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July 23, 2013

BOWMAN: Clauson surges to Sprint Week title

For the better part of nine days, Mother Nature played nice with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series and the annual running of the hugely popular Indiana Sprint Week.

However, with the stage set for an epic showdown on the final night, heavy rain swept across the southern portion of the state, thus ending the 2013 version of ISW, a grueling stretch of seven races in nine days that separates the haves from the have nots.

As it turned out, Tony Stewart Racing standout Bryan Clauson got hot at just the right time, picking up wins in the final two races to secure the ISW title.

Chase Stockon ended up second in what turned out to be the finale at Bloomington with Brady Bacon a solid third in the famed Mean-Green/Lykins/Hoffman Racing No. 69. Chris Windom and Ryan Bernal rounded out the top five. Dave Darland, who was besieged with tough luck after leading the ISW points battle early in the week, was sixth followed by Justin Grant, Christopher Bell, Wes McIntyre and C.J. Leary in the top 10. Kokomo Speedway regular Chris Gurley was 15th and four-time Kokomo track champion Shane Cottle was 23rd.

Thursday night saw 50 sprint cars on the grounds of the Lincoln Park Speedway as Thomas set quick time aboard his Mike Dutcher-owned No. 17RW, but when the field rolled out for the feature it was once again Clauson proving to be the best of the best aboard the TSR/Chevy Performance/Kistler Engines No. 20.

The popular driver got past young phenom Bell on the 13th lap and never looked back in posting the win with Bell and Brady Short chasing him to the finish. Jon Stanbrough was fourth with Windom rounding out the top five. McIntyre, re-energized after winning a local show at Kokomo two weeks ago, led the local contingent with a 13th-place run. Cottle was 17th and Darland 21st. Defending track champion at the local oval, Scotty Weir, was 24th.

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