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

WINDOM CAPITALIZES ON 2ND CHANCE; POCKETS DRAMATIC PORT ROYAL VICTORY

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Port Royal, PA......June 17, 2017 – All Chris Windom needed was another shot, just one more opportunity that he could capitalize on.

After an unsuccessful slider on race leader Robert Ballou during a restart just before halfway, divine intervention arrived in the form of a yellow flag after a lap 27 incident that bunch up the field.

On the ensuing restart with four to go, Windom slid Robert Ballou on the entry to turn one once again. This time, the move stuck as Windom carried on to victory in Saturday night’s penultimate round of Eastern Storm presented by DMI at Port Royal Speedway.

Windom’s 17th career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car win tied Brady Bacon, Jerry Coons, Jr., Parnelli Jones and Bud Kaeding for 26th all-time, but this one very well could have played out differently without a late-race yellow.

Ballou had dominated from the drop of the green and appeared to have no equal despite being presented a hearty challenge on a lap 13 restart just prior to the midway point.

After a yellow was brought about by a disengaged wheel cover from the car of Alex Bright, Windom lined up second behind Ballou on the restart. Windom dipped a toe in the water and threw a slide job on Ballou entering turn one, but Ballou easily absorbed the swing and powered back to the lead on the cushion as Windom slid to the top.

Windom’s move nearly proved costly as Wednesday night Lincoln winner Thomas Meseraull took advantage of the situation by sliding Windom into turn three for second as Windom sought to reobtain his rhythm and speed. Windom would get all that back with a slide job a half-lap later in turn one on Meseraull to regain second with 16 laps remaining.

Though the initial trial balloon didn’t pay off, it did provide Windom some info that he would stow away in his back pocket just in case another opportunity presented itself in the dwindling laps.

“I tried to see if I could make that slide job work on the restart,” Windom recalled. “It kind of did, it kind of didn’t. I lost all my momentum and it was a way for me to get down and see if the track was better on the bottom or the middle. But once Meseraull got around me, I knew I’d better get my (rear end) back on the top and keep digging. Robert was probably a little better than us up front in clean air. On a big track like this, it’s definitely a lot easier being in the lead than chasing somebody.”

Out front, Ballou was in his own element. The 2015 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion has earned 12 of his 27 career series victories on tracks a half-mile length, including one at the Port Royal “Eastern Storm” stop in 2015. On Saturday night, the Rocklin, California native appeared to have the checkered flag and the $6000 reward signed, sealed and delivered.

If this were a 25-lap race, the story would’ve ended there with a dominant Ballou victory, but the vast majority of USAC races are 30 laps and, as Saturday night proved, what you thought you knew can all be tossed into the wind with how quickly things can change in a sprint race.

With Ballou holding a safe-and-sound, commanding lead on lap 27 of 30, the car of Chad Boespflug began to slow. Isaac Chapple had nowhere to go and nosed into the inner guardrail on the back straightaway to bring out the caution. Chapple was uninjured while Boespflug returned for the restart.

That allowed Windom to be glued to the tail tank of the No. 12 on the restart with four to go.

“I knew that if I could get a good enough restart, that would be my chance,” Windom said. “I didn’t get as good of a restart on the first slider (on lap 13). The way it felt, I knew I’d be able to make it stick as long as I was close enough to him entering turn one. I knew Robert was really good in clean air out front around the top and I had a notion he’d probably go back to the top on the restart. We got a great run off turn four coming to the green and I knew I could make that slider stick then, but I knew once I did it, I had to stay in front of him. We didn’t want to go into a slider fest with him.”

With Windom now out front and in the clear, USAC National Sprint Car point leader Justin Grant battled Ballou for the second position. The two went at it tooth-and-nail in each corner for multiple laps with Grant ultimately taking the position from Ballou on the final laps as race leader Windom‘s claws were now firmly entrenched into the possession of the checkered flag.

The race for second would come to a head on the final lap between Grant and Ballou. The two battled close-quarters mere feet apart entering turn three. Both would not exit the corner unscathed, however, as Ballou found himself upside down after backing hard into the outside guardrail before rolling over a pair of times. Sixth-running Aaron Farney was also collected in the incident . Ballou quickly hopped out of the top of the car without injury.

Meanwhile, the incident was not what leader Chris Windom wanted to see.

“My heart dropped when I saw the red flag coming to the checkered,” Windom admitted. “When you’re going down the straightaway, it’s the last thing you ever want to see in a racecar. The straightaways are so long and the turns are so wide here that if you get a decent run on a guy, you can slide him, so I knew the last lap with it being a green and white together, if I would’ve slid myself both corners, I should be all right. And that’s what I did.”

On the one-lap shootout for the win, Windom changed course and headed for the bottom using a defensive tactic instead of his regular line up top, a coin he had been on the other side of just a few laps prior.

“When the air pressure is down on the restarts, you can stick the bottom and middle a little better for a lap or two,” Windom explained. “I was definitely protecting. If I would’ve went back to the top, Justin probably would’ve done exactly to me what I did to Ballou. I wasn’t going to let that happen.”

Grant was never able to make a run at Windom on the final lap, following Windom to the checkered as Brady Bacon, Tyler Courtney and Dave Darland rounded out the top-five.

In the meantime, Windom surpassed Kevin Thomas, Jr. as the Eastern Storm point leader and now holds a 14-point advantage heading into Sunday’s finale at Susquehanna Speedway in York Haven, PA, a venue in which Windom is the reigning king.

“I think we’ll be good again at Susky,” a confident Windom claimed. “It seems like it’s been of our best tracks out here. KT’s been strong all week and a lot of other guys are coming on strong. We definitely just have to stick to the game plan and finish the final night strong.”

Ione, California’s Justin Grant took second and maintained his USAC National Sprint Car point lead of 39 over Windom in the latest tally in his Sam McGhee Motorsports/ProGlide Bearings – Mike McGhee & Associates/Maxim/Foxco.

Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma remains one of seven drivers still mathematically eligible to claim the Eastern Storm crown, sitting just 28 points out of the lead in third after a third-place run in his Dooling-Hayward/B & H Contractors – Dooling Machine/Spike/Stanton Mopar.

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway include Justin Grant (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Robert Ballou (Simpson Race Products 1st Heat Winner), Thomas Meseraull (Competition Suspension, Inc. 2nd Heat Winner), Shane Golobic (Chalk Stix 3rd Heat Winner), Dave Darland (Indy Race Parts Semi Winner), Alex Bright (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) & Tyler Courtney (KSE Racing Products / In Memory of Mike Grassmyer Hard Charger).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 17, 2017 – Port Royal, Pennsylvania – Port Royal Speedway – “Eastern Storm” Presented by DMI

PROSOURCE/PACKER'S CONCESSIONS QUALIFYING: 1. Justin Grant, 11, McGhee-19.019; 2. Thomas Meseraull, 27, Heffner-19.078; 3. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips/Curb-Agajanian-19.222; 4. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-19.355; 5. Jerry Coons, Jr., 39, Hogue-19.358; 6. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-19.396; 7. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-19.416; 8. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-19.429; 9. Chad Boespflug, 69, Dynamics-19.430; 10. Brady Bacon, 63, Dooling/Hayward-19.487; 11. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-19.538; 12. Aaron Farney, 15F, DCT-19.553; 13. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 44, Pace-19.566; 14. Kyle Moody, 99, Moody-19.702; 15. Alex Bright, 13K, Kaylor-19.727; 16. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-19.750; 17. Kyle Robbins, 17R, Robbins-19.789; 18. Shane Golobic, 3, Franckowiak-19.901; 19. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-19.922; 20. Trevor Kobylarz, 14, RT-19.976; 21. Tony DiMattia, 50, DiMattia-19.997; 22. Matt Westfall, 54, Westfall-20.008; 23. Carmen Perigo, 21, Stehman-20.073; 24. Dustin Smith, 77, Gagliardi-20.152; 25. Chad Wilson, 14x, Wilson-20.171; 26. Joey Biasi, B1, Biasi-20.224; 27. Gary Rooke, 42AU, Rooke-20.384; 28. Stevie Sussex, 17GP, Dutcher-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Ballou, 2. Thomas, 3. Bacon, 4. Courtney, 5. Stockon, 6. Grant, 7. Chapple, 8. Wilson. 2:35.55 (NTR)

