TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Jerry Coons Jr. held off a race-long assault from Brady Bacon and Tracy Hines to notch his second career “Tony Hulman Classic” win in a combined “Hulman/Jim Hurtubise Classic” at the Terre Haute Action Track on Saturday.
The race was hustled along due to threatening weather, and Coons led a torrid pace to finish the 30-lapper with sprinkles falling, just ahead of Bacon and Hines.
Coons led from the front row, as Bacon followed to take the second spot on the bottom and take Hines with him. Those three took off from the pack in a non-stop race, as point-leader Dave Darland was the car to watch early in the race, moving from tenth into the top-five.
As the leaders hit lapped traffic, Bacon moved in on Coons, twice making a move to the inside in turn-three looking for the lead. Meanwhile, Hines stalked them both as Darland moved in on Clauson for fourth, eventually throwing a slide-job of his own in turn-one that could not overtake Clauson.
Bacon followed Coons as they encountered one more heavy pack of slower cars, with Coons making a huge move to slice through them as Hines dove under Bacon for second. Bacon battled back to get by Hines as Coons took the win in the Crume-Evans Insurance – RG Enterprise No. 10e Spike/Chevy.
“We just got together this year, and we’re not a big operation, obviously, so it’s satisfying to win a race like this with (car owner) Monte (Edison) at one of my favorite tracks. I saw Brady at least two times, so I assumed he was there the whole time, but I didn’t know how close. I knew I had to nail the traffic, thinking they were within striking distance. Those last few laps, I timed the lapped cars and got through them really well. I really didn’t know where we were on laps or anything, so I was pretty happy to see the white flag,” Coons said.
For car owner Monte Edison, it was his first “Hulman Classic” win.
“It feels great. We may have cooked a motor, but we don’t care. We’re thrilled to win this one,” Edison said.
Bacon came home second in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green No. 69 Triple X/Stanton Mopar, while Hines rounded out a close podium in the Carolina Nut Company – Hansen’s Welding No. 4 DRC/Stanton Mopar. Clauson held on for fourth in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance No. 20 Beast/Kistler, just ahead of Darland in the Phillips Motorsports – Racer’s Advantage No. 71p DRC/Foxco.