Our coverage of the Indiana Sprint Week continued during Round 4 for the Indiana Sprint Week’s 7 race schedule. This time it was at the infamous Terre Haute Action Track, We were on hand to watch all the exciting racing.
Night #5 at Brownst0wn Speedway
Last year’s ISW was my first, and only, visit to Brownstown Speedway. Other than operating in a ‘different’ manner when you enter the facility, I saw another small town, small track in the Midwest and prepared for a night of sprint car racing. Nothing prepared me for the enormous cloud of dust I saw grow from turn four and rumble directly at the small covered grandstand, I distinctly recall my jaw dropping. Nevertheless, before the night was through, that dust subsided, the main event was actually a good race, and I looked forward to returning this year.
As the day started and the heat rose, it became evident that the track was not prepared, so final touches were being rushed, which is never a good sign when you are putting men out there in 900hp open wheel racecars. Qualifying reflected that in times that held up for only the first 15 of 42 cars that timed in. After that times fell off accordingly with the track surface, leaving the likes of Daron Clayton with 27th fast time, Chris Windom, 31st.
Then came the first heat, and something I’d only heard about in my Dad’s old stories about racing in the Forties. The green was thrown for what should have been a very good heat – California’s Mike Spencer, Bobby East, Levi Jones, Hunter Schuerenberg in the pack; but as they came out of four, there was that dust cloud billowing toward the fans. The yellow flew right away, but not because no one could see, because the 16 car of Todd Kirkman had come to a stop inside the front straight out of 4.
Reset the field, throw the green again, get about 2 laps in and suddenly out of seemingly nowhere onto the back stretch comes this gigantic piece of farm equipment being used as a water truck – with the sprint cars still running under green! Now, in my 50+ year lifetime of sprint car racing, there may be a chance I have witnessed something akin to this, but it certainly didn’t come to mind as I sat dumbfounded at what I was witnessing. As all involved gathered their senses and the yellow was thrown, this transformer-esque water truck just lumbered around minding its own business.
A lot of he-said/she-said ensued as to whether the track had actually made their intentions clear to the sanctioning body, which entity decided to be more stubborn, etc. All of which becomes moot since the track was still horrific from a fan viewing perspective – it never did ‘clear up’ this year like last year. A decent place to watch the races from, that would afford me the luxury of actually watching the race – what I had come there to do – and being able to distinguish the cars to relay to readers what took place, was not to be found. In order to view from a dust-free environment, it was impossible to see the cars close enough. I watched the semi from atop a hauler in the pits and had no idea who finished where.
Oh, there was three-wide racing going on in the main, but I use the term “racing” lightly as for the most part the track was just a slick surface on which the cars were doing more “dirt drifting” than anything. You could hear the drivers working the motors and going markedly slower through the turns because there was no grip. This dust was like a fog; it literally just hung in the air. Cars were able to come off turn four a little higher as there was a white light under the flagstand giving them a landmark of where the wall was – a lighthouse in the fog – not that a couple didn’t ride it pretty close, with Hines bumping the wall good once going into one. Turn two was another story as there is no wall on the back stretch. This is where they really worked their motors to get through the turn, coming off lower and slower to make the run down to three.
The racing was intense, and no question exciting to watch, if you were equipped with goggles and didn’t mind waiting till they drove off two to see how they actually came out of the two-deep, three-wide, sideways down the front stretch gaggle of cars to go sliding through one and two. After working his way up from the fifth row, Brady Short was making a race of it with Casey Riggs, who had claimed point on lap 17. As they came around two on lap 24, the Oklahoma champion’s car was in such a ‘drift’ he nearly took Riggs over the berm, and not from a planned slide job. A yellow the next lap gave the remaining field a chance to cool the tires some and gather their wits for a 5 lap shoot-out with Riggs coming under the checkered first, albeit somewhat sideways. Full official results are provided by the hard-working folks at USAC below.
AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: July 14, 2011 – Brownstown, Indiana – Brownstown Speedway – 24th “Indiana Sprint Week”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Levi Jones, 20, Stewart-14.474; 2. Jon Stanbrough, 53, Fox-14.667; 3. Dave Darland, 21x, Roberts/Tate-14.796; 4. Blake Fitzpatrick, 10, Fitzpatrick-14.866; 5. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byram-14.908; 6. Keith Bloom, 27, Abreu-14.927; 7. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-14.988; 8. Brady Short, 36, Short-15.005; 9. Justin Grant, 40, Grant-15.055; 10. Andrew Elson, 27a, Elson-15.109; 11. Casey Riggs, 37, Indiana Underground-15.168; 12. Chad Boespflug, 98x, Gatt-15.199; 13. Bobby East, 5, Klatt-15.342; 14. Damion Gardner, 71, DG-15.462; 15. Kyle Robbins, 17R, Robbins-15.476; 16. Robert Ballou, 81, MPHG-15.484; 17. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-15.498; 18. Jerry Coons Jr., 71p, Phillips-15.510; 19. Coleman Gulick, 14, Gulick-15.608; 20. Bryan Clauson, 7, CTR-BCI-Curb-Agajanian-15.633; 21. Ethan Barrow, 15, Barrow-15.698; 22. Chris Babcock, 35x, Babcock-15.710; 23. Travis Welpott, 18, Gorman-15.754; 24. Wes 2McIntyre, 83, McIntyre-15.845; 25. Chase Briscoe, 5B, Briscoe-15.866; 26. J.J. Hughes, 76, Hughes-15.919; 27. Daron Clayton, 69, Dynamics-16.028; 28. Shane Cottle, 11, Walker-16.137; 29. Danny Holtsclaw, 22, Grayson-16.147; 30. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9k, Thomas-16.187; 31. Chris Windom, 5x, Baldwin-16.222; 32. Chase Stockon, 32, Stockon-16.302; 33. 36. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-16.322; 34. J.R. Douglas, 09, Douglas-16.391; 35. Gary Rooke, 42a, Rooke-17.010; 36. Josh Burton, 04, Burton-17.067; 37. Todd Kirkman, 16, Kirkman-17.175; 38. Logan Hupp, 9H, Hupp-17.201; 39. Jake Simmons, 7s, Simmons-17.563; 40. Jonathan Hendrick, 68, Hendrick-17.829; 41. Seth Motsinger, 44, Motsinger-18.560; 42. Jared Harris, 81H, Harris-NT.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Spencer, 2. Grant, 3. Jones, 4. East, 5. Holtsclaw, 6. Barrow, 7. Jackson, 8. Briscoe, 9. Kirkman, 10. Motsinger, 11. Schuerenberg, NT
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Coons, 4. Douglas, 5. Elson, 6. Thomas, 7. Hughes, 8. Hupp, 9. Bloom, 10. Babcock. NT
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Riggs, 2. Gulick, 3. Windom, 4. Darland, 5. Clayton, 6. Welpott, 7. Hines, 8. Robbins, 9. Rooke, 10. Simmons, NT
FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. McIntyre, 2. Cottle, 3. Ballou, 4. Boespflug, 5. Fitzpatrick, 6. Clauson, 7. Hendrick, 8. Stockon, 9. Short, 10. Burton, NT
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Short, 2. Schuerenberg, 3. Elson, 4. Clauson, 5. Clayton, 6. Hines, ‘7. Holtsclaw, 8. Robbins, 9. Fitzpatrick, 10. Hupp, 11. Briscoe, 12. Hendrick, 13. Burton, 14. Babcock, 15. Welpott, 16. Kirkman, 17. Motsinger, 18. Simmons, 19. Thomas, 20. Jackson, 21. Barrow, 22. Hughes, 23. Stockon, 24. Rooke. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Casey Riggs, 2. Levi Jones, 3. Brady Short, 4. Tracy Hines, 5. Bobby East, 6. Chad Boespflug, 7. Shane Cottle, 8. Coleman Gulick, 9. Robert Ballou, 10. Jon Stanbrough, 11. Hunter Schuerenberg, 12. Daron Clayton, 13. Mike Spencer, 14. Chris Windom, 15. Damion Gardner, 16. Bryan Clauson, 17. Justin Grant, 18. J.R. Douglas, 19. Jerry Coons Jr., 20. Andrew Elson, 21. Wes McIntyre, 22. Blake Fitzpatrick, 23. Dave Darland. NT
**Bloom flipped during the second heat. Short flipped during the fourth heat.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-16 Boespflug, Laps 17-30 Riggs.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Jones-752; 2-Windom-707; 3-Ballou-671; 4-Stanbrough-651; 5-Clauson-643; 6-Schuerenberg-612; 7-Gardner-573; 8-Darland-571; 9-East-554; 10-Hines-505.
NEW “INDIANA SPRINT WEEK” STANDINGS: 1-Windom-293; 2-Ballou-264; 3-Clauson-243; 4-Coons-229; 5-Darland-213.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR RACE: – July 15 – Bloomington (IN) Speedway – 24th “Indiana Sprint Week”