Former local resident finishes strong in USAC sprints

By James Essex

Former Elizabethtown resident Chase Stockon won two of the final four AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series races. The series wrapped up its season last weekend in California.

Stockon won the final show at Arizona Speedway on Nov. 4, then came back to win the opener when the series headed to the West Coast for three shows on Nov. 9 at  Perris Auto Speedway in Perris, California.

Stockon, who now resides in Fort Branch, drove his TBI Racing/Superior Tank and Trailer/Crescent Electric Supply/DRC/Fisher sponsored No. 32, outdueling a strong field of cars to win at Perris.

It was Stockon’s 10th career USAC sprint car victory, tying him with Columbus’ Tony Stewart, a three-time NASCAR Cup champion, for 46th place on the all-time wins list in the division.

A total of 43 entrants were on hand when Stockon took the win over C.J. Leary, Brady Roa, Kevin Thomas Jr. and Tyler Courtney.

On Nov. 10, it was Roa taking the checkers first, ahead of Thomas, Chris Windom, Justin Grant and Robert Ballou.

The season finale for the USAC sprints on Saturday at Perris saw Thomas taking the victory over Grant, Chad Boespflug, Windom and Ballou.

Windom, who was last year’s USAC Silver Crown championship, now has a national sprint car title to go with that. He edged out Grant by just six points to capture the 2017 championship.

Final 2017 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car points standings: 1. Chris Windom 2,290; 2. Justin Grant 2,284; 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. 2,232; 4. Tyler Courtney 2,196 5. Chase Stockon 2,052; 6. Chad Boespflug 1,974; 7. C.J. Leary 1,869; 8. Robert Ballou 1,820; 9. Brady Bacon 1,765; 10. Dave Darland 1,492.

Combs wins midget title for Stewart

Ron Combs of Greensburg won the UMRA King of the Three-Quarter Midget Series championship points standings.

The 47-year-old Combs, who drives for Tony Stewart Racing, edged out his Stewart Racing teammate Callie Wolsiffer-Hewitt of New Palestine by 10 points in winning the title.

For Combs, it was his third career UMRA championship to go along with the title he won in 2015 with the Midwest Three-Quarter Midget Racing League. Combs’ other titles with UMRA came in 1989 and 2005. It was Combs’ third title with Stewart as a car owner.

The Combs/Stewart team is sponsored by Ison’s Family Pizza, Billman Trucking, ACRO Engineering, Sea Cow Media, JenMarco.com, The Mascaro Group, Creative Finishing, Pro Shocks, Asher Pallets and the Tony Stewart Foundation.

Jason Goff of Fortville was third in the final rundown, with Matt Hedrick of Rushville taking fourth and Robbie Roland of Carthage completing the top-five drivers. The rest of the top 10 in points were Eric Dover, Aaron Percell, Stephen Arnold, Billy Winsemann and Ashlea Albertson.

Lawrenceburg names champions

Jordan Kinser of Bedford won his first career sprint car championship this season at Lawrenceburg Speedway. The 24-year-old racer drove a DRC Chassis owned by the Hurst Brothers from Salem.

Kinser won the track title by 25 points over former track champion Shawn Westerfeld of Guilford.

Columbus native J.J. Hughes was third in points at Lawrenceburg, followed by Dickie Gaines of Mitchell and Nick Bilbee of Indianapolis. Drew Abel of North Vernon was eighth in points, and Columbus’ Joss Moffatt was 13th.

David Spille of Harrison, Ohio, took the top honors in the open-wheel modifieds class, taking his first career track championship. Scotty Kincaid of Rising Sun finished second to Spille, with Kyle Schornick of Milan in third place. Joey Kramer of Hanover was fourth, with Cory Skipton of Greendale rounding out the top-five drivers.

Don Grace of Rising Sun was pure stocks division champion for this year. Chris Combs of Hamilton, Ohio placed second, with veteran Danny Eichler of Milan coming home in third. John Grace of Aurora and Christopher Combs of Hamilton, Ohio, were fourth and fifth in the final points tally.

Cordell Moore of Versailles was the hornets division champ for 2017. Adam Love of Lawrenceburg finished second to Moore. Gage Clark of Versailles, Gary Whitt of Hooven, Ohio, and Dalton Smith of Richmond trailed.

Local karting team finishes season strong

The Elizabethtown-based go-kart team of Jim Howe Motorsports recently completed its 2017 season with a fourth-place finish in the Yamaha Junior Class with driver Jordan Fresher of Avon.

This year, the team moved up from the Junior Sportsman to the tougher Yamaha Junior Class, competing in 14 events. Fresher won one event this season. He recorded five top-five finishes and 10 top-10 finishes. He continued to show improvement in each event in which he participated.

The team also participated in the inaugural USAC Karting event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this summer. Fresher was able to come home with a 13th-place finish in his first start at IMS.

Howe would like to thank his sponsors, including Edwards-Rigdon Constriction, Dilling Group and Omada World Wide Expedite.

Howe has also announced he has added a new driver to the team for 2018. Howe has signed 6-year-old Kaedyn Wilkerson of Indianapolis to race for him next year. Wilkerson is a kindergarten student at Lawrence Township Schools. Howe said Wilkerson was very impressive in a test run recently and even at his young age showed skills that will enable him to race against kids of the same age next year.

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