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Over 300 Drivers In 2 Nights Make The Kokomo Klash A Must See

Justin Grant Chris Windom Jay Morris And Nick Allen Take The Big Checks At The Klash

 

By Kenny Clark
Oct 18, 2016

 

   If you haven't been to the Kokomo Klash as a race fan you have to put it on the calendar as a must see.  Its the only track in the Midwest where you can see over 300 drivers in 2 nights run complete shows in 9 different divisions.  It brings some of the best in the business in Open Wheel on Friday night and then on Saturday some of the best in the nation in the UMP rankings.  I would definitely not just call it a race but a huge EVENT. 


 Friday night started with Sprints, Midgets, 600's and Thunder Cars.  103 cars were entered on night 1.  The sprints started it off with 24 entries and KT Jr., Dave Darland and Jarrett Andretti were fastest in each of their groups with KT Jr. stopping the clock at 13.113.  The 3 heats were won by Tmez, Grant and Cottle.  KT Jr. flipped in his heat but got it fixed for the B and transferred behind a big win for Dakota Jackson.  This setup the feature with Tmez and Cottle on the front row.  Cottle took the early lead as an early yellow for Hery and a red for Ted Hines slowed the pace of the race.  After 5 laps it was Cottle, Tmez, Grant and Coons in the top 4 spots.  On lap 7 going into turn 1 TMez hit the cushion wrong and took a violent hit flipping into the fence ending his night in the Burton 04. On the restart Cottle still looked strong but Justin Grant started to make his move to the front.  With just 12 to go the 17 ripped the top cushion to the lead and would show he wanted to park it dicing through the lapped traffic and taking the big win.  Following him at the checkers was Cottle, Coons, Windom and Andretti. 


 The midgets had 31 entries as the Keith Kunz stable was strongly represented.  The heats were won by Macedo, Bayston and Windom.  The feature was 25 laps also and Chris Windom stormed from the 3rd spot to the lead and excited the crowd as many of us were waiting for the Kunz team to fly to the front.  Windom won his first big midget show and Dave Darland finished 2nd with Thorson 3rd.  For me it was like David versus Goliath and David won.  A great midget show to end the Indiana Midget Championship which went to Carson Macedo. 


 The 600's were dominated by Craig Ronk from Warsaw who lapped  up to 5th place in a superman type performance by the youngster. 


 The final show of the night was won by Jason Fritz in the Thunder Cars ending the first night of the EVENT as there were already cars waiting to get a pit spot for the following night outside the gate.


 

Night 2 of the EVENT had 207 entries as fans can see cars pitted outside the gate before they go inside.  The pits are usually packed by 3 that day or earlier.  The late models had 21 entries with Spatola, Morris and Thorson winning the heats.  Unfortunately Kevin Weavers' night ended after hot laps.  The feature was setup to be a slugfest between Spatola and Morris as they were both hard on the cushion in their heats.  Spatola took the early lead with Morris following on the cushion.  On lap 7 Jay Morris took advantage of the lapped traffic to get around Spatola on the high side and set sail.  Morris would almost knock the wall down in turn 2 on the cushion as he had the crowd on the edge of their seat when he would slam the cushion.  With 5 to go Spatola got closer but Jay Morris hit his marks the final circuits and got the big win.  Both these drivers are fun to watch and I need to get to Illinois more next year to see these both in action in Late Model country.  Spatola was 6th in the country and Morris was 28th.


  On to the modifieds as there was 71 entries.  Heat race winners were:  Roy Bruce Jr., Tim Wilbur, Vince Cooper, Myron Deyoung, Nick Allen, Dylan Woodling and Dan Hamstra.  This setup the main event that was star filled in the UMP ranks.  Dylan Woodling took the early lead on the high side but by lap 5 the 21a of Nick Allen who started 6th was 2nd and Jamie Lomax who started 10th was 3rd.  Jamie was getting the bottom to work passing 7 cars early while Woodling and Allen were on the top.  On a restart the 21a would try the bottom and take the lead from the 3w.  With just 7 to go Woodling was staying on top and Lomax on the bottom as they were battling for 2nd.  Then a late caution would setup a shootout to the end as one lap Woodling would appear to have the high side again rolling but the 21a Nick Allen held on for the big win.  Woodling and Lomax would finish behind Nick .  These 3 I look to be the top again in the country next year as Jamie Lomax was 9th in the nation, Nick was 25th and Dylan was 28th.  Definitly all 3 are class acts and fun to watch.  Congrats to the 71 entries for putting on an awesome portion to Saturdays show. 


 The sportsman division had only 16 cars but the top in the nation was in attendance.  Steve Peeden the national champ would win his heat and feature with Randy Petro finishing a strong 2nd.  This class is very strong in the central and southern part of the state with some of the best drivers in the business at Brownstown, Twin Cities, Lincoln Park, Paragon and Bloomington speedways throughout the year. 


 The Stock Car class was 54 entries strong with Michael Clark winning over Jerrad Krick.  Another class that is very strong with the top in the UMP nation in attendance.  Jerrad Krick was 2nd in the nation and Ian Keller was 4th in the nation finishing 6th on this night. 


 The final class of the night the Sport Compacts had 42 stout entries.  Guy Sutton won over Gamblin and Wilkinson ending a great night and EVENT.  All races were done by 11pm.  Amazing show done in 5 hours.


