Kevin Thomas, Jr. won his fifth AMSOIL National Sprint Car race of the year on Sunday at Lawrenceburg.
Kevin Thomas, Jr. won his fifth AMSOIL National Sprint Car race of the year on Sunday at Lawrenceburg.Gene Crucean Photo



Lawrenceburg, Indiana…….Cullman, Alabama’s Kevin Thomas, Jr. has had a banner year this season, and he made it five AMSOIL National Sprint Car wins for the year on Sunday night at Lawrenceburg Speedway during Night 3 of “Indiana Sprintweek.” The second-straight win came after leading the final 29 laps, which all went green.

Scotty Weir led from the front row as Thomas bobbled off the pole on the start. Chase Stockon got a huge run from row two and slid underneath Thomas for the second spot into turn-three. One lap later, Stockon bicycled in turn-three and bounced up the track, hitting the wall. His night was over.

Weir led the field to green but engine failure ended his quest for his first-career National Sprint Car win, as he slowed to the bottom of the track and pulled in on the backstretch. The race stayed green as Thomas took the top spot and brought Dave Darland along with him.

The two raced away from the field, and Darland closed to Thomas’ back bumper before the midway point of the race. Thomas quickly gathered himself and drew away from Darland again, using traffic to lengthen his advantage as the race went past the lap-twenty mark. In the closing laps, Thomas again approached a cluster of cars, allowing Darland to reel him in, but he ran out of time as Thomas held a .654-second lead at the checkered in the Mike Dutcher/RW/TriStar Motorsports – Black Jack Oil Company #17RW Maxim/Fisher.

“Lapped traffic was definitely the concern tonight. It’s tough when you’re in the lead like that, but I just tried to weave my way in and out of people. I thought I saw him (Darland) once, and I thought ‘Ah, I got myself in a pickle,’ but it was fun racing through the traffic. We always are pretty tight early in the race, but I screwed up on the start to lose the lead and give up the spot to Stockon. If not for him ending up in the fence, it definitely woulda been a great race with him for the win,” Thomas said.

Darland posted his third top-five finish in as many nights, lengthening his National and “Sprintweek” point leads in the process aboard the Phillips Motorsports – Racer’s Advantage #71P DRC/Foxco.

“Second-place isn’t what I come for, but it was another good run for us. We were really good in the middle of the race, after I took a few laps to figure out where we were working and he wasn’t as good. Traffic and a couple bad decisions on my part let him get away. We gained most of it back by the end, but it just wasn’t enough to beat him tonight,” Darland said.

Brady Bacon rebounded from two tough nights to register a podium finish in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green #69 Triple X/Stanton Mopar.

“I really wish it wouldn’t have rained, because he did such a great job on the race track. It ended up pretty heavy after the rain, so we just had to work for whatever we could get. It just took a while to clear third, and by then they’d gotten pretty far away in clear track. We’ve been good when the track is heavy, and tonight we put ourselves in a good position to run up front,” Bacon said.

Shane Cottle came from tenth to finish fourth in the Epperson Painting – Leer Racing #2 Spike/Claxton, and Bryan Clauson rounded out the top-five after starting 11th in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance #20 Beast/Kistler. ProSource “Fast Qualifier” Robert Ballou ended up ninth, while Jon Stanbrough took home the ProSource “Hard Charger Award” after climbing from 20th to finish 11th. Hunter Schuerenberg continues to lead the way for the B&W Auto Mart “Josh Burton Hard Charger Award” after gaining eight positions in the feature.

AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS:  July 14, 2013 – Lawrenceburg, Indiana – Lawrenceburg Speedway – “Indiana Sprintweek”

