2004 KISS Series Highlighted Hoosier Racing June 30, 2004 -- The 2004 edition of the King of Indiana Sprint Car Series was without question the best in the four-year history of this festival of grassroots racing. For the second consecutive...
2004 KISS Series Highlighted Hoosier Racing
June 30, 2004 -- The 2004 edition of the King of Indiana Sprint Car Series was without question the best in the four-year history of this festival of grassroots racing. For the second consecutive year, there were no rainouts, always a risk for events scheduled in the Hoosier state at this time of the year. Showing the strength of the local racing scene, none of 2004's feature race winners had won a KISS event before even though all of the previous winners, with just two exceptions, competed. With the final checkers, Indiana crowned a new King of Sprint Car Racing, Kokomo's Michael Burthay.
Burthay opened the KISS series with a strong win at his home track, Gas City I-69 Speedway, outrunning Eric Shively. Burthay's Bud's Auto Sales Maxim also took the second race, in a furious battle with Matt Westfall at Putnamville's Lincoln Park Speedway. One of the very best sprint car racers in the state for more than a decade, Kevin Briscoe, of Mitchell, rocketed to his first KISS series win at Bloomington Speedway in the third round. In a busy climax, Shane Cottle prevailed in a duel with the winningest driver in KISS history, Jon Stanbrough, at the Terre Haute Action Track. Two nights later, Briscoe surprised Justin Marvel for the victory in the closing race at Paragon Speedway.
Although Burthay entered the final events with a nearly insurmountable point lead, he wasn't convinced that the title was going home with Team Donelson until the final race was over. In the final total, Burthay won by 72 points. With third and fifth place finishes in the last events, A. J. Anderson vaulted into a tie with Kent Christian for second place. Briscoe won twice while missing two races, and Kevin Huntley missed the first two races but scored 356 points in the next three events, and both finished in the top ten.
Several other interesting facts have emerged from this year's series. - Trailing Burthay in the first race at Gas City were Eric Shively, Mike Miller, A. J. Anderson and Matt Westfall. Interestingly, Burthay, Shively, Anderson and Westfall were to remain key players in the run for the KISS crown, earning top-five finishes in the final standings. - As the series continues to grow, 137 different drivers competed in at least one KISS event, a ten percent increase over 2003. - Cottle, the winner at Terre Haute, has driven many different types of cars in his career, including winged sprints, midgets and mini-sprints, but hadn't competed in KISS until 2004. In fact, he only ran two KISS features this year and won one of them, finishing 18th in points. - 14-year old Bryan Clauson, who has been impressive throughout the state this spring, had a best finish of third at Paragon to earn 11th in the points.
The KISS series, which is organized and conducted by the individual Indiana track promoters to put the best racing in the state on tour, will return with another, even better edition in 2005. Information will continued to be made available on our website, www.kissracing.com.
FINAL KISS POINTS FOR 2004
1 Michael Burthay 548
2 AJ Anderson 476
2 Kent Christian 476
4 Eric Shively 467
5 Matt Westfall 463
6 Jon Stanbrough 451
7 Derek Scheffel 437
8 Kevin Huntley 356
8 John Wolfe 356
10 Kevin Briscoe 331
11 Bryan Clauson 319
12 Kenny Carmichael 291
13 Jason Robbins 279
14 Shawn Krockenberger 273
15 Jared Fox 258
16 Jimmy Laser 251
17 Justin Marvel 250
18 Shane Cottle 245
19 Darren Hagen 240
20 Dusty Wright 208
2004 KING OF INDIANA SPRINT CAR SERIES RESULTS
May 7, 2004 - Burthay - Gas City
May 15, 2004 - Burthay - Putnamville
May 21, 2004 - Briscoe - Bloomington
June 24, 2004 - Cottle - Terre Haute
June 26, 2004 - Briscoe - Paragon