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

GRANT BREATHES EASY WITH VICTORY IN USAC SPRINTS' FIRST PILGRIMAGE TO PLYMOUTH

Plymouth, Indiana April 21, 2017 ......... Early on in Justin Grant's sprint car racing career, a fellow competitor told him that he wouldn't last more than eight laps without consciously remembering to breathe while he was racing.

Justin heeded that advice, and a handful of years later, the Ione, California native is finding the greatest success of his driving career. He could breathe easy after all was said and done Friday night after holding off a late-race charge from Chad Boespflug while mired in lapped traffic to collect his second series victory of the season in the first ever visit by the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship to Indiana's Plymouth Speedway.

The win came as a sigh of relief to Grant after a breathtaking moment in ProSource Qualifying that almost ended his night before it even began.

"I tried to end our night pretty early on during qualifying," Grant said with a grin. "I was coming to the green (flag) and about spun out. I went ahead, turned around and went back and tried to gain a little composure. I took a breath, came back and restarted my qualifying attempt. I went down into (turn) three on the first lap and all but turned over. Getting into three, my speed and the calculations I was running in my head, I figured I was going to go ahead and make it over the fence. It went ahead and sat down and I was able to salvage a respectable time on the second lap. Fortunately for me, a couple guys missed the transfer through the heat races and that put us on the front row."

Grant took full advantage of his seat on the outside of the front row, racing to the lead up top as polesitter Thomas Meseraull slid up the track in turn two, allowing Grant to breakaway to a substantial advantage.

By lap three, Grant was ahead by a half-straight. The lead had grown to the length of a straightaway with just five laps down as Meseraull, Chris Windom, Boespflug and Shane Cottle scrambled for positions two through five. Ten laps into the 30-lap event, Grant held a staggering half-lap lead as he began to negotiate lapped traffic.

"I felt like our car was pretty good," Grant said. "It was launching down the straightaways pretty fast. I was going as fast as I was comfortable going through the holes. I didn't know we had a straightaway lead or anything like that, but I thought we had a buffer. I couldn't hear anything. Normally, you can hear a guy behind you, but I couldn't hear anybody."

Though he possessed a suffocating stranglehold on all those who followed, Grant's lead would begin to shrink mightily by the halfway point as the drivers near the tail end of the field were running high, low, top and bottom as they engaged in their own battles for position ahead of Grant's black and red No. 11.

"Getting into lapped traffic, they were all two-wide for three or four rows in front of me," Grant recalls. "I was really just trying to keep myself calm, stay patient and wait for holes to open up so I could pick my way around those guys and not get caught up in something I didn't need to get caught up in."

Each lap, Boespflug chomped a significant chunk out of the interval between he and race leader Grant. On lap 23, Grant found himself entering turn three as he sought to overtake Aaron Pierce. Boespflug attempted to capitalize on the bottom to no avail as Grant clung to the lead by the cuticles of his fingernails. Grant then found his second wind, disposing of Pierce and Jarett Andretti to set himself free of the mounting pressure from Boespflug.

"I knew we had slowed down a ton in that group of lapped cars. I knew somebody was going to be coming pretty quickly. I was just kind of hoping things would open up. I saw Boespflug poke a nose under me in the middle of (turns) one and two. When I saw him, I decided I had to start taking some chances and be a little more aggressive. I kind of moved our way by a few of those guys and was able to open up a few lanes where I could start sliding guys and move around. As soon as I started clicking a couple lapped cars off, I felt comfortable and confident that we'd be alright."

Meanwhile, 18th starting Tyler Courtney seemingly came out of nowhere, shooting to the top around Boespflug in turn two with just a pair of laps remaining to grab second. By then, though, Grant was long gone once again where he would pull away for a commanding 3.5 second victory over Courtney, Boespflug, Meseraull and Stevie Sussex.

Grant's victory in the Sam McGhee Motorsports/Mike McGhee & Associates - Brown & Miller Racing Solutions/Maxim/Foxco was his first since the season-opening "Winter Dirt Games" in Ocala, Florida. His sixth career score ties him with the likes of Jac Haudenschild, Jan Opperman, Tom Sneva, George Snider and Dick Tobias on the all-time USAC National Sprint Car win list.

Additionally, team owner Sam McGhee revisited Plymouth Speedway victory lane for the first time in six seasons, but this time, it was in a different role. The now 17-year-old McGhee drove to victory lane after winning a USAC Ford Focus Young Guns Midget feature at Plymouth in 2011 when the track was pavement.

Back to Grant, though, who established the 30-lap mark at Plymouth Friday night during a caution-free, green-to-checker feature finish in a time of 7:36.34 that saw all 22 starters finish. By Grant's estimation, 30 laps non-stop in a sprint car doesn't take long, but it can, without a doubt, be taxing on the mind.

"A sprint car race is 30 laps, but they're 30 intense laps," Grant explains. "Things are happening so fast and everybody's so quick, if the race gets away from you, you're not getting it back. It's mentally challenging and you just really have to try and make sure to breathe and that's the biggest thing, especially when the track's rough. You actually have to tell yourself to breathe. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out to just keep some oxygen going and to stay focused."

After four-straight sub-top-ten performances to begin the season, Indianapolis, Indiana's Tyler Courtney bounced back in just about the most spectacular way imaginable, driving from the outside of the ninth row to finish second without the aid of a single yellow flag in his TOPP Motorsports/TOPP Performance Race Parts - Custom Pump & Controls/Maxim/Claxton.

"This is what we all needed, not only for me as a driver, but as a team," a proud Courtney beamed. "We struggled at the beginning of the year. We changed a few things this week and it worked out. Our car was the best it's been in a while. We screwed up in qualifying on a tough racetrack and that put us deep in the field. It makes it pretty hard to win races from that far back, especially with the caliber of guys we have running in the series. You can't slouch off at any point in the night. Getting behind the eight-ball is tough, but we rebounded to get a podium here in front of a hometown crowd for my car owner who grew up here in Plymouth."

"I knew we were good from the start," Courtney continued. "I was hoping we weren't too good too early, but I was able to find a different line than everybody out there through (turns) one and two, which is where I passed a bunch of guys. I knew once I started seeing Chad (Boespflug), Thomas (Meseraull), Chris (Windom) and those guys, I had to be getting close to the front, but I still couldn't see Justin. I knew I hadn't passed him yet, so I knew it was still a long row to hoe. We needed a yellow, but we didn't quite get one. To get second, I'll take it. This is the best second has ever felt!"

Third-place finisher Chad Boespflug briefly clamped down on Grant for the race lead late in the going Friday night at Plymouth, yet he also closed to within one-point of Grant for the series point-lead in his Dynamics, Inc./Mean Green - PAC Springs/Maxim/Claxton heading into Eldora Speedway's "LetsRaceTwo" on May 12-13.

"I just started to really hone in on my line when I got to Justin (Grant) in lapped traffic there," Boespflug replays. "I tried to roll the bottom a few times and realized I was a little freer than I had been all night. Come to find out, we had a bleeder stick in the right rear, or actually shut off. We just grew too much pressure in the right rear. We got to Justin's rear bumper there, kind of, and it was just time to try and make some moves. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out for us tonight. We slipped back to third there at the end, but overall, great night again.

Contingency award winners Friday night at Plymouth Speedway include Chase Stockon (ProSource Fast Qualifier & Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Chad Boespflug (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Stevie Sussex (Indy Race Parts Semi Winner), Tyler Courtney (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Landon Simon (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Feature Finisher).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 21, 2017 - Plymouth, Indiana - Plymouth Speedway

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-13.016; 2. Chad Boespflug, 69, Dynamics-13.195; 3. Stevie Sussex, 17GP, Dutcher-13.254; 4. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-13.284; 5. Tyler Hewitt, 97x, One More Time-13.364; 6. Shane Cottle, 57, Hazen-13.369; 7. Justin Grant, 11, McGhee-13.417; 8. Thomas Meseraull, 00, SC-13.448; 9. Kevin Thomas Jr., 44, Pace-13.462; 10. Colten Cottle, 1RL, Lambertson-13.511; 11. Kyle Robbins, 17R, Robbins-13.531; 12. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-13.613; 13. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-13.625; 14. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips/Curb-Agajanian-13.630; 15. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-13.691; 16. Brady Short, 11p, Pottorff-13.712; 17. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-13.715; 18. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-13.741; 19. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-13.746; 20. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-13.879; 21. Corey Smith, 66s, CS-13.933; 22. Aaron Farney, 15F, DCT-13.961; 23. Josh Spencer, 66J, Spencer-14.000; 24. Jon Stanbrough, 81, Stanbrough-14.017; 25. Chad Wilson, 14, Wilson-14.724; 26. Lee Underwood, 24L, Underwood-14.254; 27. Ethan Barrow, 15, Barrow-14.320.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Stockon, 2. Short, 3. Grant, 4. Andretti, 5. Windom, 6. C.Cottle, 7. Goodnight, 8. Wilson, 9. Farney. 2:16.91

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Boespflug, 2. Darland, 3. Leary, 4. Meseraull, 5. Spencer, 6. Robbins, 7. Underwood, 8. Pierce, 9. Hewitt. NT

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Thomas, 2. Courtney, 3. S.Cottle, 4. Chapple, 5. Simon, 6. Sussex, 7. Stanbrough, 8. Smith. 9. Barrow. 2:22.50

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Sussex, 2. Hewitt, 3. Stanbrough., 4. Robbins, 5. C.Cottle, 6. Pierce, 7. Farney, 8. Wilson, 9. Underwood, 10. Barrow, 11. Goodnight, 12. Smith. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Tyler Courtney, 3. Chad Boespflug, 4. Thomas Meseraull, 5. Stevie Sussex, 6. Chase Stockon, 7. Shane Cottle, 8. Chris Windom, 9. Jon Stanbrough, 10. Kevin Thomas Jr., 11. Brady Short, 12. Colten Cottle, 13. Landon Simon, 14. Kyle Robbins, 15. Jarett Andretti, 16. Dave Darland, 17. Aaron Pierce, 18. C.J. Leary, 19. Tyler Hewitt, 20. Aaron Farney, 21. Isaac Chapple, 22. Josh Spencer. 7:36.34
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FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Grant

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Tyler Courtney (18th-2nd).

