4/15/2016: USAC Sprints at Bloomington
CLAUSON CASHES 4TH STRAIGHT USAC SPRINT WIN AT BLOOMINGTON
Bryan Clauson knows the red clay of the Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway like the back of his hand, and over the past several seasons, the track has become his personal ATM as he once again found his way to victory lane for the fourth consecutive time in USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car competition at the southern Indiana speed plant.
Clauson, who started 11th, quickly made his way to the front in a race that had a rough beginning for a couple of his competitors up front. After Boespflug led the initial lap from his pole starting position, ProSource fast qualifier and new one-lap track record holder, 6th place-running C.J. Leary, got upside down, bouncing over the turn one banking, resulting in the polar opposite of fortunes from his victory in the “Sumar Classic” USAC Silver Crown race at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track two weekends ago. Despite the tumble, Leary was able to restart.
On the restart, the action lasted until the end of the second lap as Brady Bacon made an attempt for the second spot on Brent Beauchamp. Same as Leary, Beauchamp ended up taking a wild ride over the turn one berm. However, the damage to Beauchamp’s machine was enough to end his night on the hook.
On the next restart, Bacon went to the topside to run down Boespflug, taking the lead off of turn two on the third circuit and opening up a wide margin between himself and his nearest contenders.
After trading sliders with Boespflug, Hunter Schuerenberg, in his new ride for Seth Motsinger Motorsports, followed Bacon’s lead by running the high line to take the second position from Boespflug on lap nine. On lap 15, Schuerenberg’s superb run slipped through his fingers after sliding over the berm in turn four, falling all the way back to the 10th spot.
Meanwhile, Clauson was on a tear, maneuvering his way into the top-four by the midway point, chasing down and stealing the 3rd spot from Boespflug and taking 2nd from Stockon as he began to turn up the heat on Bacon for the lead.
Clauson rim-rode the cushion around the ¼-mile, erasing and evaporating Bacon’s lead in a hurry, ultimately nipping him at the line for the lead on lap 19.
Clauson, who initially did not have Bloomington Speedway on his racing agenda for this weekend, had to be pleased of his decision as he was a man on a mission, pulling away from Bacon in the final laps to take his second USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature victory of the year in his Dooling-Hayward/B & H Contractors – Cancer Treatment Centers of America/Spike/Stanton Mopar, beating Bacon, Meseraull, Stockon, Robert Ballou, Dave Darland, Schuerenberg, Jarett Andretti, Brady Short and Max McGhee to the line.
Since taking the controls of the Dooling/Hayward sprinter in late 2015. Clauson has won five of the 11 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car events he has entered. It was the Noblesville, Indiana driver’s sixth USAC feature victory in a USAC-sanctioned event in 2016. Only one other driver has won multiple features in USAC this season: Josh Hodges with two.
Rolling along on a wave of confidence, tonight’s KSE Racing Products/B & W Auto Mart Hard Charger, Clauson, feels he has the opportunity to win anytime he pulls into Bloomington.
“This place has always been good to me,” Clauson said. “I really feel like we can start about anywhere in this number 63 car and still have a shot to win. We were good on the top tonight and everybody else was working the bottom, which left the top open for me. I knew we were good; I just had to make sure I didn’t slip off the edge like last year.”
Bacon, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, who led the field with the most laps led, scored a solid second-place finish in his Dynamics, Inc./Mean Green – Lykins Oil/Triple X/Williams Mopar.
“When you’re the leader, it’s hard to know where to go,” Bacon admitted. “The only thing I could’ve done to hold him (Clauson) off would’ve been to go to the top earlier than when I did. But, never on Earth did I think that that was the way to go because the top was so slick all day in (turns) three and four. I just never thought it would’ve come in like it did. We were better tonight, but so was everyone else. The competition is so tough in this deal right now that everybody is pushing, pushing, pushing, and you can’t ever stop!”
San Jose, California’s Thomas Meseraull extended his point lead to 16 points as the series heads into Saturday night’s race at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. with his third place finish in the Amati Racing/Marion Underground Construction – Zeller Construction/DRC/Dynotech.
