DARLAND CLAIMS NAMARS MIDGET VICTORY AT BLOOMINGTON ELLIOTT SPRINT CAR RACE WINNER BLOOMINGTON, IN (August 20, 1999) - After winning the sprint main event on the opening night of the Indiana Five Crown series, Dave Darland capped the third ...
DARLAND CLAIMS NAMARS MIDGET VICTORY AT BLOOMINGTON
ELLIOTT SPRINT CAR RACE WINNER
BLOOMINGTON, IN (August 20, 1999) - After winning the sprint main event on the opening night of the Indiana Five Crown series, Dave Darland capped the third round of competition with a victory in the NAMARS midget feature at Bloomington Speedway Friday night. Starting twenty-first, Darland hustled the Ralph's Muffler & Brake Shops Stealth around Tony Beaber with less than two laps remaining.
Darland was pleasantly surprised with the victory. "I knew we could have a good run," he said, "but there were four or five good cars up front and I knew they would be hard to beat. I could run the midget anywhere."
Gibsonburg, Ohio's Beaber took the early lead from outside the front row, with Steve Knepper, David Bridges and Ed Carpenter chasing. On lap four, Randy Koch caught the cushion in turn two, and somersaulted three times. The Wisconsin veteran wasn't injured.
Darland was moving toward the front quickly, and after taking second from Matt Westfall, began to reel in Beaber. With a handful of laps remaining, Darland ran hard into turn three, pulling even with the leader. But Beaber moved up the track to get around a backmarker, slowing Darland's momentum. But Darland charged back on the next circuit, hustling around Beaber in turn two. He opened a fifteen car-length advantage over Beaber at the finish, as Westfall took third, ahead of Knepper and Tony Elliott.
"I knew he was probably going to be coming out there to get by that lapped car," Darland said after the race. "When he came out there I just had to make a little room because I don't think he knew that I was that close. He was just trying to win the race and I had to find a way by."
Beaber pointed to experience as the key, "He's had a million laps at this place. We got to that lapped traffic, and inexperience, I've never really been in this position a lot. I slowed up, waiting, I didn't want to get in the mix with lapped traffic and then it ended up biting us. He got around us on top and then we got by the lapped car and it was just too late. We came up two laps short tonight, but we had a good run. Maybe we'll open some eyes up this way."
Elliott led every lap but one, as he held off Darland to win the sprint car feature. Elliott jumped into a commanding lead from the pole of the 25-lap event. Without yellows, he was able to build a 20 car-length advantage while Darland battled his way from sixth. But Darland ran Elliott down in traffic and the two banged wheels on the front straight as Darland pushed his nose in front for a circuit. But Elliott fought back. Dicing through slower cars, Elliott was able to pull six car-lengths ahead at the finish. Kevin Briscoe, Kevin Doty and Bill Rose completed the top five.
"Tony pretty much had his choice where he was going to go," Darland explained after the event. "If there's a lapped car outside of that I really couldn't go anywhere else. He ran beside Rusty (McClure) for two or three laps and kind of blocked up the whole track. If we hadn't ran into lapped traffic, I believe I would have got him."
Bloomington Speedway Summary, August 20, 1999
Indiana Five Crown, event 3
Heat 1: Tony Beaber, Tim Spindler, Andy Pierce
Heat 2: Roy Caruthers, Tim Siner, Don Lehmann
Heat 3: David Bridges, Kevin Newton, Randy Koch
Heat 4: Matt Westfall, Rick Kohler, Steve Barth
Heat 5. Steve Knepper, John Lucas, Clay Klepper
Heat 6. Ed Carpenter, John Wolfe, Jerry Zike
Semi-Features: Tony Elliott, Dave Darland, Mike Hess
Feature: Darland, Beaber, Westfall, Knepper, Elliott, Caruthers, Bridges, Siner, Newton, Spindler, Lucas, Hess, Zike, Kohler, Barth, Lehmann, Welpott, Tony George, Aaron Fike, Klepper, Wolfe, Koch, Baue
Heat 1: Tony Elliott, Dave Darland, Brad Fox, Derek Scheffel
Heat 2: Kenny Carmichael, Mike Mann, Nick Adams, Terry Pletch
Heat 3: Bill Rose, Tony Jarrett, A.J. Anderson, Chis Lafollette
Heat 4: Greg Dillion, Jay Drake, Dick Gaines Jr., Jonathan Vennard
Heat 5: Kevin Doty, Kevin Briscoe, Kevin Miller, Rusty McClure
Semi-Feature: Levi Jones, Jon Stanbrough
Feature: Elliott, Darland, Briscoe, Doty, Rose, Drake, Fox, Gaines, Carmichael, Miller, Jarrett, Pletch, Vennard, Adams, LaFollette, Dillion, Jones, McClure, Anderson, Scheffel, Mann, Stanbrough