Defending USAC Sprint Car Series Champion CJ Leary took out the Sprintcar portion of the USAC National double header with Keith Kunz Motorsports’ Cannon McIntosh picking up his 2nd Midget Feature win.
Night one of USAC’s “Double-Double” was on the quarter mile clay I-69 Speedway in Gas City in Indiana. A field of 43 Sprintcars and 35 Midgets filled the pits and took to time trials on the greasy but ever quickening surface.
In the Sprintcars Broken Arrow Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon was quickest over all in a time of 12.195, just slightly quicker than Justin Grant and Dave Darland. All 3 former Champions of the division.
Heat race winners were Clinton Boyles, Kyle Cummins, Logan Seavey and Brandon Mattox.
Dustin Ingle, former Gas City track champ Thomas Meseraull from 14th to 2nd, Matt McDonald and Ryan Barr all transferred out of the C-Main and onto the back of the 12-Lap Semi-Main. Kevin Thomas Jnr. won from his front row starting spot and was followed over the line by Shane Cottle, Carson Short, Ricky Lewis, Brandon Long and Evan Mosley who all transferred to the 30 Lap Annual “James Dean Classic”.
Leary started on pole however his outside front row partner Darland gained the early lead. Grant got by Leary into second in an early race restart. Grant then dispatched of Darland and took over the point. With 10 laps in and 20 to go Leary got to the inside of Darland for 2nd and set after Grant who had opened up a small advantage.
A yellow flag slowed the race for a spun Cummins which bunched the field up with only 3 laps remaining. Grant controlled the single file restart around the bottom for the first lap but had no answer for Leary who found grip through the middle of the track in turn 4 to power his way around Grant and on to win.
Bacon was 3rd with Chase Stockon and series points leader Chris Windom home in 5th after starting 22nd. Cottle, Darland, Rogers, Robert Balou and Mario Clouser from last to round out the top 10.
In the Midgets Tyler Courtney was marginally quicker than Kyle Cummins driving the Jack Yeley wrenched Spike/SR-11 MOPAR. The 10-Lap heats were won by Meseraull, Grant, Andrew Layser and Cole Bodine in the #39BC Driver 2 Save Lives sponsored Clauson Marshall Racing entry.
Only the top 4 in each head advanced to the Feature race which put the remainder of the field into a 12-Lap Semi-Main with only the top 6 transferring. Logan Seavey won with Cummins, Tanner Thorson in a New Zealand designed and built King Chassis, Bacon, Tanner Carrick and Tyler Nelson all making it through.
Daison Pursley and Chase Johnson on another King Chassis paced the field with Ethan Mitchell and McIntosh behind. Emerson Axsom and Courtney filled out the third row.
As the30-Lap race got under way Pursley got ahead at the initial start with Johnson behind. As the pair entered turn 4 Johnson bounced on the cushion and the Bixby, Oklahoma driver McIntosh used the middle to great effect to move into 2nd in the opening lap. Courtney also got by Johnson to run 3rd to Pursley.
All the front runners worked the low line as the slicked off track offered less grip as the night unfolded. Meseraull got as high as third place but was sent to the rear of the field when Pursley over cooked it and half-spun in front of Meseraull. The shunt from Meseraull enough to straighten Pursley and stop the offender’s engine stall but not so for himself.
Just before the half way point Courtney rocketed past Pursley to take 2nd. With 11 laps remaining Cummins passed Pursley to claim the final step on the podium. Thorson was 4th after starting 17th in his 1st outing in the Kiwi car with Axsom rounding out the top 5. Buddy Kofoid, Pursley, Windom and Carrick finishing tenth.
“We weren’t that great in the heat race.” McIntosh said of his start to the night. “Kaz went to work on the car. Made some changes. I believed in him. The car was just killer in that feature.” He said remarking on his New Zealand crew chiefs set up.
Night 2 of the Double-Double USAC National Sprint and Midget cars is at Kokomo Speedway in Kokomo, Indiana on September 26th.
USAC National Midget Car Series Points
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