BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — It took 23 laps for Chris Windom to work his way into the lead of the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series race at Bloomington Speedway on Friday, but once out front, he scored a decisive victory. Jon Stanbrough finished second after leading three circuits, with early leader Kyle Larson collecting third.
“It’s a really big win,” Windom said. “It’s awesome to get an opportunity from (car owners) Ken and Margo Baldwin. I’m glad we’re starting out the year good, and hopefully we can finish out the rest of the year the same as we’re doing now.”
Larson led early from the pole, opening a half straightaway while Stanbrough battled Casey Riggs for second. On the 11th lap, Stanbrough moved up to the high line and took the position two circuits later. Starting ninth in the 30-lap feature, Windom raced steadily toward the front, and when Stanbrough took over second, he was fifth, behind Riggs and Levi Jones. When the caution flew on lap 17, Stanbrough and Windom, now third, closed up behind Larson.
Stanbrough quickly went to work on Larson, taking over the lead on lap 21 with a run around the top of turn four. Windom made it a three-car battle, and drove the Baldwin Brothers’ Maxim under both for the lead on lap 23. Once in clean air, he stretched his margin to a full straightaway at the finish.
“I knew we were really good. It was just a matter of those guys holding me up on the bottom. That’s how it normally is here, everyone normally runs around the bottom. Our car was really digging off the corners, Derek had it set up really nice. Once we got to the lead, I knew that we were probably going to be pretty good and we came out with the win,” Windom said. “The track’s normally pretty much the same and we had intentions of running right around the bottom and that’s where I stuck the whole race. Everybody just kept moving up little by little, for me the whole race.”
Stanbrough said that he thought he had made a mistake by moving to the top groove late in the race, opening the door for Windom.
“We were getting looser and looser, and I kept hearing guys on the outside and I thought maybe I should move back up and try to get a better bite up there. It wasn’t the right move on my part. I should have stayed down and made him go around the outside. But it was a mistake on my part. I don’t know whether or not we could have held it, we won’t know now. We just have to take second and go on to the next race.”
Both Windom and Stanbrough moved into the top five of USAC’s AMSOIL sprint car points, as leader Levi Jones finished fifth, behind Dave Darland.