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Meseraull, 2. Leary, 3. Andretti, 4. Coons, 5. Robbins, 6. Moody, 7. Kobylarz, 8. Perigo, 9. Biasi. 2:39.04

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Golobic, 2. Windom, 3. Boespflug, 4. Bright, 5. Farney, 6. Darland, 7. DiMattia, 8. D.Smith, 9. Rooke. 2:38.56

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Darland, 2. Grant, 3. Chapple, 4. Perigo, 5. DiMattia, 6. Moody, 7. Kobylarz, 8. Biasi, 9. Westfall, 10. D.Smith, 11. Rooke, 12. Wilson, 13. Sussex. 4:06.66 (NTR)

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Tyler Courtney, 5. Dave Darland, 6. Thomas Meseraull, 7. Chase Stockon, 8. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9. Shane Golobic, 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 11. Jarett Andretti, 12. Kyle Moody, 13. Alex Bright, 14. Isaac Chapple, 15. C.J. Leary, 16. Aaron Farney, 17. Chad Boespflug, 18. Robert Ballou. 19. Tony DiMattia, 20. Kyle Robbins, 21. Carmen Perigo, 22. Trevor Kobylarz. NT

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**Ballou flipped on lap 30 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-26 Ballou, Laps 27-30 Windom.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS / IN MEMORY OF MIKE GRASSMYER HARD CHARGER: Tyler Courtney (15th to 4th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Alex Bright

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Grant-985, 2-Windom-936, 3-Stockon-841, 4-Boespflug-823, 5-Courtney-728, 6-Thomas-716, 7-Leary-644, 8-Bacon-641, 9-Darland-579, 10-Andretti-559.

NEW EASTERN STORM POINTS: 1-Windom-288, 2-Thomas-274, 3-Bacon-260, 4-Meseraull-250, 5-Stockon-241, 6-Grant-240, 7-Andretti-221, 8-Coons-199, 9-Leary-198, 10-Courtney-193.

NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: June 18 – York Haven, PA – Susquehanna Speedway – “Eastern Storm” Presented by DMI

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

THOMAS’ BELATED BIRTHDAY PRESENT DELIVERED AT WILLIAMS GROVE

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Mechanicsburg, PA...June 15, 2017 – One day after his 26th birthday, the “older” and wiser Kevin Thomas, Jr. was rewarded with his biggest and highest-paying present of all in Thursday night’s USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship’s return to the legendary Williams Grove Speedway.

The Cullman, Alabama driver led the entire first-half of the Eastern Storm presented by DMI / “Triple Crown Showdown” 30-lapper, but on lap 16 when all seemed to be slipping away as Chris Windom took the lead, Thomas demonstrated a poise and maturity that he admits wouldn’t have shown in year’s past.

“I’ve been racing for a lot of years now,” Thomas reflects. “I used to tear up a lot of stuff and make dumb decisions. Now we’re able to put solid cars underneath me, make better decisions and put myself in the right position to win races and finish on the podium. That just comes with experience. I never thought I’d make smart decisions, to be honest.”

The victory was the 13th USAC National Sprint Car win for Thomas, moving him into the top-40 on the all-time series win list alongside Don Branson and Steve Chassey. Though his winning ride is a mixture of resources from his own KT Motorsports, Pace Brothers Racing, Abreu Vineyards and his father, the triumph officially comes under the Pace Brothers Racing banner, which marks their first USAC win since July of 2007 at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway with driver Dave Darland. Regardless of the entrant name on the entry list, Thomas feels the tide beginning to turn for he and his crew.

“It’s all kind of coming together now,” Thomas feels. “I’ve got good people around me who support me. They give me the equipment to be up front and it’s up to me and my guys to put a good racecar together, make it go fast and for me to make good decisions on the racetrack. It’s a combination of a lot of good people. It’s a full team effort. There’s only one guy on the racetrack, but at the end of the day, there’s a lot of stuff that happens behind the scenes.”

The second and third-place finishers from the previous night’s event at Lincoln occupied the front row for the main event: pole sitter Jarett Andretti and outside starter Kevin Thomas, Jr.

Thomas was able to break free on the high side on the opening lap as Grant followed to second and Andretti slid back to the third position.

On the fourth lap, 2015 Eastern Storm champ Robert Ballou pirouetted against the turn three guardrail to bring out the red flag. Miraculously, Ballou would restart from the tail, although he would bow out of competition just four laps with a 23rd place finish.

On the resumption, Thomas maintained his advantage, but soon Windom began to close the gap. For the next several circuits, Windom shadowed Thomas on the cushion between turns one and two, but found his own, unique line on the other end of the speedway. Windom entered the bottom of turn three with his front left wheel breezing the inner rail. He then drifted up toward the middle of the surface before diamonding off the fourth corner at exit.

On the first lap of the second-half of the contest, race leader Thomas and second-running Windom were deadlocked in a side-by-side power struggle with Windom able to clear Thomas using an outside run off of turn four to beat Thomas to the line by the skin of a tire. Windom aimed to finish the move, sliding up in front Thomas to in turn one. Thomas countered back underneath to reassume the top position.

Windom regrouped to make another charge at Thomas for the lead in the first turn on the 18th lap, but the two nearly made contact as Windom was unable to gain clearance on his slider, allowing Thomas to instantly extend his race lead to one-plus second.

“It’s so wide down there in one and two,” Thomas explained. “When you see a slider, you can anticipate where to turn across. There was just enough moisture to cross under Chris and get a good run going down the backstretch. Once I saw him get by me on the bottom. I went down there where there was a little rubber and I had a lot of grip. It was tough running up there in three and four. Once you moved down, you were able to make a lot of straightaway speed.”

Sprint car racing does not utilize mirrors or even spotters, making it near impossible to realize what lines the drivers behind them have sought and figured out. It’s a continuous chess match up front and a thinking man’s game that keeps the leader on his toes.

“It’s kind of difficult leading at places like this when it gets real slow at the top of (turns) three and four,” Thomas believes. “You don’t exactly know where to go, so you have to stick with what got you there. You almost have to idle up there because it was so thin, there was nothing but fence.”

Thomas went to school on Windom and took away his perfected line on the bottom of three and four as he discovered the rubber. Thomas’ grip on the position would not falter down the stretch as Windom began to fade and Chase Stockon turned up the wick to run down and overtake Windom for second on the bottom of turn one on the 30th and final lap.

Meanwhile, up front, Thomas crossed the finish line 2.3 seconds ahead of the Stockon/Windom duel to finish off his first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory of the 2017 season. National Sprint point leader Justin Grant was fourth while Grandview Eastern Storm winner Brady Bacon rounded out the top-five.

With results of 4th, 3rd and 1st through the three of the five Eastern Storm series wins, Thomas, the driver of the Pace Brothers Racing/Pace Performance Coating – DC Dyno/DRC/J & D finds himself in an enviable position with an eight-point lead heading into the final two races Saturday at Port Royal Speedway and Sunday at Susquehanna Speedway.

