KEVIN THOMAS, JR. TAKES FIRST CAREER WIN AT BLOOMINGTON
Bloomington, Indiana…….Kevin Thomas, Jr. from Cullman, Alabama captured his first career win in Friday’s AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series 30-lapper at Bloomington Speedway. The youngster narrowly missed winning four weeks ago at Wilmot Raceway in Wisconsin, but he would not let this one slip away.
Dave Darland let at the outset, but it didn’t take long for Thomas to come calling. While the leaders were bottled up on the bottom, Thomas flew to the top shelf. From his starting position to eighth, Thomas tracked down Darland to take the lead off turn-two on lap six.
From there, it was a test of mental strength. Thomas appeared to have a strong car on restarts, but over a few laps, Darland would creep back in as they approached slower cars. Each time, just as they entered traffic, a caution appeared. Thomas used the final restart with nine laps remaining to stretch his lead even larger. Darland closed as the white flag flew, but Thomas was not to be denied as he took the win in the Black Jack Oil – Indy Metal Finishing #9K Spike/Kistler.
“(Crew chief) Bubby (Jones) just gave me a great race car and told me to drive the hell out of it. Everybody was huggy-poling at the beginning. Our car was a little snug, and I could run hard up higher. It worked out great for us. I didn’t really have a choice but to go for it. For the yellows to come out like they did, I was really fortunate. We probably were not gonna be as good in traffic, so those were big breaks for us. We’ve been struggling up here for a few years, and now we’ve got a great sponsor and crew chief, and this is just a dream come true right now,” Thomas said.
After the great battle throughout the race with Thomas, Darland held on for second in the Jeff’s Jam-It-In Storage – Parker Store of Arizona #11 Maxim/Claxton.
“That was pretty physical out there for an old man. It’s hard to know where to be when you’re in the lead. I figured the bottom would be tough to beat. He must have found something up there and went by us. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t stay green and get into traffic. I gotta thank my team and Bloomington Speedway for a great track,” Darland said.
The other story of the race was the impressive climb of Fairland, Indiana driver Brent Beauchamp, who also jumped to the top early in the race and put on a show flying through the pack in the Competition Suspension – Concrete Connection #11B Spike/Foxco. Beauchamp started 15th and finished third, picking up the “Hard Charger Award” while notching his best-career finish with the National Series.
“Everybody just kinda was stuck on the bottom at the start. I had to just go where they weren’t. This is just great. I’m just taking this week race-by-race. If we run good one night, we’ll go to the next. We weren’t going to Terre Haute from the beginning, but now I’m kinda wishing I had. We just haven’t been able to put it together like this, so it’s just a huge confidence booster,” Beauchamp said.
Jerry Coons, Jr. came home fourth in the R&B Trucker’s – Jockish Flowers #71P DRC/Foxco for the Phillips Motorsports team, while Bryan Clauson rounded out the top-five after starting tenth in the Curb Records – R&B Trucker’s #7 Maxim/Fisher.
AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: July 20, 2012 – Bloomington, IN – Bloomington Speedway – “Indiana Sprint Week”
QUALIFYING: 1. Shane Cottle, 2, Epperson-11.307; 2. Kevin Thomas, 9k, Black Jack-11.326; 3. Darren Hagen, 69, Dynamics-11.333; 4. Damion Gardner, 71, DG-11.373; 5. Chase Stockon, 32, Stockon-11.385; 6. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-11.390; 7. Dave Darland, 11, Walker-11.391; 8. Jerry Coons Jr., 71p, Phillips-11.421; 9. Levi Jones, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-11.423; 10. Logan Jarrett, 29, Jarrett-11.434; 11. Bryan Clauson, 7, CTR/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-11.436; 12. Justin Grant, 40, Hery-11.438; 13. Jon Stanbrough, 21x, Roberts/Tate-11.449; 14. Daron Clayton, 92, Clayton-11.468; 15. Casey Shuman, 10E, Edison-11.475; 16. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-11.475; 17. Bobby East, 5E, East-11.481; 18. Brent Beauchamp, 11B, Beauchamp-11.509; 19. Chad Boespflug, 98, Boespflug-11.521; 20. Robert Ballou, 81, MPHG-11.527; 21. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byram-11.528; 22. Danny Holtsclaw, 3H, Holtsclaw-11.537; 23. Jonathan Hendrick, 68, Hendrick-11.541; 24. Jon Sciscoe, 57, Hazen-11.556; 25. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-11.644; 26. Thomas Meseraull, 41, SST-11.646; 27. Wes McIntyre, 83, McIntyre-11.657; 28. Josh Burton, 04, Burton-11.695; 29. Jeff Bland Jr., 38, Bland-11.743; 30. Jared Fox, 56, Fox-11.750; 31. Travis Welpott, 18, Gorman-11.764; 32. Logan Hupp, 9H, Hupp-11.772; 33. Scotty Weir, 77, Wingo-11.785; 34. Seth Motsinger, 44, Motsinger-11.785; 35. Ted Hines, 12, Hines-11.796; 36. Chase Briscoe, 5B, Briscoe-11.825; 37. Seth Parker, 38p, Parker-11.882; 38. Brady Short, 36, Short-11.956; 39. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-12.095; 40. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-12.180; 41. Josh Clemons, 71c, Pedersen-12.210; 42. A.J. Hopkins, 14H, Hopkins-NT (time of 11.525 disallowed); 43. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-NT (time of 11.780 disallowed).
