Arizona open-wheel standout Jerry Coons Jr. and four-time Kokomo Speedway and Gas City I-69 Speedway track champion Shane Cottle scored impressive wins in the seventh running of the Kokomo Klash over the weekend at the Kokomo Speedway.
Piloting the Edison Motorsports/Crume-Evans Insurance/Spike Chassis No. 10E sprint car, Coons looked dominant in the early going of Friday’s 25-lap feature event, rocketing out to a straightaway advantage over the rest of the field.
While he was out front, the racing for second through sixth was as intense as the local fans have seen at the track.
Gary Taylor and Dave Darland swapped slide jobs at each end of the speedway in the battle for second while Jon Stanbrough, Chris Windom, Robert Ballou and Scotty Weir were battling tooth and nail for position.
Once Darland cleared Taylor, bringing Stanbrough along, the race was on.
Lap after lap with Coons mired in lapped traffic, Darland and Stanbrough, the two drivers who rank first and third in all-time non-wing sprint car wins at the track, began to slowly reel in Coons. With two laps to go, the three were running nose to tail.
After taking the white flag, both Coons and Darland hammered the turn two cushion, however Coons seemed to rebound a tick quicker and held off the Lincoln veteran at the checkered flag.
”Not bad for a bunch of gray-haired guys,” joked Coons after the race. “This is just a great team to drive for. It seemed like we really came together as the season went along. What is so special is that whenever we had a setback this year, the team shrugged it off and dealt with it and came back out strong.”
Darland settled for second with Stanbrough third. Windom and Taylor rounded out the top five. Weir, Ballou, Brady Short, Kyle Robbins and Jarrett Andretti completed the top-10. Kokomo’s Josh Spencer was impressive in his Half Moon Restaurant and Brewery/Colescott’s Mobil 1 Express/Chalk No. 66J. Logan Jarrett worked his way from the back of the star-studded pack to finish 14th while Cottle settled for 19th after his motor let go while he was battling for the fifth position with a handful of laps remaining.