Ballou Blasts To Kokomo Victory

Robert Ballou (5) won Sunday's KISS sprint car race at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway. (Doug Vandeventer photo)
Robert Ballou (5) won Sunday’s KISS sprint car race at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway. (Doug Vandeventer photo)

KOKOMO, Ind. — Scrambling around the inside line was the key, as Robert Ballou raced from fifth to first to capture his second King of Indiana Sprint Series victory Sunday night.

Ballou became the eighth different KISS winner at the Kokomo Speedway, continuing the track’s record of not having a winner repeat. He was followed by Levi Jones, Dave Darland, Kevin Thomas Jr. and Brady Short.

Climbing from his car in victory lane, Ballou rushed to give his car owner a big hug, and then he told the crowd, “First of all I have to thank Ken and Margo Baldwin for giving me an opportunity to run this thing this year. A few nights ago he told me that I didn’t know how to run on slick tracks and we needed to hire someone to work on this thing, so I guess that was all I could do to shut him up. This is to them guys for giving me all of these good race cars.”


Shane Cottle grabbed the early lead from the pole, as Wes McIntyre, Jones, Jerry Coons Jr. and Ballou took chase. Jones took second when McIntyre slipped high in turn two. Thomas was an early mover, charging from ninth to fourth in the first ten laps. Then, two laps later, Jones took the lead from Cottle, with Thomas quickly following into second. At the midpoint, Ballou had the bottom working for his Baldwin Brothers Maxim, taking second from Thomas, as Jones held a half-straightaway lead.

After a lap-17 restart, Ballou pressured Jones for a lap before charging past him as they raced off turn four. He built a comfortable lead as he quickly lapped slower cars, with Jones and Thomas both running hard in the top groove. Darland wrestled third from Thomas with six laps to go, and Ballou held a half straightaway advantage as the checkers flew after 30 circuits.

“I want to thank all of the fans for coming out here,” Ballou noted from victory lane. “At least we know you aren’t fair weather fans, because the weather wasn’t very good when they got here. These promoters obviously have it going on because everywhere else has like twenty cars and they’ve had near 40 last two nights. Thanks to the promoters for sticking it out.”

The finish:

Robert Ballou, Levi Jones, Dave Darland, Kevin Thomas Jr., Brady Short, Scotty Weir, Shane Cottle, Gary Taylor, Chad Boespflug, Casey Shuman, Hunter Schuerenberg, Wes McIntyre, Chris Gurley, Josh Spencer, Kyle Robbins, Brian Hayden, Parker Price-Miller, Jerry Coons Jr., Logan Jarrett, Landon Simon.