|Date: 6/24/2018 5:03:46 PM|
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KEVIN THOMAS JR. TAMES THE EASTERN STORM AT BRIDGEPORT
Current point leader in USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series points, Kevin Thomas, Jr. raced to his fourth win of the season when the Eastern Storm raced on the Design for Vision/Sunglass Central 3/8th mile track at the Bridgeport Speedway. Thomas powered the Hoffman Auto Racing/Dynamics, Inc. No. 69 into the lead and never looked back as he came within one point of Eastern Storm series point leader, Chris Windom.
This event marked the first time that USAC had raced at the Bridgeport Speedway and the event was deemed a huge success. "You can't ask for much more than that," said USAC's Levi Jones after the checkered flag. "There was a good crowd who got to see the greatest names in USAC. You can't ask for it to be much better than that!"
Chad Boespflug led field for lap one before Chris Windom made the pass for the lead on the second circuit. Tyler Courtney moved into second one lap later and immediately used the high line around the 3/8th mile to challenge for the lead. Windom led Courtney, Chase Stockon, Thomas and Boespflug through lap five.
The caution waved on lap seven when Robert Bell slowed, bringing the field back together for the restart. Courtney went right to work on Windom and the two drivers crossed the start/finish line side by side on lap eight. Courtney was the race leader for laps nine and ten, leading Windom and now Thomas through ten laps scored.
Windom reclaimed the lead with a pass to the inside as he and Courtney raced down the backstretch on lap eleven. The second caution came with eleven laps scored when Jaret Andretti ran into trouble in turns three and four.
Courtney was all over Windom on the restart, using the outside to challenge for the lead. Racing contact was made between the two leaders, giving third place Thomas the opportunity he needed to move into the lead. "I'm not sure if I could have passed them on my own," Thomas related during his post-race interview. Courtney lost several positions as Windom continued in second.
Robert Ballou - "The Madman" - was on the move through the middle of the race, making his way through the top five. With ten laps to go, Thomas led Windom, Stockon, Ballou and Courtney.
Thomas clicked off the final laps without a challenge, leading Windom and Courtney to the checkered flag, followed by Brady Bacon and Stockon. Ballou, Dave Darland, Justin Grant, Thomas Meseraull and Isaac Chapple rounded out the top ten.
Race winner, Thomas had looked forward to being able to run on a new track and he wasn't disappointed. "This was a fun race," Thomas explained following his win. "It reminds be of a track back home - Gas City. It's a little bigger but it's D shaped like Gas City. The track was really racey. "
The winged 600 Micro Sprints competed in their first ever event on the 3/8 mile surface with Mike Rutherford leading all of the way in the twenty lap main event. Alex Bright made a late race move to finish second followed by Jason Swavely, Heath Hehnley and Tommy Kunsman.
Race winner, Thomas set fast time, circling the 3/8th mile track in 16.013 seconds. Brady Bacon was the winner of the Simpson-Race Products Heat No. 1. Chase Stockon picked up the win in the Competition Suspension second heat with the win in the Chalk Stix/Indy Race Parts third heat going to Robert Ballou.
USAC SPRINTS (30 laps): 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 2. Chris Windom, 3. Tyler Courtney, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Robert Ballou, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Justin Grant, 9. Thomas Meseraull, 10. Issac Chapple, 11. Chad Boespflug, 12. C.J. Leary, 13. Timmy Buckwalter, 14. Jarett Andretti, 15. Joey Biasi, 16. Matt Westfall, 17. Zack Dahm, 18. Tony DiMattia, 19. Kyle Lick, 20. Mark Bitner, 21. Ryan Godown, 22. Robert Bell
WINGED 600CC MICRO SPRINTS (20 laps): 1. Mike Rutherford, 2. Alex Bright, 3. Jason Swaveley, 4. Heath Hehnly, 5. Tommy Kunsman, 6. Kyle Spence, 7. Jon Keller, 8. Sam LaMothe, 9. T.J. Greve, 10. Brandon Pavel, 11. Tyler Lindsay, 12. Jermain Godshall, 13. Mike Linderman, 14. Hunter Metzger, 15. Jen Avery, 16. Mark Landwher, 17. Billy Koch, 18. Lou Cicconi
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