SPRINTS HEAD FOR GAS CITY, LAWRENCEBURG DIRT; “RICH VOGLER CLASSIC” SUNDAY AT WINCHESTER COONS WINS “BRANSON/LARSON,” HAGEN INJURED
Dave Darland leads the USAC National Sprint Car Series into one of its busiest weekends of the 2009 campaign, with three back-to-back races in Indiana expected to be pivotal in the battle for the series championship.
Darland finished second in Saturday night’s “Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic” at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio and he’s 16 points ahead of Jesse Hockett entering races at Gas City, Lawrenceburg and Winchester. Sunday’s Winchester race is the tradition-laden “Rich Vogler Classic.”
Jerry Coons Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. won Saturday night’s Eldora race in the Kroger/Tide, Bounty/Pringles F5 Gaerte Mopar, giving his Dynamics, Inc. Hoffman Auto Racing Team its 73rd career USAC Sprint car triumph. The race, part of the track’s “Coca Cola Spring Classic,” saw three feature leaders, Coons leading the first and the final six laps. Levi Jones led 12 laps and Brad Sweet led 11.
Sweet flipped on the final lap while running second but escaped injury. Darland took second ahead of Jesse Hockett, Jones and Brady Short at the checkered flag. Darren Hagen was transported to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio for treatment of two broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung after flipping during a heat race.
Jon Stanbrough and Shane Cottle won 2008 USAC Sprint races at Gas City, while Jeff Bland and Brady Short won last year at Lawrenceburg. Last year’s “Rich Vogler Classic” was one of Darren Hagen’s two Winchester wins, while Brady Bacon won the last race at Winchester in 2008.