Dave Darland celebrates his “Eastern Storm” win on the Port Royal front-stretch…USAC Photo
DARLAND DOMINATES PORT ROYAL “EASTERN STORM” SPRINT CARS
Port Royal, Pennsylvania…….Saturday’s second leg of the Rotondo Weirich “Eastern Storm” for the AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series at Port Royal Speedway was never in much doubt as Lincoln, Indiana’s Dave Darland jumped from the front row and trounced the 22-car feature field. For Darland, it was the second win of the season and 42nd career score.
Darland quickly stretched a huge lead as battle ensued nearly all race long for top-five spots behind him. Point leader Chase Stockon snuck around the bottom to grab the second spot before Daron Clayton and Bryan Clauson made contact on the front-stretch while racing for third. The duo continued on and shadowed Stockon for much of the race.
Clayton finally moved back to second late in the race, as Darland had put five lapped cars between himself and the rest of the field. Brady Bacon was the big mover, as he slowly worked his way into the top-five with ten laps to go. A caution for Landon Simon’s flat right-rear tire with six laps to go gave the pack one more chance at Darland, whose lead of over six seconds was erased.
Clayton cleared traffic quickly and took off after Darland, but the veteran eased away from all pursuers to post a 3.003-second victory aboard the Phillips Motorsports – Racer’s Advantage #71P DRC/Foxco.
“We’re just having a lot of fun with this team. Steve & Carla Phillips have given me a great opportunity this season, and we’re happy to get some wins together. Tonight was a tough race track, but I like to run the high line. I was just concentrating on my entries, especially getting into turn-one. The restart wasn’t what I wanted to see, but I knew I had some lapped cars and just made sure I ran into one hard enough,” Darland said.
Clayton held on for second, taking a 12-point lead in “Eastern Storm” standings into Sunday’s mini-series finale in the Merry Go Round Restaurant – Advantage Machine #92 Spike/J&D.
“On a track like this was tonight, I’ll take a second behind Darland anytime. I couldn’t get into the corner on the cushion the way I wanted to, without throwing the nose, and I didn’t wanna stick it in the fence. We got a little better, and I got a good restart at the end behind Darland, but then I saw where he was entering and I just couldn’t get my car to enter up there like him. It might have been me, but we’ll say it was the car,” Clayton said with a laugh.
Clauson used a late-race slide-job in turn-three to capture the final podium spot and place himself as Clayton’s nearest competitor in “Eastern Storm” points aboard the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance #20 Beast/Kistler.
“I started on the bottom and was trying to get to the top and had the little mishap with Daron (Clayton) there, and we were really pretty lucky to keep going after that. We gathered it up, and I think our group of cars were about as good as each other, and Stockon went away a little bit at the end and Clayton beat us by him. Tonight is probably not my best kind of race track, but tonight was another strong showing for us, and we’re happy to click off a couple podiums and hopefully start to find a rhythm,” Clauson said.
Bacon snuck into fourth at the line to wrap up “Hard Charger” honors after starting 12th in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green #69 Triple X/Stanton Mopar, while Stockon seemed to be ailing as he crossed the line fifth in the Superior Tank & Trailer – Crescent Electric Supply #32 DRC/Fisher. Fast qualifier Tracy Hines finished sixth in the Hansen’s Welding – Motor City Auto Transport #4 DRC/Stanton Mopar.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 8, 2013 – Port Royal, Pennsylvania – Port Royal Speedway – “Eastern Storm”
QUALIFYING: 1. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-21.120; 2. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 17RW, Dutcher/RW/TriStar-21.212; 3. Daron Clayton, 92, Clayton-21.225; 4. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-21.406; 5. Dave Darland, 71P, Phillips-21.504; 6. Bryan Clauson, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-21.600; 7. Levi Jones, 39, Walker-21.663; 8. Robert Ballou, 5, Baldwin-21.715; 9. Shane Cottle, 65, Franckowiak-21.905; 10. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byram-21.962; 11. Nick Drake, 55, Cline-21.973; 12. Chris Windom, 11, Walker-22.006; 13. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-22.008; 14. Landon Simon, 41, Stensland-22.279; 15. Joey Biasi, B1, Biasi-22.642; 16. Kyle Moody, 99M, Moody-22.701; 17. Trevor Utt, U2, Utt-22.909; 18. Tyler Courtney, 23c, Courtney/Anderson-22.966; 19. Mark Bitner, 15, Bitner-23.149; 20. Billy Pauch, Jr., 175, Pietrofitta-23.233; 21. Tim Glatfelter, 50, Strausbaugh-23.238; 22. Dalten Gabbard, 77, Gabbard-23.272; 23. J.R. Berry, 74, Berry-23.924; 24. Mark Smith, 1M, Smith-NT; 25. Denny Gross, 2, Gross-NT; 26. Curt Stroup, 33, Ehrenzeller-NT.
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Jones, 2. Schuerenberg, 3. Hines, 4. Stockon, 5. Bitner, 6. Gabbard, 7. Moody, 8. Gross, 9. Bacon. NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Darland, 2. Ballou, 3. Thomas, 4. Simon, 5. Pauch, 6. Drake, 7. Utt, 8. Stroup, 9. Berry. NT
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Clayton, 2. Windom, 3. Cottle, 4. Clauson, 5. Smith, 6. Courtney, 7. Biasi, 8. Glatfelter. 2:58.31
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Moody, 3. Biasi, 4. Courtney, 5. Gabbard, 6. Glatfelter, 7. Drake, 8. Berry, 9. Gross, 10. Utt, 11. Stroup. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Daron Clayton, 3. Bryan Clauson, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Tracy Hines, 7. Levi Jones, 8. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 9. Hunter Schuerenberg, 10. Shane Cottle, 11. Robert Ballou, 12. Chris Windom, 13. Mark Smith, 14. Kyle Moody, 15. Tyler Courtney, 16. Billy Pauch, Jr., 17. Dalten Gabbard, 18. Tim Glatfelter, 19. Mark Bitner, 20. Landon Simon, 21. Joey Biasi, 22. Nick Drake. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Darland.
**Utt flipped in the Semi.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Stockon-579; 2-Darland-575; 3-Clauson-541; 4-Bacon-538; 5-Schuerenberg-523; 6-Thomas-514; 7-Hines-475; 8-Ballou-464; 9-Cottle-336; 10-Windom-330.
NEW ROTONDO WEIRICH “EASTERN STORM” POINTS: 1-Clayton-136; 2-Clauson-124; 3-Darland-123; 4-Stockon-113; 5-Jones-112; 6-Schuerenberg-101; 7-Bacon-99; 8-Hines-94; 9-Cottle-90; 10-Windom-84.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: June 9 – Newberrytown, Pennsylvania – Susquehanna Speedway Park – “Eastern Storm”