Buckwalter, 7. Courtney, 8. Chapple, 9. Gass. 1:54.88

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer) 1. Jackson, 2. Leary, 3. Windom, 4. Schmidt, 5. McDougal, 6. Cummins, 7. Schnapf, 8. Tilton, 9. Hery. 1:56.19

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer) 1. Boespflug, 2. Thomas, 3. Bacon, 4. Ballou, 5. Westfall, 6. Gardner, 7. Christie, 8. Goodnight, 9. Bell. 1:56.05

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps, top-7 transfer) 1. Courtney, 2. Buckwalter, 3. Gardner, 4. Cummins, 5. Chapple, 6. Schnapf, 7. Gass, 8. Tilton, 9. Goodnight, 10. Hery, 11. Christie, 12. Bell. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. C.J. Leary (2), 2. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (4), 3. Tyler Courtney (9), 4. Chase Stockon (3), 5. Chris Windom (5), 6. Robert Ballou (1), 7. Jason McDougal (6), 8. Damion Gardner (8), 9. Carson Short (10), 10. Timmy Buckwalter (7), 11. Brady Bacon (12), 12. Kyle Cummins (11), 13. Chad Boespflug (15), 14. Joey Biasi (13), 15. Isaac Chapple (20), 16. Stephen Schnapf (22), 17. Matt Westfall (18), 18. Matt Goodnight (23), 19. Noah Gass (21), 20. Dakota Jackson (14), 21. Justin Grant (16), 22. Dave Darland (19), 23. Kent Schmidt (17). NT
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FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-11 Ballou, Laps 12-30 Leary.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Tyler Courtney (9th to 3rd)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Chad Boespflug

PROSOURCE HARD WORK: Stephen Schnapf

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Ty Tilton

ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Joey Biasi

HUGHES RACING/INDIANA MAFIA/FLAMINGO SANDY PASSING MASTER: Tyler Courtney (25)

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Leary-216, 2-Thomas-214, 3-Stockon-194, 4-Grant-183, 5-Windom-181, 6-Courtney-174, 7-Ballou-171, 8-Gardner-158, 9-Buckwalter-155, 10-Short-155.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: March 30, 2019 - Lawrenceburg Speedway - Lawrenceburg, Indiana

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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The United States Auto Club.

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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

Justin Grant celebrates his victory on night two of 'Winter Dirt Games X' Friday at Bubba Raceway Park. (Rich Forman Photo)



GRANT SURVIVES AND THRIVES IN WINTER DIRT GAMES NIGHT 2

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ocala, Florida (February 15, 2019).........Justin Grant has won a few and lost a few in the same manner throughout his racing career. He's now won and lost in the same manner at Bubba Raceway Park following his USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory Friday on night two of "Winter Dirt Games X."

The Ione, Calif. native won a "survival of the fittest" competition, so to speak, that saw several cars fall by the wayside with tire wear, including race leader Chris Windom with two laps remaining. That sent Grant to the front of the pack where he drove to his second career "Winter Dirt Games" triumph aboard his TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink - Bow Foundation - Challenger Construction/Maxim/Claxton Chevy.

It was the 14th USAC National Sprint Car win of Grant's career, tying him for 38th on the all-time list alongside Billy Cassella, Jim Hurtubise, Lee Kunzman and Bruce Walkup.

Grant began the 30-lapper from the second position alongside pole starter C.J. Leary, who got the jump on Grant at the drop of the green flag and quickly constructed a half-straightaway advantage by the sixth lap and would dominate the first half of the feature.
Thursday night winner Chris Windom began to creep his way toward Leary in lapped traffic, knocking down the interval to eight tenths by the 18th lap. Leary slid high between turns three and four on lap 20, allowing Windom to skate by on the bottom to grab the lead.

The race up front saw the leaders stick inside, trying to not make any mistakes by missing the line and saving the equipment in order to make the full distance in one piece in what, up to that point, had been a caution-free race. That is, until Fatheadz Eyewear fast qualifier and new one-lap track record holder Carson Short stopped on the front straightaway with a flat right rear tire while running sixth.