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Landon Simon

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Grant-445, 2-Boespflug-444, 3-Windom-386, 4-Stockon-364, 5-Andretti-297, 6-Courtney-282, 7-Leary-239, 8-S.Cottle-234, 9-Hunter Schuerenberg-230, 10-Simon-228.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: May 12-13 - Rossburg, Ohio - Eldora Speedway - "#LetsRaceTwo"

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

WINDOM TURNS THE TIDE, TAMES BOESPFLUG TO TAKE TRI-STATE'S SPRING SHOWDOWN

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Haubstadt, Indiana April 15, 2017 ......... One night after victory slipped through his fingers and into the hands of Chad Boespflug during a spectacular late-race duel at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway, Chris Windom wouldn't let opportunity escape his grasp once again in Saturday night's "Spring Showdown" at Tri-State Speedway, co-sanctioned by USAC and MSCS.

However, an average finish of 12th over 13 career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car starts at Tri-State didn't bode well for Windom's odds coming into the event at the quarter-mile paperclip in southern Indiana.

But stats are just that. Stats. They are simply numbers that tell of what has occurred in the past, but are not the be-all, end-all figurative crystal ball that foretells what the future holds.

Windom reversed his fortunes in more ways than one Saturday night, taking the present into his own hands on a breakout night at a venue that has stuck in his craw and served as a thorn in his pride for much of the past decade.

By the fourth lap, he had swiped the lead from Boespflug, then fended off each proceeding challenge for the remaining 26 laps to take his 16th career USAC National Sprint Car feature victory, equaling Damion Gardner and moving him into the top-30 on the series' all-time win list.

Neither lapped traffic nor repetitious restarts nor even a one-lap shootout could stay this driver from the swift completion of his appointed goal of taming Tri-State Speedway, which he had long yearned to tame. This was a piece of redemption that would elude him no more. Drastic changes were not a necessity. A measured approach, and confidence to boot, can go a long way in knocking down barriers.

"We've tried to stick to our guns all year," Windom said. "We've kept everything the same. We haven't had the best results here in the past, but we didn't come down here and try to change everything. We just kept everything like we had been and we've been running well. If you would've told me in the last three years that I'd win a race here, I would have said you were crazy. I can't thank Derek (Claxton) enough for what he's been doing for me, and Billy (Grace) also. They've had this car so good. It's a winning car every single night. It's just really up to me to go out and get the job done."

And get the job done he did. Though, he would start the 30-lap main event from the outside of the second row, directly behind Boespflug. Right from the get-go, and as a continuation from the previous night's proceedings, Boespflug and Windom were practically attached at the hip as the duo immediately took ownership of the top-two positions exiting turn two on the opening lap.

On the fourth lap, Windom saw an opportunity as he put a slider on Boespflug for the lead entering the first turn. Windom made slight contact as he slid up in front of Boespflug as the pair hit the back straightaway nose-to-tail at the exit of turn two, but the early-race lead was his, a feat his experience told him was of utmost importance at Tri-State.

"I knew it was tough to pass and, when I saw an opening, I went for it," Windom admits. "Chad (Boespflug) went to the top and I threw a slider on him. I got into him a little bit, so I told him I was sorry after the race. I felt a little bad about that. But, this is one place you want to get to the lead as quickly as possible. I just wanted to be in command of the race and that's what we did."

In a reversal of roles from the night before, Windom took the middle to high route while Boespflug zipped along the bottom. Boespflug unloaded the chamber as he fought to reclaim ownership of the top spot, pulling even to the inside of Windom multiple times on both ends of the racetrack until a yellow for Josh Hodges reshuffled the deck, putting Boespflug in line behind race leader Windom on the ensuing restart.

Boespflug momentarily willed his way to the lead with a turn one slider when action resumed, but Windom as well as Justin Grant held the momentum and were able to blast by to take first and second, respectively. Although, Grant's newfound position would be short-lived as Boespflug got back around for second by the time they hit the third turn.

On lap nine, the most harrowing incident of the night came when Donny Brackett rode over a wheel of another car and barrel-rolled several times down the front straight before coming to a rest on all fours. The toll on Brackett's ride was substantial, but he was fortunate to walk away from the wreckage.

On each restart through the middle stages of the race, Boespflug consistently poked his nose ahead of Windom on multiple occasions on the bottom line. Yet, every single time, Windom's drive off the second and fourth corners was adequate to hold Boespflug at bay.

With 12 to go, Windom met up with a logjam of lapped cars at the tail end of the field. Windom was forced to alter his line to the bottom which, in turn, allowed Boespflug to peel away several layers of Windom's one-plus second lead over the next eight laps, to less than a half-second. That's when third-running Kyle Cummins' car went up in smoke on lap 27, coasting to a stop in turn four before collecting past "Spring Showdown" winner Hunter Schuerenberg and Isaac Chapple.

Under yellow with four laps remaining and a crucial restart looming, Windom discovered himself in an uncanny position to the one he was in at Bloomington. A mixture of factors raced through his mind as he tried to avoid a moment of personal déjà vu.

"I was pretty nervous," an unabashed Windom admitted. "Normally, I'm not, but I'm not used to restarting a race out front here. I honestly wasn't sure where the best spot to restart was. It just seemed like every time I'd get rolling, a caution would come out. I didn't feel that great the first or second lap after a restart, so it was starting to make me feel a little nervous at the end. I knew if I could just hold my line around the bottom, it would be tough to go around the outside of us."

Windom was up to the challenge, mastering the course when he bolted away from Boespflug and was on his way to a surefire victory. After taking the white flag and hitting his marks in turns one and two for what he anticipated would be the last time, Landon Simon and Brandon Morin tangled in turn three. That, in turn, set up yet another stress test for Windom to endure - a one-lap free-for all between he and Boespflug for sprint car racing glory.

Once again, though, Windom answered the bell when he stood on the loudpedal and passed under Tom Hansing's green and white flag on the lap 30 restart. Distancing himself to a half-second advantage, Windom passed the exam with flying colors to become the first repeat winner on the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship tour in 2017 over Boespflug, Grant, B & W Auto Mart/KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Brady Short (from 20th) and Carson Short.

Windom led a top-three across the line that consisted of the first three drivers in series points. Though Windom suffered a couple of setbacks in the season-openers at Ocala, Florida in February that stifled his point accumulation, he has since gone on a tear with 1st, 2nd and 1st place finishes in his last three runs, a fact that has his him excited of what lies ahead.

"It's exciting when we can all go the track and have this much confidence," Windom explains. "It's a long season. Chad (Boespflug) and Justin (Grant) seem to run second and third every night I win, so that makes it hard to catch up. As long as we keep sticking with what we're doing, we'll be just fine."

Chad Boespflug has been a model of consistency to begin his campaign for the Hoffman Auto Racing team. The Hanford, California native has racked up finishes of 2nd, 4th, 2nd, 1st and 2nd to start the season and just narrowly missed becoming the third-straight driver in as many weeks to sweep the full slate of USAC National events during a single weekend. He led the opening three laps of the event before, ultimately, earning a solid second-place run in his Dynamics, Inc./Mean Green - PAC Springs/Maxim/Claxton.

"We're just continuing to put good nights together," Boespflug said. "Chris (Windom) and I dueled it out last night and I thought we were going to get him again there in lapped traffic tonight. It was a great night overall to come back with a second and be back on the podium, especially here. The three of us up here on the podium have never run worth a darn here. We were talking before the feature how we're never any good here. For us three to be standing up here is pretty cool."

Likewise, Justin Grant of Ione, California has his Sam McGhee Motorsports/Mike McGhee & Associates - Brown & Miller Racing Solutions/Maxim/Foxco rolling where he continues to lead the points by three markers over Boespflug after finishes of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 3rd to begin the season.

