Defending USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series champion and current series points leader Bryan Clauson came from out of nowhere to pick up the feature win in the Jack Himelick Fall Finals Friday night at the Gas City I-69 Speedway.
Driving his own Mobil 1 No. 7, Clauson ran down leader Kevin Thomas Jr. in the closing laps, then sealed the deal with a last turn, last lap pass after starting the 25-lap event outside the fifth row.
“I have to give credit to the guys on the team for getting this car ready to race [Friday],” said Clauson. “This was a racy little track and it feels good to win one here.”
Thomas piloted his Mike Dutcher-owned/RW Motorsports/Blackjack Oil No. 17RW to second with Gary Taylor finishing third. Jerry Coons Jr., a winner in three of the previous four events at the track, was fourth aboard the Edison Motorsports/Crume-Evans Insurance/Spike Chassis No. 10E after battling it out with Taylor for the entire 25 laps. Chad Boespflug was fifth aboard the McGhee & Associates No. 17 usually driven by Max McGhee. Boespflug’s usual ride, the Paul Hazen No. 57, was not at the track as Hazen is healing up after an accident a week ago that broke his leg.
Kyle Robbins was sixth, followed in the top 10 by A.J. Hopkins, Kyle Cummins, Dave Darland (after starting 17th) and Logan Jarrett, who started outside the seventh row. Kokomo third-year driver Conner Donelson was 15th.
Ryan Cripe scored the feature win in the U.M.P. Modified feature, topping second-place Jacob Poel and third-place Bill Lewis. Derek Losh and Brian Post rounded out the top five. The Thunder Car feature was claimed by perennial favorite Ervin Turner. Ron Flaugh was second and Jerald Owens third. Gary Mock and Jeremy Wheeler completed the top five.