In order to really give an accurate description of the races for the readers, it is necessary for me to relinquish my home in the pits and migrate to the stands. I need to hear the announcer more clearly, have a better view of the finish line. Or so I thought…
Sitting in the stands with the fans at Kokomo Speedway was a whole new experience for me! These are some passionate-about-their-favorite-driver folks! There’s a chance that I may have gotten just a tad sidetracked by the show in the stands and missed a little of the on-track action? No, there was plenty happening on the track to tell you about. And it wasn’t long after time trials before it began.
At the drop the green on the first heat Thomas Meseraull seemed to have gotten hold of more track than he expected coming out of two, getting way crossed up and collecting fast time setter of the night, Hunter Schuerenberg. While the hit blew out Hunter’s right front, it straightened T-Mez, sending him rolling on just as Logan Jarret slid into the mix. Cars lined up for a complete restart with Levi Jones, who had an uncharacteristically poor qualifying effort, on the pole. At the drop of the second green, Levi gassed it out of four and the back end of the car completely got away from him, forcing him to chase it across the nose of the outside starter, Keith Bloom, Jr. who had to either back out of it or wear Levi for a hood ornament.
Levi barely missed the wall and flew under the feet of the flagman, who was already reaching for the yellow to call for a restart. Some of the locals were not happy about the call, but it was obviously the right move. Hunter came to a stop on this yellow for some reason and was done. The race resumes with T-Mez still seeming awfully loose and random slide jobs starting to occur amid some three-wide racing when all of a sudden, for reasons unseen by me, Daron Clayton took a hard header smack into the wall in 1 & 2 and bounced off of it as hard as I’ve seen just about anyone hit.
After a few moments, the “Modern Day Cowboy” climbed from the car and walked away, but was later taken to the hospital by his family when his helmet was inspected a little closer. All tests proved positive and he was released later that night and headed to the next night’s race, thank God! When it was all said and done, Bloom won the heat and young Coleman Gulick who had primarily raced pavement previously proved he is becoming a force to be reckoned with on the natural surfaces as well.
With the exception of Shane Cottle getting sideways at the end of the back straight and gathering up Justin Grant causing a complete restart, heat two ran smoothly with Bryan Clauson leading all 10 laps. Blake Fitzpatrick took heat three, and just when things seemed to be running along at a pretty good clip, heat four happened. Ah, but in the spirit of literary prudence, I will keep my opinions to myself and just say that, yes, those Kokomo fans do love their drivers! No matter how they drive. Robert Ballou led the last half of the fourth heat to take the win.
After being taken out of the first heat, quick time holder, Schuerenberg took point for the green in the semi and began smoking on lap three, but this was apparently not going to be a problem for him as he led all 12 laps to take the win.
Boespflug started on the pole of Kokomo’s 30-lap feature with Riggs outside, but it was Riggs who quickly jumped into the lead of Night Two of ISW’s racing at Kokomo Speedway. Unfortunately, he would only hold that for three laps when Boespflug would take it back – only to hand it over to the seemingly unstoppable Windom in the beautiful orange Baldwin Bros. 5 car. Boespflug made him work for it, but on the second good try, Windom made it stick thru 1 & 2. Then, on lap 14, Boespflug got up too high in 2 and tagged the wall leaving Jon Stanbrough nowhere to go. While all this was going on, Bryan Clauson was doing his usual unassuming march through the field. BC had started 15th and by the halfway mark was running sixth. Meanwhile, Schuerenberg had worked his way to second behind Windom at this point.
With less than ten to go Windom and Schuerenberg became the show – up in the cushion off four, fighting for all they were worth. Schuerenberg got the lead once, but Windom took it back. Then suddenly Windom started struggling bad in four and losing ground. Schuerenberg watched this for a couple laps then with six to go he pounced when Windom was in that critical spot, stole the lead, and took off. Even coming up on the lapped cars of Hughes and Robbins was no help for Windom who said later, “…the track went away in the middle and the top.” But it was as exciting a last ten laps as any race could have been! Congratulations to Hunter Schuerenberg!
In closing, I want to say a special thank you to Robin in the office at Kokomo Speedway. She was so pleasant and helpful on a hot and confusing day; that went such a long way toward making my job easier and my day better!