"This place has historically not been very good to me," Grant concedes. "I'm usually pretty slow here, but Sam's car actually gets around here really well. I'm just happy to come out of here with a podium and move on to the next one."

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Tri-State Speedway include Jarett Andretti (B & W Auto Mart/ProSource Fast Qualifier), Chase Stockon (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Chad Boespflug (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), C.J. Leary (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Chris Windom (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Brady Short (KSE Racing Products/B & W Auto Mart Hard Charger) and Tyler Courtney (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 15, 2017 - Haubstadt, Indiana - Tri-State Speedway - "Spring Showdown" co-sanctioned by MSCS

PROSOURCE/B & W AUTO MART QUALIFYING: 1. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-13.383; 2. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.400; 3. Justin Grant, 11, McGhee-13.425; 4. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-13.447; 5. Carson Short, 21, RCM-13.458; 6. Chad Boespflug, 69, Dynamics-13.511; 7. Hunter Schuerenberg, 2, Motsinger-13.582; 8. Max McGhee, 4J, 4J Motorsports-13.610; 9. Dave Darland, Phillips/Curb-Agajanian-13.661; 10. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 44, Pace-13.746; 11. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-13.763; 12. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-13.784; 13. Chet Williams, 38, Williams-13.788; 14. Aaron Farney, 15F, DCT-13.797; 15. Stevie Sussex, 17GP, Dutcher-13.803; 16. Clinton Boyles, 98, Boyles-13.864; 17. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-13.884; 18. Aric Gentry, 10, Gentry-13.884; 19. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-13.893; 20. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-13.939; 21. Brady Short, 11p, Pottorff-14.043; 22. Brandon Morin, 98x, Morin-14.066; 23. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-14.221; 24. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-14.274; 25. Kent Schmidt, 5K, Schmidt-14.520; 26. Tyler Rust, 10T, Rust-14.595; 27. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.774; 28. Brian Wallace, 27, Wallace-14.976; 29. Jim Shelton, 41, Shelton-15.766; 30. Donny Brackett, 4B, Brackett-(Time of 14.031 disallowed); 31. James Lyerla, 11L, JL-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Stockon, 2. C. Short, 3. Andretti, 4. Williams, 5. B. Short, 6. Schmidt, 7. Darland. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Boespflug, 2. Gentry, 3. K. Thomas, 4. Brackett, 5. Farney, 6. Cummins, 7. Morin, 8. Rust. 2:16.58

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Leary, 2. Grant, 3. Schuerenberg, 4. Sussex, 5. Jackson, 6. Mattox, 7. Hodges, 8. Lyerla. 2:19.01

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Windom, 2. Simon, 3. McGhee, 4. Courtney, 5. Boyles, 6. Chapple, 7. Wallace. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Cummins, 2. Hodges, 3. B. Short, 4. Farney, 5. Darland, 6. Boyles, 7. Chapple, 8. Mattox, 9. Jackson, 10. Morin, 11. Lyerla, 12. Rust, 13. Schmidt, 14. Wallace. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Chad Boespflug, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Brady Short, 5. Carson Short, 6. Jarett Andretti, 7. Aaron Farney, 8. Max McGhee, 9. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 10. C.J. Leary, 11. Chase Stockon, 12. Stevie Sussex, 13. Tyler Courtney, 14. Chet Williams, 15. Isaac Chapple, 16. Dave Darland, 17. Landon Simon, 18. Brandon Morin, 19. Kyle Cummins, 20. Hunter Schuerenberg, 21. Clinton Boyles, 22. Aric Gentry, 23. Dakota Jackson, 24. Donny Brackett, 25. Josh Hodges. NT
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**Rust flipped during the semi. Brackett flipped on lap 9 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Boespflug, Laps 4-30 Windom.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/B & W AUTO MART HARD CHARGER: Brady Short (20th to 4th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Tyler Courtney

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Grant-369, 2-Boespflug-367, 3-Windom-330, 4-Stockon-295, 5-Andretti-259, 6-Schuerenberg-230, 7-Hodges-212, 8-Courtney-208, 9-Leary-206, 10-Cummins-191.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 21 - Plymouth, IN - Plymouth Speedway

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

BOESPFLUG BESTS WINDOM IN CLASSIC BATTLE OF BLOOMINGTON

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Bloomington, Indiana April 14, 2017 ......... On a restart two-thirds of the way into Friday night's 30-lap USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship feature at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway, Chad Boespflug found himself playing defense on Chris Windom.

Some say defense wins championships, but in auto racing, a driver has to be on the offensive. And that's exactly what the Hanford, California native did after seeing his lead slip away on the 22nd lap. Down the stretch, Boespflug attacked the topside and went after Windom, instigating a compelling, five-lap, hair-raising wheel-to-wheel showdown in which the two were locked into a constant side-by-side battle.

After ripping off lap-after-lap that appeared as if he was on a single-car qualifying run, Boespflug emerged ahead of Windom on the white flag lap, leading the final two circuits to take his first career Bloomington victory and first as a driver for the legendary Hoffman Auto Racing/Dynamics, Inc. team.

"It's awesome to drive for the Hoffmans," Boespflug exclaimed. "To have the success we've had with so far with a fourth, two seconds and now a win, it's extra special all the way around. It's just a great group effort. Everybody works so hard when we get to the track. They don't complain or anything; they just do what's needed to be done and it shows every night when we get to the racetrack. It's an honor to get a win for Mean Green, the Hoffmans and everybody involved."

A lightning quick racing surface was prepared for the series' first visit to the southern Indiana staple in 2017. New 10-lap and 12-lap records were established during the preliminary events, setting the course for an action-packed main event.

At the start of the feature, outside front-row starter Boespflug asserted himself to grab the race lead from polesitter Dave Darland entering the first turn where he immediately settled in on the rim of the quarter-mile red clay oval.

A lap three caution for Hunter Schuerenberg fell after the sixth-place-running driver came to a stop on the wrong side of the banking between turns one and two, but that only momentarily put a clamp on Boespflug's run. On the ensuing restart, Darland held the low line while Boespflug occupied the top, which he used to pull away and extend his advantage in the early sequence.

Meanwhile, Windom, the series' most recent winner at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway two weeks prior, was on the move. After blitzing from sixth to third on the opening lap, Windom made his next move when he disposed of Shane Cottle and Dave Darland for the second position on lap eight and now had only race leader Boespflug to contend with.

However, Windom still trailed Boespflug by more than a second at the moment, but he unrelentingly kept digging on the bottom while Boespflug remained up top when the two came upon lapped traffic. Most of the lappers occupied the low line, forcing Windom to migrate to the top where he and third-place Darland followed in hot pursuit.

A pair of yellows for the stopped cars of Josh Hodges and Max McGhee brought about a pair of yellow flags, thus creating a clear track ahead of the leaders when racing resumed. Yet, the clear track didn't signal a utopian path to victory for Boespflug. Not only did he have to contend with Windom hot on his tracks, the uncontrollables began to enter his mind, though he let them slide to the back of his mind as he kept his thoughts focused on what he could control - the race at hand.

"About halfway through, the car got really soft on the right rear," Boespflug explained. "I wasn't sure if I had a tire going down or a shock broke. I had to rally through and not worry about that. I just had to worry about my race."

The lap 21 restart, in particular, was beneficial to Windom as Boespflug took a lower than usual line into turn one, entering the middle of the track which presented Windom an opportunity he refused to let slip through his fingers. Boespflug fought to gain a foothold in the middle, but by then, Windom was wheel-to-wheel underneath Boespflug. Boespflug quickly got back to the cushion and was able to nip Windom by the narrowest of margins at the flagstand on lap 21, but a lap later, Windom hit his marks perfectly on the bottom to jump out front and officially take the lead on the 22nd go-round.

"When Chris got around me there, I was overprotecting more than anything," Boespflug remembers. "I was racing behind me instead of in front of me. That allowed him to get around me."

At that moment, Darland, hanging in contention and running third, blew a left rear tire at the start/finish line, ending on this night a bid to extend his record-streak of USAC National features to 25 consecutive years.

When action resumed with seven laps remaining, Windom got a solid jump that spurted him out to a five-car-length lead ahead of Boespflug. With seemingly nothing to lose, Boespflug ventured back to the high side and put it all on the line.

Little-by-little, Boespflug drew closer and, with only five laps remaining, was side-by-side with the 2016 Silver Crown champ. Lap-after-lap, the two appeared as if they were engaged in a game of slot car racing, with both smooth on the rail, running distinctive lines with neither able to budge ahead by more than a foot or so at any particular point.

Lap 26, 27 and 28 all resulted in Windom clinging to a scant lead at the line, but Boespflug was still wide open on the outside, a move that would pay large dividends as he raced around Windom to grab the lead coming to the white flag.

On the final lap, as Boespflug inched away, Windom took one final, last ditch effort, but it wouldn't be nearly enough as he slid up behind Boespflug off the final corner, as Boespflug darted under the checkered flag to take his first series victory of the season and became the fourth different winner in as many races in his Dynamics, Inc./Mean Green - PAC Springs/Maxim/Claxton, ahead of Windom, Chase Stockon, Justin Grant and B & W Auto Mart/KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Kevin Thomas, Jr.