  Thanks to the O'Connors for a great event and to Gary and Stan for of course some great photos on RacestarPublications.com.  Until next season at Kokomo Speedway thanks to the fans.  I hope to see some of you at the ST. Louis dome race or The Rumble in Fort Wayne.    Hopefully it is a quick and mild winter.  Hurry up April.


 

 

 

 

Jerry Coons Jr. And Todd Sherman Take The Big Wins Sunday At Kokomo Speedway

By Kenny Clark
Sept 4

  

   The final points night at Kokomo Speedway and there were 20 sprints and 26 UMP mods to highlight the evening.  In the sprints Jerry Coons was fastest in heat 1 over Darland, Josh Hodges and Tyler Thomas.  The 2nd group qualifying was led by Andretti over Windom, Jarrett and Spencer. This setup the inverts of 4 for the heats.  The only way Jerry Coons could catch KT Jr. in the points was to win the heat and feature. 


 Heat race one he would start 4th with an early red as Billy Cribbs and Jamie Fredrickson made contact sending Jamie flipping and bringing out the red.  On the restart Tyler Thomas took his Burton machine to the lead and looked strong.  Hodges was also fast in second and by lap 5 Josh took the lead by a bumper but Tyler took the lead back on lap 7 and would win by only a foot over the 74x of Hodges.  Coons would finish 3rd which would give the championship to KT Jr. for the 2016 season.  Cottle passed Darland for the 4th spot at the checkers. 


 The second heat would be lead early by Logan Jarrett but by lap 5 Big Daddy Windom stormed on the top side and took the lead.  He would hit his mark the final 3 laps and take the win over Jarrett, Andretti and Karakker. 


 This setup the A main and the redraw for the front 3 rows were Hodges, Windom, Tyler Thomas, Jerry Coons Jr., Jarrett and Andretti.  Hodges would lead lap 1 but then Windom stormed to the lead and would look to increase his lead but on lap 5 the red came out for a flipping Logan Jarrett in turn 4 as he was battling for 4th.  A tough way to end the points for the Kokomo native and it would give the team a lot of work to do before the Klash in a little over a month.  On the restart once again Windom took the lead and just off a big car win at Duqoin it appeared he may win 2 in a row but that wasn't to be as he missed his mark and Hodges made contact spinning the 5 with the 11 of Darland with nowhere to go colliding with him.  The 5w was done for the night and Darland would have to restart at the back. 


 On the restart Hodges would give up the lead to Jerry Coons in the Edison entry and on the next lap Tyler Thomas spun on the frontstretch running 7th.  On the restart it was Coons again keeping the lead and looking strong.  On lap 11 Mike Gass took a scary flip right at the flagstand ending his night and somehow Darland missed it by inches from flipping too as he went up on 2 wheels but saved it.  On another restart the race would go to lap 20 with Jerry still in command until Hery and Thomas spun out in turn 1 setting up a final shootout.  Jerry made sure it wasn't a shootout as he had a strong restart and leading the final 5 circuits to take the win in the Vince Osman Memorial race.  Congrats to Jerry and the 10E team for the win and coming only 3 pts from the championship.  Following him at the finish was Cottle, Hodges, Darland and Andretti.

 

   The UMP mod field was loaded with Lomax, Sherman, Allen, Lines, Woodling and many more.  With 3 heats taking the top 5 it was intense elbows up racing with the sheet metal taking a beating on the fast cushion.  Heat races were won by Sherman, Hobbs and Baldwin.  The B main went to Snyder.  The redraw for the feature for the 3 rows were Baldwin, Allen, Hobbs, Woodling, Sherman and Lomax.  On the start Nick Allen took the early lead on the cushion and looked to be ready for the 20 lap war.  On lap 2 on of the top in the nation Jamie Lomax while battling for 4th got contact from another car and the right rear looked to appear to be broke bringing out the yellow.  It would end the night for the 36L but he had a huge win at Montpelier the night before giving him 10 for the year.  On the restart Nick once again used the top side and built a lead with Sherman and Lines behind him by lap 7.  Another caution came out and Nick had to go high to avoid the spinner and his left rear somehow popped off the bead maybe on the high cushion ending his great run.  This gave the lead to Todd Sherman and he would lead the final 13 laps for the win over Randy Lines and Woodling. 

 

   Chris Hunter Jr. would win the Thunder Car feature from the back row in an impressive run.  Congrats to TJ Larson for winning the championship even though him and Bowman both broke on the final night.  The Sport Compact feature was won by Wilkinson over Gamblin.  Wilkinson did win the championship too.   Thanks to the O'Conners for a great evening and I am looking forward to the big Kokomo Klash in October to end the season.  Thanks again to all the fans and drivers for making it a great year.

 

Kevin Thomas Jr. Continues His Streak
At The Bryan Clauson Celebration Of Life Race
At Kokomo Speedway

By Kenny Clark


 

   Friday September 2nd we celebrate and honor a great champ and a racer. We will keep Bryan in our hearts and miss him forever.   Bryan Clauson was a great person, racer and would have shattered all the records in his racing career without a doubt.  Thanks to the O'Conners for this free admission night paying $3000 to win.


  The Sprint Cars showed up in masses for this awesome race with 47 cars.  This would setup 6 heats inverting 4 with the top 3 going plus 3 from 2 B mains to allow 24 cars for a chance to win the Bryan Clauson 27 lap checkers.  Group 1 in qualifying started the night with Dave Darland fastest with a 14.069 lap. He was followed by Travis Welpott, Tyler Hewitt and Hunter O'Neal. 


