GAS CITY, Ind. — Bryan Clauson opened the 25th edition of Indiana Sprint Week with a 30-lap AMSOIL USAC national sprint car series victory at the Gas City I-69 Speedway Friday.
Jon Stanbrough edged Levi Jones for the runner-up spot by less than .03 of a second, as Dave Darland finished fourth ahead of Shane Cottle.
Clauson called it a huge victory, noting that it was much better than needing to dig out of a hole after the first race. Following the victory lane ceremonies, he paid tribute to crew chief Mike Dutcher, and other crew members, for giving him a great car.
The BCI/Tucker Curb Records/R&B Trucker’s Maxim was nearly perfect as Clauson was able to make it work nearly anywhere on the oval.
While Jones grabbed the lead from the pole, Clauson advanced two spots from his sixth place start on the first lap, then hustled around the top of the quarter-mile track to challenge for the lead on the next circuit. For the next 20 circuits, Clauson and Jones put on a show as they battled wheel-to-wheel, exchanging the lead almost every lap, and sometimes more than once on a lap. On the fifth circuit, Clauson was able to gain a car length on Jones as they exited turn four, but on the next lap he slipped over the top of the fourth turn banking, and lost the ground he had gained. Jones quickly retook the lead the next lap.
Behind the lead battle, Darland, Stanbrough and Darren Hagen carried on a race-long scrap for third. With 10 laps remaining, Clauson cleared Jones with a dive across the inside of turns one and two, and began to pull away. He was able to open a straightaway lead through the closing laps, while Stanbrough and Darland caught Jones.
With a strong run off the bottom of the fourth turn on the last lap, Stanbrough’s Leer Racing DRC forged ahead of Jones as they crossed under the flagstand.
It was Clauson’s third series win of the year and gave him the early Sprint Week point lead.
National series point leader Stanbrough extended his advantage over Jones to 26 points.
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