"Chris stayed on the bottom and I thought, 'well, here's my shot," Boespflug said. "Right before that last yellow, I was hanging with him there a little bit. I just had to stand up on the wheel and, when I saw that white flag, I didn't lift for the entire last lap. I just held her to the floor!"

It was a reversal of fortunes for Boespflug who finished second to Windom last October at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track in a fierce battle that was reminiscent of Friday night's Bloomington classic. At Terre Haute in the Fall of 2016, the two swapped the lead 26 times, unofficially, without banging wheels or turning a wheel wrong.

Running out front and continuously hitting your marks is something that takes an enormous amount of concentration, but Boespflug believes when you race wheel-to-wheel in the situation he did, it allows you to take your mind off the methodical aspects of driving, and just race.

"It's actually better when you're racing somebody because you forget about everything you're thinking about," Boespflug said. "You just drive the hell out of the racecar, really. You're just focusing on what you have to do and hitting your marks. Chris raced me as clean as can be and I felt I did the same thing. He ran the bottom and I ran the top for five laps, side-by-side and didn't touch each other at all."

Chris Windom of Canton, Illinois, came up just short of becoming the series' first repeat winner of 2017, finishing second after leading seven laps in his Baldwin Brothers Racing/Fox Paving - AMSOIL/DRC/Claxton.

"We were pretty good on the top and bottom," Windom said. "I felt like we were a little stronger on the bottom and I was kind of committed to it. I didn't want to be switching from the top to the bottom because it's easy to miss your marks doing that. I got to the lead and it just started to slick off a little too much. With five to go, I felt like I had to slow down a little too much. By the time I realized I needed to get back to the top, Chad was already next to me with two or three laps to go. He ran three or four perfect laps there on the top and it was just enough to get back by us."

Fort Branch, Indiana's Chase Stockon is still trying to piece his season back together after a series of setbacks on and off the track. A late February tornado swept through Fort Branch, damaging his home, shop, toterhome, trailer and pickup truck. His first race following the tornado resulted in an opening lap flip at Lawrenceburg. Despite the stressful times, Stockon was able to put it all together Friday night for a solid third-place run in his 32 TBI Racing/Superior Tank & Trailer - Crescent Electric Supply/DRC/Fisher.

"We fought issues with this thing," Stockon admits. "This is the same car we had at Lawrenceburg. We straightened it up and Joe (Devin) fixed it. We've had motor issues, bent butterflies and trying to get it to idle right. We finally got it fixed this morning, then loaded up and came straight here (to Bloomington). The way things have been going, we're definitely relieved. It makes it that much sweeter."

Contingency award winners Friday night at Bloomington Speedway include C.J. Leary (B & W Auto Mart/ProSource Fast Qualifier & Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Brent Beauchamp (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner & KSE Racing Products/B & W Auto Mart Hard Charger) and Tyler Thomas (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 14, 2017 - Bloomington, Indiana - Bloomington Speedway

PROSOURCE/B & W AUTO MART QUALIFYING: 1. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-10.771; 2. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-10.830; 3. Brady Short, 11p, Pottorff-10.891; 4. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-10.924; 5. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-10.963; 6. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-10.975; 7. Nick Bilbee, 17, Bilbee-10.995; 8. Stevie Sussex, 17GP, Dutcher-10.995; 9. Hunter Schuerenberg, 2, Motsinger-11.001; 10. Aaron Farney, 15F, Farney-11.023; 11. Shane Cottle, 57, Hazen-11.030; 12. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-11.033; 13. Chad Boespflug, 69, Dynamics-11.034; 14. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips/Curb-Agajanian-11.056; 15. Justin Grant, 11, McGhee-11.100; 16. Jeff Bland Jr., 38, Bland-11.100; 17. Brent Beauchamp, 34, Olson-11.121; 18. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-11.153; 19. Max McGhee, 4J, 4J Motorsports-11.165; 20. Tyler Thomas, 04, Burton-11.169; 21. Clinton Boyles, 98, Boyles-11.182; 22. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-11.190; 23. Kevin Thomas Jr., 44, Pace-11.206; 24. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-11.249; 25. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-11.254; 26. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-11.264; 27. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-11.276; 28. Jon Stanbrough, 81, Stanbrough-11.286; 29. Michael Koontz, 17x, Koontz-11.506; 30. Kody Swanson, 2E, Epperson-11.556; 31. Dakota Jackson, 66w, Waltz-11.560; 32. Brandon Morin, 98x, Morin-11.574; 33. Shelby VanGilder, 22v, VanGilder-11.853; 34. Dylan Shaw, 12K, Meneely-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Beauchamp, 2. Boespflug, 3. Boyles, 4. Schuerenberg, 5. Leary, 6. Chapple, 7. Goodnight, 8. Koontz, 9. VanGilder. 1:51.92

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Courtney, 2. Andretti, 3. Darland, 4. Windom, 5. Hodges, 6. Farney, 7. Simon, 8. Swanson, 9. Shaw. 1:53.02

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. K.Thomas, 2. McGhee, 3. Cottle, 4. Grant, 5. Bilbee, 6. Short, 7. Jackson, 8. Mattox. 1:51.72 (New Track Record)

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. T.Thomas, 2. Coons, 3. Bland, 4. Cummins, 5. Stockon, 6. Stanbrough, 7. Sussex, 8. Morin. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Stockon, 2. Leary, 3. Short, 4. Bilbee, 5. Hodges, 6. Stanbrough, 7. Farney, 8. Sussex, 9. Jackson, 10. Simon, 11. Swanson, 12. Chapple, 13. Goodnight, 14. Koontz, 15. VanGilder, 16. Mattox, 17. Morin. 2:20.84 (New Track Record)

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chad Boespflug, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Chase Stockon, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Kevin Thomas Jr., 6. Brady Short, 7. Jeff Bland Jr., 8. Kyle Cummins, 9. Brent Beauchamp, 10. Nick Bilbee, 11. Tyler Thomas, 12. Josh Hodges, 13. C.J. Leary, 14. Shane Cottle, 15. Jarett Andretti, 16. Tyler Courtney, 17. Jon Stanbrough, 18. Dave Darland, 19. Isaac Chapple, 20. Max McGhee, 21. Clinton Boyles, 22. Landon Simon, 23. Jerry Coons Jr., 24. Hunter Schuerenberg. NT
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**Morin flipped during the fourth heat.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-21 Boespflug, Laps 22-28 Windom, Laps 29-30 Boespflug.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/B & W AUTO MART HARD CHARGER: Kevin Thomas Jr. (20th-5th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: C.J. Leary

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Grant-294, 2-Boespflug-291, 3-Windom-249, 4-Stockon-246, 5-Schuerenberg-201, 6-Andretti-192, 7-Hodges-186, 8-Cottle-175, 9-Courtney-166, 10-Cummins-157.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 15 - Haubstadt, IN - Tri-State Speedway (Co-sanctioned by MSCS) - "Spring Showdown"

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

BACON BRINGS HIS BROOM, SWEEPS KOKOMO GRAND PRIX

Kokomo, Indiana April 9, 2017 .........The month of April has quickly become the "sweeps" period for USAC's national series as Brady Bacon became the second driver in as many weeks to complete an undefeated weekend by capturing both nights of the "Kokomo Grand Prix" at Indiana's Kokomo Speedway.

One week after Chris Windom claimed victories in consecutive nights at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway and the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track in USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car and Silver Crown action, respectively, it was Bacon's turn to do a little spring cleaning of his own as he cleared out space in his cabinet to bring home a pair of brand-new trophies earned this weekend in USAC National Midget competition.

The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native took the lead from Tanner Thorson just shy of the midway point of the 30-lap affair after starting from the outside of the fifth row, then promptly dominated the second-half to grab his fifth-career USAC National Midget feature win, and third at Kokomo.

Sunday night was nearly identical to Saturday night for Bacon. For the second straight evening, he entered the Midget feature just after posting a runner-up finish in the Kokomo Sprint Car main event. Yet, it would take Bacon just a little bit longer to reach the point as opposed to the night prior, but not by that much.

Polesitter Chad Boat would control the pace early on as he slid up to the top to grab the lead in turn one on the opening lap. Outside second-row starter Tanner Thorson would instantly pose a threat as he took a peek to the inside of Boat off turn two on laps three and four.

On the sixth circuit, Thorson made his charge on the bottom, but Boat was able to hold onto his advantage by the skin of his teeth, more accurately the circumference of a single front wheel. One lap later, Thorson duplicated the same move, but this time was able to get enough of a run off turn four to propel him to the lead by a single wheel over Boat.

Boat wouldn't accept this fate without a fight and, instead, worked his way back around the topside to retake the lead from Thorson on the eighth lap. However, the move was negated due to a yellow for the turned-around car of ProSource Fast Qualifier Justin Grant, which reverted the running order back to the last completed lap.

Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows was third-running Bacon who had already overtaken seven positions in the first seven laps. After the green flag dropped for the restart, Thorson led the way on the bottom as Boat stayed true to the top. Bacon followed Thorson's lead and used the low line to motor past Boat for second.

The chase was on as Thorson led a train on the bottom with Bacon in tow as he aimed to escape the rapid pursuit of the previous night's winner. On the 13th lap, with little room for error and Bacon ready to pounce, Thorson left the door cracked open at the exit of turn four, which was just enough daylight for Bacon to squeeze through to snare the race lead away.

Just as it was the night before, Bacon put his Bob East-wrenched, FMR Racing/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions - Black Watch Farms/Beast/Toyota anywhere he pleased, running the bottom between turns one and two and using a diamond pattern on the other end of the racetrack in which he'd enter on the cushion in turn three and exit turn four on the bottom.

The interval between he and Thorson continued to expand in the final laps, growing to a substantial 4.5 second margin as Bacon took the checkered ahead of Thorson, Tyler Courtney, Rico Abreu (who charged from 22nd to 4th after flipping earlier in the night during time trials) while Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top-five.

Bacon's victory puts him in an exclusive club of drivers who've tallied at least three USAC National Midget wins at Kokomo, joining Rich Vogler (7), Mel Kenyon (6), Jimmy Davies (3) and Bob Wente (3). Bacon's monumental weekend has given him a healthy early-season point cushion where he stands with a 30-point lead in the standings as the series takes an extended break before returning May 19 at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill.

"We had to work a little harder tonight," Bacon remarked. "We were able to get to the front really quickly and then the track changed quite a bit. It got pretty treacherous with some holes on the bottom. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time every time and made some good decisions. I'm just glad to have a car I can be confident moving around in, especially here. You've got a lot of options and there's a big difference between the top and bottom. The car worked great wherever it went. We've worked so hard and, last year, we got our package together and we're finally getting the results to show for all that hard work."

Minden, Nevada's Tanner Thorson followed up a third-place run the night before with a second-place finish Sunday night in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/JBL Audio - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota, getting back into the groove after a tough opening to the season in Du Quoin, Ill. back in March.

"We just took what it gave us tonight," Thorson stated. "We've had a pretty good car here the last two days. We definitely wanted to win that one, but Brady just beat us. He was better through the holes tonight, but we'll back and we'll come to the next race even stronger."

Indianapolis, Indiana's Tyler Courtney took a wild tumble while running third in Saturday night's feature at Kokomo. Sunday night, the team rolled out the backup car for Courtney and took a well-earned third-place finish in his Clauson-Marshall Racing/Driven 2 Save Lives - Indiana Donor Network/Spike/Stanton SR-11.

"After the start I've had this year in the midget and sprint car, to get a podium here is a pretty good confidence booster," a rejuvenated Courtney exclaimed. "Hopefully, moving forward from here will be just a little smoother sailing than the start of the year. I can't thank everybody who came to the shop last night and busted their butts. We found out just last night that our car was junk and they finished putting this backup car together, came back to the track and kept faith in me. I've got all the faith in the world in them and their racecars and what they do in the shop. I think it showed tonight."

Contingency award winners Sunday night at Kokomo Speedway include Justin Grant (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Alex Bright (Simpson Race Products First Heat Race Winner & Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Feature Finisher), Jake Neuman (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Race Winner) Tanner Carrick (Chalk Stix Third Heat Race Winner), Tyler Thomas (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Race Winner) and Rico Abreu (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger).

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USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 9, 2017 - Kokomo, Indiana - Kokomo Speedway - "Kokomo Grand Prix"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.081; 2. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 7B, Brown-13.199; 3. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.246; 4. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.247; 5. Dave Darland, 11, Gray-13.347; 6. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.350; 7. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.385; 8. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-13.402; 9. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Klaasmeyer-13.452; 10. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-13.530; 11. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-13.554; 12. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-13.574; 13. Jerry Coons Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-13.577; 14. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.625; 15. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.626; 16. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-13.658; 17. Alex Bright, 77, Bright-13.690; 18. Jake Neuman, 3N, Neuman-13.804; 19. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-13.828; 20. Tyler Nelson, 88T, Nelson-13.869; 21. Ryan Greth, 4R, Lesher-13.981; 22. Chase Jones, 22, Petry/Goff-13.992; 23. Kyle Schuett, 9K, Schuett-14.114; 24. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-14.118; 25. Anton Julian, 44, Pace-14.167; 26. Bear Wood, 8JR, LW Racing-14.516; 27. Justin Dickerson, 21D, Dickerson-14.603; 28. Ray Seach, 2, Seach-14.664; 29. Rico Abreu, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-NT; 30. Gage Walker, 7, Walker-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bright, 2. Abreu, 3. Grant, 4. Greth, 5. Coons, 6. Klaasmeyer, 7. Darland, 8. Julian. 2:19.35

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Neuman, 2. Ray, 3. Robinson, 4. Shelton, 5. K. Thomas, 6. Jones, 7. Wood, 8. Walker. 2:18.80

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Carrick, 2. Bayston, 3. Bacon, 4. Courtney, 5. Windom, 6. Shane Cottle (#9K), 7. Dickerson. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. T. Thomas, 2. Thorson, 3. Boat, 4. Golobic, 5. Nelson, 6. Lynch, 7. Seach. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. K. Thomas, 2. Darland, 3. Windom, 4. Coons, 5. Jones, 6. Nelson, 7. Cottle, 8. Lynch, 9. Dickerson, 10. Wood, 11. Klaasmeyer, 12. Julian, 13. Seach. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Tyler Courtney, 4. Rico Abreu, 5. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 6. Spencer Bayston, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Shane Golobic, 9. Ryan Robinson, 10. Holly Shelton, 11. Davey Ray, 12. Jerry Coons, Jr., 13. Alex Bright, 14. Tyler Thomas, 15. Tyler Nelson, 16. Jake Neuman, 17. Brayton Lynch, 18. Ryan Greth, 19. Chad Boat, 20. Justin Grant, 21. Chris Windom, 22. Chase Jones, 23. Tanner Carrick. NT
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**Abreu flipped during qualifying. Klaasmeyer flipped during the semi. Julian flipped during the semi.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-6 Boat, Laps 7-12 Thorson, Laps 13-30 Bacon.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Rico Abreu (22nd to 4th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Alex Bright

NEW USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bacon-216, 2-Bayston-186, 3-Thorson-175, 4-Coons-169, 5-Grant-168, 6-Golobic-151, 7-Neuman-125, 8-Darland-120, 9-Courtney-113, 10-Robinson-113.

NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: May 19 - Granite City, Illinois - Tri-City Speedway

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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BACON BACK IN KOKOMO VICTORY LANE; TAKES GRAND PRIX NIGHT 1

Kokomo, Indiana April 8, 2017........ Brady Bacon entered Saturday night's USAC Midget National Championship feature as the only driver in the field to have previously won a race in the series at Indiana's Kokomo Speedway.

After 30 laps were complete, the story remained the same as Bacon outdueled Spencer Bayston in the waning laps to take his fourth career series win and second at Kokomo, the site of his very first USAC National win in 2006.

The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native pulled double-duty Saturday on night one of the "Kokomo Grand Prix." Moments after finishing in the runner-up spot to Justin Grant in the Kokomo Sprint Car portion of the program, Bacon lined up outside the second row at the start of the Midget feature.

Wasting no time, Bacon found his way to the front of the field, slipping under Chad Boat for the race lead exiting turn two on the opening lap. Bacon worked the middle while Boat climbed the ladder up to the top side as the pair locked down the top two positions in the opening third of the event.

After a caution for a Tyler Nelson spin, the ensuing lap 10 restart witnessed the most frightening incident of the evening. Third-running Tyler Courtney biked his way into the first turn, then proceeded to flip nose-to-tail several times before coming to a rest on top of the hood of Clauson/Marshall Racing teammate Justin Grant's car just short of the turn one concrete. Courtney would climb out of the car under his own power, though his night was finished. Grant would restart from the tail and, by race end, would claw his way back to a sixth-place finish.

On the second lap 10 restart, Boat's right foot was cocked and locked as he fired past Bacon into turn one. Bacon responded by diving underneath Boat, outpacing him to regain the lead at the exit of turn two.

Meanwhile, ProSource Fast Qualifier Bayston entered the fray and, after getting by Boat for second, two laps later he was in position to grab the lead. A Bayston turn three slider momentarily put him in front before Bacon countered by slipping back under to retake the lead at the stripe. Bayston kept his foot in it and hit the topside where he powered by Bacon to take the top spot on the 13th lap.

Bayston quickly separated himself from the field, but Bacon stayed in touch, reeling Bayston back in to challenge him for first with less than ten laps remaining. With seven to go, the two battled wheel-to-wheel with Bacon pulling the front wheels to the sky as he rallied to the lead. Bayston got back by to reclaim the position at the head of the pack, though Bacon put his foot down and possessed the spot for good after charging past Bayston one final time in turn four.