 Group 2 was Kyle Robbins fastest (13.473) over KT Jr., Westfall and Josh Cunningham. 

 Group 3 was Justin Grant the fastest of the night(12.957) over Stanbrough, Coons and Cottle. 

 Group 4 had Andretti fastest (12.978) over Max Mcghee, Aaron Farney and Casey Shuman.

  Group 5 went to Josh Hodges (13.026) over AJ Hopkins and Colten Cottle. 

The final group went to Chris Windom(13.014) over Tyler Courtney and Karakker.  Justin Grant would win the overall bonus for Quick Time of the night. 


 Heat race 1 had Tyler Hewitt lead the first lap but that was it as crowd favorite Double D Dave Darland would take the yellow 11 to the top spot and lead the final 7 with Tyler Hewitt and Welpott transferring to the big show.

 Heat race 2 had Abel lead the first lap but the 4J would rocket to the lead and show that they would be tough to beat with a huge lead taking the win over Brady Bacon and Westfall.  Bacon made a strong move on the final corner to get in the redraw.

  Heat 3 had the Throttle break a gear on the start which allowed Jerry Coons to lead the whole way over Grant and Logan Jarret who had to make a last corner pass on Jon Stanbrough to make the show. 

 Heat 4 had Farney take the early lead but just after halfway Jarett Andretti took the lead and the win with Max Mcghee making a last corner pass on Farney to make the redraw in 2nd. 

Heat race 5 had the Burton O4 with Tyler Thomas leading every lap in a strong run for the win over Hodges and Colten Cottle. 

 The final heat was lead the whole way by Tyler Courtney over Chris Windom and Brian Karakker. 


 This setup the 2 B mains for the final shot to get in the Bryan Clauson 27.  The start of B main 1 had contact on the start with Abel sliding up and ending Kyle Robbins night into the wall.  On the restart Abel took the lead but by lap 4 Travis Hery took the top spot and the whole crowd had their eye on the Throttle in the 57.  Shane Cottle had came from 15th to 5th in 6 laps.  As he kept picking them off Hery built the lead and would take the win as Shane would finish 2nd over Jon Stanbrough also making the show.  The final B was a good battle with Tony Dimattia taking the win over AJ Hopkins and Goodnight making the show.


 

    This set the field for the main event and the redraw was done in front of the crowd.  The top 12 drivers in their heat would pick either a Coke can or a box of candy setup by Lauren who is Bryan's fiance who picked his favorite candy and drink with a number 1 thru 12 on the bottom. 


 The final redraw for the main event went like this:  Courtney, T.Thomas, Andretti, KT Jr., Darland, Coons, Hodges, Bacon, Grant, Windom, Mcghee and Hewitt. 


 As the field setup the missing man format the crowd was amazed with the green fireworks being shot off for Bryan.  At the start Tyler Thomas would take the early lead and hold on to it for the first 2 laps.  Lap 3 the hot blazing 4J of Kevin Thomas Jr. would take the top spot away.  By lap 6 Dave Darland had came from 5th to 2nd on the cushion as the crowd was pumped up seeing Dave that fast early.  By lap 10 KT jr. still had the lead as Grant had came from 11th to 6th and Cottle from 20th to 10th. 

 At the halfway point it was KT jr., Darland , Courtney and Grant.  The first yellow came out with 6 to go with Tyler Thomas spinning on the frontstretch.  This would setup the final 6 lap shootout for the big prize.  This race could have paid $1 to win and still all these guys wanted to win it since it was Bryans' race.  On the final restart KT jr. looked strong with a fierce battle for 2nd between Grant and Darland.

  With just 2 to go Grant took the 2nd spot away from Double D and would try to catch the 4J.  KT jr. was just to strong and he held on for what he said "Was his biggest win ever even though he won Smackdown" .  Thanks to the great Clauson family as Di threw the green and checkers (Bryans Mom), Tim who hugged all 24 drivers for the intros(Bryans Dad) and Lauren who gave the awesome trophy to KT in victory field. 

 Following KT at the finish was Justin Grant, Darland, Bacon and Cottle from 20th.  Congrats to the highest 3 drivers that had never raced at Kokomo with bonuses also:  Cole Smith($1000), Hunter O'Neal ($500) and Cody Clarkson(Tire). 

 Also thanks to the O'Connors who put on this great show.  AND TO BRYAN CLAUSON YOU WILL BE FOREVER MISSED AND LOVED BY ALL YOUR FANS. YOU WERE ONE OF THE GREATEST OPEN WHEEL DRIVERS OF ALL TIME AND EVEN THOUGH YOU WERE TAKEN FROM US WE WERE HONORED TO WATCH YOU DURING YOUR CAREER.  Thanks again to all the fans for coming and see you Sunday night at Kokomo as the UMP Modifieds are on the card also.

 

 

TMEZ Keeps The Hot Streak Going At The Bob Darland Memorial

Kokomo Speedway By Kenny Clark
August 7

 
   Another beautiful night at the Kokomo Speedway for the Bob Darland Classic.  21 sprinters showed up for the big night as the mood was kind of down with everybodys thoughts and prayers going toward Bryan and the Clauson family as he was involved in a very bad accident running a midget at Bellville.  The track once again for qualifying was very fast especially on the top.

