Avon’s Jon Stanbrough and Galveston’s Craig Walker continued their winning ways Saturday night in the season opener at the Lincoln Park Speedway.
With an overflow crowd on hand to kick off the new season, Lincoln’s Dave Darland, reunited with car owner Jeff Walker in the Jam-it-In Storage No. 11, got past early leader Bill Rose on a 10th-lap restart after Jeff Bland Jr. and Seth Parker got together to bring out a red flag on the ninth lap.
A few circuits later, Stanbrough got past both Rose and Darland and set sail to yet another win, his first for his new team, the Danny Roberts/Deuce Tate/Leer Racing No. 21 that Darland drove most of 2011. Stanbrough trails just Darland and Tony Elliott in career sprint car feature wins at the Kokomo Speedway.
When the checkered flag fell, it was Darland holding off the hard-charging Bryan Clauson for second. Rose was fourth and Shane Cottle fifth after reuniting with car owner and NHRA standout Cruz Pedragon. Cottle was behind the wheel of Pedragon’s No. 75 midget a few years back when he captured the USAC Mopar Indiana Midget Week championship.
All told, there were 33 sprint cars on hand and with a few exceptions, it could have easily been mistook for a USAC National event. Casey Shuman headed up the second five aboard the Leer Racing No. 21X, while Coleman Gullick was seventh. Kevin Thomas Jr., Robert Ballou and Joshua Clemons were eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively. Former Kokomo track champion Scotty Weir was 14th and Bland, a former modified champion at the local oval, was 18th following his ninth-lap accident.
Logan Jarrett, the 2011 national sprint car non-wing Rookie of the Year, finished 11th in the B-main and failed to transfer to the star-studded feature.