“When you come to places like this, you tighten your belts a little more and you focus a little bit more,” Thomas detailed. “Having the track record at Knoxville, then winning here at Williams Grove, it’s two racetracks that are the most historic in the country. It’s really humbling to be fast at these places, much less win. It goes back to what they do in the shop. I haven’t really been that great on the big tracks in the past. We’ve really focused on that and they’ve helped me out a ton. We’ve got good engines, good shocks and good crewmembers. Everybody that works on this thing gives me confidence and helps me make good decisions on the track while they make good decisions in the pits. Hats off to them; they make it easy for me.”

Chase Stockon’s up-and-down season trended skyward once again Thursday night at Williams Grove as he broke Dave Darland’s 21-year-old USAC and Damion Gardner’s 15-year-old SCRA track records during ProSource Qualifying, then followed it up by running a season-best second-place in his 32 TBI Racing/Superior Tank & Trailer – Crescent Electric Supply/DRC/Fisher.

“They were slowing up on the top,” Stockon reflected. “I kept working the bottom, working the bottom the entire race. it almost seemed like the top was too far around. We just kept working it and was hoping the top would slow down and it gradually did. The bottom started to take rubber there and it kind of worked out to our advantage at the end. They were slowing up on the top. I may have shown him a nose too early. He did what every other driver would’ve done and tried to protect. But, he Just drove it in too hard because he’d been running the top the whole race. Luckily, we were able to get by him and bring home a second. We always want the ‘w,’ but with the runs we’ve been having here lately, we’ll definitely take that.”

Chris Windom of Canton, Illinois had a solid night, leading a single lap, before dropping to third at the finish in his Baldwin Brothers Racing/Fox Paving – AMSOIL/DRC/Claxton Mopar.

“We were really good the first half of the race,” Windom beams. “I think I burnt off my tire too much. It took rubber and really burned my tires off. We’re just a little too good too early and KT and Chase were better late. I wish I could’ve cleared KT when I got to him and took his line away. He made a good move and got back down to the bottom and pulled away from us there at the end. We’ll take these consistent podiums but I know (crew chief) Derek (Claxton) and I really want to win by the end of the week.”

Contingency award winners Thursday night at Williams Grove Speedway include Chase Stockon (ProSource Fast Qualifier & Bryan Clauson Bad Fast Award Winner), Mark Smith (Simpson Race Products 1st Heat Winner), Brady Bacon (Competition Suspension, Inc. 2nd Heat Winner), Joey Biasi (Chalk Stix 3rd Heat Winner), Danny Dietrich (Indy Race Parts 4th Heat Winner & Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) and Carmen Perigo (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 15, 2017 – Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania – Williams Grove Speedway – “USAC Triple Crown Showdown” - “Eastern Storm” Presented by DMI

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-20.035 (New Track Record); 2. Brady Bacon, 63, Dooling/Hayward-20.042; 3. Thomas Meseraull, 27, Heffner-20.068; 4. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-20.074; 5. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-20.111; 6. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-20.196; 7. Justin Grant, 11, McGhee-20.238; 8. Jerry Coons, Jr., 39, Hogue-20.286; 9. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 44, Pace-20.287; 10. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-20.377; 11. Kyle Robbins, 17R, Robbins-20.434; 12. Danny Dietrich, 13, Buch-20.485; 13. Chad Boespflug, 69, Dynamics-20.496; 14. Stevie Sussex, 17GP, Dutcher-20.498; 15. Shane Golobic, 3, Franckowiak-20.513; 16. Aaron Farney, 15F, DCT-20.538; 17. Trevor Kobylarz, 14, RT-20.557; 18. Matt Westfall, 54, Westfall-20.587; 19. Joey Biasi, B1, Biasi-20.609; 20. Kyle Moody, 99, Moody-20.664; 21. Mark Smith, 1M, L & M-20.673; 22. Carmen Perigo, 21, Stehman-20.690; 23. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-20.776; 24. Alex Bright, 13K, Kaylor-20.850; 25. Dustin Smith, 77, Gagliardi-20.966; 26. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips/Curb-Agajanian-21.028; 27. Tony DiMattia, 50, DiMattia-21.174; 28. Chad Wilson, 14x, Wilson-21.188; 29. Gary Rooke, 42AU, Rooke-21.233; 30. Michael Hamer, 47, Hamer-22.372; 31. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. M. Smith, 2. Boespflug, 3. Kobylarz, 4. Thomas, 5. Courtney, 6. Stockon, 7. D. Smith, 8. Rooke. 2:50.50

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Windom, 3. Perigo, 4. Andretti, 5. Darland, 6. Westfall, 7. Sussex, 8. Hamer. 2:52.05

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Biasi, 2. Leary, 3. Golobic, 4. Grant, 5. Meseraull, 6. Robbins, 7. Chapple, 8. DiMattia. 2:55.26

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Dietrich, 2. Farney, 3. Moody, 4. Coons, 5. Ballou, 6. Bright, 7. Wilson. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Meseraull, 2. Ballou, 3. Stockon, 4. Robbins, 5. Darland, 6. Sussex, 7. Bright, 8. Wilson, 9. D. Smith, 10. Chapple, 11. Rooke, 12. Hamer, 13. Westfall, 14. Courtney, 15. DiMattia. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Brady Bacon, 6. Shane Golobic, 7. Thomas Meseraull, 8. Jarett Andretti, 9. Jerry Coons Jr., 10. Carmen Perigo, 11. Aaron Farney, 12. Kyle Moody, 13. Danny Dietrich, 14. Isaac Chapple, 15. Chad Boespflug, 16. Joey Biasi, 17. Tyler Courtney, 18. Mark Smith 19. Dave Darland, 20. C.J. Leary, 21. Stevie Sussex, 22. Trevor Kobylarz, 23. Robert Ballou, 24. Kyle Robbins. NT

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**Courtney flipped during the semi. Ballou flipped on lap 4 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-15 Thomas, Lap 16 Windom, Laps 17-30 Thomas.

KSE HARD CHARGER: Carmen Perigo (20th to 10th)

KRS GRAPHICS BRYAN CLAUSON BAD FAST AWARD: Chase Stockon

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Danny Dietrich

NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Grant-909, 2-Windom-858, 3-Boespflug-788, 4-Stockon-782, 5-Courtney-662, 6-Thomas-660, 7-Leary-604, 8-Bacon-571, 9-Darland-513, 10-Andretti-512.

NEW EASTERN STORM POINTS: 1-Thomas-218, 2-Windom-210, 3-Bacon-190, 4-Meseraull & Stockon-182, 6-Andretti-174, 7-Grant-164, 8-Leary-158, 9-Coons-150, 10-Boespflug-141.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 17 – Port Royal, PA – Port Royal Speedway – “Eastern Storm” Presented by DMI

JUNE 14, 2017

CONTACT: BOB MILLER 443 513 4456

AMSOIL USAC NON WING SPRINTS

THOMAS “T-MEZ” MESERAULL POCKETS $6,000 IN LINCOLN SPEEDWAY AMSOIL USAC EASTERN STORM

Abbottstown, PA June 14, 2017 . . .“This 27 car was on fire tonight”, commented feature winner Thomas “T-Mez” Meseraull in the Lincoln Speedway victory lane Wednesday night. This was the second race of the 2017 Amsoil USAC Non-Wing Eastern Storm and “T-Mez” out-classed the twenty-eight car field. “Special thanks to Gene Franckowiak, Sean Michael and the entire Heffner team for this great car tonight and it’s exciting to win here in Pennsylvania”, said a joyful Meseraull who made the trip from his hometown of San Jose, California. In the 20 lap 358 Sprint feature, Brie Hershey took the win leading wire-to-wire over a challenging Adrian Shaffer.

