---- — Chris Windom won the battle, however Bobby East claimed the war Saturday night in the USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series in the 32nd-annual 4-Crown Nationals at the famed Eldora Speedway.
Windom, the 2010 Kokomo Speedway sprint car track champion, got around East on the fourth lap and never trailed the remainder of the 50-lap event that capped the 2013 campaign for the series.
East piloted his Tony Stewart Racing/Chevy Performance/Curb-Agajanian No. 10 to a sixth-place finish to secure his second straight series championship. Windom did all he could to wrestle the title away with his strong showing aboard the Rotondo-Weirich/Curb-Agajanian No. 17RW, but fell six points shy of overtaking East (387-381). Tracy Hines tied Jerry Coons Jr. for third in the title hunt with 359 markers. Former champion Kody Swanson had 349 points to complete the top five.
Matt Westfall, who scored a sprint car feature win a few weeks back at the Gas City I-69 Speedway, was second to Windom in Saturday’s event with Shane Cockrum taking third. Taylor Ferns worked herself from the back of the pack into the top five, finishing fourth, just ahead of 1997 series champion Dave Darland.
The USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series’ portion of the event saw Windom again standing victorious after getting by Hines on the final lap aboard his Jeff Walker Racing/Jam-It-In Storage/Murray’s Body Shop/Maxim No. 11W.
Former track-record holder Daron Clayton led the first 24 laps with Hines in second. On the 25th circuit, Clayton found himself upside down in Hank Byram’s Rock Steady Racing No. 35. Hines then paced the field until Windom got by on the final lap. After surrendering the top spot, bad luck bit Hines as he flipped his Tracy Hines Racing/Parker Machinery No. 4.
Jac Haudenschild once again proved his mastery of the famed, high-banked track, finishing second while Darland stole the show with his charge to third after starting 24th. Bryan Clauson and Robert Ballou rounded out the top five. Drivers making the feature who are regulars locally included Jon Stanbrough (6th), Gary Taylor (7th), Justin Grant (8th), Kevin Thomas Jr. (9th), Jarrett Andretti (10th) and newly crowned Kokomo Speedway track champion Wes McIntyre (12th). Both Logan Jarrett and Coons were on hand, however both drivers came up short in the B-main.
The USAC Honda National Midget Series’ 25-lap feature was notched by Rico Abreu, piloting Keith Kunz’s Curb-Agajanian No. 67K.
The California standout took advantage of Clauson’s misfortune to secure the win.
Clauson paced the field the opening six laps before mechanical woes thwarted his bid for the win. Abreu took the lead and never looked back despite the charge by his teammate, Christopher Bell, who captured the Kokomo leg of Indiana Midget Week. Hines was third, East fourth and Darland, the 2001 and 2002 series champion, rounded out the top five. Coons was seventh, Windom 15th and Clauson 17th among drivers with local interest.
With just over a handful of races remaining for the National Sprint Cars, Clauson and Darland are just about deadlocked. Clauson holds a slim, two-point lead over Darland (1,634-1,632) with a Saturday race at the Lawrenceburg Speedway up next. Brady Bacon’s title hopes took a big hit when he flipped while running third. Bacon currently sits third in the standing with 1,543 points. Thomas (1,435) and Chase Stockon (1,416) complete the top five.
In the Midget division, Bell holds a huge lead over Clauson (737-663) heading into a three-day show at the Tri-City Speedway (Pontoon Beach, Ill.) on Oct. 3-5. Hines is third with 661 markers while Coons holds down fourth with 612 points. Former series champion Darren Hagen rounds out the top five with 589 as those four drivers seem to be battling for who will finish second to Bell.
Veteran Danny Stratton picked up his eighth career POWRi Midget Series event Saturday night at the Macon (Ill.) Speedway.
Chasing Stratton to the checkered flag was Andrew Felker and Zach Daum. Daniel Robinson came home fourth with Bubba Altig completing the top five. Kokomo’s Parker Price-Miller secured yet another top-10 run, finishing eighth and solidifying his bid for Rookie of the Year honors.
GAS CITY SPEEDWAY
Once again Mother Nature got the best of the racing program at the Gas City I-69 Speedway as rain washed out Friday’s program.
Since it was the final points race of the season, with the rainout, Marion’s Scotty Weir, the 2009 and 2011 Kokomo track champion, was crowned track champion, winning by 21 markers over second place Chad Boespflug (1,400-1,379). Boespflug and Jerry Coons Jr., piloting the Edison Motorsports/Crume-Evans Insurance/Allen’s Body Shop/Spike Chassis No. 10E, tied for the most wins in the series with three each.
Derek Losh was crowned the U.M.P. Modified champ on the strength of his series-leading four feature wins and 12 top-10 finishes to top second place Randy Lines (1,498-1,448). Lines, a former Kokomo Street Stock track champion, had three feature wins.
Josh Owens parlayed his three feature wins and 14 top-10 finishes into the Thunder Car track title, winning convincingly over second place Ron Flaugh (1,907-1,777), who scored one feature win and 15 top-10 runs. Ervin Turner led the series with five feature wins, but competed in just seven events. D.J. Holt and Jerald Owens both had a pair of feature wins. Kokomo’s Kaleb Nutter scored one feature win.
The track closes out its season Friday night with the annual running of the Jack Himelick Fall Finals. The awards ceremony will also take place that night as well as the racing program.
Brett Bowman may be reached at email@example.com or through the sports department.