QUALIFYING: 1. Robert Ballou, 12x, Ballou-13.491; 2. Wes McIntyre, 83, McIntyre-13.493; 3. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips-13.570; 4. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.608; 5. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-13.641; 6. Christopher Bell, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.646; 7. Scotty Weir, 18, Keen-13.654; 8. Kevin Thomas, 17RW, Dutcher/RW/Tri-Star-13.681; 9. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-13.694; 10. Shane Cottle, 2, Epperson-13.733; 11. Bryan Clauson, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-13.759; 12. Chris Gurley, 12G, Team Automotive-13.767; 13. Shawn Westerfeld, 89, Westerfeld-13.781; 14. Justin Grant, 27a, Elson-13.801; 15. Jerry Coons Jr., 10E, Edison-13.808; 16. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-13.809; 17. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-13.822; 18. Ted Hines, 12, Hines-13.824; 19. Chris Windom, 11, Walker-13.831; 20. Kyle Cummins, 3c, Cummins-13.862; 21. Jon Stanbrough, 66, Wade-13.896; 22. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-13.915; 23. Gary Taylor, 40, Hery-13.946; 24. Ryan Pace, 44, Pace-13.963; 25. Brady Short, 11p, Pottorff-13.971; 26. Mark Smith, 1m, Smith-13.999; 27. Logan Hupp, 9H, Hupp-13.999; 28. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byram-14.001; 29. Logan Jarrett, 29, Jarrett-14.001; 30. J.R. Douglas, 09, Douglas-14.003; 31. Casey Shuman, 21k, Krockenberger-14.041; 32. Tyler Courtney, 23c, Courtney/Anderson-14.042; 33. Caleb Armstrong, 11J, Yeley-14.078; 34. Max McGhee, 17, McGhee-14.097; 35. Chad Boespflug, 57, Hazen/Boespflug-14.103; 36. Kevin Studley, 57x, Studley-14.146; 37. Brian Hayden, 77, Wingo-14.147; 38. Nick Drake, 55, Cline-14.186; 39. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-14.207; 40. Bobby East, 5E, East-14.219; 41. Garrett Abrams, 32a, Abrams-14.290; 42. Drew Abel, 04, Abel-14.294; 43. Brett Burdette, 17B, Burdette-14.346; 44. Aaron Farney, 15, Farney-14.355; 45. Davey Ray, 21x, Pollock-14.390; 46. Dalten Gabbard, 77x, Arizona Heat-14.435; 47. Mike Terry Jr., 85, Terry-14.492; 48. Dwayne Spille, 71, Spille-14.676; 49. Michael Fischesser, 4F, Fischesser-14.713; 50. Chad Shields, 81, Shields-14.839; 51. Nathan Moore, 48, Moore-14.926; 52. Mike Weber, 22w, Weber-15.466.

QUALIFYING RACE #1: (8 laps) 1. Boespflug, 2. Armstrong, 3. J.Vander Weerd, 4. Hayden, 5. Burdette, 6. Abrams, 7. Ray, 8. Fischesser, 9. Terry, 10. Moore.

QUALIFYING RACE #2: (8 laps) 1. Studley, 2. East, 3. Farney, 4. Drake, 5. McGhee, 6. Gabbard, 7. Shields, 8. Weber, 9. Spille, 10. Abel. NT

FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bernal, 2. Stanbrough, 3. R.Vander Weerd, 4. Stockon, 5. Ballou, 6. Westerfeld, 7.Short, 8. Boespflug, 9. Jarrett, 10. J.Vander Weerd.

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Cottle, 2. Grant, 3. Leary, 4. Bell, 5. Ted Hines, 6. Douglas, 7. Smith, 8. Armstrong, 9. Hayden, 10. McIntyre. NT

THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Windom, 2. Clauson, 3. Darland, 4. Weir, 5. Taylor, 6. Coons, 7. Hupp, 8. Shuman, 9. Farney, 10. Studley. 2:20.22

FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Cummins, 2. Tracy Hines, 3. Bacon, 4. Thomas, 5. Schuerenberg, 6. Pace, 7. Gurley, 8. Courtney, 9. East, 10.  Drake. 2:21.97

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. McIntyre, 2. Westerfeld, 3. Ballou, 4. Coons, 5. Ted Hines, 6. Schuerenberg, 7. Short, 8. Taylor, 9. Hupp, 10. Studley, 11. Douglas, 12. Armstrong, 13. Shuman, 14. Courtney, 15. East, 16. Farney, 17. J.Vander Weerd, 18. Gurley, 19. Jarrett, 20. Hayden, 21. Boespflug, 22. Smith. 2:54.96

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1.  Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Dave Darland, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Shane Cottle, 5. Bryan Clauson, 6. Wes McIntyre, 7. Justin Grant, 8. Christopher Bell, 9. Robert Ballou, 10. Richard Vander Weerd, 11. Jon Stanbrough, 12. Tracy Hines, 13. Ted Hines, 14. Hunter Schuerenberg, 15. Jerry Coons Jr., 16. Chris Windom, 17. Ryan Bernal, 18. Chad Boespflug, 19. C.J. Leary, 20. Tyler Courtney, 21. Kyle Cummins, 22. Shawn Westerfeld, 23. Scotty Weir, 24. Chase Stockon, NT
**Gabbard flipped during qualifying.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Weir, Laps 2-30 Thomas.

NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Darland-998, 2-Clauson-934, 3-Thomas-920, 4-Bacon-875, 5-Schuerenberg-860, 6-Stockon-845, 7-Tracy Hines-800, 8-Ballou-759, 9-Cottle-622, 10-Windom-568.

NEW INDIANA SPRINT WEEK POINTS: 1-Darland-194, 2-Thomas-166, 3-Clauson-165, 4-Cottle-157, 5-Bell-149, 6-Stanbrough-142, 7-McIntyre-141, 8-Bacon-137, 9-Schuerenberg-132, 10-Windom-112.

NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: July 17 – Terre Haute, Indiana – Terre Haute Action Track – “Indiana Sprintweek”