With just eight laps to go, it was a dogfight between Ballou and Clauson, as the two-time and defending National Champ dove underneath Ballou through turns one and two and edged ahead down the backstretch. Ballou leaned against the large Putnamville curb, though, and rocketed off turn-four with the lead. Clauson eventually jumped to the top in three and four just as Ballou made his only major mistake, and the two gathered both cars up and raced on.
Ballou was strong in the final couple laps, winning by .764 seconds over Clauson, who took over the Indiana Sprintweek point lead in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance No. 20 Beast/Kistler.
“Ballou ran a really good race and didn’t make many mistakes — we weren’t good enough in open track to get him. He made one big mistake and I wasn’t in position to capitalize on it,” Clauson said. “I moved around a little bit, and the bottom worked but it was tricky to run it. It wasn’t typical, for sure. I got in a rhythm and chased those guys down, but I hated to see that red when we started chipping into their lead. Tonight was good, though – we’re in the right direction and tonight was big in the points department.”
Meseraull kept his nose clean on the top and came home third in the Physical Medicine Consultants – Kercher Engines No. 41 DRC/Kercher.
“It’s good to put the Stenslands on the podium. We stuck to the top and missed a few things and had a great night from start to finish,” Meseraull said.
Jon Stanbrough finished fourth and Dave Darland charged from 10th to round out the top five.