DARLAND TIES HEWITT FOR 2ND ALL-TIME WITH WEST MEMPHIS WIN
West Memphis, Arkansas…….The 46th career AMSOIL National Sprint Car win for the great Dave Darland came in unorthodox fashion, as he benefitted from problems with leader Bryan Clauson with less than ten laps to go to take the victory in Saturday’s 40-lap “Topless at the Ditch” Feature at Riverside International Speedway. The Lincoln, Indiana veteran made it his sixth win of the year, leading the final seven laps to win by .479 seconds in the Phillips Motorsports – Racer’s Advantage #71P DRC/Foxco. The win tied him with Jack Hewitt for second on the all-time USAC Sprint Car win list, just six behind Tom Bigelow.
“It’s just an unbelievable feat to catch Jack. He was a great race car driver, and I never really considered myself in the same category. It’s an amazing accomplishment for me, and I’ve done it with a lot of different teams. Six wins with Carla and Steve Phillips – I have to thank them tremendously for all the work they put into this. And all the great teams who have given me the opportunities, I have to thank them and luckily we’ve made the most of them. Tonight isn’t the way we drew it up – we were gonna run second behind Clauson – with his misfortune, and luckily the lapped cars and I slipping by him when he stopped, we’ll definitely take the win,”
After an opening lap tangle sent front-row starter Jerod Roller flipping into the turn-one fence, it took only until lap two for another red flag to be displayed as leader Zach Pringle flipped in turn-three after contact battling for the lead.
From there, the race went green for thirty laps as Clauson moved by early leader Keaton Dobbs to grab the point, with Darland following close behind, along with ProSource “Fast Qualifier” Tyler Courtney. Clauson opened up his lead as he sliced through lapped traffic, eventually lapping up to sixth before a caution flew with nine laps left for Brady Bacon.
Just after that restart, Clauson’s right-rear tire went completely flat after suffering a puncture, leading him to hop and spin in turn-one on lap 34. That was all Darland needed, as he received the lead and open track to head for the win, as ninth-starting Jon Stanbrough kept pace over the final few laps to finish second in the Marion Underground Construction – Shane Wade Enterprises #66 J&J/Dynotech.
“We had a better idea of this race track after coming here last year, and it didn’t hurt that Rick Stenhouse has run here quite a bit and builds our engines. He kept the motor tuned and helped us with knowing what the track would do. I knew passing would be at a premium, with it mostly being around the top. It came in more in places, so I could turn down at times and get a run on guys. We made the right choices tonight to go forward,” Stanbrough said.
With just five laps to go, the battle for third had heated up between Courtney and Tracy Hines, leading to contact in turn-four, but both continued on and Courtney claimed his third podium finish of the year in the All-Pro Auto Reconditioning – Butlerbuilt #23c Maxim/Foxco.
“I’ve never been here before, and I wasn’t sure what to think when we pulled in, looking like it would blow dust. They dumped some water on it, and it never even got a hint dry. With the track so good, we were all pretty equal up there. That’s the hardest I’ve gotten to race with those guys up front on a track like that. We struggled qualifying a lot this year, but tonight worked out for us. That set us up great for the rest of the night,” Courtney said.
Hines finished fourth in The Carolina Nut Company – Hansen’s Welding #4 DRC/Stanton Mopar, while early leader Dobbs rounded out the top-five in the Hinchman Racewear – Indy Race Parts #15K DRC/Chevy.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 7, 2013 – West Memphis, Arkansas – Riverside International Speedway
QUALIFYING: 1. Tyler Courtney, 23c, Courtney/Anderson-13.023; 2. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-13.065; 3. Dave Darland-13.080; 4. Bryan Clauson, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-13.081; 5. Derek Hagar, 9, Conrad-13.093; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-13.138; 7. Zach Pringle, 14z, Mobbs-13.379; 8. Jerod Roller, 5, Roller-13.442; 9. Keaton Dobbs, 15K, Dobbs-13.478; 10. Jon Stanbrough, 66, Wade-13.479; 11. Nick Drake, 55, Cline-13.482; 12. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-13.492; 13. Tim Crawley, 88, Ward-13.549; 14. Kyle Cummins, 21x, Pollock-13.554; 15. Anthony Nicholson, 16, Nicholson-13.733; 16. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 17RW, Dutcher/RW/TriStar-13.785; 17. Ronnie Howard, 44, Howard-13.796; 18. Chad Jones, 40, Chambliss-13.881; 19. Jordon Mallett, 14, Mallett-13.892; 20. Wade Oliver, 58, Pyles-14.454; 21. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-NT; 22. Chet Williams, 38, Williams-NT (time of 13.969 disallowed).
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Crawley, 2. Thomas, 3. Pringle, 4. Stanbrough, 5. Clauson, 6. Courtney, 7. Williams, 8. Mallett. 2:19.46
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Cummins, 2. Howard, 3. Roller, 4. Drake, 5. Hines, 6. Hagar, 7. Oliver. 2:16.99
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Nicholson, 2. Ballou, 3. Darland, 4. Dobbs, 5. Bacon, 6. Jones, 7. Stockon. NT
FEATURE: (40 laps) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Jon Stanbrough, 3. Tyler Courtney, 4. Tracy Hines, 5. Keaton Dobbs, 6. Bryan Clauson, 7. Derek Hagar, 8. Robert Ballou, 9. Nick Drake, 10. Brady Bacon, 11. Jordon Mallett, 12. Chet Williams, 13. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 14. Tim Crawley, 15. Kyle Cummins, 16. Chase Stockon, 17. Anthony Nicholson, 18. Ronnie Howard, 19. Wade Oliver, 20. Zach Pringle, 21. Chad Jones, 22. Jerod Roller.
**Roller flipped on the start of the Feature. Pringle flipped on lap 2 of the Feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Pringle, Laps 2-6 Dobbs, Laps 3-33 Clauson, Laps 34-40 Darland.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Darland-1,559; 2-Clauson-1,541; 3-Bacon-1,467; 4-Stockon-1,347; 5-Thomas-1,336; 6-Hines-1,252; 7-Ballou-1,200; 8-Hunter Schuerenberg-1,000; 9-Chris Windom-980; 10-Courtney-923.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: September 14 – Haubstadt, Indiana – Tri-State Speedway (co-sanctioned with Midwest Sprint Car Series)