The USAC Amsoil non-wing sprints saw Justin Grant set fast time, stopping the clock with a time of 15.847. Shane Golobic, Chris Windom and Aaron Farney were heat race winners as Robert Ballou took the win the B Main.

At the start of the feature, Jarett Andretti set the pace for the first five circuits but all eyes were on Thomas “T-Mez” Meseraull. By lap seven, “T-Mez” was the new leader. A caution on lap eight brought the field together for the final time, as the race go non-stop to the checker flag.

On the restart, “T-Mez” ran to hide from the rest of the field, leaving Andretti and Chad Boespflug to battle for second. By the halfway mark, “T’Mez” had check out with Andretti and Boespflug still in a battle for second followed by Kevin Thomas Jr and Chris Windom.

“T-Mez” was just awesome threading his way through lapped traffic. The battle for second continued but now Kevin Thomas was racing in third by lap seventeen.

Thomas pulled a few slide-jobs on Andretti but with each attempt, Andretti held on to the runner-up spot.

With the checker flag waiving, T-Mez was all alone to collect the $6,000 first place prize money in the 30 lap feature. Andretti finished second followed by Kevin Thomas Jr., Chad Boespflug and Chris Windom.

A field of twenty-eight 358 Sprints competed in heat race qualifying events with victories going to Phil Walter, Adrian Shaffer and Doug Hammaker as Todd Rittenhouse took the win in the B Main.

In the twenty lap 358 Sprint feature Brie Hersey immediately took the lead from her front row starting position. Hershey immediately had to deal with a challenging Adrian Shaffer with Ashley Cappetta making up the top three. Phil Walter was working his way to the front racing in third by lap five.

Hershey ran a flawless race shaking off a determined Shaffer with each lap. At halfway the top five remained unchanged with countless shuffling for positions taking place in the middle of the field. Shaffer again began to reel in the leader but Hershey was not about to hand over the lead. Meanwhile, Phil Walter was closing in on the leaders and now Brent Shearer was in the hunt.

Through the closing laps, Hershey ran a flawless race to earn the $1,000 first place prize followed by Adrian Shaffer, Phil Walter, Brent Shearer and Ashley Cappetta.

USAC FEATURE $6,000 TO WIN FINISH: Thomas Meseraull, Jarett Andretti, Kevin Thomas, Jr., Chad Boespflug, Chris Windom, Tyler Courtney, Shane Golobic, CJ Leary, Kyle Robbins, Jerry Coons Jr, Alex Bright, Chase Stockon, Robert Ballou, Brady Bacon, Kyle Moody, Aaron Farney, Issac Chapple, Carmen Perigo, Dave Darland, Justin Grant, Dustin Smith, Danny Dietrich.

Fast Time: Justin Grant 15.874

USAC Heat Winners Shane Golobic, Chris Windom, Aaron Farney, B Main Winner –Robert Ballou

358 SPRINT FEATURE FINISH: Brie Hershey, Adrian Shaffer, Phil Walter, Brent Shearer, Ashely Cappetta, Doug Hammaker, Tyler Ross, Kyle Denmyer, Ryan Higgins, Todd Rittenhouse Jr., Dalton Dietrich, Landon Myers, Matt Findley, Zack Eucalano, Cody Fletcher, Steve Wilbur, T.J. DeHaven, Zack Allman, Jeff Halligan, Trey Hivner, Jordan Givler, Mike Bittinger, Troy Wagaman Jr., Ryan Quackenbush.

Heat Winners: Phil Walter, Adrian Shaffer, Doug Hammaker, B Main Winner – Todd Rittenhouse Jr.

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Jun
14

Eastern Storm Results

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JUNE 13, 2017
CONTACT: BOB MILLER 443 513 4456
THUNDER ON THE HILL RACING SERIES

NAPA AUTO PARTS NIGHT ON THE HILL. . . . .

BRADY BACON SIZZLES ON HOT THUNDER ON THE HILL NIGHT; DUANE HOWARD TOPS GRANDVIEW MODS; EASTERN STORM ROLLS ONTO LINCOLN SPEEDWAY WEDNESDAY NIGHT, JUNE 14

BECHTELSVILLE, PA (JUNE 13, 2017) – It was a hot NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series night at Grandview Speedway and a packed house witnessed Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon collecting the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series win, claiming the $6,000 to win Jesse Hockett Classic. Oley, PA’s Duane Howard claimed the win in the 30 lap $3,000 to win NASCAR 358 Modified feature, an event presented by Pioneer Pole Buildings.

This year’s Jesse Hockett Classic marked Bacon’s 18th career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series and his first NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series win. A field of thirty-two USAC sprints cars and thirty-two 358 Modifieds took part in the program. Even with extremely warm temperatures and a 50% chance of rain, the show did go on.

Greenfield, IN’s CJ Leary charged from the top starting spot battling with current USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series Point Leader, Justin Grant. Leary and Grant pulled away from the 23-car starting field gaining a sizable advantage before a lap 7 yellow.

Leary maintained control on the restart, with Grant hot on his heels and Chad Boespflug close for third. But as the leaders pulled away from the pack, a three-car battle for fourth-place ensued as Bacon challenged Dave Darland and Kevin Thomas, Jr.

Just prior to half-way a turn-1 flip ended Carlisle, PA’s Chandler Leiby run. The red flag for Leiby, and an incident grandstand side halted the action for a lengthy period of time.

The open red, allowed crews to adjust their cars moving furiously around the open-wheel beasts and preparing for the second half of the feature event.

On the restart, Leary held the top spot, but all eyes were on Brady Bacon. Bacon charged three-wide with Grant and Kevin Thomas, Jr.

Bacon overtook Leary holding the inside line on lap 24 but Leary held on rim-riding the top side. Bacon charged alongside Leary as the two diced side-by-side for nearly 10 laps. Leary overtook Bacon with four-laps remaining, but an altercation with a lapped car slowed Leary and gave Bacon the opportunity to pounce forward for the $6,000 victory. Leary settled for second, Chris Windom finished in a hard-fought third place, Kevin Thomas Jr. came home in fourth and Justin Grant finished fifth.

The Eastern Storm continues on Wednesday at the Lincoln Speedway featuring the USAC Non-wing sprints cars and the 358 wing sprint cars. Gates open at 5 PM with race time set for 7:30 PM.

Oley, PA’s Duane Howard claimed his 10th Thunder on the Hill Racing Series win leading the Norm’s Save Station No. 357 to the checkered flag in the non-stop 30-lap 358 Modified feature event.

Mike Gular quickly took the lead from his front row starting position and battled back-and-forth with John Willman. Howard moved into the second-position on lap nine with Craig VonDohren and Jeff Strunk quickly on his tail.

The leaders hit lapped traffic on the 14th circuit, and Howard closed quickly on Gular as VonDohren hammerd the cushion around the top side. Howard’s No. 357 slipped inside Gular with 10-laps remaining and VonDohren followed closely winding up the top side of the 1/3-mile oval.

Howard held on for the win, VonDohren came home second, Gular third, Jeff Strunk in the fourth position and Ryan Godown rounded out the top five finishers.

The NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series returns to action on Tuesday, July 4 for Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek. The 410 Sprint Cars compete in a double header with the NASCAR 358 Modifieds. Gates open at 4 PM with race time set for 7:30 PM.

