Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

May 14, 2014

BOWMAN: Soaking up best month in racing

Bourff, Darland, Cottle shine in early going

Having spent my entire life in the Hoosier State, it’s hard to imagine anyplace else a race fan would want to be during the month of May.

There is just something special about May in Indiana that I’ve tried for years to put into words but simply can’t. The only thing for certain is that, although things have changed quite a bit (more about that in a later column), seeing folks flying racing flags and all the buzz regarding the Indianapolis 500 takes me back to my childhood when I would play with Hot Wheels in the dirt while listening to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on the radio with my family.

This year, if the rest of the month is anything like the last couple of weeks, then when folks recollect May 2014, there will be a lot of good stories to tell.

If the rest of the month was to get rained out, Heaven forbid, then what already has transpired would be plenty of satisfaction for me.

Although it was not quite May, seeing the drive that locals Shane Cottle and Dave Darland put together on opening night at the Gas City I-69 Speedway was to put it simply, amazing.

That night both drivers started near the back of the 20-car field (Cottle 14th and Darland 18th) that included most of the regular USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series’ standouts. When the dust settled, Cottle had swapped slide jobs lap after lap with Jon Stanbrough before finally picking up the win. Darland charged all the way inside the top-five to finish fourth.

If that wasn’t enough, it was great to see Sharpsville’s Bob Bourff finally win his first career Thunder Car feature event on May 4 at Kokomo. Bourff has had a stellar career piloting his mini-sprint before moving to the bigger, heavier and harder to handle Thunder Cars a few seasons back.

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