Complete Official USAC results below:
AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: July 9, 2011 – Kokomo, Indiana – Kokomo Speedway – 24th “Indiana Sprint Week”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byram-12.675; 2. Justin Grant, 40, Grant-12.788; 3. Jerry Coons Jr., 71p, Phillips-12.792; 4. Dave Darland, 21x, Roberts/Tate-12.838; 5. Daron Clayton, 69, Dynamics-12.841; 6. Shane Cottle, 11, Walker-12.889; 7. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-12.953; 8. Chris Windom, 5x, Baldwin-13.001; 9. Jon Stanbrough, 53, Fox-13.016; 10. Casey Riggs, 37, Indiana Underground-13.041; 11. Andrew Elson, 27a, Elson-13.045; 12. Chad Boespflug, 98x, Gatt-13.063; 13. Damion Gardner, 71, DG-13.079; 14. Scotty Weir, 1G, Gorby-13.083; 15. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-13.113; 16. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9k, Thomas-13.123; 17. Keith Bloom, 27B, Braund-13.136; 18. Bryan Clauson, 7, CTR-BCI-Curb-Agajanian-13.152; 19. Blake Fitzpatrick, 10, Fitzpatrick-13.166; 20. Kyle Robbins, 17R, Robbins-13.210; 21. Levi Jones, 20, Stewart-13.214; 22. Chris Gurley, 12G, Team Automotive-13.229; 23. J.J. Hughes, 76, Hughes-13.270; 24. Robert Ballou, 81, MPHG-13.280; 25. Thomas Meseraull, 57, Hazen-13.334; 26. Jonathan Hendrick, 68, Hendrick13.338; 27. Brady Short, 36, Short-13.369; 28. Matt Mitchell, 2J, Yeley-13.440; 29. Coleman Gulick, 14, Gulick-13.460; 30. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-13.483; 31. Bobby East, 5, Klatt-13.515; 32. Dustin Morgan, 2x, M & M-13.587; 33. Logan Jarrett, 29x, Jarrett-13.604; 34. Todd Kirkman, 16, Kirkman-13.661; 35. Ted Hines, 12, Hines-13.671; 36. Gary Rooke, 42A, Rooke-13.688; 37. Wes McIntyre, 83. McIntyre-13.815; 38. Kevin Studley, 57x, Studley-14.032; 39. J.C. Bland, 98, Bland-14.104; 40. Jake Simmons, 7s, Simmons-14.504.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bloom, 2. Jones, 3. Stanbrough, 4. Gulick, 5. Meseraull, 6. Gardner, 7. Clayton, 8. McIntyre, 9. Schuerenberg, 10. Jarrett. NT
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Clauson, 2. Gurley, 3. Riggs, 4. Grant, 5. Hendrick, 6. Weir, 7. Jackson, 8. Kirkman, 9. Studley, 10. Cottle. 2:13.68
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Fitzpatrick, 2. Tracy Hines, 3. Spencer, 4. Hughes, 5. Short, 6. Elson, 7. East, 8. Coons, 9. Ted Hines, 10. Bland. 2:14.72
FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Ballou, 2. Windom, 3. Robbins, 4. Boespflug, 5. Thomas, 6. Darland, 7. Rooke, 8. Morgan, 9. Mitchell, 10. Simmons. NT
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Schuerenberg, 2. Coons, 3. Darland, 4. Cottle, 5. Weir, 6. Thomas, 7. Gardner, 8. Elson, 9. Meseraull, 10. Short, 11. Hendrick, 12. East, 13. Ted Hines, 14. Jarrett, 15. Rooke, 16. Morgan, 17. Jackson, 18. Bland, 19. Simmons, 20. Studley, 21. Mitchell, 22. McIntyre. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Hunter Schuerenberg, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Bryan Clauson, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Mike Spencer, 6. Casey Riggs, 7. Jerry Coons Jr., 8. Coleman Gulick, 9. Dave Darland, 10. Damion Gardner, 11. Levi Jones, 12. Robert Ballou, 13. Shane Cottle, 14. Scotty Weir, 15. Tracy Hines, 16. Blake Fitzpatrick, 17. Bobby East, 18. Keith Bloom, 19. Kyle Robbins, 20. J.J. Hughes, 21. Chris Gurley, 22. Matt Mitchell, 23. Chad Boespflug, 24. Jon Stanbrough, 25. Kevin Thomas Jr. NT
**Clayton flipped during the first heat.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Riggs, Laps 3-7 Boespflug, Lap 8 Windom, Lap 9 Boespflug, Laps 10-24 Windom, Laps 25-30 Schuerenberg., NEW
AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Jones-606; 2-Windom-545; 3-Schuerenberg-529; 4-Clauson-521; 5-Stanbrough-511; 6-Ballou-505; 7-Darland-468; 8-Gardner-457; 9-East-450; 10-Hines-385. NEW “INDIANA SPRINT WEEK” STANDINGS: 1-Windom-131; 2-Clauson-121; 3-Darland-108; 4-Coons-106; 5-Ballou-98. NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR RACE: – July 10 – Lawrenceburg (IN) Speedway – 24th “Indiana Sprint Week” – “Robbie Stanley Classic”