Haubstadt, Indiana…….Daron Clayton of Sikeston, Missouri added to his legend at Tri-State Speedway on Saturday night after coming from 18th to win the $10,000-to-win “Haubstadt Hustler” co-sanctioned by the AMSOIL National Sprint Cars and the Midwest Sprint Car Series. The eighth win of Clayton’s career was perhaps his most dramatic, as he carved up the field over 40 laps in the Ray Morgan Motorsports – Sign Express Stickers #92 Spike/J&D.
Hunter Schuerenberg, who was a winner in May at Haubstadt, paced the early laps on a fast surface as Kyle Larson moved to second quickly. The pair raced hard for the top spot before Larson took it on lap twelve, just before Thomas Meseraull brought out the caution right after he moved into the top-five.
Clayton, who was 13th in the order at that yellow, got going on the next green-flag run. Larson and Schuerenberg battled for the lead while Chase Stockon made his appearance in the top-five after starting 17th. He raced by Chris Windom into fourth just before the second caution, which came out for Shane Cottle, who slowed with a flat left-rear tire while running tenth.
Larson took command again on lap 26 after another spirited duel with Schuerenberg, but Stockon was on the move, taking second from Schuerenberg and bringing Clayton with him. On lap 32, while closing on the leader, Stockon spun in turn-four and collected Schuerenberg, setting up a nine-lap run to the checkers.
Clayton threw a big move on Larson at the restart, but the Elk Grove, California crossed over and led at the stripe. Clayton’s move stuck on lap 33, but Larson countered to take the point back on lap 34. Clayton finally took the lead for good on lap 36, but the duo pitched their cars hard into each end over the final four circuits, with Clayton taking a popular victory in front of a roaring crowd.
“We dug ourselves a huge hole tonight, but thankfully we brought a really big shovel. Haubstadt’s been pretty mean to me lately, but we came out on top tonight. We couldn’t get the thing to run all night, changed everything, and finally figured out that it was only two crossed plug wires. The track stayed pretty heavy tonight, and our normal deal worked pretty well over forty laps tonight. I had to drive my ass off tonight and take some chances – we didn’t get going until about the first yellow. Cautions helped us tonight, and once we got to clean air, we were really good. I have to thank everybody for helping us tonight. It was a fun race, and the fans here are phenomenal. They like to see a good race, and I try to put on a show for them,” Clayton said.
Larson used his first Sprint Car start at Tri-State Speedway to net his best finish aboard the Fox Brothers Racing – Jarvis Enterprises #53 DRC/Foxco.
“It was fun racing with Hunter there. I had a few bouts with the cushion there and lost the lead a time or two. Daron was definitely fast, but I felt like we had something for him the last few laps. I just didn’t get it done. I didn’t really expect to be good here, as I struggled here in the midget, but I knew from hot laps we’d be pretty decent. I kinda like this place now,” Larson said.
Ballou rounded out the podium in the Behavior Consultants – J.C. Plew #81 Maxim/Ott.
“The bottom’s not normally my place, but we’ve been coming down here all year trying to figure it out. We were pretty good down there early, but we just went away a bit at the end. This is obviously Clayton’s stomping grounds, and he’s hard to beat here, but to finish in the top-five was a good night for us. We just gotta keep on truckin’ and head to Eldora next week,” Ballou said.
Bryan Clauson crossed the line fourth but was re-positioned to the tail for missing the scales for post-race tech. Dave Darland finished fourth in the Jeff’s Jam-It-In Storage – Hoosier Tire #11 Maxim/Claxton, and Windom rounded out the top-five in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance #20 Maxim/Kistler.
AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: September 15, 2012 – Haubstadt, IN – Tri-State Speedway – “Haubstadt Hustler” (Special Event co-sanctioned by Midwest Sprint Car Series)
FIRST HEAT:: (10 laps) 1. Chris Windom (20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian), 2. Brandon Mattox (28, Mattox), 3. Jerry Coons, Jr. (71P, Phillips), 4. Damion Gardner (71, DG), 5. Brady Short (36, Pottorff), 6. Jeff Bland, Jr. (38, Bland), 7. Donny Brackett (4B, Brackett), 8. Brian Karraker (23, Byram/Karraker). 2:16.32
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Kyle Larson (53, Fox), 2. Dave Darland (11, Walker), 3. Robert Ballou (81, MPHG), 4. Bobby East (5E, East), 5. Chase Stockon (32, Stockon), 6. Kurt Gross (1x, Gross), 7. Kent Schmidt (5K, Schmidt), 8. Chet Williams (38w, Williams). 2:16.56
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Thomas Meseraull (69, Dynamics), 2. Shane Cottle (2, Epperson), 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (9K, BlackJack), 4. Tracy Hines (4, Hines), 5. Seth Parker (38P, Parker), 6. Dakota Jackson (3, Jackson), 7. Jared Fox (56, Fox), 8. Daron Clayton (92, Clayton). 2:14.23
FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Hunter Schuerenberg (35, Byram), 2. Bryan Clauson (7, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian), 3. Chase Briscoe (5B, Briscoe), 4. Jon Stanbrough (21x, Leer), 5. Kyle Cummins (3c, Cummins), 6. Ryan Bernal (5x, Baldwin), 7. Wes McIntyre (5, Baldwin). 2:16.35
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Stockon, 2. Clayton, 3. Hines, 4. Jackson, 5. Gardner, 6. McIntyre, 7. Gross, 8. Cummins, 9. Brackett, 10. Karraker, 11. Fox, 12. Schmidt, 13. Bland, 14. Williams. NT
FEATURE: (40 laps) 1. Daron Clayton, 2. Kyle Larson, 3. Robert Ballou, 4. Dave Darland, 5. Chris Windom, 6. Damion Gardner, 7. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 8. Jon Stanbrough, 9. Chase Briscoe, 10. Chase Stockon, 11. Thomas Meseraull, 12. Shane Cottle, 13. Dakota Jackson, 14. Hunter Schuerenberg, 15. Bobby East, 16. Jerry Coons, Jr., 17. Tracy Hines, 18. Brady Short, 19. Seth Parker, 20. Brandon Mattox, 21. Wes McIntyre, 22. Kyle Cummins, 23. Bryan Clauson (re-positioned due to missing scales). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-11 Schuerenberg, Laps 12-14 Larson, Laps 15-25 Schuerenberg, Laps 26-32 Larson, Lap 33 Clayton, Laps 34-35 Larson, Laps 36-40 Clayton.
**Williams flipped during the Semi.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Darland-1,738; 2-Stanbrough-1,723; 3-Clauson-1,678; 4-Levi Jones-1,615; 5-Hines-1,515; 6-Gardner-1,499; 7-Schuerenberg-1,425; 8-Ballou-1,403; 9-Stockon-1,400; 10-Thomas-1,356.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: September 22 – Rossburg, OH – Eldora Speedway – “Four Crown Nationals”