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Tyler Courtney, Paul Nienhiser & Jake Cheatham take wins at Tri-City Speedway!

Tyler Courtney

COURTNEY DELIVERS A STONE COLD PERFORMANCE IN GRANITE CITY

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Granite City, Illinois………Tyler Courtney hasn’t visited Tri-City Speedway that often throughout his racing career. In fact, Friday night marked just the fourth visit to the 3/8-mile dirt oval for the Indianapolis, Indiana driver. But, each time, it’s been in a different type of car, from a micro, to a midget and to a winged sprint car.

Yet, it doesn’t seem to matter what type of track Courtney visits this year. If it has a victory lane, seemingly, Courtney knows how to find his way there after 30 laps, which he did again for the ninth time this season in USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car competition, leading the final 21 laps and warding off an all-out assault from Brady Bacon and Kevin Thomas, Jr. during the final laps to score his 15th career series win on night one of the Brandt “River Town Showdown” in his Clauson Marshall Newman Racing/Priority Aviation – Competition Suspension, Inc./Spike/Rider Chevy. The triumph ties him with Bobby East, Cory Kruseman, Jud Larson & Brian Tyler for 33rd all-time.

Courtney rolled off from the fourth-starting position, while C.J. Leary rocketed around the outside of pole sitter Chase Stockon to occupy the top spot off turn two on the opening lap, where he would remain for the first nine circuits.

On the tenth lap, Courtney seized the opportunity, diving to the bottom of turn one and sliding up in front of Leary to capture the lead. Leary surged back toward Courtney and the two made contact off the exit of turn two, sending Courtney sideways down the back straightaway. Courtney recovered as Leary made an attempt to reclaim his once-owned land up front to no avail.

Following a yellow for Kyle Stearns losing a wheel on his machine with 10 laps complete, Courtney was dominant up front with a clear track ahead of him after the lap 11 restart, breaking away to a 1.5 second advantage in the ensuing laps. Meanwhile, a jostling of position took place just behind with Bacon slipping by Leary for second off turn two on the 14th lap and, moments later, Thomas getting around Leary for the third position.

With less than ten to go, Courtney began to find himself mired in a minefield of traffic. As the heart rate began to race and the interval began to shrink, the plot thickened. One false step and the race could be handed over to the surging Bacon. Courtney took every action and reaction he could to stay afloat, splitting between the lapped cars of Daron Clayton and Mario Clouser entering turn one with six laps remaining to create some sorely-needed separation and buy a little bit of time.

“The lapped cars didn’t want to go a lap down,” Courtney recalled. “They’re racing and doing their job. It’s part of it. You have to get around them and just hope that you get around them at the right time and hope the guy behind you is going to struggle as well. Tonight, that wasn’t the case. Once I got around him, he seemed to be right on my butt.”

With four laps to go, Courtney drifted into turn one to split between lappers Isaac Chapple and Jadon Rogers. As Courtney swung wide, Bacon was glued to the bottom and found the drive to surge ahead to the lead briefly. Moments later, at the exit of two, Courtney looked like a rock in a slingshot, finding the grip to blast back past Bacon around the outside of the back straight to retake the lead.

Like Rockwell, Courtney felt like somebody, namely Bacon, was watching him and his every move, so he figured he’d better take action sooner rather than later.

“I knew someone had to be close because I wasn’t getting through (turns) one and two very well, but I didn’t know what else to do,” Courtney replayed. “He showed me a nose there and I thought he was running all the way at the bottom. So, I went down to the bottom and he drove around me on the outside. I was kind of like, ‘man, I don’t know what to do here.’ Luckily, we had a yellow there where I could regroup and look at the track a little better. I knew I was going to have to protect and I knew the (Thomas) was going to race (Bacon) really hard, which, obviously, played in our favor.”

Tyler Courtney picked up his 15th career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car win Friday night at Tri-City Speedway, tying him with Bobby East, Cory Kruseman, Jud Larson and Brian Tyler for 33rd all-time. (Rich Forman Photo)

One lap later, the two switched roles entering turn one. Courtney stuck to the bottom and Bacon swept out wide from the bottom of one to the top of two. Bacon found the traction on the topside of the exit of turn two to pull ahead entering the third turn, but Courtney slid up in front of Bacon to maintain the top spot just as the yellow flew for an incident involving fifth-place running Justin Grant and Clouser between turns one and two, setting up one final restart for the win.

