You can’t say that USAC officials and Joe Spiker Productions didn’t try. But the one thing that promoters can’t control is the weather. At approximately 9:20 on an otherwise beautiful Indiana evening at the Lincoln Park Speedway, the sprinkling of precipitation turned into a drizzle, then a full-fledged shower. Racing was over for the night and USAC will discuss with Joe Spiker whatever options they have. (Only thing for sure at this time is ISW now headed to Haubstadt on Sunday night.) The B main had just begun when the festivities were halted.
Among the new kids in house were Shelby VanGilder, an LPS champ Brent Beauchamp, Harley Burns, Matt McDonald, Jake Bland, Evan Mosley, Stevie Sussex and Tony DiMattia.
The rain and the cloud cover saw some fast laps. If anything, the track became faster as qualifying went on. Logan Seavey went out 45th in line and ripped off a 12.392. Beauchamp led Flight One with a 12.688 lap. Justin Grant and Nate McMillin flipped; both were unhappy but walked away.
Shane Cottle went from fourth to first in two laps and won the caution plagued first heat with Chase Stockon, Brent Beauchamp and Thomas Meseraull following.
In the second heat Robert Ballou used his front row starting spot to cruise for ten laps. Chris Windom, Kevin Thomas Jr. and Carson Short trailed. Travis Berryhill flipped in turn four and exited the car on his own.
Logan Seavey used the fluffy high groove to sail away to the third heat victory over Jake Swanson, Dakota Jackson and Dave Darland.
The fourth heat saw Brady Bacon take the win over CJ Leary, Kyle Cummins and Chris Phillips. A.J. Hopkins smacked the turn four wall before tipping over, bringing out the red.
In the C main, Matt McDonald inherited the lead when early leader Charles Davis Jr. broke and went on to win, taking Brandon Morin, Logan Hupp and Max Guilford with him to the B.
The semi was under a hex of some kind. The yellow waved immediately after the green flag came out for an issue in turn four. Right after that the red lights blinked for Jake Bland, who flipped over the turn two banking and down the hill. He walked away from the car. Then Anton Hernandez hammered the turn four wall, bringing out the yellow. While the field was circling the oval, the moisture made its appearance. A few minutes later, my bodyguard and I retreated to the restroom entrance and watched it come down. A few minutes later I could hear Brad’s announcement that we were done for the night.
It wasn’t raining that hard so we headed for the little white truck and waited on the traffic to clear out. I made some notes while he played a sprint car video game on his phone. (Think about that for a second. When I was his age, I’d use empty popcorn boxes to race in the car on the way home.) Disappointed but not despondent, we could hope that the next time it will be a little drier.
It rained all the way home. The bodyguard was conked out for much of the trip.
As this is written, plans are being made to head to Haubstadt and watch racers try to race. Let’s hope so.
Chasing the rainbow and wondering what I’ll do should I catch it, I’m…
The Hoosier Race Report: The Battle and the War
The 2020 version of USAC’s Indiana Sprint Week concluded on a beautiful Hoosier Sunday night with no rain as two southwestern Indiana boys won the battle and the war. Kyle Cummins won a hard fought contest in the thirty lap feature and his neighbor Chase Stockon raced like he wanted to win as he captured the Indiana Sprint Week points title and the coolest rocking chair in the world as a big part of his prizes.
The trip from home to Haubstadt Indiana is a comparatively long one as Hoosier road trips go. The I-69 stretch can be a challenge in terms of staying awake/alert. I listened to a podcast and this morning’s church service. My buddy Dan gave me plenty to think about what things we pray about.
Race track prayers usually ask for a safe night and that is paramount. But I’m inclined to take it to another level. As a rule, my prayer is most always for everyone present to MAKE SMART DECISIONS. If we all can do that, I’d guess that it would be a safe night. Either way, with only one flip that was more like a Tommy Tipover, the prayers offered were answered in the affirmative.