For more information visit www.thunderonthehillracingseries.com

AMSOIL USAC Time Trials:

Chase Stockon - 13.830 2. Brady Bacon - 13.854 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. - 13.871 4. Kyle Moody - 13.892 5. Thomas Meseraull - 13.893 6. Jarrett Andretti - 13.905 7. Robert Ballou - 13.978 8. Dave Darland - 13.993 9. Justin Grant - 14.062 10. Trevor Kobylarz - 14.100 11. Tony DiMattia - 14.106 12. Kyle Robbins - 14.141 13. Jerry Coons, Jr. - 14.148 14. Chris Windom - 14.153 15. Isaac Chapple - 14.182 16. Alex Bright - 14.196 17. Chad Boespflug - 14.210 18. Aaron Farney - 14.217 19. Joey Biasi - 14.228 20. Tyler Courtney - 14.241 21. C.J. Leary - 14.266 22. Carmen Perigo - 14.365 23. Matt Westfall - 14.419 24. Chandley Leiby - 14.530 25. Shane Golobic - 14.531 26. Danny Dietrich - 14.596 27. Dustin Smith - 14.653 28. Austin Burke - 15.095 29. Kyle Lick - 15.219 30. Chad Wilson - 15.234 31. Steve Wilbur - 15.248 32. Trey Hivner - 15.691

Heat 1 (8 Laps) – 1. Isaac Chapple 2. Chandler Leiby 3. Chad Boespflug 4. Tony DiMattia

Heat 2 (8 Laps) – 1. Tyler Courtney 2. Alex Bright 3. Justin Grant 4. Jarrett Andretti

Heat 3 (8 Laps) – 1. Aaron Farney 2. Matt Westfall 3. CJ Leary 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr.

Heat 4 (8 Laps) – 1. Chris Windom 2. Dave Darland Joey Biasi 4. Trevor Kobylarz

B-Main (12 Laps) – 1. Chase Stockon 2. Robert Ballou 3. Brady Bacon 4. Thomas Meseraull 5. Kyle Robbins 6. Jerry Coons, Jr.

A-Main (40 Laps) – 1. Brady Bacon 2. CJ Leary 3. Chris Windom 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr. 5. Justin Grant 6. Robert Ballou 7. Chase Stockon 8. Jerry Coons, Jr. 9. Tyler Courtney 10. Jarrett Andretti 11. Matt Westfall 12. Aaron Farney 13. Thomas Meseraull 14. Alex Bright 15. Kyle Robbins 16. Dave Darland 17. Chad Boespflug 18. Isaac Chapple 19. Tony DiMattia 20. Trevor Kobylarz 21. Chandler Leiby 22. Joey Biasi

358 Modifieds

Heat 1 (10 Laps) – 1. Craig VonDohren 2. Duane Howard 3. Doug Manmiller 4. Jeff Strunk 5. Danny Erb 6. Ryan Beltz

Heat 2 (10 Laps) – 1. Brett Kressley 2. Rick Laubach 3. Danny Bouc 4. Frank Cozze 5. Ryan Godown 6. Blaine Bracelin

Heat 3 (10 Laps) – 1. Kenny Gilmore 2. John Willman 3. Mike Gular 4. Ryan Watt 5. Chris Esposito 6. Jared Umbenhauer

CONSOLATION: (10 Laps) – 1. Kyle Borror 2. Brian Hirthler 3. Ryan Grim 4. Brandon Grosso 5. Clay Butler 6. Mark Kratz

Feature (30 Laps) – 1. Duane Howard 2. Craig VonDohren 3. Mike Gular 4. Jeff Strunk 5. Ryan Godown 6. Doug Manmiller 7. Kenny Gilmore 8. Rick Laubach 9. John Willman 10. Danny Bouc 11. Danny Erb 12. Brett Kressley 13. Kyle Borror 14. Frank Cozze 15. Ryan Watt 16. Chris Esposito 17. Jared Umbenhauer 18. Brandon Grosso 19. Ryan Grim 20. Clay Butler 21. Brian Hirthler 22. Ryan Beltz 23. Blaine Bracelin 24. Mark Kratz

2017 Thunder Racing Series Schedule:

Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speed Week - Tuesday, July 4 7:30 PM - 410 Sprint Cars & 358 Modifieds*

3rd Annual Thunder Cup Arctic Cat All-Star Circuit of Champions - Thursday, August 17 7:30 PM - 410 Sprint Cars & Sportsman SMOKE ON THE HILL . . . . 410 Sprint car entries Tony Stewart and Rico Abreu

Mods at the Madhouse Halloween Party - Saturday, October 14 6 PM - Big-Block/358 Modifieds 40 Laps, Sportsman & MASS Sprints

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

BACON BRINGS THE 63 BACK TO EASTERN STORM WIN COLUMN IN OPENER AT GRANDVIEW

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Bechtelsville, PA....June 13, 2017 - The sight of the black Dooling/Hayward Motorsports No. 63 winning an Eastern Storm feature has become oh, so familiar over the last couple of seasons.

Bryan Clauson raced to three wins in the five Pennsylvania starts with the car in 2016, including one at Grandview Speedway. When the calendar turned its page to 2017, there was no better tandem to build upon the groundwork that had been laid than the pairing of the defending Eastern Storm championship team and the reigning USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car driver titlist, Brady Bacon.

On Tuesday night, Bacon prevailed in a spirited late-race battle with C.J. Leary in which he took over the point in lapped traffic with three laps remaining to score his first USAC National Sprint Car victory in nearly a year and the first for the Dooling/Hayward team since Clauson's 41st and final victory at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway last July.

"This one is really special," Bacon said. "Bryan and I both liked to come out here. The fans were always great. He was really good out here. Hopefully, we're making him proud that we're out here and got it back in victory lane. I wish he was still here and maybe I wasn't in this car, but that's just the way it is."

The race honoring the memory of 2009 Grandview USAC Sprint Car feature winner "The Rocket" Jesse Hockett was the launching pad for the 11th annual edition of Eastern Storm.

The 40-lap distance for the event was the first of four of the super-sized length this season as the packed Grandview grandstands witnessed the second largest ever car count (34) for an Eastern Storm event and the most since the Grandview opener in 2008.

On the start, pole sitter Leary was the first to reach the opening corner where he would immediately establish a five-car-length lead over series point leader Justin Grant in the early-going.

Following a lap 10 yellow for a Kyle Robbins turn four spin, Leary picked up right where he left off, quickly building his lead to a half-straightaway by the midway point when Chandler Leiby smacked the turn one concrete and flipped nose-to-tail several times against the outside wall. The Carlisle, PA driver was shaken up, but managed to exit the car under his own power.

During the lengthy, open red flag, fifth-running Bacon and crew decided not to make any radical changes to their piece. Instead, the focus was placed on taking off on the restart.

"I felt like we were getting better and better compared to everybody else," Bacon explains. "We didn't really change anything. We made some small adjustments and made sure everything was right. We discussed what we were going to do on the restart because they were very crucial."

Bacon set forth on the restart, moving to third on lap 21 and to second a lap later on the 22nd circuit when he zeroed in on Leary for the race lead. Bacon had the bottom working like clockwork as he rode the low line to the lead on lap 25 past Leary.

"We had to wait around at the beginning and let the track come to us," Bacon relays. "We were pretty tight. When the top started slowing down, I got rolling on the bottom. That's how we got past everybody. You get to take your time a little bit more and pick your moves more carefully."

Leary refused to stray too far behind Bacon throughout the second half as he stayed loyal to the cushion. Yet, Bacon began to migrate to the top in turns one and two for a brief period with ten to go.

"I saw him a couple times out of the corner of my eye getting into three," Bacon recalls. "I felt like I was slower in one and two, so I moved up and felt we were pretty good up there. I was just kind of trying to block the other lane."

