Darland Runs Down Thomas At Kokomo


Thomas drove under Darland in the first turn on the restart, but Darland cut to the inside and re-took the lead as they raced off the second turn. On the next circuit, Stockon charged inside of Thomas in the third turn and the two cars made contact, with the front of Thomas’ machine jumping high into the air before he could catch it. Although he was able to keep racing, Thomas lost two more positions to Bryan Clauson and Bacon.

Dave Darland won Friday's USAC sprint car feature at Kokomo, Ind. (David E. Heithaus photo)
Dave Darland won Friday’s USAC sprint car feature at Kokomo, Ind. (David E. Heithaus photo)

At the finish, Darland was a straightaway ahead of Stockon, and chased by Bacon, Clauson and Thomas. After suffering a driveline problem during hot laps, Shane Cottle raced from the last row to finish fifth. As the cars rolled off the track, Thomas became embroiled in an argument with a USAC official, which resulted in his disqualification. While USAC ruled that he had missed the scales, Thomas later said that a “mule” had been parked blocking USAC’s scales and he tried to go around it. “Just the track came to us,” Darland said as the celebration went on around him. “They watered the track last night and it went slick real quick and tonight it didn’t. The track was really tacky and greasy when we hit the green and so just two completely different race tracks in the first two nights here. The track came to my car and we patiently waited for that to happen. Last night we were good the first half and tonight we were better the second half.”

Stockon was pleased with his effort, saying, “I was actually a little bit tight at the beginning. I didn’t really figure out where I needed to be out on the race track. So, I just gauged myself off the first couple of cars and there at the end, the car really came in. Actually the car came to us. I was able to pick a few of them off and get back to second. It’s huge, but it seems like every time we have a really good run, Dave Darland outdoes us. That’s most definitely why he’s a champion.”