“Three laps are a lot with the guys we got in the series right now,” Courtney admitted. “I knew they were going to have to be three perfect ones.”

Courtney got a good jump on the field, but it was Thomas who was the one to watch down the stretch as he put himself right into contention for the victory, shooting past Bacon off turn four with two laps to go, then running down and applying some serious pressure to Courtney.

Courtney admits those final laps following the restart weren’t exactly perfect, but they got the job done, holding off one final attempt by Thomas into turn three on the final go-around to win his ninth race of the year over Thomas, Bacon, Robert Ballou and Dave Darland.

Courtney became only the second driver in the last 15 seasons to have nine USAC National Sprint Car wins before the end of August and the first since Ballou’s nine at this same juncture in 2015. Ballou eventually tallied up 13 total wins, second-most in a single season behind Tom Bigelow’s record 14 in 1977.

Also, of note, Courtney became the newest series point leader by a single marker over Windom. Just six points behind the leader in the third position is Thomas in one of the closest point races in the history of the sport.

Contingency award winners Friday night at Tri-City Speedway were Isaac Chapple (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner & Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier), Jason McDougal (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Zach Daum (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Joe B. Miller (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Daron Clayton (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Chet Williams (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) and Patrick Budde (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer).

410 Sprints – Winged

MOWA-Midwest Open Wheel Association

A Feature 1

00:00:00

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 6 Paul Nienhiser Chapin, IL 9X
2 8 Brady Bacon Broken Arrow, OK 99
3 4 Jacob Patton Bethalto, IL 79J
4 7 Jason Keith Fredericktown, MO 15
5 2 Brinton Marvel Lizton, IN 21
6 5 Robbie Standridge Springfield, IL 17*
7 1 Chris Urish Elkhart, IL 77U
8 3 Cory Bruns Lincoln, IL 44
9 9 Mike Terry Jr. Plainfield, IN 85
10 13 Logan Faucon Elkhart, IL 52F
11 12 Austin Odell Rochester, IL 97
12 11 Kameron Key Warrensburg, MO 21X
13 10 Jeremy Standridge Springfield, IL 10S
14 15 John Parker Springfield, IL 82
15 16 Dylan Tuxhorn Pawnee, IL 9T
16 14 Chuck Walker Herrin, IL 55
17 17 Zach Daum Pocahontas, IL 5D

Heat 1

00:00:00

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 1 Jacob Patton Bethalto, IL 79J
2 3 Robbie Standridge Springfield, IL 17*
3 8 Brinton Marvel Lizton, IN 21
4 6 Cory Bruns Lincoln, IL 44
5 9 Jason Keith Fredericktown, MO 15
6 2 Austin Odell Rochester, IL 97
7 4 Chuck Walker Herrin, IL 55
8 5 John Parker Springfield, IL 82
9 7 Zach Daum Pocahontas, IL 5D

Heat 2

00:00:00

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 1 Paul Nienhiser Chapin, IL 9X
2 3 Chris Urish Elkhart, IL 77U
3 8 Brady Bacon Broken Arrow, OK 99
4 2 Jeremy Standridge Springfield, IL 10S
5 6 Mike Terry Jr. Plainfield, IN 85
6 5 Kameron Key Warrensburg, MO 21X
7 7 Logan Faucon Elkhart, IL 52F
8 4 Dylan Tuxhorn Pawnee, IL 9T

Outlaw Non-Winged Micros

A Feature 1

00:20:34.587

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 2 Jake Cheatham Bethalto, IL 71
2 4 Carlee Gress Alton, IL 12C
3 12 Chad Elliott Cottage Hills, IL 65E
4 9 Sean Robbins Collinsville, IL 53
5 14 Matt Morton Granite City, IL 21M
6 10 Nick Worley St. Charles, MO 9W
7 3 Josh Fisher Fenton, MO 95J
8 13 Kevin Horcher Belleville, IL 262
9 11 Mattison Lienemann Granite City, IL 20M
10 15 Bobby Bazan Warrenton, MO 20B
11 16 Austin Nixon Mineral point, MO 21
12 5 Brandon Hogenson 77H
13 8 Tyler Robbins Collinsville, IL 35
14 6 John Potter Columbia, IL 22P
15 7 Steve Finn Collinsville, IL 18
DNS Dustin Clary Marine, IL 949