“It was kind of unfortunate with a couple guys going over there up on top, but we kind of got everybody going down on the bottom,” Meseraull said. “I got into Ballou in turn two and, after that, the left front seemed kind of messed up, but, in the end, it helped us run the bottom.”
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 15, 2016 – Bloomington, Indiana – Bloomington Speedway
PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. C.J. Leary, 17GP, Dutcher-10.842; 2. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-10.863; 3. Carson Short, 21, Short-10.924; 4. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-10.951; 5. Hunter Schuerenberg, 2, Motsinger-10.963; 6. Robert Ballou, 1, Ballou-11.065; 7. Max McGhee, 17, McGhee-11.076; 8. Justin Grant, 5, Baldwin-11.152; 9. Brent Beauchamp, 34, Olson-11.162; 10. Chad Boespflug, 98E, NineEight/Eberhardt/Zirzow-11.223; 11. Thomas Meseraull, 66, Amati-11.241; 12. Bryan Clauson, 63, Dooling/Hayward-11.246; 13. Brady Short, 11p, Pottorff-11.291; 14. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Byram-11.324; 15. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-11.428; 16. Dave Darland, 11, Walker/Curb-Agajanian-11.435; 17. Ted Hines, 12, Hines-11.436; 18. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-11.441; 19. Jeff Bland, Jr., 38, Bland-11.464; 20. Jon Stanbrough, 81, Stanbrough-11.484; 21. Shane Cottle, 57, Hazen-11.508; 22. Brandon Morin, 98, Morin-11.539; 23. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 2E, Epperson-11.592; 24. Aaron Farney, 15F, Farney-11.621; 25. Tony DiMattia, 50, DiMattia-11.648; 26. Bret Mellenberndt, 97, Mellenberndt-11.695; 27. Austin Prock, 77, Wingo-11.857; 28. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-11.878; 29. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-11.895; 30. Kent Schmidt, 5K, Schmidt-11.979; 31. Shelby VanGilder, 22v, VanGilder-12.409; 32. Brandon Mattox, 04, Burton-12.678; 33. Kody Swanson, 71p, Phillips/Wolters-NT; 34. Logan Jarrett, 29, Jarrett-NT; 35. Ethan Barrow, 15, Barrow-NT.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Beauchamp, 2. Schuerenberg, 3. Leary, 4. B. Short, 5. Andretti, 6. Morin, 7. Mellenberndt, 8. Schmidt. NT
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Boespflug, 2. Bland, 3. Stockon, 4. Cummins, 5. Ballou, 6. Thomas, 7. Prock, 8. VanGilder. NT
BENIC ENTERPRISES THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Meseraull, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Farney, 4. Mattox, 5. Goodnight, 6. Chapple, 7. McGhee, 8. C. Short. NT
INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Clauson, 2. Bacon, 3. Cottle, 4. Darland, 5. Grant, 6. Simon, 7. Swanson, 8. DiMattia. NT
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Ballou, 2. Andretti, 3. C. Short, 4. Simon, 5. Thomas, 6. McGhee, 7. Prock, 8. Swanson, 9. Goodnight, 10. Mellenberndt, 11. Schmidt, 12. VanGilder, 13. Morin, 14. Chapple, 15. Grant, 16. DiMattia. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Bryan Clauson, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Thomas Meseraull, 4. Chase Stockon, 5. Robert Ballou, 6. Dave Darland, 7. Hunter Schuerenberg, 8. Jarett Andretti, 9. Brady Short, 10. Max McGhee, 11. Carson Short, 12. Kody Swanson, 13. Shane Cottle, 14. Chad Boespflug, 15. Justin Grant, 16. Jon Stanbrough, 17. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 18. Kyle Cummins, 19. Aaron Farney, 20. C.J. Leary, 21. Landon Simon, 22. Brandon Mattox, 23. Jeff Bland, Jr., 24. Brent Beauchamp. NT
**Leary flipped on lap 2 of the feature. Beauchamp flipped on lap 2 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Boespflug, Laps 3-18 Bacon, Laps 19-30 Clauson.
KSE RACING PRODUCTS/B & W AUTO MART HARD CHARGER: Bryan Clauson