HAUBSTADT, Ind. — The battle for the 25th Indiana Sprint Week championship tightened dramatically Saturday when Jon Stanbrough scored a thrilling victory in the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car series event at Tri-State Speedway.
It was the second series victory of the year for the national division point leader, but his first of Sprint Week. Levi Jones ran strong in second with Bryan Clauson hustling to third from the tail. Jonathan Hendrick and Chase Stockon completed the top five.
Starting from outside the front row, Stanbrough rocketed into the lead with Bobby East and Clauson battling for second. He had built a half straightaway advantage by the time Clauson cleared East on lap 10. As Clauson chased the leader, turn two became troublesome for several of the drivers as they bounced off the concrete wall but kept racing. Damion Gardner wasn’t that lucky as he slammed the wall on the 17th circuit, rolling twice before being slammed by Dave Darland. Seconds later, Hunter Schuerenberg slid into both.
Clauson took the race to Stanbrough on the restart, charging under and taking the lead in turn one. But Stanbrough fought back, retaking the lead as they charged off the fourth turn. Clauson scrambled back in front in turn one again, and this time Stanbrough outran him off of turn two.
For the next couple laps, the two charged brilliantly through turns, threw wicked slide jobs, and fought wheel-to-wheel. Each time Stanbrough was ahead as they passed the flagstand. Then Clauson moved to the top and caught the wall and barrel-rolled. After quick repairs, Clauson rejoined at the tail for the restart.
Stanbrough restarted as if he had been shot from a cannon. He built a five second lead over Jones through the final ten laps. Amazingly, Clauson’s car was as good as it had been before the accident and he quickly ate up ground, passing wherever and whenever he could. Five laps after the restart, he was fourth and two laps later, he passed Jonathan Hendrick for third. But no one was catching Stanbrough and after getting into lapped traffic, he was still a straightaway ahead at the finish.
When the Roberts/Tate Leer Motorsports DRC #21x had stopped on the front straightaway, Stanbrough climbed onto the roll cage and exuberantly pointed to the cheering crowd.
Later, after the victory lane celebration, he said, “I should have not been so cautious there when I let Bryan get around me. Really, I was just trying to pace myself and never really saw him. Bryan snuck in there and got around me and I certainly didn’t want to battle with him the entire race, I just wanted to get out there and get away from him.”
The win left Stanbrough and Clauson tied for second in the Sprint Week standings, just a dozen points behind Jones with only the finale at Lincoln Park Speedway remaining.
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