Heat 1

00:07:56.306

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 1 Dustin Clary Marine, IL 949
2 7 Josh Fisher Fenton, MO 95J
3 4 Brandon Hogenson 77H
4 5 Steve Finn Collinsville, IL 18
5 6 Sean Robbins Collinsville, IL 53
6 3 Mattison Lienemann Granite City, IL 20M
7 2 Kevin Horcher Belleville, IL 262
8 8 Bobby Bazan Warrenton, MO 20B

Heat 2

00:02:08.547

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 1 Jake Cheatham Bethalto, IL 71
2 4 Carlee Gress Alton, IL 12C
3 2 John Potter Columbia, IL 22P
4 8 Tyler Robbins Collinsville, IL 35
5 6 Nick Worley St. Charles, MO 9W
6 5 Chad Elliott Cottage Hills, IL 65E
7 7 Matt Morton Granite City, IL 21M
8 3 Austin Nixon Mineral point, MO 21

Outlaw Winged Micros

A Feature 1

00:08:02.802

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 2 Jake Cheatham Bethalto, IL 71
2 8 Chad Elliott Cottage Hills, IL 65E
3 4 Matt Morton Granite City, IL 21M
4 3 Tyler Robbins Collinsville, IL 35
5 1 Josh Fisher Fenton, MO 95
6 6 Breanna Wirth Waterloo, IL 8W
7 11 Shane Gillam 38E
8 10 Nick Worley St. Charles, MO 9W
9 16 Austin Nixon Mineral point, MO 21
10 14 Darin Johnson Bethalto, IL 20
11 15 Hunter Pruitt 82H
12 12 Sean Robbins Collinsville, IL 53
13 13 Mattison Lienemann Granite City, IL 20M
14 17 Kevin Horcher Belleville, IL 262
15 9 John Potter Columbia, IL 22P
DNS Steve Finn Collinsville, IL 18
DNS Dustin Clary Marine, IL 949

Heat 1

00:03:13.362

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 1 Josh Fisher Fenton, MO 95
2 4 Tyler Robbins Collinsville, IL 35
3 2 Steve Finn Collinsville, IL 18
4 5 Dustin Clary Marine, IL 949
5 3 John Potter Columbia, IL 22P
6 6 Shane Gillam 38E
7 8 Mattison Lienemann Granite City, IL 20M
8 7 Hunter Pruitt 82H
DNS Kevin Horcher Belleville, IL 262

Heat 2

00:02:23.798

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 1 Jake Cheatham Bethalto, IL 71
2 2 Matt Morton Granite City, IL 21M
3 4 Breanna Wirth Waterloo, IL 8W
4 6 Chad Elliott Cottage Hills, IL 65E
5 7 Nick Worley St. Charles, MO 9W
6 8 Sean Robbins Collinsville, IL 53
7 3 Darin Johnson Bethalto, IL 20
8 5 Austin Nixon Mineral point, MO 21

Non-Winged Sprints

A Feature 1

00:00:00

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 4 Tyler Courtney Indianapolis, IN 7BC
2 6 Kevin Thomas Jr Cullman, AL 69
3 5 Brady Bacon Broken Arrow, OK 99
4 9 Robert Ballou Rocklin, CA 12
5 11 Dave Darland Lincoln, IN 36D
6 3 Chris Windom Canton, IL 5
7 12 Zach Daum Pocahontas, IL 5D
8 7 Justin Grant Ione, CA 4
9 1 Chase Stockon Fort Branch, IN 32
10 16 Joe B. Miller Millersville, MO 51B
11 13 Isaac Chapple Willow Branch, IN 52
12 22 Daron Clayton Sikeston, MO 5O
13 18 Chet Williams Newburgh, IN 38
14 17 Mario Clouser Auburn, IL 6
15 15 Kent Schmidt Owensville, IN 5K
16 14 Jadon Rogers Worthington, IN 14J
17 19 Steve Thomas Rantoul, IL 20T
18 8 Jason McDougal Broken Arrow, OK 71P
19 20 Wade Seiler Alton, IL 7S
20 2 C.J. Leary Greenfield, IN 30
21 10 Mitch Wissmiller Saybrook, IL 1
22 21 Kyle Stearns Carterville, IL 87