Leary's lane wasn't completely shut down as he showed no quit and his ring around the top began to pay dividends when he visibly inched closer with less than a handful of laps remaining. On lap 35, Leary pushed the cushion with his right rear less than a foot from the outside wall off the exit. A lap later, Bacon clipped an infield tire between turns three and four that slowed his momentum as the high line propelled Leary right to Bacon as the pair posed for a high-speed photo-finish shot at the stripe. Leary cleared him at the end of the straightaway with his second career series victory just within reach.

"I really thought we were going to be able to cruise on the bottom," Bacon relayed. "He must've turned it up on the top and got rolling pretty good. He got back by us and I had to start searching around."

With three laps to go, Leary and Bacon encountered the lapped car of Tony DiMattia. Bacon tucked a nose to the inside of DiMattia off the fourth corner as Leary remained up top. As the three were staggered in three distinct lines on the front straight, Leary's momentum was stifled when DiMattia switched to the cushion entering the first turn, forcing Leary to get on the binders.

From there, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma's Bacon was able to stretch out his advantage, leading the final three laps to score his first Eastern Storm victory since 2014 in his Dooling-Hayward/B & H Contractors - Dooling Machine/Spike/Stanton Mopar ahead of Leary, Chris Windom, Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Justin Grant.

Though a season-best second-place run for C.J. Leary is nothing to shake a stick at, disappointment was an understatement for the Greenfield, Indiana driver who led a race-high 26 laps.

"Once Brady showed (DiMattia) a nose, he came right up into my lane," Leary believes. "Once I got around Brady, I don't think he could've passed us back in the short number of laps left."

"The first 20 laps, I felt like we had a really dominant car. It was just excellent. The car was on a rail," Leary continues. "Under the open red, we didn't change anything. We felt like we had a really good car and didn't need to make any adjustments. When it went back green, we were good, but yellow after yellow kept hurting us because our car was better on long green flag runs. Brady was really good on the bottom and once he got around me, I started ripping the top and never gave up on it."

Contingency award winners Tuesday night at Grandview Speedway include Chase Stockon (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Isaac Chapple (Simpson Race Products 1st Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Competition Suspension, Inc. 2nd Heat Winner), Aaron Farney (Chalk Stix 3rd Heat Winner), Chris Windom (Indy Race Parts 4th Heat Winner & KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Thomas Meseraull (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 13, 2017 - Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania - Grandview Speedway - "Jesse Hockett Classic" - "Eastern Storm" presented by DMI

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-13.838; 2. Brady Bacon, 63, Dooling/Hayward-13.854; 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 44, Pace-13.871; 4. Kyle Moody, 99, Moody-13.892; 5. Thomas Meseraull, 27, Heffner-13.893; 6. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-13.905; 7. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-13.978; 8. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips/Curb-Agajanian-13.993; 9. Chad Boespflug, 69, Dynamics-14.056; 10. Justin Grant, 11, McGhee-14.062; 11. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-14.088; 12. Trevor Kobylarz, 14, RT-14.100; 13. Tony DiMattia, 50, DiMattia-14.106; 14. Kyle Robbins, 17R, Robbins-14.141; 15. Jerry Coons, Jr., 39, Hogue-14.148; 16. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-14.153; 17. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-14.182; 18. Alex Bright, 13K, Kaylor-14.196; 19. Aaron Farney, 15F, DCT-14.217; 20. Joey Biasi, B1, Biasi-14.228; 21. Chandler Leiby, 119, Leiby-14.238; 22. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-14.241; 23. Matt Westfall, 54, Westfall-14.287; 24. Carmen Perigo, 21, Stehman-14.365; 25. Shane Golobic, 3, Franckowiak-14.531; 26. Danny Dietrich, 13, Buch-14.596; 27. Dustin Smith, 77, Gagliardi-14.653; 28. Austin Burke, 54B, Burke-15.095; 29. Chad Wilson, 14x, Wilson-15.135; 30. Kyle Lick, 8, Lick-15.219; 31. Steve Wilbur, 59, Gontz-15.248; 32. Trey Hivner, 7, Hivner-15.691; 33. Harris Kohen, 0, Kohen-NT; 34. Stevie Sussex, 17GP, Dutcher-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Chapple, 2. Leiby, 3. Boespflug, 4. DiMattia, 5. Golobic, 6. Stockon, 7. Wilson, 8. Meseraull. 1:52.46 (New Track Record)

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Courtney, 2. Bright, 3. Grant, 4. Andretti, 5. Bacon, 6. Robbins, 7. Dietrich, 8. Lick. 1:52.56

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Farney, 2. Westfall, 3. Leary, 4. Thomas, 5. Ballou, 6. Coons, 7. Smith, 8. Wilbur. 1:54.27

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Windom, 2. Darland, 3. Biasi, 4. Kobylarz, 5. Perigo, 6. Moody, 7. Burke, 8. Hivner. 1:54.41

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Stockon, 2. Ballou, 3. Bacon, 4. Meseraull, 5. Robbins, 6. Coons, 7. Golobic, 8. Perigo, 9. Dietrich, 10. Smith, 11. Wilson, 12. Sussex, 13. Hivner, 14. Burke, 15. Wilbur, 16. Lick. NT

FEATURE: (40 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. C.J. Leary, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5. Justin Grant, 6. Robert Ballou, 7. Chase Stockon, 8. Jerry Coons, Jr., 9. Tyler Courtney, 10. Jarett Andretti, 11. Matt Westfall, 12. Aaron Farney, 13. Thomas Meseraull, 14. Alex Bright, 15. Kyle Robbins, 16. Dave Darland, 17. Chad Boespflug, 18. Isaac Chapple, 19. Tony DiMattia, 20. Trevor Kobylarz, 21. Chandler Leiby, 22. Joey Biasi. NT
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**Kohen flipped during practice. Lick flipped during the semi. Leiby flipped on lap 20 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-24 Leary, Laps 25-35 Bacon, Laps 36-37 Leary, Laps 38-40 Bacon.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Chris Windom (15th to 3rd)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Thomas Meseraull

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Grant-809, 2-Windom-720, 3-Boespflug-682, 4-Stockon-662, 5-Courtney-570, 6-Leary-519, 7-Thomas-512, 8-Bacon-458, 9-Darland-456, 10-Shane Cottle-392.

NEW EASTERN STORM (PRESENTED BY DMI) POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-77, 2-C.J. Leary-73, 3-Chris Windom-72, 4-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-70, 5-Justin Grant-64, 6-Chase Stockon-62, 7-Robert Ballou-58, 8-Tyler Courtney-54, 9-Jerry Coons, Jr.-50, 10-Jarett Andretti-49.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: June 14 - Abbottstown, Pennsylvania - Lincoln Speedway - "Eastern Storm" presented by DMI

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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Jun
12

KOKOMO USAC NATIONAL MIDGET RESULTS

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USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 11, 2017 - Kokomo, Indiana - Kokomo Speedway - 13th "Indiana Midget Week"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-13.373; 2. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.449; 3. Rico Abreu, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.505; 4. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.532; 5. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.601; 6. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.700; 7. Alex Bright, 77, Bright-13.850; 8. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-13.915; 9. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.935; 10. Gage Walker, 7, Walker-14.006; 11. Michael Pickens, 1NZ, Seamount-14.011; 12. Ronnie Gardner, 25x, Rodela-14.021; 13. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.033; 14. Jerry Coons Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-14.075; 15. Steve Buckwalter, 9P, Ronk-14.082; 16. Dave Darland, 11, Gray-14.095; 17. Tyler Nelson, 88, Nelson-14.119; 18. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-14.154; 19. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-14.189; 20. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-14.302; 21. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.342; 22. Courtney Crone, 25c, Rodela-14.394; 23. Trey Marcham, 32, Marcham-14.410; 24. Jimi Quin, 8GQ, Quin-14.509; 25. Adam Pierson, 76E, Mancini-14.521; 26. Justin Dickerson, 21D, Dickerson-15.041; 27. Chris Baue, 2, Baue-15.146; 28. Robert Bell, 71-1/2, Bell-16.130.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bayston, 2. Shelton, 3. Golobic, 4. Carrick, 5. Robinson, 6. Pierson, 7. Nelson. 2:17.65