Meanwhile, Grant was mired in fourth, thinking about his own fate after preserving his equipment for the duration of the race up to that point. But this was the moment he decided to pull the trigger, quickly picking off Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Leary in quick succession to get to second on the restart with only Windom, the race leader, left in his sights, though Windom held a relatively comfortable advantage.

However, a yellow on lap 29 shifted the entire outlook as Brady Bacon (12th) and Jason McDougal (13th) simultaneously pulled to the top of turn one, both suffering from flat right rear tires. Under yellow, Windom discovered a devastating blow as his front right tire deflated, forcing him to pit and putting him out of contention for the win before, ultimately, finishing 21st.

Grant was now positioned as the leader for the green-white-checkered finish as several thoughts raced through his mind, mainly the rubber issue that had befallen a few others.

"I was a bit worried I'd used too much tire trying to get back to Windom," Grant recalled. "That was my only concern once he puled off. I wish I had let him go, but you never know how these things are going to play out. I was definitely low on air by the end. Once you start cooking the tires like that, it starts knocking the air out of them and the thing was porpoising bad off the corner. I know I'd done all I could to save the tire, but I still knew it was going to be close."

Another instance that weighed on Grant was a repeat of the 2016 "Winter Dirt Games" finale when he believed he had the victory sewn up. However, cataloging that moment in his memory served as a reminder on this particular night that this deal wasn't over just quite yet.

It was the 14th USAC National Sprint Car win of Grant's career, tying him for 38th on the all-time list alongside Billy Cassella, Jim Hurtubise, Lee Kunzman and Bruce Walkup. (Al Steinberg Photo)



"I've lost a race here in the middle of three and four, blowing a tire coming to the checker," Grant remembered. "The last time I was leading down the back stretch in a rubber race here, I thought 'yeah we made it.' I refused to think it tonight until I was past the flag stand."

"I tried to ride as much as I could early and stay out of the black as long as I could," Grant continued. "In the race I lost, (Thomas) Meseraull won by staying out of the rubber for a good portion of it. He got in the rubber for a few laps, maintained it, then got out of the rubber, then back in the rubber. I tried to stay out of the rubber until it got fast enough that I had to be in it and not worry about losing one or two spots."

On the restart, Grant's preservation had equaled perseverance as he said 'sayonara' right from the restart and drove away to a 1.712 second victory over Leary, KSE Racing Products/ProSource Hard Charger Tyler Courtney from 22nd, Chad Boespflug and Thomas.

Grant owes some of his gratitude toward what he's learned from his competitors and other cars he's competed in throughout his career.

"You're running a lot of Silver Crown races with Kody Swanson and he's so good at that," Grant points out. "He makes you figure out how to do it. It's a bit harder to maintain in a sprint car because you can get behind. Had Windom not fallen out, we would've been caught behind. We wouldn't have been able to get to him short of him getting tight or doing something in the rubber. He'd been spot on until that point. We caught a big break with him falling out. We've got a long year and we want to win the race, but we need to make it to the finish. If we ran second, then we were going to run second. It's not worth blowing a tire over when you're setting out to do the full tour."

Grant had a sluggish start when he moved to the TOPP Motorsports team at the beginning of 2018. The combo rallied to win five races in a seven-race stretch toward the end of the season. In 2019, it took them just two races to reach victory lane.

"Every win in the No. 4 car is the most rewarding win," Grant admitted. "It just feels like every time I've pulled into victory lane, it's the most rewarding win I've ever had. These guys sticking by me meant so much to me last year. Kevin Birchmeier is such a great leader. He wouldn't let us get down even when wanted to get down. He made us figure it out and kept our heads up. A lot of owners get down on you and start looking for the next great thing; he just kept pumping us up, kept building us up."

