Burthay Takes Big Step Toward King of Indiana Crown May 7, 2004 Kokomo's Michael Burthay took a giant step toward the 2004 King of Indiana Sprint Car Series crown with a runaway victory in the opening event at the Gas City I-69...
Burthay Takes Big Step Toward King of Indiana Crown
May 7, 2004 Kokomo's Michael Burthay took a giant step toward the 2004 King of Indiana Sprint Car Series crown with a runaway victory in the opening event at the Gas City I-69 Speedway, Friday night. Burthay grabbed the lead on an eleventh lap restart and didn't look back as he beat Eric Shively by eight car-lengths. Mike Miller finished third, followed by A. J. Anderson and Matt Westfall.
Following the 30-lap feature, Burthay maintained that the winning the opening KISS race was a big victory because last year he had such a difficult opening race that they decided not to run any other KISS races. "This year, I won the first one, so we'll run it all for the points," he said.
Starting seventh in the Burthay's Bud's Auto Sales Maxim, Burthay moved up quickly, hustling to fourth behind Shively, Jon Siscoe and Shane Cottle on the first lap. The next circuit he passed both Cottle and Siscoe and began to close the gap to Shively. With a lap four restart, Burthay began pressuring Shively for the lead. Although both cars were committed to the bottom groove, Burthay was able to pull even exiting turns several times, only to have Shively accelerate away in the Reynolds Rock-Steady Racing sprinter.
When Burthay finally claimed the top spot on lap 11, Scotty Weir spun while battling Mike Miller for third, bringing out the caution. But Gas City's 2003 sprint car champion wasn't to be denied and he dove inside of Shively on the restart and pulled ahead in the second turn. Miller and Shively scrapped over second as Burthay rocketed to a straightaway-length lead. When Miller slipped high in turn one on a 24th lap restart, Shively focused on catching Burthay, who bobbled when he hit an infield tire in the closing laps, but was making little inroad when the checkers waived.
Behind Miller, who came from a fifth row start, and Anderson, Westfall charged from the ninth row to a top five finish. Defending series champion Jon Stanbrough had a difficult evening, finishing sixth after spending most of 30 laps trying to find something in the top groove. Burthay noted that he had planned to run the bottom because there hadn't been a cushion all night long. He added that his first victory at Gas City this season was satisfying because he had beaten Shively, his friend and mentor. "I got into him once, but finally got around him clean."
Heat 1: Cory Smith, Scotty Weir, Derek Scheffel
Heat 2: A. J. Anderson, Jamie Fredrickson, Mike Smith
Heat 3: Ted Hines, Brandon Petty, Donnie Adams Jr.
Heat 4: Mike Miller, Michael Burthay, Kevin Besecker
Heat 5: Eric Shively, Shane Cottle, Matt Westfall
Heat 6: Jon Siscoe, Jon Stanbrough, Tony Beaber
B Main #1: Jimmy Laser, Kent Christian
B Main #2: Brad Kuhn, Jason Robbins
Feature (30 laps): Burthay, Shively, Miller, Anderson, Westfall,
Stanbrough, Christian, Scheffel, Petty, Laser, Siscoe, Besecker, Hines,
Kuhn, Adams, C. Smith, M. Smith, Robbins, Weir, Beaber, Cottle,
(49 sprint cars)
Large car counts and a draw starting system, rather than qualifying, highlight The King of Indiana Sprint Car Series. The feature will pay $2,500 to win and $250 to start. This year drama will be added as the top two finishers in each heat will re-draw for feature starting spots. The KISS series will award $1,000 to this year's point champion.
The second round of the King of Indiana Sprint Car Series will be Saturday, May 15, at Putnamville's Lincoln Park Speedway. Lincoln Park Speedway is located half way between Terre Haute and Indianapolis on the north side of US Hwy 40 just a couple of minutes west of U.S.231. The racing program will include modifieds, mod-lites (regional event), superstocks and bombers. General admission is $15 and the pits are $25. Hot laps follow the 5:20 drivers meeting and racing will begin at 7 pm. For additional information see the track's website: www.LincolnParkSpeedway.com or phone (317) 831-4404 Office, or (765) 653-3485 Track.
The KISS series puts the spotlight on the most exciting sprint car drivers in the state as they battle on the best Hoosier dirt tracks. For more information, visit our website at www.KissRacing.com.