Darland Wins Tuesday's Sprint Race at Putnamville PUTNAMVILLE, Ind. -- Mistakes don't normally yield second chances in Sprint car racing. Don't tell that to Dave Darland though. Fighting an ever-changing Lincoln Park Speedway track as well...
Darland Wins Tuesday's Sprint Race at Putnamville
PUTNAMVILLE, Ind. -- Mistakes don't normally yield second chances in Sprint car racing.
Don't tell that to Dave Darland though.
Fighting an ever-changing Lincoln Park Speedway track as well as tough competitors, Darland took Tuesday's 30-lapper on the 5/16-mile dirt oval, the fourth round of the 2005 Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week." Driving the No. 11 Walker/Guiducci Racing Hoosier Tires/Weld Wheels Chalk/Claxton, Darland led three times for 21 laps in capturing his first USAC Valvoline National Sprint Car Series win since the 2001 "Indiana Sprint Week" series at Lawrenceburg Speedway.
"It's definitely good for me to win a USAC race," said Darland following the closest "Indiana Sprint Week" races of the week. "Now we've got some momentum, and hope to win some more USAC shows and pull away."
The Lincoln, Ind. native fought his toughest battle in the final five laps after making a mistake on Lap 10 of the event. Desperately trying to keep Josh Wise and Shane Cottle behind, Darland jumped the cushion in Turn 3 and fell to third. But he made his way back to the front, and after yielding to Cottle on Lap 25 at the line, led the final five laps with Cottle close behind.
Darland was the top man at the drop of the green flag. He was part of a three-wide battle with Wise and defending "Indiana Sprint Week" Levi Jones into Turns 1 and 2, but took the point outright going into Turn 3.
It wasn't easy though. Behind him, Wise and Cottle dropped to the apron and tried to catch the eventual winner.
For a while, it worked. After opening a five-car length lead, Wise and Cottle picked up a couple of car lengths until Darland dropped down to the bottom in Turns 3 and 4 as well.
Wise and Cottle continued to gain ground on Darland in Turns 1 and 2, as Darland rode the high line in those corners. By Lap 8, Darland drifted back up to the cushion until he made a mistake on Lap 10.
Driving on the high line, Darland jumped the cushion in Turn 3. When he returned to the racing surface, he had slipped to third behind Wise and Cottle. A lap later, Darland lost third to Cory Kruseman, who won the opening two events of the seven-race series, but was awarded the spot back when Bud Kaeding spun in Turn 3.
Darland's move back to the front was slowed on Lap 14, when he momentarily took second back from Cottle. That pass was nixed, however, when the third of four caution periods occurred, this for Derek O'Dell and Justin Marvel.
Darland unofficially retook second on a number of occasions over the next two laps as he raced side-by-side with Cottle. He finally returned to second on Lap 15, and inched by Wise at the line as the three-car battle ensued.
Darland was never able to pull far away. Cottle kept close as he continued driving on the bottom, while Darland kept his machine at the top. Jonathan Vennard brought out the final caution on Lap 23, when he spun his car in Turn 3.
On the restart, Cottle continued his push. He drove in deep for the remainder of the race, as Darland tried to gather traction on the top. Cottle's push proved worthy on Lap 25 when he inched ahead of Darland at the flag stand. But Darland retook the point for good on Lap 26 -- by mere inches -- and he slowly moved away as Cottle slipped back. Darland's winning margin over Cottle stood at nearly six car lengths.
Kruseman finished third, ahead of Wise and Jones.
"I tried not to slip over the cushion in Turns 1 and 2, but I did that a couple of times," said Darland, who moved to second in "Indiana Sprint Week" points ahead of Tracy Hines and extended his lead in the National Sprint standings. "(Shane) was really good on the bottom, and I saw him a couple of times, but I was hoping the race would just stay green so I could keep my momentum. When that happened, I didn't see him anymore. So things worked out pretty good."
Kruseman set the night's fast time during qualifications at 12.817 seconds, while Kaeding and Jared Fox won six-lap qualifying races. O'Dell, Bill Rose, Dickie Gaines and Jon Stanbrough won eight-lap heats, while Daron Clayton won the 12-lap semifeature.
Kruseman continues to lead Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" points by 14 over Darland heading into Wednesday's scheduled event at Gas City I-69 Speedway in Gas City, Ind.
"Gas City has always been a good place for me," Darland said. "We finished second there after starting mid-pack, so if I can qualify well tomorrow, I think I'll have a good shot and keep the momentum going."
Carmichael and Shepard take home LPS hardware
Greencastle's Kenny Carmichael Sr. took over the super stock lead with just one lap remaining and survived a multi-car pileup in front of him off turn four to take the checkered flag at Lincoln Park Speedway on Tuesday night.
Carmichael started ninth and worked his way through the field and staged a side-by-side battle to the wire for his second super stock win of the year in the L&R Roofing/Bud's Auto Salvage and Wellum Chiropractic machine.
In the bomber class, Terre Haute's Harry Shepard cruised to his fifth feature victory of the season holding off a determined challenge from Ritchie Hawkins, David Bumgardner, Ron Smith and Lloyd Walls.