"(Crew Chief) Mark (Shambarger) and I took a while to jell," Grant continued. Now we get along great. I'm surprised he never killed me, but we all survived and we're all here. Its great now. We're going to keep riding it as long as we can and, hopefully, it stays this good and we keep rolling along. I've been around this game long enough to know that it comes in waves, so try to enjoy it while you're riding high and dig through when you're low. Sprint car racing is tough. It's not easy. I feel like if you don't enjoy the process and the struggle, then you're not going to make it very long."

Contingency award winners Friday night at Bubba Raceway Park were Carson Short (Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier), Justin Grant (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), C.J. Leary (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Damion Gardner (Auto Meter Third Heat Winner), Robert Ballou (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Dakota Jackson (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier), Robert Ballou (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Tyler Courtney (KSE Racing Products/ProSource Hard Charger & ProSource Hard Work) and Travis Hery (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 15, 2019 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - "Winter Dirt Games X"

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. Carson Short, 21, RCM-13.398 (New Track Record); 2. Chris Windom, 5G, Goacher-13.428; 3. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.459; 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 19, Hayward/Thomas-13.475; 5. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-13.520; 6. C.J. Leary, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-13.599; 7. Damion Gardner, 20, Dyson-13.608; 8. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-13.668; 9. Timmy Buckwalter, 7, LNB-13.687; 10. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-13.701; 11. Chad Boespflug, 98e, EZR-13.749; 12. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.809; 13. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-13.835; 14. Kent Schmidt, 5K, KO-13.861; 15. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-13.910; 16. Jason McDougal, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-13.954; 17. Joey Biasi, B1, Biasi-13.962; 18. Stephen Schnapf, 61m, Edwards-13.963; 19. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-13.983; 20. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-13.995; 21. Dustin Christie, 75, Christie-14.046; 22. Dave Darland, 5, Briscoe/Curb-Agajanian-14.105; 23. Ty Tilton, 42, Tilton-14.108; 24. Travis Hery, 21H, Hery-14.200; 25. Noah Gass, 20G, Gass-14.597; 26. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-15.510; 27. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-NT; 28. Daron Clayton, 5o, KO-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Grant, 2. Short, 3. Buckwalter, 4. Biasi, 5. Christie, 6. Jackson, 7. Gass. 1:56.48

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Leary, 2. Windom, 3. Darland, 4. Schnapf, 5. Schmidt, 6. Goodnight, 7. Bell. 1:56.72

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Gardner, 2. Bacon, 3. Courtney, 4. Westfall, 5. Boespflug, 6. Chapple, 7. Tilton. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Ballou, 2. Stockon, 3. Thomas, 4. McDougal, 5. Cummins, 6. Hery, 7. Clayton. 2:00.00

SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer) 1. Jackson, 2. Boespflug, 3. Chapple, 4. Schmidt, 5. Goodnight, 6. Cummins, 7. Hery, 8. Gass, 9. Christie, 10. Bell. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (2), 2. C.J. Leary (1), 3. Tyler Courtney (22), 4. Chad Boespflug (11), 5. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (3), 6. Damion Gardner (7), 7. Timmy Buckwalter (9), 8. Chase Stockon (8), 9. Dave Darland (21), 10. Kyle Cummins (12), 11. Dakota Jackson (13), 12. Isaac Chapple (15), 13. Robert Ballou (20), 14. Carson Short (6), 15. Brady Bacon (4), 16. Jason McDougal (16), 17. Joey Biasi (17), 18. Matt Goodnight (10), 19. Matt Westfall (19), 20. Stephen Schnapf (18), 21. Chris Windom (5), 22. Kent Schmidt (14). NT
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FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-19 Leary, Laps 20-28 Windom, Laps 29-30 Grant.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Tyler Courtney (22nd to 3rd)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Robert Ballou

PROSOURCE HARD WORK: Tyler Courtney

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Travis Hery

ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Dakota Jackson

HUGHES RACING/INDIANA MAFIA/FLAMINGO SANDY PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Darland-21, 2-Courtney-19, 3-Boespflug-17, 4-Ballou-12, 5-Grant-10, 6-Leary-5, 7-Buckwalter-5, 8-Windom-4, 9-Chapple-3, 10-Cummins-2.

