The first points race of the USAC Amsoil Sprint Car series is in the books. Tonight was the first race of the season and the first of a 3 night show at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala Florida. The USAC stars were out in force with names like Bryan Clausson and series champion Levi Jones in the field.
The qualifying of the 30 car field was smooth and uneventful save for one accident involving Jake Simmons who hit the wall and over turned following his second lap of qualifying. Simmons crawled from the car under his own power and walked away. He was however, unable to make call for his heat race and was done for the evening.
Fast time went to Bryan Clauson with a lap of 14.409 seconds around the 3/8ths mile track. Clauson broke team mate Levi Jones record set last year with his run.
The 30 car field ran 4 heat races with the top 4 transferring to the A main and a B main with the top 6 transferring to the A main.
The heat races were hotly contested races with three and four wide competition through out the pack. Heat race winners included Brady Bacon, Jon Stanbrough, Damien Gardner, and Casey Schuman.
The B Main was action packed event that was won by Justin Grant with a hard charging Chris Stockon coming home 2nd. The B main would set up an interesting scenario when Chris Windom would spin out of the final transfer spot with just 5 laps to go. Unable to climb any further than 7th, Windom would be forced to take a provisional to get into the A Main and start next to last.
The A main was a fast paced event that ran with only one caution until lap 25 of the 30 posted laps. The hot dry track had begun to take rubber out of four and passing became difficult. On lap one Silver Crown Champion Levi Jones spun coming out 4 and collected two other cars. All cars were able to continue but it forced a complete restart with the three cars involved going to the back of the field.
Damien Gardner lead for nearly the whole race only giving up the lead briefly on lap 25 when the caution flew for another series of spins out of turn 4. After 4 attempts the field finally went green and Gardner took the point for the final time. Brady Bacon ended up 3rd but paced Gardner for most of the race fading in the last 3 laps.
Gardner whose A main victory is his 5th out of 6 attempts in Florida, made the victory seem effortless with the exception of the restart when he briefly lost the lead to Bacon.
The final finishing order for the opening night of the season was: 1) Damion Gardner 2) Jon Stanbrough 3) Brady Bacon 4) Darren Hagen 5) Bryan Clauson 6) Bud Kaeding 7) Dave Darland 8) Casey Shuman 9) Kevin Thomas 10) Justin Grant 11) Chris Windom 12) Levi Jones 13) Tracey Hines 14) Robert Ballou.
Silver Crown Champion Levi Jones made a courageous recovery after his 1st lap spin finishing 12th.
Also on the card tonight was the unvieling of an electric midget built in Columbus Indiana. The car was driven around the track by Casey Shuman. The car which made almost no noise at all, seemed to have enough power to slide it sideways and get it’s front wheel off the ground out of four. The midget is the only car of it’s kind and Shuman seemed pleased with it’s performance. “If they can build a few more of them we can take them out and see how they stand up.” He stated.
Tomorrow nights action begins at 6 PM EST and can be viewed via live stream pay for view at