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Thorson, 2. Coons, 3. Ray, 4. Grant, 5. Crone, 6. Walker, 7. Dickerson. 2:20.14

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Thomas, 2. Abreu, 3. Pickens, 4. Bright, 5. Buckwalter, 6. Baue, 7. Marcham. 2:20.23

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Courtney, 2. Boat, 3. Quin, 4. Darland, 5. Gardner, 6. Bell, 7. Bacon. 2:20.66

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Walker, 2. Gardner, 3. Robinson, 4. Bacon, 5. Pierson, 6. Crone, 7. Buckwalter, 8. Dickerson, 9. Baue, 10. Bell. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Spencer Bayston, 2. Shane Golobic, 3. Tyler Courtney, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Brady Bacon, 6. Rico Abreu, 7. Michael Pickens, 8. Chad Boat, 9. Tanner Thorson, 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 11. Alex Bright, 12. Tanner Carrick, 13. Gage Walker. 14. Adam Pierson, 15. Dave Darland, 16. Ronnie Gardner, 17. Courtney Crone, 18. Tyler Thomas, 19. Jimi Quin, 20. Holly Shelton, 21. Davey Ray,22. Ryan Robinson. NT
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**Pickens flipped during practice. Robinson flipped on lap 16 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Bayston, Laps 11-12 Courtney, Laps 13-19 Bayston, Laps 20-21 Courtney, Laps 22-30 Baydton.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Chad Boat (18th-8th)
WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH-PLACE FINISHER: Gage Walker
PROSOURCE HARD WORK AWARD: Adam Pierson
B & W AUTO MART PERSEVERANCE AWARD: Chad Boat

NEW USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bacon-588, 2-Bayston-559, 3-Golobic-551, 4-Grant-540, 5-Courtney-507, 6-Thorson-496, 7-Boat-428, 8-Coons-426, 9-Pickens-380, 10-Thomas-362.

FINAL USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Golobic-400, 2-Courtney-394, 3-Pickens-380, 4-Abreu-376, 5-Bayston-373, 6-Bacon-372, 7-Grant-372, 8-Thorson-321, 9-Boat-321, 10-A.Bright-267.

NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: July 1 - Macon (IL) Speedway

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

RICO REIGNS SUPREME IN KUNZ/CURB-AGAJANIAN SWEEP AT THE BURG

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Lawrenceburg, Indiana....... June 10, 2017 - When you drive for Keith Kunz, you're expected to win. No excuses.

Time and time again, the Columbus, Indiana-based team has provided the machinery that has led to 89 career feature victories and eight championships as a USAC Midget National Championship car entrant. However, throughout the series' first eight events, the venerable team had yet to find victory lane and seemed to be reeling after only one of its five drivers was able to scrape into the top-10 the night prior at Bloomington.

It had been eight years since a Keith Kunz-led team had gone winless this far into the season, but Saturday night at Lawrenceburg Speedway was the night Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports had finally arrived in 2017, and in a big way, as the trio of Rico Abreu, Tanner Thorson and Holly Shelton duplicated Clauson/Marshall Racing's feat from the night before by recording a 1-2-3 to sweep of the top-three spots.

After an unforgettable, dare-devilish race-long battle that saw slide-job after slide-job thrown at Shelton by two of her teammates - Abreu and Spencer Bayston - Abreu was finally able to prevail with three laps remaining to earn his 16th career USAC National Midget win and third straight at Lawrenceburg in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Walker Filtration - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"This week has had a lot of ups and downs, but this is when it all pays off," said a thrilled Abreu. "We were getting dicey up front and I didn't know how I was going to get past them since it was so easy to do a crossover. Once I got my momentum going, I made sure I kept my tires spinning every time I hit the cushion just to help not bog down the engine. These motors are the best in the business. It's a lot of fun to drive these cars when they're on point and tonight, we capitalized on that. We didn't qualify great, though, because I changed up my line in qualifying and that hurt us. I enjoy every moment racing with Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby. They've been doing it for a long time. It makes it a lot of fun when we get up here and win."

All five of the Kunz/Curb-Agajanian cars occupied the first five rows of Saturday's feature starting lineup, including both spots on the front row with Ryan Robinson on the pole and Holly Shelton outside.

The transcendent story of the night from lap one was Shelton, who rode the cushion through turns one and two, then split between the cars of Justin Grant and Ryan Robinson off turn two to take the lead on the opening lap.

Action stalled at the conclusion of lap one as Indiana Midget Week point leader Michael Pickens got sideways at the top of turn one while battling Rico Abreu for the ninth position. As Pickens sat idle in the middle of the track, Alex Bright, Jerry Coons, Jr. and Adam Pierson plowed into the fracas, ending the night for all four drivers and throwing a monkey wrench into Pickens' quest for a first Indiana Midget Week title.

On lap nine, Bayston began his trail to the front as he slid Justin Grant for second entering the first turn. Grant hit the cush, sending him sideways into a half-spin through the second turn before regaining control. However, Bayston had secured the spot and began making strides toward the direction of race leader Shelton.

With Pickens out of the night's picture, USAC National Midget point leader Brady Bacon was poised to put his stamp on overtaking the Kiwi for the IMW lead. However, misfortune would befall Bacon on the 11th lap when he slowed to a halt to bring out a yellow. He would finish 16th.

Bayston took a run at the lead on the ensuing restart with a turn one slider across the nose of Shelton, but Shelton countered underneath, crossing over to maintain her race lead.

Meanwhile, the Kunz/Curb-Agajanian car that started furthest back in the pack, driven by Abreu, had subsequently advanced his way from tenth to fifth prior to the yellow. On the 13th lap, Abreu poked his nose to the outside on the front straight before tearing between the two Clauson/Marshall cars of Tyler Courtney and Grant at the entry of one to take third.

Shelton and Bayston remained the main players of the contest further ahead. Bayston was relentless, refusing to stay content and ride around on a rail behind Shelton. The second half of the 30-lapper began with Bayston throwing another jab at Shelton in one as he slid up to take away Shelton's line on the brim. Shelton appeared unfazed and unafraid to keep her foot on the gas as she escaped from Bayston around the outside by the width of a strand of hair off turn two to stay atop the pylon.

The duel at the front allowed Abreu to rapidly join in on the high-speed team meeting between Shelton and Bayston. Bayston tried with all his might, but time-after-time, the second verse was the same as the first on both ends of the racetrack as Bayston's repeated sliders came up empty handed and Shelton calmly steered back under to take the lead right back.

On the 22nd lap, Bayston finally found enough speed off the fourth corner to nip Shelton by mere inches at the line. Immediately, the two entered turn one side-by-side, yet both simultaneously met in the middle. Both Shelton and Bayston collided, sending each gliding backward toward the outside wall. Somehow, someway, both miraculously found a way to avoid the concrete and a major catastrophe as Rico got on the binders to avoid T-Boning Bayston atop the cushion. Shelton began to distance herself once again, but, unfortunately for Bayston, the smacking of wheels between he and Shelton resulted in a flat left rear tire for which he would have to replace and rejoin the field, albeit out of contention for the win.

"I got a pretty poor restart," Shelton recalls. "I saw Spencer slide me and we crossed each other over a few times. Heading into one, we were both going to run the slider line and, unfortunately, I think my right rear tagged him a little bit. I guess he hopped over the cushion. I felt bad about it. I hate hitting anybody, let alone my teammate."