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Grant-152, 2-Thomas-139, 3-Leary-139, 4-Stockon-128, 5-Windom-115, 6-Ballou-111, 7-Boespflug-108, 8-Darland-105, 9-Bacon-104, 10-Courtney-103.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: February 16, 2019 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - "Winter Dirt Games X"

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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The United States Auto Club.

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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

Chris Windom celebrates Thursday night's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season-opening victory at Bubba Raceway Park. (Rich Forman Photo)



LAST LAP HERO WINDOM SCORES OCALA USAC SPRINT OPENER

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ocala, Florida (February 14, 2019).........Chris Windom led just one lap in Thursday's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season opener at Bubba Raceway Park, but it was the one that paid the most as the Canton, Ill. driver prevailed on a wild final lap scramble that saw three different race leaders edge ahead at one point in an instant Valentine's Day classic.

Windom's victory gave the venerable Goacher Racing team just its second career USAC National Sprint Car feature win, their first such appearance in USAC victory lane in 27 years! You'll have to go all the way back to the 1992 season to find Goacher Racing's lone previous series' win with driver Danny Smith in the "4-Crown Nationals" at Eldora Speedway.

The offseason was a tumultuous one for Windom with the unexpected closure of Baldwin Brothers Racing, for which he won the 2017 series title. That put him in the precarious position of ride-hunting during the short offseason, where he landed with a new team surrounded by some familiar faces and some new, but all with the same expectations of success, which they brought to fruition in their first outing of 2019.

"I brought (Crew Chief) Derek Claxton along with me," Windom pointed out. "Obviously, we're very familiar with each other and have had a lot of success together. I kind of molded the whole deal together I feel like. Everyone worked equally hard to put this whole deal together over the winter and I'm thankful to them for giving me the opportunity to do it. Between Jason (Goacher), Joe (Brandon) and Derek, and everybody here helping, I think it came together alright for night one."

From the fourth starting position, Windom had his work cut out for him from the word 'go' with Thomas starting from the pole position. Thomas, also debuting a new ride this season, immediately bolted to a 1.5 second lead in the early-going until Tyler Courtney, going for his fifth-straight USAC score in Ocala rode the outside wall from the entrance of turn three until midway between three and four before coming to a rest. The damage was extensive on the right side of the car, sending him to the sidelines for the remainder of the night.

On a lap 12 restart nearing the midway point, leader Thomas entered turn one a tad lower in a defensive move to block Windom's slide attempt. Windom tried the slider on an earlier lap seven restart that caught the attention of Thomas'. Both times the move wasn't able to pay off for Windom, although it put Thomas on guard.

"You've got to hound the guy and let him know you're there," Windom reiterated. "But, when you make your move, you got to make it count. This place is such a momentum racetrack that if you slide a guy and miss the slider, and get too sideways, you're going to kill all your momentum, get passed and fall back to third or fourth. You've got to time your slide job to where you keep your momentum and not really lose any speed."

With nine to go, as the frontrunners encountered lapped traffic, Windom slung it to the bottom of turn one and slid up in front of Thomas in turn two. The two collided, Windom's rear bumper with the front bumper of Thomas, slowing both down only momentarily. Thomas stayed with it ran down Windom in turn three a half-lap later to reclaim the lead for a brief moment before Windom countered and beat Thomas back to turn one. Thomas counterpunched and got back by Windom for the top spot again as Grant now entered the fray to make it a three-car party.

Windom's repeated bid to secure his position in front of race-long leader Thomas would come up snake eyes until turn one of the final circuit. Thomas had an inkling that Windom would be on the attack underneath, scooting down a lane to protect, but Windom was able to limbo a tick lower, sliding in front of Thomas as the pair made their way through turn two. Thomas slipped a bit high over the cushion, allowing Grant to get by on the inside.