  Group 1 was led by Robert Ballou over Colten Cottle, Logan Jarrett and Matt Goodnight.  The 2nd group was led by Max Mcghee over Jerry Coons Jr, TMez  and Jarett Andretti.  The final group was the fast time of the night with Dave Darland taking the top spot in the final group over Chris Windom, CJ Leary and KT jr. 

 This setup the heats with the top 4 inverted.  Heat race 1 had Jarrett leading the first 3 laps until he came to a stop out of turn 4 ending his run.  This gave the lead to Robert Ballou who led the rest of the laps over Goodnight, Colten Cottle and Tyler Hewitt. 

 Heat race 2 had Tmez on the outside front row and he stormed to the lead over Andretti and ran strong on the top in the Dutcher entry.  He would lead every circuit and go on for the win on the top over Andretti, Mcghee and Coons Jr.

  This setup the final heat with KT Jr. and Leary on the front row.  KT Jr. would take the early lead and would have to hold off a hard charging Dave Darland who wanted to win on his Dads' night.  KT jr. would hold Dave off followed by Windom, Leary and Shane Cottle. 

 This setup the A main and the top 6 on the redraw was Andretti, Tmez, Goodnight, KT Jr, Ballou and Darland.  The 30 lap special would be filled with talent and TMex took the early lead on the cushion while Jarett Andretti was working the bottom.  By lap 8 Tmez was flying coming up on lapped cars already.  He was building a good lead but Andretti was staying close thru the lapped cars. With just 8 laps to go Leary slowed in the 66 car bringing out the yellow and bunching the field up.  By this time Tmez had already lapped 11 cars and was on a mission. 

 On the restart Andretti looked as if he had a great run but the cushion was good to Tmez in the 17GP and he would lead til with just 1 to go Shane Cottle brought out the yellow in turn 2.  Would anybody get a bonsai run  on the 1 lap shootout.  Andretti tried on the low side at the restart but coming out of 2 Tmez would hit his marks on top to secure the Bob Darland Memorial.  Following him was Andretti, Ballou, Mcghee, KT Jr., Dave Darland and Coons Jr. 

 Tmez was excited with the big win after winning the night before at Waynesfield for $3000.  An excited victory lane but a lot of comments by him and Dave about everybody was praying for Bryan to pull thru. 

    The Thunder Car heats were won by Hall and Headley.  The hornet heat was won by Josh Gamblin.  The Thunder Car feature was won by Jason Fritz, Hunter, Headley and Hall.  Gamblin also won the hornet feature over Mayer Jr. and Wilkinson. 

 At the time I am writing my story I now know that Bryan Clauson didn't make it and the racing community is heart broken for losing one of our great heroes.  Bryan was one of the best at this time and he was living a dream of racing 200 events this year.  At race 117 it was way too soon to finish the race.  My thoughts and prayers go to the entire Clauson family thru this horrible tragedy.  God Speed my hero and it was a pleasure racing against you back in the early 2000's at the Camden Raceway and you grew into a great champion  and nobody will be able to fill your shoes.  You have done many great things for the racing community and Indiana was blessed with having you put on a show every night no matter what you were in.  God Bless you Bryan and will see you all at the Smackdown V where there is no doubt in my mind that Bryan will be there watching with us.  Until next time live life to the fullest and enjoy each and every day.  

 

Tyler Courtney and TOPP Motorsports Win Sprint Week Opener

 

Written By:  Kenny Clark 
July 8

 
   Opening night of USAC Sprint Week was staged at Gas City I69 Speedway with a very strong 47 entries.  With a hot steamy night you would think that a driver would want an early draw for quals but that wasn't the case.  Brady Bacon came out late down the list and ripped off a 12.175 for fast time of the night over Zack Daum, Cole Smith, Chad Boespflug, Justin Grant and Chris Windom.  Heat race 1 had Chase Stockon and Kyle Cummins on the front row.  Chase led early and by the halfway mark it was him, Hunter Shurenberg, Issac Chapple and Casey Shuman holding on to the top 4 spots.  With 2 laps to go Brady Bacon came from 6th to 4th and held on for the last transfer to the A.  Chase won the heat with Hunter and Chapple advancing also. 

 That was a huge run for the Chapple crew to put it into the A.  Heat race 2 had Kyle Robbins storm from the 3rd spot to the lead and would hold it for all 10 laps ahead of Jerry Coons Jr., Zack Daum and Aaron Farney barely beating Windom for the last spot.  Heat 3 was lead from green to checkers by Tyler Courtney over Bryan Clauson, Robert Ballou and Brent Beauchamp.  The final heat was won by Shane Cottle who led every lap over Max Mcghee, Tmez and Chad Boespflug.  This setup the C main with 17 cars for only 4 spots to the B main.  Jarrett Andretti won the C from the pole over Dave Darland, Josh Hodges and AJ Hopkins.  It shows how tough USAC Indiana Sprint Week is with the names in this C main WOW!!!  The final chance to get to the main was the B main.  Andretti and Hopkins put on a clinic for the fans in this one.  Jarrett started 15th and AJ started 18th.  Would any of us fans probably put money on either one making the top 6?  Probably not but they both did.  It was an amazing drive to get into the A main.  Kevin Thomas Jr. won the b over Chris Windom, Andretti, Grant, AJ Hopkins and Cummins. 