From that point forward, Bacon ripped the high-side between turns one and two and the middle in three and four where nobody else was able to lay a finger on him in the waning laps as he took the victory by a little over a half-second in his FMR Racing/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions - Black Watch Farms/Beast/Toyota over Bayston, Thorson, Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Jerry Coons, Jr.

"I knew the top was probably going to come in," Bacon remembers. "I felt the bottom slowing down. When you're in the lead, it's hard to really know what to do. I knew I was going to be tight after that red (flag). I was afraid that hole in (turn) one was going to get me if I moved up too early. Once (Bayston) got by me, I moved up and got some speed back up and he started freeing up in (turns) three and four. We were able to get the diamond pattern going over there and got a really good run off of four, and that's how we got by him."

"It was tough; we bounced around on the cushion a couple times," Bacon continued. "(Bayston) did the same thing. I got pretty close to the wall of (turn) four a couple times. Once we got a few laps and the tires got hot and got some air in them, it was a little easier. It was a little hairy a couple times, but you got to drive hard if you want to win these races, especially here. I didn't want to give up. I didn't want to move up until somebody proved to me the top was faster. Bob (East) gave me a car good enough that I could move up there and still go fast."

Five drivers competed in both the midget and sprint features Saturday night, including Bacon. The differences between the two disciplines are stark, but Bacon was able to master the challenge, finishing first and second in the respective features.

"The top is faster in the sprint car," Bacon explains. "There were things I didn't even notice in the sprint car when I got out there in the midget. I was like, 'Man, that hole looks a lot bigger now that in in a midget!' Sprint cars go through the bumps a little better. Midgets are a little more sensitive to it. You don't have the horsepower in a midget, so you have to be careful and it might be too far around the top at the beginning. The track was great as usual. It's nice to get a good racetrack, somewhere you can really open it up and race on. Hopefully, we get that again tomorrow and can put on another good show."

Lebanon, Indiana's Spencer Bayston came up just short of his second career USAC National Midget victory, instead having to settle for his fifth second-place finish dating back to 2016 after leading 11 laps in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Curb Records - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"I got out front and Brady found the bottom in (turns) three and four better than I did," Bayston conceded. "We had a really good racecar. I just thought we were better in (turns) one and two than he was, but he was just killing me so much in three and four, he got me.

"The first time I came here, I didn't finish the race and the time after that, I don't think I even made the A-main," Bayston added. "We've made a lot of progress. It's all thanks to the people around me who gave me the opportunity and taught me as much as they have."

Defending series champion Tanner Thorson overcame an early-race skirmish with Tyler Courtney that shuffled him from fourth to seventh, but persevered to take third in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/JBL Audio - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"We had a great car all night," Thorson praises. "Al (Scroggins) worked his butt off to try and get this thing better and better throughout the night. The track was a little bit tricky tonight, but we'll get back to the shop, get everything cleaned up and try again tomorrow."

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Kokomo Speedway include Spencer Bayston (ProSource Fast Qualifier & Simpson Race Products First Heat Race Winner), Tyler Thomas (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Race Winner & KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Justin Grant (Chalk Stix Third Heat Race Winner), Tyler Courtney (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Race Winner) and Gage Walker (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Feature Finisher).

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USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 8, 2017 - Kokomo, Indiana - Kokomo Speedway - "Kokomo Grand Prix"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.318; 2. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.320; 3. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-13.326; 4. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.346; 5. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13,382; 6. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-13.486; 7. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.499; 8. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-13.507; 9. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 7B, Brown-13,595; 10. Tanner Carrick, 71k, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.609; 11. Holly Shelton, 67k, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.616; 12. Jerry Coons Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-13.630; 13. Dave Darland, 11, Gray-13.652; 14. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-13.719; 15. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-13.722; 16. Tony DiMattia, 50, DiMattia-13.742; 17. Shane Hollingsworth, 85, Hollingsworth-13.750; 18. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-13.796; 19. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Klaasmeyer-13,802; 20. Ryan Greth, 4R, Lesher-13.918; 21. Alex Bright, 77, Bright-13.948; 22. Billy Wease, 12w, Wease-13.949; 23. Anton Julian, 44, Pace-13.991; 24. Jake Neuman, 3N, Neuman-14,023; 25. Gage Walker, 7, Walker-14.100; 26. Ray Seach, 2, Seach-14.102; 27. Tyler Nelson, 88T, Nelson-14.116; 28. Brayton Lynch, 1k, RKR-14.263; 29. Kyle Schuett, 9k, Schuett-14.297; 30. Scott Orr, 88, Orr-14.520; 31. Justin Dickerson, 21D, Dickerson-14.521; 32. Bear Wood, 8jr, LW Racing-14.568; 33. Cole Fehr, 15F, Live Loud-14,578; 34. Chase Jones, 22, Petry/Goff-14.747; 35. Brad Kraus, 6B, Kraus-15.052.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bayston, 2. Darland, 3. K.Thomas, 4. Robinson, 5. Bright, 6. Walker, 7. Schuett, 8. Fehr, 9. Hollingsworth. 2:19.06

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. T.Thomas, 2. Golobic, 3. Thorson, 4. Boat, 5. Wease, 6. Jones. 7. Carrick, 8. Orr, 9. Seach. NT

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Grant, 2. Klaasmeyer, 3. Windom, 4. Bacon, 5. Shelton, 6. Nelson, 7. Julian, 8. Kraus, 9. Dickerson. 2:18.59

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Courtney, 2. Coons, 3. Newman, 4. Ray, 5. Greth, 6. Lynch, 7. Wood. 8. DiMattia. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Shelton, 2. Bright, 3. Walker, 4. Carrick, 5. Nelson, 6. Greth, 7. Schuett, 8. Julian, 9. Wease, 10. Jones, 11. Lynch, 12. Kraus, 13. Dickerson, 14. Wood, 15. Fehr, 16. Seach. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Spencer Bayston, 3. Tanner Thorson, 4. Kevin Thomas Jr., 5. Jerry Coons Jr., 6. Justin Grant, 7. Chris Windom, 8. Tyler Thomas, 9. Dave Darland, 10. Ryan Robinson, 11. Chad Boat, 12. Holly Shelton, 13. Gage Walker, 14. Alex Bright, 15. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 16. Jake Neuman, 17. Tanner Carrick, 18. Brayton Lynch, 19. Tyler Nelson, 20. Shane Golobic, 21. Ryan Greth, 22. Kyle Schuett, 23. Tyler Courtney, 24. Davey Ray. NT
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**Courtney flipped on lap 10 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Bacon, Laps 13-23 Bayston, Laps 24-30 Bacon.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Tyler Thomas (20th to 8th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Gage Walker

NEW USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bacon-140, 2-Grant-133, 3-Coons-129, 4-Bayston-120, 5-Thorson-98, 6-Golobic-97, 7-Neuman-86, 8-Boat-76, 9-Walker-76, 10-T.Thomas-67.

NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 9 - Kokomo (IN) Speedway - "Kokomo Grand Prix"

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

WINDOM WINS THE SUMAR, COMPLETES WEEKEND SWEEP

Richie Murray - USAC Media

Terre Haute, Indiana April 2, 2017.........Chris Windom picked up right where he left off in a number of ways Sunday night at the Terre Haute Action Track.

One night after celebrating a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car score at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, Windom was back in the familiar setting of victory lane at the 17th running of the "Sumar Classic."

"It's pretty special getting the win last night and then to come out here with a brand-new team, I really don't know what to say. I met a lot of these guys for the first time today. Gene Kazmark gave me the opportunity and gave me a great racecar to come out here and win tonight."

Incredibly, this was Kazmark's first entry into a Silver Crown event as an owner since the "Hoosier Hundred" in September of 2001 with driver Ricky Shelton. However, the car itself was a familiar commodity to Windom as it was the same car he drove to victory in his most recent series' win at Eldora Speedway's "4-Crown Nationals" for the Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise team in September 2016. But, a new team means new surroundings, and Windom and the crew quickly adapted to their new environment.

"I'm pretty familiar with the car," Windom admits. "It's pretty much the same exact car we won Eldora with last year. That definitely gave us a head start coming in. The guys working on it busted their tails all winter long to maintain and rebuild it and keep it as good as it was last year. It's pretty special to be able to come out here and do this. I didn't know exactly what my expectations were coming here since I didn't know the guys very well, but we jelled right from the first practice session."

Windom became just the fifth driver in the history of the USAC Silver Crown series to follow up a win in the previous season's final race with a victory in the season opener the next year. The only other drivers to accomplish that feat are Al Unser (1974), Tom Bigelow (1976), Jerry Coons, Jr. (2011) and Kody Swanson (2015).

In fact, dating to the 2016 "Ted Horn 100" at Illinois' Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, Windom has been victorious in three-straight Silver Crown events, the 10th driver in the history of the series to do so.

The Canton, Illinois native also became the fourth defending Silver Crown champ to capture the following season's opening race, joining Al Unser (1974), Dave Steele (2006) and Kody Swanson (2015).