QUALIFYING RACE: (8 laps) 1. Weir, 2. Briscoe, 3. Ted Hines, 4. Hopkins, 5. Windom, 6. R. Vander Weerd, 7. Parker, 8. Clemons, 9. J.Vander Weerd, 10. Motsinger, 11. Short. NT
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Scheurenberg, 2. Stanbrough, 3. East, 4.Stockon, 5. Bland, 6. Windom, 7. Tracy Hines, 8. Weir, 9. Cottle, 10. Jones. NT
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Beauchamp, 2. Holtsclaw, 3. R.Vander Weerd, 4. Leary, 5. Briscoe, 6. Jarrett, 7. Fox, 8. Clayton, 9. Thomas, 10. Meseraull. NT
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Darland, 2. Clauson, 3. Boespflug, 4. Hagen, 5. Shuman, 6. McIntyre, 7. Ted Hines, 8. Welpott, 9. Hendrick, 10. Parker. 2:04.81
FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Sciscoe, 2. Coons, 3. Jackson, 4. Gardner, 5. Hopkins, 6. Burton, 7. Clemons, 8. Hupp, 9. Ballou, 10. Grant. NT
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Thomas, 2. Cottle, 3. Jones, 4. Ballou, 5. Clayton, 6. Meseraull, 7. Shuman, 8. Jarrett, 9. Tracy Hines, 10. Bland, 11. McIntyre, 12. Windom, 13. Burton, 14. Hopkins, 15. Clemons, 16. Hendrick, 17. Ted Hines, 18. Welpott, 19. Briscoe, 20. Fox, 21. Weir, 22. Grant. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Dave Darland, 3. Brent Beauchamp, 4. Jerry Coons Jr., 5. Bryan Clauson, 6. Chase Stockon, 7. Jon Stanbrough, 8. Levi Jones, 9. Shane Cottle, 10. Robert Ballou, 11. Bobby East, 12. Daron Clayton, 13. Chad Boespflug, 14. Darren Hagen, 15. Damion Gardner, 16. Jace Vander Weerd, 17. Jon Sciscoe, 18. C.J. Leary, 19. Tracy Hines, 20. Danny Holtsclaw, 21. Dakota Jackson, 22. Chris Windom, 23. Thomas Meseraull, 24. Richard Vander Weerd, 25. Hunter Schuerenberg. NT
**Meseraull flipped on lap 22 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-5 Darland, Laps 6-30 Thomas.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Stanbrough-1,017, 2-Jones-1,006, 3-Darland-948, 4-Gardner-912, 5-Hines-847, 7-Clauson-822, 7-Schuerenberg-762, 8-Ballou-757, 9-Hagen-755, 10-Stockon-744.
NEW INDIANA SPRINT WEEK POINTS: 1-Jones-265, 2-Clauson-254, 3-Stanbrough-250, 4-Darland-248, 5-Coons-222, 6-Gardner-216, 7-Stockon-213, 8-Schuerenberg-196, 9-Thomas-169, 10-Hines-160.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: July 21 – Haubstadt, IN – Tri-State Speedway – “Indiana Sprint Week”