As is usually the case, the staff at Kokomo had the race track in tip-top shape, providing three and oftentimes four racing grooves to give the drivers an opportunity to show exactly why they are considered the best in the business.
Watching Bryan Clauson motor around the track all three nights was truly a blessing. The former Rookie of the Year at the track, who tried his hand in NASCAR country and just this past May competed in the Indianapolis 500, gave all the fans a first-hand accounting why he is regarded as one of the 10 best in the nation. Had it not been for motor problems on Friday night, it’s a definite possibility that he could easily have walked away with three feature wins rather than the two he claimed.
There were so many “hold-your-breath” slide jobs taking place all around the track all three days, but the one that comes to my mind as the coolest was when former track champion Chris Windom used a bonsai move to get underneath Tracy Hines with just two laps to go in Friday’s main event to claim the win.
And to talk of a model of consistency, Lincoln’s Dave Darland simply drove his guts out all three nights as he attacked the cushion lap after lap. Had it not been for Brett Beauchamp’s spin on the 10th lap of Friday night’s race, Darland could just as easily taken that win instead of Windom.
For lap after lap Friday, Darland used a pitbull like tenacity to chase down Hines, throwing everything in his arsenal at the New Castle veteran. Finally, after negotiating the tricky cushion in turns one and two to perfection, he shot by Hines and had pulled away to nearly half a straight advantage before Beauchamp got turned around in turns one and two to bring out the caution and revert the field back to the last scored lap.