The three most recent "Sumar Classic" winners coming into Sunday, Shane Cockrum (2015), C.J. Leary (2016) and Kody Swanson (2014) owned the lead in the first half of the 100-lap event, but by the midway point, Windom had steadily worked his way to the front from his ninth starting position, utilizing the bottom of the racing surface to make his way through the pack.

By the 50th lap, Windom chomped into Swanson's lead. The two series champs worked the bottom after Swanson moved his line between turns three and four from the top to the bottom. Windom stuck a nose under Swanson entering turn three, inching along the inside guardrail until the exit of turn four where he was able to clear Swanson to take the top spot by a car-length at the start/finish line as flagman Tom Hansing displayed the crossed flags.

Windom had opened up a near full-straightaway lead over new second-place runner Leary with two-thirds of the race in the bag, while Swanson occupied third. With 18 to go, though, Windom's lead had grown to seven seconds and the insurmountable advantage seemed unattainable for second on back until eighth-running Bill Rose slowed with an apparent driveline issue to bring out the caution.

With the field bunched up, Windom's lead was now gone and he would have to contend with defending race winner Leary in the closing laps. However, Windom was able to get a solid jump with the lapped cars of Johnny Petrozelle and Joe Liguori standing between the front two on the lap 83 restart, thus allowing Windom to break away as Leary fought his way around the two to give chase.

Windom and Leary worked the bottom lap-after-lap as Leary slowly, but surely chipped away at the gap. By lap 92, Leary had sliced Windom's advantage to under a half-second and was still closing.

It was at this juncture one year ago when Leary made the race-winning move for the win, but this year's lap 93 did not work in his favor as he began to lose valuable ground and Windom started to distance himself from Leary once-and-for-all.

Windom had withstood the challenge, taking the victory by just a tad under two seconds over Leary, Swanson, top-rookie finisher Hunter Schuerenberg and Jerry Coons, Jr.

It was Windom's sixth career Silver Crown victory, which moves him into the top-20 on the series' career win list. Meanwhile, he also continued a streak of different "Sumar Classic" winners each year going back to 1999.

"I knew I found something on the bottom," Windom recalls. "I couldn't hit it twice in a row for a while, but I finally hit my marks on entry to where I could hit it on the exit. That's where I'd gain on him off the corner. I didn't want to show him a nose. I wanted to be able to pass him cleanly so he couldn't take my line away. We got to traffic and it kind of played in my favor. A low and slow race takes a lot out of you trying to hit your marks like that every single lap."

"I don't think our momentum could be much better right," Windom acknowledges. "It's awesome to be able start the year like this. I've never had a year quite this good this early."

Greenfield, Indiana's C.J. Leary continued his impressive runs at Terre Haute over the past three seasons by scoring his third-straight top-two result with a second-place finish in his Chuck & Tammi Leary/Leary Construction - Gray Auto/DRC/1-Way Toyota.

"I think it's this DRC Silver Crown Car," Leary humbly attributes for his recent run of success at Terre Haute. "Joe (Devin) and I have been working really well together on this deal. Terre Haute is really not one of my better tracks, but in the Silver Crown car here, two seconds and a win is pretty awesome. I think we picked the wrong tire tonight, though. We went with a 25 instead of a 20 thinking it was going to rubber up early, but it never did."

"Chris (Windom) and I were about the same speed," Leary explains during the final run to the checkered. "Every time he'd make a mistake, I seemed to make the same mistake. I figured I could catch him, but I didn't know if we could pass him. It felt kind of like déjà vu from last year. I thought we might able to pull off the upset, but that's racing. We'll load up, go back to the shop and try to make it a little bit faster."

Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, California grabbed third in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital - Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy.

"You really don't want to get too far back at Terre Haute behind guys like Shane (Cockrum) and C.J. (Leary), both former Sumar winners," Swanson said. "I knew I had to figure out how to get around them early on and the top of (turns) three and four seemed to be holding. If you're going to get to the lead doing it, you got to be the first one to try it. You have to stick your neck out and make something happen. This crew works hard for me and I was going to work hard for them to make sure I got us back to the lead. I did everything I could do to put us in a position to win. I chased it higher and higher; there were so many cars on the bottom throwing the marbles out and, when the moisture went away, you just couldn't keep doing it anymore and I had to come to the bottom."

"This team's a pleasure to race for," Swanson continued. "We went in with what we thought was going to happen and it just didn't tonight. We never quit. We gave it everything we had and we're disappointed because these guys are good and we want to win, but tonight we just missed a little bit. We'll come back and try again. There's no one else I'd rather come back to the races with."

Contingency award winners Sunday night at the Terre Haute Action Track included Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Dave Darland (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Patrick Bruns (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

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USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 2, 2017 - Terre Haute, Indiana - Terre Haute Action Track - "Sumar Classic"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-23.599; 2. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-23.794; 3. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-23.881; 4. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-23.925; 5. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-23.990; 6. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-24.063; 7. Justin Grant, 91, Carli/Hemelgarn-24.119; 8. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-24.382; 9. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-24.809; 10. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-24.857; 11. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-24.953; 12. Johnny Petrozelle, 08, Cornell/Petrozelle-25.021; 13. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-25.066; 14. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-25.127; 15. Patrick Bruns, 95, Full Throttle-25.148; 16. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-25.195; 17. Mark Smith, 54, Lane-25.382; 18. J.C. Bland, 5, Bland-25.509; 19. Bill Rose, 75, Rose-25.551; 20. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-25.565; 21. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-25.596; 22. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-25.886; 23. Austin Nemire, 16, Lesko-25.981; 24. Dave Darland, 27, Phillips-26.032; 25. Korey Weyant, 99, Weyant-26.064; 26. Terry Babb, 42, Babb-26.323; 27. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-26.486; 28. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-26.707; 29. Kenny Gentry, 18, Gentry-27.284; 30. Chris Fetter, 89, Fetter-NT; 31. David Shain, 7, Hardy-NT.

LAST CHANCE RACE: (15 laps) 1. Smith, 2. Cottle, 3. Gardner, 4. Darland, 5. Rose, 6. Moffatt, 7. Nemire, 8. Bland, 9. Babb, 10. Wilson, 11. Weyant, 12. Berkheimer, 13. Fetter, 14. Gentry. 5:51.67

FEATURE: (100 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. C.J. Leary, 3. Kody Swanson, 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 5. Jerry Coons Jr., 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Damion Gardner, 9. Dakota Jackson, 10. Joss Moffatt, 11. Johnny Petrozelle, 12. Joe Liguori, 13. Patrick Bruns, 14. David Byrne, 15. Austin Nemire, 16. Bill Rose, 17. Steve Buckwalter, 18. Shane Cockrum, 19. Mark Smith, 20. Aaron Pierce, 21. Shane Cottle, 22. Justin Grant, 23. J.C. Bland, 24. Casey Shuman. NT
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FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-18 Cockrum, Laps 19-25 Leary, Laps 26-49 Swanson, Laps 50-100 Windom.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Dave Darland (20th to 7th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Patrick Bruns

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Windom-70, 2-Swanson-70, 3-Leary-69, 4-Schuerenberg-61, 5-Coons-58, 6-Bacon-56, 7-Darland-52, 8-Gardner-49, 9-Jackson-46, 10-Moffatt-43.

NEXT USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 29 - Phoenix (AZ) International Raceway - "Phoenix Copper Cup"

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

NO MORE SECOND THOUGHTS; WINDOM FINALLY HITS THE WIN COLUMN AT THE BURG

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Lawrenceburg, Indiana April 1, 2017.........Chris Windom knows how to win. His 15 career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car wins certainly attest to that. Of those 15 wins, though, one place that had eluded him over the past decade was southeastern Indiana's Lawrenceburg Speedway.

In almost a cruel way, Windom had finished second on five different occasions during his career in USAC competition at the three-eighths-mile dirt oval, including last Fall's most recent stop on the tour.

On Saturday night, the Canton, Illinois native would shed the label of perennial Lawrenceburg runner-up by leading all 30 laps on his way to victory in the 2017 Midwest season opener for the series.

After a rough February patch in the first two races to begin the season down south in Ocala, Fla., Windom came back to the Midwest eager to pick up right where he left off last season in his Baldwin Brothers Racing/Fox Paving - AMSOIL/DRC/Claxton. After picking up a non-sanctioned sprint car win a week ago in Mansfield, Ohio, Windom followed up by claiming his first USAC victory at Lawrenceburg, one that was a long time in the making.

"I've been fast here a lot over the years," Windom recalls. "I know I've finished second quite a few times here, but I've never been able to click off a win. But we've been fast all year; we just had a little misfortune down in Florida, but it's nice to come back up here and get the momentum going early here in the Midwest."

Windom began the 30-lap feature from the outside of the front row alongside polesitter Chad Boespflug. By the time the field reached turn one just after taking the green flag, mayhem ensued as both occupants of the third row were wiped out in a frightening double-flip involving Dave Darland and Chase Stockon. Both drivers were able to walk away, but their respective races were over just as they had begun.