 
This setup the main event with the front 3 rows being Shurenburg, Mcghee, Clauson, Boespflug, Diamattia and Bacon.  Lap 1 Tyler Courtney spun in turn 4 almost getting on his top bringing out the yellow and would restart 23rd.  On the restart Hunter took the lead and would control it til lap 8 when 2nd place runner Boespflug had a problem bringing out the yellow and would go to the work area to get repairs.  With 8 down it was Hunter, Mcghee, Clauson and Bacon.  On the restart Clauson would storm to the lead and it would be tough to catch him people were thinking.  By lap 14 Courtney had perfected the bottom and was up to 5th.  On lap 20 the 66 Tmez stopped on the frontstretch and this was the break Tyler needed to catch Clauson as the TOPP #23 had made it to 2nd.  On the restart Clauson tried to stay low but he couldn't and Tyler took the lead from Clauson on lap 24 and would hold on to win his first career USAC race.  It was a huge way to win his first for the team based out of Rochester Indiana especially being Indiana Sprint Week .  Following him at the finish was Clauson, Windom, Cottle and Bacon.  The modifieds had a huge 34 entries as Brian Post picked up the big win over Anderson.  Thanks to the O'Conners for a great show as Indiana Sprint Week moves on to Kokomo Speedway.

 

Josh Hodges Gets His First Victory At Kokomo Speedway

By Kenny Clark
June 19

 
    It was a steamy night Sunday at Kokomo Speedway. Even with the heat up against them the O'Conners once again had a great surface ready to be attacked by the 21 sprinters in attendance.  The drivers fastest in their groups were Dave Darland, Josh Hodges and Justin Grant.

  Heat race 1 had Aaron Farney, CJ Leary, Chris Windom and Dave Darland making up the first 2 rows.  CJ was a scratch from earlier problems in qualifying.  This gave the double D the front row outside.  On lap 1 though it was aka "Big Daddy or The Bear" storming to the lead.  In turn 2 on the start of lap 2 the hard fought battle for 4th ended as Travis Hery and Brian Karakker came together sending Brian flipping.  He was ok but would have to hurry to get the repairs done before feature.  On the restart the 5 took a commanding lead not missing his mark.  At the checkers it was Windom, Darland, Westerfield and Farney.

  Heat race 2 had KT Jr., Shane Cottle, Jarett Andretti and Josh Hodges in the first 2 rows.   Shane was on a mission and built a 10 car length lead over everybody.  On lap 7 entering turn 2 the car lost power ending his great night.  On the restart KT Jr and Hodges were on the gas hard and the hotshoe from Alabama held Hodges off for the win.  Behind Hodges was Jarett Andretti and Colten Cottle. 

 The final heat had Logan Jarrett, Jerry Coons, Max Mcghee and Justin Grant in the front 2 rows.  That is exactly how they finished and a big win for Logan after having a tough start to the year.

  This setup the 25 lap A main event set to start at the early time of 8:16.  This is great for the fans that like to get home quick on a Sunday night.  The redraw came out as Hodges and Coons on the front row, Jarrett and Darland on the second row and KT jr and Windom on the third row.  Jerry Coons took the early lead and by lap 4 he had a 10 car length lead.  On lap 7 while running 6th the 5w of Windom broke and pulled to the infield.  By lap 10 Jerry was getting into lap traffic and allowed Hodges to cut the lead down to 2 car lengths.  By lap 13 they were side by side with 3 lap cars ahead and it was about to get very busy.  Behind them 2 at halfway it was Darland in 3rd then Jarrett, KT Jr, Grant and Andretti.

  With just 5 laps to go they got thru the lappers good but the lead was closing and the bright yellow pilot from the west coast was chasing the former pilot from the coast who now lives here.  Sure enough with just 2 to go the young shoe got by the Edison entry and went on to his first win at Kokomo Speeway.  Following Hodges at the finish was Jerry Coons, Darland, Jarrett, KT Jr., Grant, Andretti, Mcghee and Farney.  Congrats to Logan Jarrett on a strong run.  Only 9 cars on the lead lap and the sprint feature over in 7 minutes at 8:23.  Now that is impressive.  Congrats to Hodges who in the interview he said he still was in shock that he won at Kokomo Speedway.
 
In the Stock Car division it was Ian Keller and David Short winning the heats.  Then in the feature Keller picked up the big win over Michael Clark, Bob Bouruff, David Hurst and David Short.

  In the Thunder Car division it was Travis Wolford and Jesse Simmons picking up the heat wins.  In the feature Jesse Simmons won on the last corner over Alex Bowman, Caleb Nutter, Travis Wolford and TJ Larson.

  In the Hornet Hustle the heat winners were Wilkinson and Momper.  In the feature the Hustle went to Momper over Day, Byrd and Wilkinson.

  Thanks to the O'Conners for another great show.  On to July 3rd at Kokomo with the huge fireworks and UMP Modifieds on the card.  See you then. 

 

Rico Rises To The Top Getting The Checkers At Midget Week Finale

Kokomo Speedway By Kenny Clark
June 5


   The Usac Midget Week Finale at the Famous Kokomo Speedway Sunday night  had 33 midgets entered with a lot of heavy hitters.  Bryan Clauson, Rico Abreu and Christopher Bell were just part of the loaded entry list.  Qualifying was elbows up as the track was very fast with all the rain that Indiana had received Saturday and still had a shower Sunday at noon.