The field of 42 offered up eight new faces, most of whom were locals. Stan Beadles, Brady Short, Garrett Aitken, Eric Perrott, Sam Scott, Ryan Bond, Michael Clark and Aric Gentry added their names to the Class of ’20.
Time trials offered a surprise or two. Tony DiMattia was the quickest of Flight One with a 13.933 as he was next to last of the first group to go out. Logan Seavey, in Flight Two, was quickest overall with a time of 13.854.
Kyle Cummins made an emphatic opening statement as he won the first heat after going from fifth to first on the opening lap. He was followed by Brady Bacon, Tony DiMattia and Brady Short.
Robert Ballou took the second heat with Aric Gentry, Dakota Jackson and Garrett Aitken all moving on.
Pole sitter CJ Leary won the third heat with Logan Seavey, Justin Grant and Chris Windom making the feature.
In the fourth heat Chase Stockon came from fifth to win over Critter Malone, Shane Cottle and Jadon Rogers.
Yet another of the local racers, sprint rookie Stan Beadle, won the C, taking Max Guilford, Dustin Smith and Ryan Bond with him to the B.
Chase Johnson was the semi feature winner with Kevin Thomas Jr., Carson Short, Kent Schmidt (from 11th), Stevie Sussex and Brandon Mattox all taking advantage of their last, best chance. Beadle’s luck ran out when he executed a bounce-and-flip in turn two. He walked away.
It must have been Kokomo provisional night as Dave Darland and Dustin Smith used theirs to make it a twenty four car field.
Cummins and Windom were the front row and, given his success here, it would be hard to bet against the young man from just up the road (Princeton). But Windom fired off from the outside front row and led the first lap after two yellow flags prevented a lap from being completed. This didn’t last long as Cummins threw a well done slider in turn four to take the lead.
Windom’s enjoyment of the race took a major hit as first Cottle then Aitken, the second row starters, dispatched Windom to fourth in consecutive laps. By lap six, Cummins had extended his lead and one could be forgiven for thinking this might be a rout. A lap nine yellow flag bunched up the field with Cottle, Aitken, Windom and Stockon trailing Cummins.
On the re-start, Aitken seized second place just before another yellow waved. Another re-start and Aitken got Cummins’ attention as he slid under the leader in turn one, leading for a second before Cummins re-asserted his dominance by taking the lead back. With all that, the local kid couldn’t increase his lead by much as the laps wound down.
The race’s sixth yellow waved with nine laps to go and both Aitken and Cottle had one last chance to bedevil the leader. But it wasn’t going to happen as Cummins built his lead lap by lap. Instead, Cottle had quite the battle with Aitken before making the pass on lap 27. Neither one had anything for Cummins, who began a new winning streak at Tri-State after an unbeaten season last year.
The margin of victory was 1.423 seconds over Cottle. Stockon made a late pass on Aitken to take third place and the championship, which included the rocking chair. Windom, whose team had made an engine change after his heat race, was fifth.
Ballou led the second five, with the next three finishers all advancing nine spots. Jackson moved from 16th to seventh and won the KSE Racing Products / B & W Auto Mart Hard Charger dough. C. Short went from 17th to eighth. Critter Malone had an up and down kind of race. He was involved in one of the early incidents, passed a bunch of people to run as high as sixth, but then fell back to ninth after originally starting 18th. Rogers ended up tenth.
We can allow Chase Stockon the last word in a sense. “It’s all big picture for us.” And in the same breath, “it just shows how strong we are as a team. Nobody got down and everybody kept their chin up. We just powered forward.”
Stockon didn’t win any of the ISW’s five features, but he did rack up five top five finishes. With USAC points and lots of other things, consistency matters.
And now, back to “normal,” whatever that is, until Kokomo’s Smackdown is not that far away.
Reminding Jerry Falwell Jr. that it’s a bad idea to have your picture taken with your pants unzipped, I’m…