AMSOIL Sprints
Friday, 10 June 2016


Chad Boespflug takes the victory during night three of "Eastern Storm" at New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway. Chad Boespflug takes the victory during night three of "Eastern Storm" at New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway. Michael Fry Photo


New Egypt, N.J………Chad Boespflug was able to withstand the pressure from the two most successful drivers in “Eastern Storm” over the past two seasons, Robert Ballou and Bryan Clauson, to take his third career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory during night three of “Eastern Storm” Thursday night at New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway.

On the start, pole sitter C.J. Leary slid up in front of Boespflug into turn one to take lead.  Boespflug ran the top as Leary used the low line to beat Boespflug back to the line by half a car length at the conclusion of the opening lap.

After a yellow on the third lap, Boespflug stepped up the pressure on leader Leary.  Coming down the front straightaway at the end of lap three, Boespflug pulled the front wheels off the ground in spectacular style as he pulled even with Leary for a dead heat at the start/finish line.

Leary was able to hold off Boespflug’s pressure for only one more lap.  Boespflug got the bite off of the turn two Jersey clay, running down Leary to get to the front of the pack on lap five.

One lap later, Bacon devoured Leary for the second spot and, on lap seven, Ballou bolted from the outside of turn one, cutting across the nose of Leary’s machine and stealing his line away to slot into third.

After a lap eight caution, Boespflug wasted no time re-building his interval on the restart, opening up a sizable advantage as the field stormed into turn one.

On lap 12, Ballou swung low by Bacon in turn one for the second position, but still had an enormous amount of ground to overcome as he trailed Boespflug by a half-straightaway at the midway point of the 30-lap feature.

Meanwhile, Clauson had suddenly come alive as Bacon swung wide at the exit of turn two on the 16th lap, leaving the door open for Clauson to grab the third spot.

With 12 to go, leader Boespflug hit heavy, lapped traffic.  That allowed Ballou to begin reeling in Boespflug as Clauson went into catch-up mode as he looked to take the upper hand while the Boespflug and Ballou navigated through the backmarkers.

With eight to go, Ballou was right within striking distance, trailing Boesplfug by just two car lengths.  One slip-up by Boespflug was all the defending series champ needed to taste victory for the third time in 2016.

Ballou shot to the turn one inside guardrail for an attempted slider on Boespflug with seven laps remaining, but it was to no avail as he got stacked up by the lapped car of Kyle Moody.  Boespflug, who was utilizing the middle of the racetrack was able to maintain his momentum to slip around Moody and Ballou to remain at the front.

Ballou put the gold number 1 right on the rear bumper of leader Boespflug while Clauson, in third, rapidly closed on the pair as a four-lap “trophy dash” to the finish ensued.

Ballou hounded Boespflug repeatedly, but couldn’t inch his way closer to the confident Boespflug, who didn’t flinch down the stretch, withstanding each and every jab Ballou threw his way to take his second USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory of the year over Ballou, Clauson, Bacon, Leary, Chase Stockon, Chris Windom, Max McGhee, Thomas Meseraull and Dave Darland.

Entering the 2016 season, Hanford, California’s Boespflug had seen three years pass since his last USAC victory.  After forming a new team in the offseason set on traveling the USAC National Sprint Car tour in its entirety, the odds were stacked against him.  However, with himself, crew chief Davey Jones and car owners Chuck Eberhardt and Fred Zirzow, the team has stepped up to the plate, winning two races thus far in this young season in his NineEight Motorsports-EZR/Capitol Renegade – Capitol Custom Trailers/Maxim/Claxton.

“When we caught those lapped cars, it was really difficult with them running the bottom in front of me, but I saw Robert’s nose there and knew it was go time,” Chad recounted.  “I was trying to minimize my mistakes.  I knew Robert and Bryan were going to be right there; they were tough all week.  To put an end to Bryan’s run is pretty special for this team.  It’s a brand new racecar and a pretty fresh motor, so it’s definitely working the way we wanted it to.”

Defending “Eastern Storm” champion Robert Ballou of Rocklin, California came mighty close to returning to victory lane in the 2016 edition of the five-race series despite losing an engine just after taking the checkered flag, but remains optimistic after finishing second behind Boespflug in his Ballou Motorsports/Weikel Racewear – Sunglass Central/Maxim/Ott.

“The engine started letting go on us with about 10 to go,” Ballou said.  “We blew up this thing pretty bad.  Don Ott will have it fixed in the morning and we’ll get this thing in victory lane at Port Royal.  We fell just one spot short tonight, but we got our ducks in a row.  We’ve got everything figured out that we’ve had problems with.  They’re going be in trouble on Saturday!”

