BRETT BOWMAN KOKOMO TRIBUNE
---- — Robert Ballou, Glen Gamblin and Kory Glassburn each scored their second feature wins of the season Wednesday night at the Kokomo Speedway in the annual Fourth of July Spectacular.
Just a little over a week ago Ballou opted to part ways with the Baldwin Brothers Race team and the orange No. 5B that he began the season with, which included the season-opener at the local track.
His performance Wednesday night made the decision to jump back into his own No. 12B look like the right one as he simply had things his own way throughout the 25-lap feature. The Rocklin, Calif., native never trailed as his only real challenge seemed to be when he got mired in heavy lapped traffic.
“It was a tough decision to part ways with Kenny and Margo Baldwin,” said Ballou. “It was just that we needed a change to run better and I can’t thank those two enough for what they helped me do. Had it not been for them and their help this season I know there is no way I would have been able to put my stuff together and be here. My hat is off to them.”
Ballou was also thankful to Chuck Merrill of Maxim Chassis.
“I’ve been singing the praises of Maxim to anyone who will listen,” he said. “I’ve been telling others how good a chassis they are. It’s a dream come true to climb into a race car that is that good and know you are as safe as can be expected.”
Defending track champion Scotty Weir and Kokomo’s Shane Cottle battled back and forth throughout the race with Weir finally clearing Cottle down the stretch to finish second. Cottle, reunited for a one-race deal with the Edison Motorsports No. 10E team, was third. Chris Windom and Chad Boespflug rounded out the top five. Lincoln’s Dave Darland drove Bill Rose’s No. 6R to a ninth place showing. Kokomo drivers Logan Jarrett (12th) and Josh Spencer (20th) made the star-studded field that saw nearly 40 sprint cars on the grounds.
Gamblin hit paydirt in the Street Stock feature after duking it out with various drivers throughout the 15-lap A-main.
In the early going it was David Short that Gamblin had to contend with and it looked like Short’s race to lose until he looked to cut a left rear tire just before the midway point of the race, giving the lead to Craig Walker with Gamblin in second.
At the midway point, Gamblin took the top spot away then had to hold off both Walker and Landon Miller’s continued charges. When the checkered flag fell it was Walker taking second, Miller third, Brandon Roundtree fourth and Chris Airhood fifth.
Glassburn dueled in the early going with defending track champion Jason Shrout in the Thunder Car feature, taking the lead on the fifth lap then running flawlessly to keep Shrout at bay down the stretch.
Shrout was second, Jeremy VanNess third, Brian Clemens and Michael Schidler completed the top five.
The U.M.P. Modifieds ran a pair of feature events with Nick Allen scoring the rain make-up from May 26. Collin Thirlby was victorious in the regularly scheduled A-main.
The track returns to action Sunday night with the first running of the Dave Crow Memorial.