C.J. Leary won two of the first three AMSOIL USAC Indiana Sprint Week events at Lawrenceburg and Gas City. The seven-race series will end tonight at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt. Submitted photo

By James Essex

The 2017 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Indiana Speedweek kicked off July 8 at Kokomo Speedway. Thomas Meseraull became the first driver to etch his name in the winner’s column by taking the opening night victory.

Carson Short finished in second, followed by defending USAC champion Brady Bacon, Tyler Courtney and Kyle Cummins. The rest of the top 10 at Kokomo were Dave Darland, Kevin Thomas Jr., C.J. Leary, Chris Windom and Robert Ballou.

On Sunday night, the series traveled to Lawrenceburg Speedway for the second leg of the seven-race series. It was Leary coming home with the win. Bacon finished in second, and Thomas Jr. was third. Darland and Ballou completed the top five drivers. The rest of the top 10 finishers at Lawrenceburg were Windom, Meseraull, Brody Roa, Brady Short and Jarett Andretti.

Also at Lawrenceburg, Matt Hamilton won the modifieds feature race. David Spille was second, and Kyle Schornick, Scotty Kincaid and Brad Wieck finished out the top five competitors.

The next night, the series moved to Gas City/I 69 Speedway for a Monday night racing program. The Gas City race was supposed to be the first race of the Indiana Speedweek, but it was rained out July 7. Leary made it two wins in the first three events, capturing the victory against Ballou, Windom, Chad Boespflug and Bacon. Concluding the top 10 at Gas City were Shane Cottle, Meseraull, Justin Grant, Chase Stockon and Josh Hodges.

The scheduled Wednesday race at the Terre Haute Action Track was rained out and will not be made up as part of the Indiana Speedweek.

The Indiana Speedweek will conclude tonight at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt. For more information, visit usacracing.com.

Stewart takes county fair race

Columbus’ Tony Stewart, driving a car owned by John and Lynn Whittington of Columbus, won the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair UMRA King of the TQ Midgets event on Wednesday. Stewart took the lead on Lap 17 from Nick Speidel and went on for the win in the 20-lap main event.

Stewart made a clean sweep of the night’s activities. He was the final qualifier among a 24-car field and set the fast time. He won his heat race after starting sixth. He was driving a car normally driven by defending UMRA champion Jason Setser of Columbus, who took the night off from driving to assist Stewart with his car.

The Whittington-owned car is sponsored by The Cure Starts Now, Setser Fabricating, Hoosier Tire, Simpson Race Products, Lynch Chassis, Adams Performance and Mensendiek’s Auction Services.

Jason Goff of Fortville finished in second, with Aaron Percell of Rushville taking third. Completing the top five were Ron Combs of Greensburg in a Tony Stewart-owned car and Joey Paxson of Connersville.

Columbus racers Steve Arnold, Rick Robinson and Caleb Faulkner did not finish the main event, which was rushed along due to impending weather.

Brownstown hosts tribute

Josh Divine from Loogootee scored the biggest win of his career by taking the Scott Patman Tribute for super stocks July 8 at Brownstown Speedway. Jason Hehman of Brownstown came home in second, with Tim Eddelman of Taylorsville placing third. Jack Frye of Bloomington took fourth, and Matt Boknecht of Seymour was fifth. Colton Sullivan of Columbus was announced as the hard charger of the race.

Chad Stapleton of Edinburgh won his second straight Indiana Pro late models feature race over Steven Godsey of Bedford, Jeremy Hines of Seymour, Shelby Miles of Bloomington and Marty O’Neal from Spencer.

Defending modifieds track champion Jeremy Hines of Nineveh won his second feature of the year at Brownstown. Earl Plessinger of Scottsburg was second, and John Clippinger of Evansville was third. Matt Boknecht took fourth, and Chad Combs of Bloomington was fifth.

Tim Rivers of Salem, the current points leader in the pure stocks division, won his third main event of the season. Derek Clegg of Nabb was second and Jason Combs of Seymour crossed the line in third. Austin Burton of Edinburgh, and Keaton Streeval also of Edinburgh rounded out the top five.

Tonight at Brownstown will be the Ultimate Battle of the Bluegrass super late models with a $3,000-to-win payday on the line, plus the Indiana Pro late models, modifieds, super stocks and pure stocks. For more information, visit brownstownspeedway.com.

Scottsburg hosts late models event

Scott County Speedway in Scottsburg conducted its annual fair-race events Sunday. O’Neal took the top spot in the Indiana Pro late models feature race in the Larry Hartwell-owned car. Austin Burns of Morgantown was second, with Tyler Neal of Paragon third. Completing the top five were Hines and Remington Gill of Mitchell.

Jamey Wilson won the super stocks feature at Scottsburg. Steve Peeden of Paragon was second, with Jaden Mayhan of Elizabethtown taking third. Justin Walters of North Vernon was fourth, and Jake Byers took fifth place.

Will McRoberts was the winner of the pure stocks main event. Derek Clegg came home second, with Corebin McRoberts finishing in third. David Palmer and Ross Smith of Columbus rounded out the top five.

Donnie Modesty of Seymour won the hornets feature over Cordell Moore, Trent Adams of Elizabethtown, Charles Ross and Jacob McRoberts.

Twin Cities back racing tonight

After a weekend off, Twin Cities Raceway Park in Vernon will resume its July race schedule. On the docket tonight will be crate late models, super stocks, pure stocks, hornets and winged mini-sprints. For more information, visit twincitiestrack.com.

Eldora hosts Kings Royal finale

Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, hosts the final night of the three-day Kings Royal sprint car race tonight. The $50,000-to-win event will kickoff with hot laps at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit eldoraspeedway.com.

This week in racing history

From 50 years ago in 1967, Don Nordhorn won the supermodifieds feature at Bloomington Speedway. Bob Kinser finished in second, followed by Mike Johnson, Dick Gaines and Calvin Gilstrap.

Gene Petro of Columbus won the late models feature on this weekend in 1967 at 25th Street Speedway in Columbus.

At Brownstown Speedway 50 years ago, Paul Crockett won the late models feature race over Jim Reichenba, Gene Petro, Gene Sutton and Dave Tate.

From 40 years ago in 1977, Dee Kramer won the hobby stocks main event at Twin Cities. Rick Haven was second, and Phil Fultz of Clifford was third. Columbus drivers Larry Goodin and Don Gilpin completed the top five.

Also from 1977, Ira Bastin won the late models feature at Brownstown, topping Paul Crockett, Ray Godsey, Bob Fleetwood and Roger Absher for the win.

Tony Moore won the hobby stocks feature at Brownstown over Herman Burton of Columbus, Kenny Mize of Columbus, Dink Morrison and Columbus’ Troy Burton.

In 1987, Jim Curry was victorious in the late models feature at Brownstown. Steve Barnett was second, and Noel Witcher placed third. Doug Ault was fourth, and Paul Shafer was fifth.

Randy Petro of Columbus captured the street stocks feature at Brownstown over Scott Patman, Mark Barber of North Vernon, Billy Filburn and Earl Plessinger.

Also from 30 years ago in 1987, Ricky Hood won the sprint car feature at Bloomington. A 15-year-old California transplant named Jeff Gordon would finish second to Hood in the main event. Warren Mockler was third, with Sheldon Kinser and Randy Kinser completing the top five drivers.

James Essex writes a motorsports notebook for The Republic. Send comments to sports@therepublic.com.