After winning first two races at Grandview and Lincoln Speedways, Noblesville, Indiana’s Bryan Clauson was aiming at joining Levi Jones and Ballou as the only driver in the 10-year history of the event to win three straight “Eastern Storm” features in his Dooling-Hayward/B & H Contractors – Cancer Treatment Centers of America/Spike/Stanton Mopar.  Clauson was able to manage a solid third and, in the process, extended his grasp of the “Eastern Storm” title by 24 points over Chris Windom heading into a night off on Friday before the series returns for the final two-race Pennsylvania stretch at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday and Susquehanna Speedway in York Haven on Sunday.

“We needed a 40-lapper,” Clauson exclaimed.  “We just got going a little too late there.  We started running down those guys at the end, we just didn’t have quite enough to get there in 30 laps.  There at the end, we needed a yellow or something to fall our way.  Tonight, it didn’t happen.  It’s been a pretty good run here of late, so I can’t complain.”

Contingency award winners at New Egypt Speedway included Bryan Clauson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Mark Smith (Simpson Race Products First Heat Race Winner), Dave Darland (Competition Suspension, Inc. (CSI) Second Heat Race Winner), Chris Windom (Benic Enterprises Third Heat Race Winner) Brady Bacon (Indy Race Parts Semi Winner), Jerry Coons, Jr. (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Shane Golobic (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Feature Finisher).


USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 9, 2016 – New Egypt, New Jersey – New Egypt Speedway – “Eastern Storm”

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Bryan Clauson, 63, Dooling/Hayward-16.362; 2. Robert Ballou, 1, Ballou-16.524; 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 4J, 4J Motorsports-16.542; 4. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-16.608; 5. Chad Boespflug, 98E, NineEight/EZR-16.643; 6. Tony DiMattia, 50, DiMattia-16.689; 7. C.J. Leary, 17GP, Dutcher-16.708; 8. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-16.770; 9. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-16.820; 10. Max McGhee, 17, McGhee-16.855; 11. Shane Cottle, 65, Franckowiak-16.896; 12. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-16.922; 13. Mark Smith, 3R, Rock Steady-16.947; 14. Dave Darland, 11, Walker/Curb-Agajanian-16.963; 15. Thomas Meseraull, 66, Amati-17.006; 16. Shane Golobic, 60, Ely-17.023; 17. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-17.025; 18. Kyle Moody, 99m, Moody-17.042; 19. Jerry Coons, Jr., 39, TWH-17.152; 20. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR-17.159; 21. Dustin Smith, 77, Smith-17.336; 22. Tom Harris, 5E, East-17.365; 23. Aaron Farney, 15F, Farney-17.411; 24. Joey Biasi, B1, Biasi-17.480; 25. Bret Mellenberndt, 97, Mellenberndt-17.533; 26. J.R. Berry, 74, Berry-17.763; 27. Dick Mahoney, 79, Mahoney-18.133; 28. Harris Kohen, 0, Kohen-18.881.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. M. Smith, 2. Leary, 3. Stockon, 4. Clauson, 5. McGhee, 6. Golobic, 7. Coons, 8. Mellenberndt, 9. Kohen. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Darland, 2. Cottle, 3. Boespflug, 4. Ballou, 5. Simon, 6. Bacon, 7. Chapple, 8. Farney, 9. Berry. 2:21.40

BENIC ENTERPRISES THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Windom, 2. Meseraull, 3. Thomas, 4. Moody, 5. Andretti, 6. Biasi, 7. Mahoney, 8. D. Smith, 9. DiMattia. NT

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Chapple, 3. Golobic, 4. Coons, 5. Farney, 6. Biasi, 7. Mellenberndt, 8. Berry, 9. Kohen, 10. Mahoney. 3:33.82

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chad Boespflug, 2. Robert Ballou, 3. Bryan Clauson, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. C.J. Leary, 6. Chase Stockon, 7. Chris Windom, 8. Max McGhee, 9. Thomas Meseraull, 10. Dave Darland, 11. Jerry Coons, Jr., 12. Shane Cottle, 13. Shane Golobic, 14. Mark Smith, 15. Aaron Farney, 16. Kyle Moody, 17. Bret Mellenberndt, 18. Landon Simon, 19. Joey Biasi, 20. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 21. Isaac Chapple, 22. Jarett Andretti. NT


**D. Smith flipped during the third heat.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Leary, Laps 5-30 Boespflug.

KSE HARD CHARGER: Jerry Coons, Jr. (18th to 11th)

NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Meseraull-975, 2-Bacon-953, 3-Stockon-894, 4-Ballou-854, 5-Darland-834, 6-Leary-825, 7-Boespflug-797, 8-McGhee-709, 9-Clauson-662, 10-Kyle Cummins-658.

NEW EASTERN STORM POINTS: 1-Clauson-234, 2-Windom-210, 3-Ballou-199, 4-Meseraull-188, 5-Stockon-182, 6-Boespflug-179, 7-Thomas-161, 8-Leary-152, 9-McGhee-150, 10-Darland-150.

NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: June 11 –  Port Royal, PA – Port Royal Speedway – “Eastern Storm”

**Richie Murray – USAC Media