CLAUSON’S CANYON WIN GROWS AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR POINT LEAD TO 29
Peoria, Arizona…….Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Indiana returned to one of his most successful tracks, Canyon Speedway Park, and narrowly missed a sweep of the program en route to his seventh win of the season. The 24-year old tied himself with Steve Butler and Jay Drake for 16th on the all-time sprint car win list with his 25th career triumph.
Brady Bacon started from the pole and took advantage of a complete restart after Charles Davis, Jr.’s opening-lap flip to safely take command. He rode the rim all the way around as Dave Darland finally shed Mike Spencer for the second spot. Clauson dropped into fourth early on before Chris Windom’s flip into turn-one on lap-five brought out a red flag.
A long green-flag run ensued as Bacon held off Darland and then grew his lead through the halfway point. He encountered traffic shortly thereafter as Darland closed back in along with Clauson, Spencer, and Tracy Hines. On lap 21, a car just in front of Bacon shredded a left-rear tire and Bacon was spun from behind while trying to avoid the slowing car.
Darland inherited the lead for the restart and had a lapped car to protect him from Clauson and the rest of his pursuers, but another quick yellow for Davis spinning in turn-one set up a restart with eight laps to go.
On the restart, Clauson dropped to the bottom of turns one and two, shooting down the backstretch with the lead. Darland crossed under Clauson exiting turn-four as the duo raced side-by-side into one. Darland slid up the track trying to steal the lead back, but Clauson powered around the outside and was never again seriously challenged, winning by .914 seconds in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance #20 Beast/Kistler.
“I was fortunate to get a restart at the right time there and make the bottom work to get to the lead, and that was all we needed. I thought it was gonna be a little bit more around the bottom. The new wall in three and four definitely keeps the cushion a little bit nicer, and the track was really racy and let us move around tonight. I’d been playing around some before that restart, but it was so fast getting in, I never could get a run. It’s a lot of fun to perform with it all on the line against Dave, and it was fun racing with him tonight,” Clauson said.
Hines ducked under Darland on another restart with three laps to go and kept Clauson within sight. He had to settle for second, though, in The Carolina Nut Company – Hansen’s Welding #4 DRC/Stanton Mopar.
“In traffic, even when I was back in fourth, I felt like I was in the catbird seat since they couldn’t see me working the bottom. I was okay up top, but I didn’t have a shot to get to the leaders, so I started searching. I found something in one and two earlier, and then later I stuck on something in three and four. I actually didn’t need the yellows because I was going good as we hit traffic,” Hines said.
Darland bobbled in the cushion off turn-four with just a couple laps remaining, allowing Spencer and Kevin Thomas, Jr. to dart by and wage a battle for the show position. Spencer nailed down the final set of corners on the cushion to claim third in the Madera Produce – Grubstake Mini Storage #50 Maxim/Shaver.
“I got to racing with Darland and thought I was better than he was, but I slid him and lost my momentum. That opened the door for Clauson to sneak through there and then Hines got me on the bottom. I got back to the top and found my momentum again, so we got going again towards the end. We had a big run on the last lap, and with the ledge as big as it was, I was able to get the wheels spinning and launch off the corner,” Spencer said.
Thomas finished his run from 20th to finish fourth, earning “Hard Charger” honors in the Mike Dutcher/RW/Tri-Star Motorsports – Black Jack Oil Company #17RW Maxim/Fisher, while Damion Gardner snuck into the top-five aboard the Scott Sales – La Villa Restaurant #4 Spike/J&D.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: October 25, 2013 – Peoria, Arizona – Canyon Speedway Park “Arizona Open Wheel Hall of Fame Classic”
QUALIFYING: 1. Bryan Clauson, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-13.647; 2. Nic Faas, 4x, Alexander-13.650; 3. Dave Darland, 71P, Phillips-13.694; 4. Nick Drake, 55, Cline-13.748; 5. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-13.822; 6. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.833; 7. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-13.929; 8. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-13.937; 9. Justin Grant, 5, Baldwin-14.017; 10. Jon Stanbrough, 73, Ford-14.018; 11. Chris Windom, 11, Walker-14.020; 12. Josh Pelkey, 12A, Allen-14.080; 13. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-14.158; 14. Damion Gardner, 4A, Alexander-14.187; 15. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-14.212; 16. Charles Davis, Jr., 4G, Cook-14.215; 17. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.232; 18. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-14.255; 19. Mike Bonneau, 29, Bonneau-14.311; 20. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-14.320; 21. Matt Rossi, 02, Rossi-14.321; 22. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-14.327; 23. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-14.406; 24. Michael Curtis, 11c, Curtis-14.478; 25. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-14.481; 26. Bruce St. James, 7K, St. James-14.499; 27. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 17RW, Dutcher/RW/TriStar-14.548; 28. Tom Ogle, 48, Ogle-14.586; 29. Shon Deskins, 20x, SDR-14.741; 30. Tyler Courtney, 23c, Courtney/BRaT-NT.
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Ballou, 2. Clauson, 3. Grant, 4. Spencer, 5. A. Williams, 6. Hodges, 7. Deskins, 8. Rossi.
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Faas, 3. Bacon, 4. Martin, 5. R. Williams, 6. Courtney, 7. Stanbrough, 8. St. James.
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Darland, 2. Johnson, 3. Hines, 4. Windom, 5. Thomas, 6. Mitchell, 7. Bonneau.
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Stockon, 2. Pelkey, 3. Davis, 4. Drake, 5. Curtis, 6. Ogle, 7. C. Williams.
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Stanbrough, 2. Thomas, 3. Mitchell, 4. Hodges, 5. Courtney, 6. Ogle, 7. Curtis, 8. Deskins, 9. Bonneau, 10. St. James, 11. A. Williams, 12. R. Williams.
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Bryan Clauson, 2. Tracy Hines, 3. Mike Spencer, 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5. Damion Gardner, 6. Dave Darland, 7. Josh Pelkey, 8. Robert Ballou, 9. Tyler Courtney, 10. Nick Drake, 11. Mike Martin, 12. Matt Mitchell, 13. Brady Bacon, 14. Chase Stockon, 15. Justin Grant, 16. Austin Williams, 17. R.J. Johnson, 18. Tom Ogle, 19. Nic Faas, 20. Cody Williams, 21. Charles Davis, Jr., 22. Josh Hodges, 23. Chris Windom, 24. Jon Stanbrough.
**Davis flipped on the original start of the Feature. Windom flipped on lap 5 of the Feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-20 Bacon, Laps 21-22 Darland, Laps 23-30 Clauson.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Bryan Clauson-1,779; 2-Darland-1,750; 3-Bacon-1,619; 4-Thomas-1,550; 5-Stockon-1,512; 6-Hines-1,402; 7-Ballou-1,359; 8-Windom-1,103; 9-Courtney-1,008; 10-Hunter Schuerenberg-1,000.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: October 26 – Peoria, Arizona – Canyon Speedway Park “Arizona Open Wheel Hall of Fame Classic”