  The O'Conners did an excellent job saving the track from all the rain we had.  Rico tried to knock down the cushion with a strong top time of 13.332.  He is always very strong on the throttle getting all he can out of his entry.  The top 6 overall behind him was Christopher Bell, Brady Bacon, Ryan Robinson, Bryan Clauson and Chad Boat.  This setup the always tough 4 heats with the 6 invert. 

 Heat race 1 had Clauson and Rico in the third row.  Both of them on the start stormed towards the front with Clauson taking the lead by lap 2.  Rico had passed for the 2nd spot in turn 4 but got into the cushion wrong and spun sideways bringing out the caution and going to the back.  On the restart Clauson held on to the lead and would command the final eight laps for the win.  Rico was able to climb from 9th to 4th and transfer to the A.  The other 2 that transferred in 2nd and 3rd were Chase Johnson and Steve Buckwalter. 

Heat race 2 was dominated all ten laps by Carson Macedo over Tyler Nelson, Chad Boat and Christopher Bell. 

Heat race 3 had PA's Ryan Greth battling early with Gage Walker for the top spot.  By lap 6 Greth took back the lead from Walker and held off the hard charging Zach Daum, Brady Bacon and Tanner Thorson at the checkers.  At one point 2nd thru 4th were 3 wide coming out of turn 2.

The final heat was exciting for the crowd as fan favorite Davey Ray held off the powerful Spencer Bayston, Ryan Robinson and Dave Darland for the win.  It was good to see Davey Ray get the win.

This setup the B main with Holly Shelton blasting to the lead and dominating the last chance race for the win over Shane Golobic, Tyler Thomas and Gage Walker.  This setup the main event 30 lap finale for Usac Indiana Midget Week.

  The front 3 rows were Boat, Clauson, Robinson, Bacon, Bell and Abreu. This is the type of field that reminds you of the A main at the chili bowl.  Chad Boat would take the early lead as the first caution came out as Walker and Darland got together in turn 2 ending both cars night.  On the restart Boat would remain the leader and look strong with Bayston running 2nd also with a lot of speed.  Then on lap 11 Nelson took a nasty flip on the backstretch ending his night with a badly tore up front end.  The lap 11 restart order was Boat, Bayston, Bell and Rico.  Lap 17 brought out another red as Holly Shelton flipped just past the flagstand ending her good night.  

This allowed the drivers one last time to crank on them dials inside the car for the final 13 laps.  The driver that looked to be stronger on the restart was Rico who some laps was even going above the cushion in turn 3 and running up behind Boat to challenge out of 4.   With just 8 laps to go Rico took the lead away from Chad and hit his mark the final laps to take the big win in front of a great crowd.  The crowd roared to life as Rico got on top of the cage to celebrate.  Following him at the checkers was Bayston, Boat, Bacon, Bell, Clauson and Thorson.  With his 6th place finish Bryan Clauson was your Indiana Midget Week champ to add to his accomplishments in a potential 200 race year.  Congrats to Rico on the win and to Bryan on the championship week. 


27 sprints were on hand also for the night and the fast qualifiers in their groups were:  Tyler Courtney, Bryan Clauson and Jerry Coons Jr.  Heat race winners were Chad Boespflug, Kevin Thomas Jr and Tom Harris.  The B main was won by Lawrenceburg champ Josh Moffat.  This setup the A main with Colten Cottle and Bryan Clauson on the front row.  Colten took the early lead with KT jr. Running 2nd and Bryan 3rd. On lap 7 there was slight contact with the front two and Bryan went by both of them to take the lead.  He would lead the final 18 dicing thru the lapped traffic to take the checkers in the #63 two nights in a row.  Behind Bryan at the end was KT Jr., Courtney, Bacon, Tyler Hewitt and Shane Cottle.  In the hornets Wilkinson and Wells won the heats as Swanson won the feature.

  Thanks to the O'Conners for another great night.  Good luck to all the USAC teams as they head out to PA.  My next fun night is this Wednesday the World of Outlaws at Lincoln Park Speedway.  It should be another classic.  See you in two weeks at the next exciting night at Kokomo Speedway.

Kokomo Speedway By Kenny Clark
May 22


 
   A beautiful Sunday evening at Kokomo Speedway as we pay tribute to Dave Crow who we miss at the speedway every week.  24 sprinters were entered on this perfect weather night with qualifying starting the night off at around 6:15.  This is a great deal for the fans because you can see the highest quality show and still get out early enough to get the required Z'ssss before the dreaded work week starts.  Group 1 was led by Shane Cottle (13.745), Chris Windom (13.977), Kevin Thomas Jr. (14.017) and Travis Hery (14.041).  Group 2 went out as the track got quicker and was led by Jarrett Andretti (13.157), CJ Leary (13.192), Jerry Coons Jr. (13.410) and Justin Grant (13.415).  The final Group 3 was led by Dave Darland (12.927), Jimmy Light (13.417), Tyler Hewitt (13.543) and Logan Jarrett (13.680).  This setup heat 1 with Hery and Thomas on the front row. 

