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By
Pete Smith
       

 

 

DON BRANSON / JUD LARSON CLASSIC

 

On Saturday, April 19, 2014 the USAC National Sprint Car Series visited Eldora Speedway to compete in the annual DON BRANSON / JUD LARSON CLASSIC.  The 2013 version of the race was won by Mother Nature as the event was rained out.  Saturday marked the 53rd consecutive year of association between the United States Auto Club and Eldora Speedway.

Thirty two sprint cars signed in for the $5,000 to win race on the ˝ mile dirt track’s high banks. The car of driver Matt Goodnight did not participate in qualifying. Matt Westfall completed just one lap and his car suffered mechanical issues. He was finished in the sprint car for the night. Over half of the sprint car field qualified in the 15 second bracket. Fast qualifier was Brady Bacon at 15.069 resulting in a speed over 119 m.p.h.

Jarrett Andretti won the first heat race followed by Justin Grant, Chris Windom and Jerry Coons, jr. Fast qualifier Brady Bacon finished 5th was relegated to the “B” Main.

The second heat was won by Scotty Weir. Chris Windom, Billy Rose and Brandon Whited also transferred to the feature. Bryan Clauson, the fast qualifier in the heat race, finished 5th and would have to join Brady Bacon in the “B” Main.

Tracy Hines looked strong coming from the 6th position to win heat race #3. Jon Stanbrough, who started in front of Hines, came home second followed by Kody Swanson and Dallas Hewitt.

Dave Darland started the 4th and final heat race in 6th position. Darland showed his power as he was in the second position as the cars exited the second turn on the first lap. A slide job entering turn 3 resulted in the lead for Darland when he exited turn 4. Following Darland to the checkered flag was Hunter Schuerenberg, Daron Clayton and Chase Stockton.

Thirteen sprint cars lined up for the “B” with Brady Bacon and Robert Ballou on the front row. Aaron Farney and CJ Leary occupied the 2nd row. Row 3 consisted of Chase Stockon and Wes McIntyre. They finished the “B” Main in the same order that they started the race.

The only flags the sprint car drivers saw during the heat races and the “B” main were the green flag to start, the white flag with one lap remaining and the checkered flag at the end. There were no stoppages during any of the events. This proved to be an omen for the feature.

The 30 lap feature started 23 cars: 4 from each heat race, 6 from the “B” and provisional starter Logan Jarrett.  Chase Stockon and Dallas Hewitt occupied the front row. Jerry Coons Jr. and Dave Darland started in the second row. At the drop of the green flag Stockton took off with Hewitt in pursuit. By the 3rd lap Darland was in third. On lap 5, Dallas Hewitt hit the turn 3 wall and flipped while running in second place.  On the restart, a torrid duel began between Stockon and Darland.  Jarrett Andretti found the wall between turns 1 & 2 and flipped. Stockon slipped exiting turn 4 on lap 11 and Darland was able to get by at the start of lap 12. Aaron Farney stopped in turn 4 on lap 16 bring out the yellow. Due to 2 red flags and a yellow, the race leader did not get into lapped traffic until lap 25 of the 30 lap race. Darland finished first followed by Stockon, Hines and Jerry Coons, jr.

Sharing the evening’s program with the USAC sprint cars were UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and Eldora stock cars. There were 25 cars entered in each division. Matt Westfall won the 18 lap modified feature. The stockcar feature was won by Jeff Koz.

The staff at Eldora Speedway did an excellent job of moving the program along on a cool April night. The checkered flag fell on the sprint car feature before 9:45 p.pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

       

 

       

 

       
 

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