Grant rode the wave of momentum on the throttle into turn three for the final time, slipping under Windom at Mach-10 speed to snare the lead away with only one turn remaining. However, Grant cooked it in and got his ride sideways on exit, slowing his momentum toward the checkered. Windom took a slight evasive action to avoid clipping Grant's right rear tire to get to the line and finish out an incredible final lap to complete a 0.354 second margin of victory in his Goacher Racing/NOS Energy Drink - Parallax Power Supply - Jonathan Byrd's/DRC/Claxton Mopar.

Thomas also got by Grant in the final turn to finish second. Grant held on to nip Chase Stockon for third at the line by six-hundredths of a second while Robert Ballou rounded out the top-five.

While the top was undoubtedly the fastest away around throughout the 30-lap feature, you can't pass if you don't take chances by coloring outside the lines every once in a while, when the opportunity arises.

"It was fastest around the top and you had to make sure you made the exact right move, or you'd lose a spot or two spots if you missed it," Windom explained. "I tried to time it just right so that I had a big run on KT. On that last lap, he tried to block my slide job into turn one. Fortunately, I got lower than him and was able to slide up in front of him there. I knew the big crossover was coming and I didn't know exactly what to do going into three and four. I carried my momentum around the top and it looked like (Grant) got too sideways to clear the slider back on me."

Windom's 22nd career USAC National Sprint Car victory moves him into a four-way tie for 24th all-time, along with Rick Hood, Bubby Jones and Sam Sessions.

Contingency award winners Thursday night at Bubba Raceway Park were Carson Short (Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier), Matt Goodnight (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Robert Ballou (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), C.J. Leary (Auto Meter Third Heat Winner), Justin Grant (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Dakota Jackson (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Chad Boespflug (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger & ProSource Hard Work).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 14, 2019 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - "Winter Dirt Games X"

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. Carson Short, 21, RCM-13.477 (New Track Record); 2. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-13.529; 3. Chris Windom, 5G, Goacher-13.718; 4. Kent Schmidt, 5K, KO-13.767; 5. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.800; 6. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.863; 7. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 19, Hayward/Thomas-13.869; 8. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-13.932; 9. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-14.045; 10. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.054; 11. C.J. Leary, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-14.088; 12. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-14.129; 13. Travis Hery, 21H, Hery-14.159; 14. Timmy Buckwalter, 7, LNB-14.252; 15. Damion Gardner, 20, Dyson-14.307; 16. Jason McDougal, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-14.309; 17. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-14.461; 18. Dave Darland, 5, Briscoe/Curb-Agajanian-14.527; 19. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.718; 20. Stephen Schnapf, 61m, Edwards-14.726; 21. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-14.929; 22. Joey Biasi, B1, Biasi-15.151; 23. Paul Dues, 87, Dues-15.202; 24. Ty Tilton, 42, Tilton-15.215; 25. Dustin Christie, 75, Christie-15.456; 26. Noah Gass, 20G, Gass-15.553; 27. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-15.803; 28. Daron Clayton, 5o, KO-NT; 29. Chad Boespflug, 98e, EZR-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Goodnight, 2. Chapple, 3. Bacon, 4. Short, 5. Hery, 6. Christie, 7. Jackson. 1:52.17

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Ballou, 2. Darland, 3. Stockon, 4. Cummins, 5. Buckwalter, 6. Gass, 7. Biasi. 1:50.92 (New Track Record)

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Leary, 2. Gardner, 3. Windom, 4. Thomas, 5. Westfall, 6. Bell, 7. Dues. 1:51.64

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Grant, 2. Schnapf, 3. Courtney, 4. Boespflug, 5. Schmidt, 6. McDougal, 7. Tilton. NT

SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer) 1. Buckwalter, 2. Jackson, 3. Schmidt, 4. McDougal, 5. Hery, 6. Biasi, 7. Westfall, 8. Gass, 9. Christie, 10. Bell. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Chris Windom (4), 2. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (1), 3. Justin Grant (12), 4. Chase Stockon (5), 5. Robert Ballou (10), 6. C.J. Leary (11), 7. Brady Bacon (3), 8. Kyle Cummins (2), 9. Dave Darland (18), 10. Carson Short (6), 11. Timmy Buckwalter (14), 12. Chad Boespflug (22), 13. Dakota Jackson (9), 14. Jason McDougal (16), 15. Damion Gardner (15), 16. Matt Westfall (23), 17. Travis Hery (13), 18. Tyler Courtney (8), 19. Kent Schmidt (7), 20. Joey Biasi (21), 21. Isaac Chapple (20), 22. Matt Goodnight (17), 23. Stephen Schnapf (19). NT
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FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-29 Thomas, Lap 30 Windom.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Chad Boespflug (22nd to 12th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Dakota Jackson

PROSOURCE HARD WORK: Chad Boespflug

HUGHES RACING/INDIANA MAFIA/SANDY NISSEN PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Boespflug-10, 2-Grant-9, 3-Darland-9, 4-Ballou-5, 5-Leary-5, 6-Windom-4, 7-Buckwalter-3, 8-McDougal-2, 9-Stockon-1, 10-Biasi-1.

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Windom-80, 2-Thomas-72, 3-Grant-72, 4-Stockon-72, 5-Ballou-66, 6-Leary-63, 7-Bacon-60, 8-Cummins-55, 9-Short-54, 10-Darland-53.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: February 15-16, 2019 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - "Winter Dirt Games X"

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

Justin Grant ran the fastest lap in Wednesday's practice at Bubba Raceway Park. (Rich Forman Photo)



GRANT GOES TO THE TOPP IN OCALA SPRINT PRACTICE

Ocala, Florida (February 13, 2019).........Justin Grant recorded the fastest lap in Wednesday night's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car practice session at Bubba Raceway Park in preparation for this weekend's "Winter Dirt Games X" events.

The Ione, Calif. driver set the quickest time of 13.654 in his TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink - Bow Foundation - Challenger Construction/Maxim/Claxton Chevy. The lap was quicker than the official one-lap track USAC record of 13.683, set by Justin Grant during qualifying in 2017.

Grant ranked ahead of Brady Bacon (13.749), Tyler Courtney (13.781), Carson Short (13.823) and Chris Windom (13.858).

Three-straight nights of complete racing programs are on tap this weekend for the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars at Bubba Raceway Park. Pits open at 3pm Eastern each day at Ocala. Grandstands open at 5pm on Thursday/Friday and 4pm on Saturday. Cars hit the track for engine heat at 6:30pm Eastern on Thursday/Friday and at 5:30pm on Saturday.

All nights of racing from Ocala will be live on www.FloRacing.com.

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PRACTICE RESULTS: February 13, 2019 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - "Winter Dirt Games X"

PRACTICE: 1. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-13.654; 2. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.749; 3. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-13.781; 4. Carson Short, 21, RCM-13.823; 5. Chris Windom, 5G, Goacher-13.858; 6. C.J. Leary, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-13.923; 7. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-13.930; 8. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-13.939; 9. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-13.969; 10. Chad Boespflug, 98e, EZR-14.008; 11. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-14.062; 12. Damion Gardner, 20, Dyson-14.071; 13. Dave Darland, 5, Briscoe/Curb-Agajanian-14.078; 14. Kent Schmidt, 5K, KO-14.107; 15. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 19, Hayward/Thomas-14.154; 16. Stephen Schnapf, 61m, Edwards-14.188; 17. Timmy Buckwalter, 7, LNB-14.193; 18. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-14.279; 19. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.280; 20. Travis Hery, 21H, Hery-14.314; 21. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-14.338; 22. Jason McDougal, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-14.501; 23. Joey Biasi, B1, Biasi-14.554; 24. Tom Harris, 84, Harris-14.629; 25. Ty Tilton, 42, Tilton-14.664; 26. Dustin Christie, 75, Christie-14.862; 27. Paul Dues, 87, Dues-14.940; 28. Daron Clayton, 5o, KO-15.058; 29. Noah Gass, 20G, Gass-15.584; 30. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-NT

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: February 14-15-16, 2019 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - "Winter Dirt Games X"

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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