On the complete restart, Boespflug initially held the advantage as he and Windom went side-by-side into turn one, but Windom used a big run down the banking off turn two to blast around the outside of Boespflug to grab the lead. Each time during the first two circuits Boespflug stuck a nose underneath, Windom always had an answer. Once clear, Windom shot away to a substantial advantage, holding a full-straightaway lead by the time the caution fell for the slowing car of Carson Short on lap nine.

With the lead erased and the field reset for the ensuing restart, Hunter Schuerenberg began to make his charge, slipping underneath Boespflug for second into turn three. Schuerenberg's chase was aimed at running down Windom for the lead, but the pursuit would end abruptly when he biked it in turn one, sending him into a violent series of barrel-rolls before coming to a rest near the turn two wall. Schuerenberg was able to climb out of his battered machine and walk away from the breathtaking accident.

The lap 10 restart saw Boespflug once again trying to gain any foothold he could on the bottom, but the undaunted Windom kept his foot in it and drove around the outside of Boespflug to maintain his lead.

"I knew I just had to have a good first and second lap on those restarts because Chad could slide up in front of me there," Windom explained. "It was hard to hit my marks consistently running the line I was running. I knew I had to hit those laps and we'd be able to pull away from him."

Just past the halfway point, Windom neared the tail end of the field. As Windom weaved his way through the lapped traffic, a trail of sparks began to stream out of the rear of the orange No. 5. With the brake rotor glowing red hot and Windom mired in a logjam, Boespflug was able to shrink the deficit somewhat. But, by lap 24, Windom was in the clear as he lapped all the way up to 10th place.

"I was hoping my brakes weren't going out because they were sparking pretty early in the race," Windom recalls. "I tried to lay off them a little bit, but it was kind of hard to since I didn't know how close anybody was to me. I figured I would run as hard as I could and if they went, they went out. I never lost the brakes, though, but I was on them hard. I could see the sparks flying up in front of my eyes going into the corner. I had to get on the brakes pretty hard to enter the way I was because of the holes getting into turns one and three."

However, with Shane Cottle coming to a rest backwards on the inside of turn four with five laps remaining, the yellow flag would fly and bunch up the field for one final run to the checkered.

As Windom ventured up to the top of turn one on the lap 26 restart, Boespflug made one last go of it as he tried to slide up in front of Windom between turns one and two. Rinse-and-repeat, the second, third and fourth verses were the same as the first when Windom stood up in his seat, never flinching and never batting an eye, as he cruised right around the outside of Boespflug off turn two to take the advantage for good, distancing himself from Boespflug by 1.371 seconds at race end. Justin Grant was third followed by Jon Stanbrough and a career-best performance for Landon Simon.

Windom's first ever April USAC triumph was his 15th overall in the series, tying him with Bobby East, Cory Kruseman, Jud Larson and Brian Tyler for 31st all-time. His earliest season victory before Saturday night was a May 20th win in 2011 at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway.

Though Windom led the entire distance from his front row starting spot, his road to victory was anything but smooth and steady. It required precision and laser-sharp focus on every centimeter of the track for 30 laps. Something that a fast racecar alone cannot overcome.

"I knew we had a really fast car, but it was a tough track to run 30 consistent laps," Windom admitted. "I started concentrating as hard as I could to hit my marks. You had to be very careful about where you chose to hit your marks. We were able to hold it together and come away with a win."

The string of consistent runs Hanford, California's Chad Boespflug has posted in the first three races have resulted in a fourth and a pair of runner-up finishes, including Saturday night at Lawrenceburg in his Dynamics, Inc./Mean Green - PAC Springs/Maxim/Claxton.

"This is huge for us. I haven't been very good here the last few years, so I'm happy to get a podium here tonight," Boespflug exclaimed. "We were fighting some throttle issues about midway through the race, going down into the corner and had to pick the throttle pedal up. It wasn't wanting to return. Little things like that can screw with your head and make you focus on too many other things rather than what you need to be focusing on. Overall, it was a great night. The car was fantastic all night and we'll carry this momentum on to Bloomington and Haubstadt in a couple weeks."

Ione, California's Justin Grant retained the series point lead after finishing third in his Sam McGhee Motorsports/Mike McGhee & Associates - Brown & Miller Racing Solutions/Maxim/Foxco. It was his third top-three finish in as many starts to begin the season after a win and a second-place finish in February in Ocala, Fla.

"As treacherous as the track was tonight, I'm happy to come away with a podium finish," Grant said. "I'll call it a solid points night. We'd obviously like to win it, but Chris (Windom) was in his own race. Our car was really good, but we just didn't have enough for them. I'm excited to keep racing with Sam McGhee and the No. 11 sprint car. They give me a great car every night and it's a joy to drive it. Hopefully, we can climb up a little higher on the podium next time."

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Lawrenceburg Speedway include Justin Grant (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Nick Bilbee (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Chase Stockon (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Jeff Bland, Jr. (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Shane Cottle (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Shane Cottle (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Tyler Thomas (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 1, 2017 - Lawrenceburg, Indiana - Lawrenceburg Speedway

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Justin Grant, 11, McGhee-13.251; 2. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-13.385; 3. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-13.387; 4. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips/Curb-Agajanian-13.562; 5. Shawn Westerfeld, 89, Westerfeld-13.685; 6. Kevin Thomas Jr., 44, Pace-13.686; 7. Jon Stanbrough, 81, Stanbrough-13.703; 8. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-13.710; 9. Chad Boespflug, 69, Dynamics-13.742; 10. Hunter Schuerenberg, 2, Motsinger-13.782; 11. Josh Hodges, 74, Hodges-13.858; 12. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-13.886; 13. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-13.986; 14. Kody Swanson, 2E, Epperson-14.072; 15. Corey Smith, 66s, CS-14.113; 16. Carson Short, 21, RCM-14.150; 17. Kyle Robbins, 17R, Robbins-14.167; 18. Max McGhee, 4J, 4J Motorsports-14.177; 19. Cody Gardner, 9G, APPCO-14.177; 20. Tyler Thomas, 04, Burton-14.207; 21. Nick Nilbee, 17N, Bilbee-14.219; 22. Aric Gentry, 10, Gentry-14.245; 23. Jeff Bland Jr., 17GP, Dutcher-14.280; 24. Shane Cottle, 57, Hazen-14.289; 25. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-14.298; 26. Garrett Abrams, 32A, Abrams-14.304; 27. Joss Moffatt, 5J, Moffatt-14.308; 28. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-14.318; 29. Travis Hery, 21H, Hery-14.428; 30. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-14.492; 31. Dallas Hewitt, 16, Kaser/Seeling-14.511; 32. Michael Fischesser, 44s, Fischesser/Owen-14.599; 33. Riley VanHise, 96, VanHise-15.630; 34. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-NT; 35. Cooper Clouse, 14, Clouse-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Bilbee, 2. Andretti, 3. Boespflug, 4. Westerfeld, 5. Grant, 6. Robbins, 7. Goodnight, 8. Hery, 9. VanHise. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Stockon, 2. McGhee, 3. Schuerenberg, 4. Swanson, 5. K.Thomas, 6. Gentry, 7. Abrams, 8. Chapple. 1:52.49

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Bland, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Hodges, 4. Hewitt, 5. Simon, 6. Gardner, 7. Moffatt, 8. Smith. 1:59.14

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Cottle, 2. Short, 3. Windom, 4. Darland, 5. Courtney, 6. T.Thomas, 7. Leary, 8. Fischesser. 1:58.06

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Courtney, 2. Grant, 3. K.Thomas, 4. Smith, 5. T.Thomas, 6. Simon, 7. Chapple, 8. Robbins, 9. Leary, 10. Abrams, 11. Gentry, 12. Moffatt, 13. Gardner, 14. Goodnight, 15. Fischesser, 16. Hery, 17. VanHise. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Chad Boespflug, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Jon Stanbrough, 5. Landon Simon, 6. Josh Hodges, 7. Shawn Westerfeld, 8. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9. Jarett Andretti, 10. Shane Cottle, 11. Dallas Hewitt, 12. Tyler Courtney, 13. Tyler Thomas, 14. Corey Smith, 15. Isaac Chapple, 16. Jeff Bland Jr., 17. Max McGhee, 18. Kody Swanson, 19. Nick Bilbee, 20. Hunter Schuerenberg, 21. Carson Short, 22. Dave Darland, 23. Chase Stockon. NT
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**Clouse flipped during qualifying. Goodnight and VanHise flipped at the start of the semi. Darland and Stockon flipped on the first lap of the feature. Schuerenberg flipped on lap 10 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Windom

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Shane Cottle (21st-10th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Tyler Thomas

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Grant-228, 2-Boespflug-214, 3-Stockon-175, 4-Schuerenberg-173, 5-Windom-172, 6-Andretti-152, 7-Hodges-145, 8-Cottle-134, 9-Brady Bacon-128, 10-Simon-128.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 14 - Bloomington (IN) Speedway

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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