B Feature 1

00:00:00

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 3 Joe B. Miller Millersville, MO 51B
2 9 Daron Clayton Sikeston, MO 5O
3 1 Justin Grant Ione, CA 4
4 2 Jadon Rogers Worthington, IN 14J
5 5 Wade Seiler Alton, IL 7S
6 4 Steve Thomas Rantoul, IL 20T
7 6 Kyle Stearns Carterville, IL 87
8 8 Patrick Budde Bartelso, IL 90
9 7 Adam Parmeley Cadet, MO 21B

Heat 1

00:00:00

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 2 Isaac Chapple Willow Branch, IN 52
2 6 Kevin Thomas Jr Cullman, AL 69
3 4 Chase Stockon Fort Branch, IN 32
4 5 Tyler Courtney Indianapolis, IN 7BC
5 3 Mitch Wissmiller Saybrook, IL 1
6 1 Joe B. Miller Millersville, MO 51B
7 7 Steve Thomas Rantoul, IL 20T
8 8 Adam Parmeley Cadet, MO 21B

Heat 2

00:00:00

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 4 Jason McDougal Broken Arrow, OK 71P
2 3 Dave Darland Lincoln, IN 36D
3 1 Mario Clouser Auburn, IL 6
4 5 Chris Windom Canton, IL 5
5 6 Brady Bacon Broken Arrow, OK 99
6 2 Jadon Rogers Worthington, IN 14J
7 7 Wade Seiler Alton, IL 7S
8 8 Patrick Budde Bartelso, IL 90

Heat 3

00:00:00

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car
1 3 Zach Daum Pocahontas, IL 5D
2 5 C.J. Leary Greenfield, IN 30
3 4 Robert Ballou Rocklin, CA 12
4 2 Kent Schmidt Owensville, IN 5K
5 1 Chet Williams Newburgh, IN 38
6 7 Kyle Stearns Carterville, IL 87
7 6 Justin Grant Ione, CA 4
DNS Daron Clayton Sikeston, MO 5O

Qualifying 1

00:00:00

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car Time
1 6 Kevin Thomas Jr Cullman, AL 69 14.316
2 3 Justin Grant Ione, CA 4 14.536
3 5 Tyler Courtney Indianapolis, IN 7BC 14.596
4 8 Mitch Wissmiller Saybrook, IL 1 14.851
5 7 Dave Darland Lincoln, IN 36D 14.854
6 2 Zach Daum Pocahontas, IL 5D 14.860
7 4 Wade Seiler Alton, IL 7S 15.758
8 1 Patrick Budde Bartelso, IL 90 16.622

Qualifying 2

00:00:00

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car Time
1 3 C.J. Leary Greenfield, IN 30 14.638
2 6 Chase Stockon Fort Branch, IN 32 14.697
3 5 Robert Ballou Rocklin, CA 12 14.809
4 4 Isaac Chapple Willow Branch, IN 52 14.942
5 7 Kyle Stearns Carterville, IL 87 14.942
6 8 Jadon Rogers Worthington, IN 14J 15.171
7 2 Joe B. Miller Millersville, MO 51B 15.221
8 1 Daron Clayton Sikeston, MO 5O 30.000

Qualifying 3

00:00:00

Pos Start Driver Hometown Car Time
1 3 Brady Bacon Broken Arrow, OK 99 14.529
2 8 Chris Windom Canton, IL 5 14.631
3 2 Jason McDougal Broken Arrow, OK 71P 14.699
4 6 Kent Schmidt Owensville, IN 5K 15.182
5 7 Mario Clouser Auburn, IL 6 15.284
6 4 Chet Williams Newburgh, IN 38 15.543
7 1 Steve Thomas Rantoul, IL 20T 15.640
8 5 Adam Parmeley Cadet, MO 21B 16.582
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