 The 4J with Thomas is very fast and building a great resume.  He lead every lap but on the final lap Windom made a mad dash at it but came up just a half car length short. Transferring behind Thomas and Windom was Cottle, Hery and Gurley.  Heat race 2 had Grant and Coons on the front row and Jerry Coons Jr. lead every lap but the 2E Epperson ride was right on Jerry's tail at the end.  Also making the show was Jarrett Andretti, CJ Leary and Brent Beauchamp.  Andretti and Leary bumped hard during the battle so after the checkers Leary expressed his unhappiness and tried to spin the 18 in turn 4 as the crowd stood to look at both heading back to the pits.

  Never a dull moment at the speed palace of Kokomo which sometimes can lead to discussions later.  The final heat had Logan Jarrett and Tyler Hewitt on the front row.  The front row had nothing for 4th place starter the Peoples Champ Dave Darland as in lap 1 he took the lead and led all 8 with Tyler Hewitt, Logan Jarrett, Jimmy Light and Josh Spencer all making the A. 

 The consy  was won by Brent Mellenbrendt over Colten Cottle, Chad Boespflug, Adam Byrkett and Kole Ketchum.  Goodnight was lucky in 6th to transfer as Hery had to scratch because of mechanical issues.  

   This setup the main event with the front 3 rows being Justin Grant, Thomas, Windom, Hewitt, Coons and Darland.  Kevin Thomas Jr. would take the lead and looked to build a huge lead but that didn't happen for long.   By lap 13 Windom had closed but a red came out when Justin Grant took an easy roll over after making contact with the 10e of Coons.  Darland was up to 3rd from 6th and all the drivers got their chance to turn them dials under red for the final shootout.  KT jr. was strong on the restart as the real battle was heating up in the top 10.  Darland had moved to 2nd and in a catfish kind of mood on the very bottom Cottle had made it to 3rd.  With just 8 to go the yellow came out for Andretti as his car stopped in 4 ending his night. 

 On the restart Logan Jarrett and Boespflug got stuck together ending their night along with Kole Ketchum.   This setup the final shootout which in an understatement was WILD times ten.  With 5 to go KT took off on the high side and Darland in 2nd now bobbled off of 2 and with all the power behind him dropped to 5th in one lap.  Cottle had the bottom working great hoping KT would just miss his mark and sure enough KT jumped the cushion with 3 to go giving Cottle the lead off of 2 heading down the backstretch. 

 The crowd started to pump their fist and cheer hoping Shane could pull it off. KT regrouped with 2 to go and started reeling him in headed to the white flag and on the final corner KT in a photo finish got a good run off the top and scored the win by a front bumper. At the line behind KT and Shane Cottle was Jerry Coons Jr, Chris Windom and Dave Darland.



   The Dave Crow race brought 16 entries to the gate with Steve Peeden and Josh Boller winning the heats.  The front row draw for the 25 lapper was Jack Frye and Jamey Wilson.  Wilson would lead the first few laps but Lee Hobbs took over on lap 5 and was building a good lead for a while.  With 8 laps to go Steve Peeden had came to 2nd from 6th and Hobbs was getting into lapped traffic. Peeden on the next lap would make a strong move on the bottom and take over the lead.  Peeden would keep that same smooth line on the bottom and take the big win.  Following Steve Peeden was Lee Hobbs, Jamey Wilson and Josh Boller.  

   The Thunder Car showdown had 10 entries and the heat race was won by TJ Larson.  In the 25 lap feature Travis Wolford came from 6th to take the lead on lap 4 and built a big lead until a yellow came out for Caleb Nutter having a right front issue running 2nd ending his night.  This cost Wolford the lead as on the restart he looked to lose some of his early power and with 8 to go TJ Larson took the lead and went on to win for the first time at Kokomo Speedway. Following TJ at the checkers was Bowman, Henson, Wolford and Mock.

  Another great show by the O'Conners for sure.  Don't forget next Sunday at Kokomo Speedway the UMP Modifieds will make an appearance and Bryan Clauson will be doing the double after running Indy earlier in the day.  All of us short track fans are pulling for Bryan next Sunday for sure.  
 
 

 

Kevin Thomas Jr. Holds Off Chris Windom To Be Crowned
King Of Kokomo!

May 15
By Kenny Clark

A cool evening would finally allow Kokomo Speedway to open the doors after 3 previous cancellations in a very wet spring.  32 sprints entered into the pits all looking to get a piece of the King of Kokomo 2500 to win.  The setup for the sprints would be 4 heats with an invert of 4 and taking 4 out of each. Then 2 b-mains would take the final two spots out of each to setup the 20 car 30 lap main event.  Group 1 was lead by Justin Grant in his new 71p ride with a time of 13.967 followed by Chris Windom 13.979, KT jr 14.251 and Tyler Hewitt 14.350.  Group 2 was led by CJ Leary 13.298, Andretti 13.566, Simon 13.690 and Robbins 13.720.  Group 3 was led by Cottle 13.240, Dimattia 13.352, Darland 13.356 and Beauchamp 13.384.  The final group was led by Courtney 12.903, Clauson 13.503, Hery 13.583 and Hopkins 13.625.  Heat race 1 had Tyler Hewitt and KT Jr. on the front row.  KT Jr. would storm to the front leading every lap on the top cushion and building a big lead for the win.  Following him was Windom, Grant and Hewitt.  Heat race 2 had Robbins and Simon on the front row.  But it was Andretti storming to the lead from the 3 spot and taking a commanding lead.  As the white flag was thrown the first red of the seasosn came out as Robbins got into the turn 3 was and took a nasty flip multiple times.  It also involved Jarrett who had no where to go but above the cushion and also flipped.  Both drivers were ok but only Jarretts' car was repairable for the night.  Andretti would hold off Leary on the final restart with Coons Jr and Ballou transferring.  Heat race 3 had Beauchamp and Darland on the front row.  Darland starting on the top of the front row at Kokomo is a pretty good bet as he led every lap over Beauchamp, Cottle and Spencer transferring.  The final heat had Hopkins and Hery on the fornt row.  Hopkins led til lap 7 when Clauson took over the lead on the bottom and took the win over Courtney, Hopkins and Goodnight.  This setup the 2 b mains with Bosepflug  and Hery winning them with Karakker and Simon also making the A main.
 