With the absence of Bayston, Abreu aptly succeeded in the role of aggressor. On lap 25, Shelton tripped over the turn two cushion, allowing Abreu to get a fantastic run on the back straight into three, but Shelton once again was a stone cold assassin as she snared the lead back once again with five to go.

The tension was pulsating from underneath the covered gransdtand as the raucous crowd was on needles and pins with the realization that they could be a witness to racing history and the first ever female USAC National feature winner. Excitement was palpable as the throng of fans stood and pumped their fists, the roar reverberated off the metal roof and the showdown between the relative newcomer and the confident veteran came down to the quick.

Rico's daring attempt on Shelton with three to go was the golden ticket. It repeatedly appeared that the slider could not stick with Shelton so consistently strong, but Rico stuck to his guns and the move paid off once and for all. Shelton tried to counter, but was only able to muster enough speed off two to pull even alongside Rico on the back straight. Rico carried the torch to the lead into turn three as Thorson outgunned Shelton for second on the white flag lap with a counter-steer of his own off turn two.

For the final two circuits, Rico was scot-free - and Shelton-free, as he extended a tradition of his own as a Lawrenceburg USAC Midget winner for the third time in his last three tries over Thorson, Shelton, Shane Golobic and Tyler Courtney.

Over the years, Abreu has become a certified master of the slide job. The Lawrenceburg surface fits his fearless style like a glove, but knowing when and exactly how to go for the slider is an art form that requires impeccable timing and maintaining a balance of aggressiveness and finesse that keeps one on the edge without going over.

"The bottom was too slow to roll by," Abreu explained. "When you're running that close to other cars and the leader's there, it's easy to make mistakes on the cushion when you don't have anything to compare it to besides the speed of the car in front of you. I love doing slide jobs and running the high side like that. It's all timing. You don't want to be too short on them or shoot too far past the cushion. I just made sure my wheels were spinning every time I got to the cushion. I finally got clear enough of Holly to where I could slide myself in three and four and just break her momentum."

After humble beginnings to his night, defending USAC National Midget champion Tanner Thorson of Minden, Nevada, scored his best finish of Indiana Midget Week Saturday night at Lawrenceburg with a second-place run, sandwiched between his two teammates in the Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/JBL Audio - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"I was kind of sluggish on the start, but we got really good there at the end," Thorson said. "KKM is back. Any car owner that runs top three in one night is going to be pretty happy. The crew has been working really hard to get us better and better and tonight it showed.

Holly Shelton nearly pulled off one of the major milestones in USAC history that has yet to be checked off: a female USAC National feature winner. Shelton, of Sacramento, CA, took a career-best third in her Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Black & Decker - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota, joining Sarah McCune and Stephanie Mockler as the third female driver to record multiple top-five finishes in a USAC National Midget event. Shelton finished 5th at Eldora in September of 2016.

Victory lane was a reunion of sorts for the top-three finishers in Saturday night's feature. Shelton, Thorson and Abreu grew up throwing sliders on each other in Outlaw Kart competition at Cycleland Speedway in Oroville, California.

Shelton shared that there wasn't any specific meeting to get the crew's and drivers' attention after a disappointing start to the season by Keith Kunz standards. The team responded by example, and the results indicate that fact with all six of the team's entries finishing within the top-11.

"We stepped up," Shelton said as matter of fact. "Every time we're out there, the crew gives us amazing cars. it's the drivers job to drive them. After last night, we knew we needed a good night."

Michael Pickens maintains a lead of the slimmest of margins heading into Sunday's finale at Kokomo Speedway. He leads Shane Golobic by one and Tyler Courtney by three as the top-five are separated by a mere 12 points. Nine drivers remain mathematically eligible to win Indiana Midget Week: Pickens, Golobic, Courtney, Brady Bacon, Rico Abreu, Justin Grant, Spencer Bayston, Tanner Thorson and Chad Boat.

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Lawrenceburg Speedway include Tanner Carrick (ProSource Fast Qualifier & Indy Race Parts Semi Winner), Rico Abreu (Simpson Race Products 1st Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Competition Suspension, Inc. 2nd Heat Winner), Jerry Coons, Jr. (Chalk Stix 3rd Heat Winner), Shane Golobic (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Ryan Greth (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) and Chad Boat (ProSource Hard Work Award Winner).

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USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 10, 2017 - Lawrenceburg, Indiana - Lawrenceburg Speedway - 13th "Indiana Midget Week"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.588; 2. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.629; 3. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-14.664; 4. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-14.692; 5. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.698; 6. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.814; 7. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.820; 8. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-14.857; 9. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-15.006; 10. Rico Abreu, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-15.038; 11. Ronnie Gardner, 25x, Rodela-15.041; 12. Michael Pickens, 1NZ, Seamount-15.096; 13. Steve Buckwalter, 9p, Ronk-15.157; 14. Dave Darland, 11, Gray-15.164; 15. Jerry Coons Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-15.215; 16. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-15.253; 17. Trey Marcham, 32, Marcham-15.284; 18. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-15.411; 19. Ryan Greth, 4R, Lesher-15.420; 20. Adam Pierson, 76E, Mancini-15.544; 21. Kyle Jones, 04, Hefler-15.720; 22. Chance Morton, 7MF, Morton-15.813; 23. Alex Bright, 77, Bright-15.835; 24. Kade Morton, 8m, Morton-16.087, 25, Robert Bell, 71-1/2, Bell-NT. (Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-15.122-Time disallowed).

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Abreu, 2. Grant, 3. Robinson, 4. Golobic, 5. Boat, 6. Greth, 7. C. Morton, 8. Buckwalter, 9. Carrick. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Courtney, 2. Darland, 3. Bayston, 4. Gardner, 5. Thorson, 6. Marcham, 7. Bright, 8. Pierson, 9. Bell. 1:59.95

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Coons, 2. Pickens, 3. Bacon, 4. Thomas, 5. Shelton, 6. Lynch, 7. K. Morton, 8. Jones. 2:02.26

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Carrick, 2. Buckwalter, 3. Bright, 4. Marcham, 5. Greth, 6. Lynch, 7. Pierson, 8. K. Morton, 9. Bell, 10. C. Morton. 3:09.40

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Rico Abreu, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Holly Shelton, 4. Shane Golobic, 5. Tyler Courtney, 6. Ryan Robinson, 7. Justin Grant, 8. Spencer Bayston, 9. Ronnie Gardner, 10. Chad Boat, 11. Tanner Carrick, 12. Tyler Thomas, 13. Ryan Greth, 14. Trey Marcham, 15. Dave Darland, 16. Brady Bacon, 17. Steve Buckwalter, 18. Brayton Lynch, 19. Michael Pickens, 20. Jerry Coons Jr., 21. Alex Bright, 22. Adam Pierson. NT
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FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-21 Shelton, Lap 22 Bayston, Laps 23-27 Shelton, Laps 28-30 Abreu.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Shane Golobic (15th-4th)
WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH-PLACE FINISHER: Ryan Greth
PROSOURCE HARD WORK AWARD: Chad Boat

NEW USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bacon-529, 2-Bayston-479, 3-Golobic-472, 4-Grant-469, 5-Thorson-441, 6-Courtney-432, 7-Coons-376, 8-Boat-372, 9-Robinson-335, 10-Thomas-327.
NEW USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Pickens-322, 2-Golobic-321, 3-Courtney-319, 4-Bacon-313, 5-Abreu-310, 6-Grant-301, 7-Bayston-293, 8-Thorson-266, 9-Boat-265, 10-Shelton-224.

NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 11 - Kokomo (IN) Speedway - "13th Indiana Midget Week"

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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