By Danny Burton
On a night when race cars were having a tough time keeping all four wheels on the ground, Brady Short avoided the carnage and won the 2015 opening round of the King of Indiana Sprint Series at the Terre Haute Action Track on April 26. It was Short’s sixth KISS victory. He took the lead from a slowing Shane Cottle on lap six and held Jerry Coons Jr. at bay the rest of the 25 lap feature.
As is often the case, the weather played a major role in the scheme of things. Rain earlier in the week brought forth colder temperatures and a difficult task for the track crew, who were up to the job at hand.
24 sprints populated the pits with a fair share of top runners.
One of those, local boy Brandon Mattox, won the first heat with Ted Hines coming from fifth to take second. Dickie Gaines, Brandon Morin and James Lyerla trailed. Mitch Wismiller stormed from eighth to second before slowing and exiting. He would return for the feature.
Brady Short won the second heat, a race that was red flagged when Kyle Cummins flipped hard in turn one. Kyle was okay and would return for the feature. Shane Cottle, Chad Boespflug, Shane Cockrum and Carson Short ran second through fifth.
Jerry Coons Jr. had a huge lead in the third heat erased by a late yellow flag. The Arizona native didn’t let such a minor problem bother him. He led Chris Babcock, Brent Beauchamp, Aric Gentry and Ethan Barrow to the line.
KISS and the Midwest Sprint Car Series, which co-sanctioned the program, dispensed with the B main and started everyone. The top two finishers of each heat redrew for first six starting spots. Veterans Cottle and Coons would be the front row.
Things got ugly as the green flag waved when Ted Hines was clipped and took a nasty spill, flip down the front straightaway and get some unwanted air time. Ted emerged from his car, much more upset than injured.
This meant a complete re-start. Cottle took the early lead with fellow veteran Coons in tow, but Short passed Jerry for second before a second yellow flag slowed things. With Short behind him, Cottle made a fine re-start, but slowed on the backstretch, bringing out the second yellow.
Now Short led the field to the green with Coons trailing. But sadly, more spinning, crashing and flipping ensued when Aric Gentry spun. Trying to avoid the spinning car, James Lyerla and Donny Brackett collided with both getting upside down. They were both okay.
During the red Chad Boespflug, who had progressed from eighth to fourth, was sent to the tail spot due to improper adjustments to the car under the red flag period. The team opted to exit the race instead.
The guys tried again with another re-start, but for the last time, another red flag waved when Shane Cockrum flipped in turn four. Thankfully he, too, was unhurt.
It was still lap seven and Short led Coons, C.Short, Beauchamp, Babcock, Robbins, Gaines, Max McGhee, Wissmiller and Ethan Barrow to the green flag. Though Coons could stay close for a lap or two, no one had anything for Brady Short.
But in the pack, things were dicey as multiple battles for top spots were the norm. Carson Short came from 14th to take third place and for a short spell give Coons some discomfort. Kyle Robbins was both strong and steady, coming from 15th to grab fourth. Maybe even more impressive was Mitch Wissmiller, who had mechanical issues in his heat, righted that and started 19th in the feature. His efforts were rewarded with a fifth place finish.
Chris Babcock, Max McGhee (from 22nd), Dickie Gaines, Aric Gentry and Ethan Barrow filled out the top ten.
- Short was driving Cam Pottorff’s Maxim sponsored by Sipes Body and Glass, Indiana Stone Works, Simpson and Bloomington Auto Colors.
McGhee was the Keizer Aluminum Wheels Hard Charger of the race, advancing 15 positions.
This coming weekend will find both series invading northern Indiana. KISS will be at the Gas City/I-69 Speedway on Fridaynight, May 1 and at the Kokomo Speedway on Sunday. Sandwiched in between these two races will be the MSCS at the Montpelier Speedway.
The UMP Modifieds also were part of Sunday’s Action Track show, with NASCAR veteran Kenny Wallace crossing the finish line first in the 15-lap feature.
The racing action was exciting throughout the feature with a number of passes taking place among the top five contenders. Wallace took the lead right around the midway point of the race and pulled away down the stretch. The race saw just two caution periods.
Brian Shaw placed second and Paul Miles third. David Shain was fourth, while Scott Martin was fifth. The majority of the starters finished the event on the lead lap.
The Terre Haute Action Track will next see action on Wednesday, May 20 with the USAC Sprint Cars in the Tony Hulman Classic. The UMP Modifieds will also be in action.
MSCS/KISS Sprint Results 4-26-15
1) 11p Brady Short
2) 10e Jerry Coons, Jr.
3) 21 Carson Short
4) 17r Kyle Robbins
5) 1 Mitch Wissmiller
6) 35x Chris Babcock
7) 17 Max McGhee
8) 44 Dickie Gaines
9) 10 Aric Gentry
10) 15 Ethan Barrow
11) 98 Brandon Morin
12) 3 Jake Simmons
13) 71 Wayne Newlin
14) 34 Brent Beauchamp
15) 66 Shane Cockrum
16) 5 Chad Boespflug
17) 11x James Lyeria
18) 4b Donny Bracket
19) 57 Shane Cottle
20) 11 Kyle Cummins
21) 28b Adam Brenton
22) 24 Nate McMillen
23) 12 Ted Hines
DNS) 28 Brandon Mattox
UMP Modified Results 4-26-15
1) 36 Kenny Wallace
2) 1s Brian Shaw
3) 28 Paul Miles
4) 87 David Shain
5) m14 Scott Martin
6) 6b Dave Baldwin
7) 74 Damon Harrell
8) 92c Kenny Carmichael, Jr.
9) 4s Rob Starkey
10) XX Roy Bruce, Jr.
11) 12c Bryson Clark
12) 11m Josh McDaniel
13) 89 Rick Weitekamp
14) 1w Larry Witt
15) 133 Gary Ricketts
16) X Jesse Snyder
17) 42 Roger Mills
18) 92c Kenny Carmichael, Sr.
19) 39 Kevin Gummere
DNS) 2b Brent Hudson