   Here was the redraw results as it appeared just like a USAC national race on the opener:  Andretti and KT jr row 1, Windom and Leary row 2, Courtney and Beauchamp row 3 and Clauson and Darland row 4.  The 4j looking strong all night Thomas took the early lead.  Cars were using the top and bottom and at one point going into 3 they were 3 and 4 wide.  Lap 3 brought out a scary red as a car slowed in front of Darland in turn 1 and Grant behind the peoples champ had no where to go and didn't see the slowing and slammed into the back of the #11 sending him up into the catch fence.  The fence did a great job as it held Darlands car upside down in the fence.  After a delay to get Darlands car out of the fence both drivers were ok but done for the evening.  Coons Jr. also got a piece of it but made repairs and would restart last.  With 3 down the running order was Thomas, Windom, Andretti, Courtney and Leary.  On the restart Thomas stormed away from the field and built a huge lead by lap 12 when he started to enter into lapped traffic.  The high side was the fastest around and the top 3 Thomas, Windom and Andretti were all inches away from the wall.  On lap 17 KT jumped the turn 4 cushion but saved it before the wall which allowed Windom to get within 2 car lengths.  Windom was just waiting for one more mistake by the 4j but the veteran from Alabama didn't miss a beat and picked up the big check to start the season.  The following drivers at the checkers behind KT jr was:  Chris Windom, Bryan Clauson, Tyler Courtney, Shane Cottle, Brent Beauchamp, Robert Ballou, Jarett Andretting and CJ Leary the last car on the lead lap.  Kudos to the O'Conners for a great first night track with a huge cushion.
The Thunder Cars had 19 entries with Bob Borurff and Eric Hunter winning the heats.  The feature went to Boruff after Hunter broke leading.  Boruff was followed after the checkers by Caleb Nutter, Lee Hall, Jim Henson and TJ Larson.  The hornets had 15 entries to start the year and Wilkinson won over Gamblin, Harrington, Landis and Antoine.  Don't forget next week the Dave Crow Classic for the Super Stocks and the other great 3 classes.  See you next Sunday at Kokomo Speedway.

Sprint Car 30 Lap King of Kokomo A Main 1. 4j Kevin Thomas, Jr. 2. 5 Chris Windom 3. 63 Bryan Clauson 4. 23c Tyler Courtney 5. 57 Shane Cottle 6. 34 Brent Beauchamp 7. 1 Robert Ballou 8. 18a Jarett Andretti 9. 17 CJ Leary 10. 41 Chad Boespflug 11. 42 AJ Hopkins 12. 97x Tyler Hewitt 13. 39 Matt Goodnight 14. 66j Josh Spencer 15. 23k Brian Karraker 16. 21h Travis Hery 17. 10e Jerry Coons, Jr. 18. 24 Landon Simon 19. 11 Dave Darland 20. 71 Justin Grant

Sprint Car 10 Lap B Main #1 (top 2 transferred) 1. 41 Boespflug 2. 23k Karraker 3. 97 Bret Mellenberndt 4. 19 Joe Bares 5. 2c Tim Creech DNS 24 Nate McMillin DNS 50 Tony DiMattia DNS 75 Lee Dakus

Sprint Car 10 B Main #2 (top 2 transferred) 1. 21h Hery 2. 24 Simon 3. 29 Logan Jarrett 4. 66 Corey Smith 5. 24L Lee Underwood 6. 69 Stuart Hanft 7. 78 Adam Byrkett DNS 17r Kyle Robbins

15 Lap UMP Thunder Car Feature 1. 67 Bob Bourff 2. 3n Kaleb Nutter 3. 90 Lee Hall 4. 3h Jim Henson 5. 15 TJ Larson 6. 56 Tony Bowman 7. 7b Bryan Banta 8. 8 Austin Hunter 9. 65 Wally Kerst, Jr. 10. 52 Gary Mock 11. 51d Brandon DeLong 12. 115 Keith Crissinger 13. 51 Travis Larson 14. 57 Chris Joseph 15. 22s Andy Sherley 16. 23 Brody Townsend 17. 22a Nathan Arterburry 18. 48 Travis Wolford 19. 5 Eric Hunter

15 Lap UMP Hornet Feature 1. 76jr Jacob Wilkinson 2. 26 Josh Gamblin 3. 21 Scott Harrington 4. 7 Sam Landis 5. 38 John Antoine 6. 15 Josh Gibson 7. 62 Jeremy Dunham 8. 73 Ray Smith 9. 25 Darrin Harrington 10. 18 David Atkins, Sr. 11. 17 Kyle Julius 12. 5 Robert White DNS 19 Stephen Byrd DNS 55 James Hopson