Thomas Wins Inaugural ‘James Dean Classic’ USAC AMSOIL Sprint Feature Friday at Gas City I-69 Speedway

Thomas Wins Inaugural ‘James Dean Classic’ USAC AMSOIL Sprint Feature Friday at Gas City I-69 Speedway

GAS CITY, Ind., Sept. 29 Kevin Thomas Jr. of Avon, Ind., will go down in the record books as the winner of the inaugural “James Dean Classic” at Gas City I-69 Speedway. The special race was a 30-lap USAC AMSOIL national sprint car feature held at the quarter-mile dirt oval Friday night before a huge crowd to close the track’s 2018 season.

Isaac Chapple of Willow Branch, Ind., started second and used the low groove to lead the first 25 laps. Thomas, who started right behind him in fourth place, vaulted into second on the first lap and used the middle groove to hound Chapple until Thomas was able to power by him on the outside in Turn 2 working lap 26.

C.J. Leary of Greenfield, Ind., came on strong at the end to wrestle second away from Chapple right before the checkered and the red waved on lap 30 when Dallas Hewitt of Troy, Ohio flipped in Turn 2. Luckily he was unhurt. Chapple held on for third. Chris Windom of St. Louis, the ProSource fastest qualifier, was fourth and Chase Stockon of Fort Branch, Ind., finished fifth.

In a night that had a fifties theme and was all about greasers, it was fitting that Thomas’s Dynamics, Inc./Hoffman Auto Racing/Jonathan Byrd’s RacingDRC/Speedway Chevy No. 69 ended up in victory lane, as it is sponsored by Mean Green Degreaser.

It was Thomas’s sixth USAC national sprint car victory of the season and the second triumph of 2018 at Gas City for the 27-year-old native of Cullman, Ala., as he also won a Hoosier Tire Midwest Sprint Car Series (MSCS) feature here on May 4. Friday’s $5,000 victory also put Thomasback on top of the USAC AMSOIL national sprint point standings.

His margin of victory over Leary was 0.586. He set the fastest lap of the race on lap 12 with a time of 12.426 seconds when he was just 0.242 behind Chapple.

Clinton Boyles of Greenwood, Mo. finished tenth in the USAC sprint feature after sewing up the track’s 2018 non-wing sprint car championship in the Paul Hazen No. 57.

Derek Losh of Rensselaer, Ind. earned $1,000 for winning the 20-lap UMP modified feature. It was his 16th feature win of the year but his first at Gas City this season with his Superior Sales and Service/Rensselaer Iron and Metal Co. No. 21.

Losh started third, took the lead from polesitter Jerry Bowersock on lap 13, lost it to Randy Lines on lap 16, and regained it by slipping under Lines in Turn 4 on the white-flag lap. Lines held on for second followed by Zeke McKenzie, Bowersock and Todd Sherman, who started way back in 16th.

Dillon Nusbaum started 14th and finished 17th, but the Warsaw, Ind.-based driver still earned the UMP modified track championship.

Three other drivers who call Marion, Ind. home all finished second in their respective features but won their division’s championships. They were Lines (super streets), D.J. Holt (thunder cars), and Eric Solms (front-wheel-drive compacts).

Glenn Bradley, also of Marion, won the 15-lap super street feature over Lines, Tim Wilbur, Jeremy Creech and Jami Cale. He started fourth but got the lead when Lines went too high in Turn 4 on lap two after two restarts with one lap down.

Ron Flaugh of Converse, Ind., won the 15-lap thunder car main event over Holt, Kaleb Hinkley, Jeff Hinkley Jr. and Steve Tanner. Flaugh took the lead by slipping under James Headley on the backstretch working lap six. Holt got second by sliding under Headley on a restart after Rick Paul brought out a red flag when his car caught fire and he rolled to a stop in the infield. He wasn’t hurt.

Headley, of Marion, also drove in the front-wheel-drive compact division and he won that 15-lap feature over Solms, Gage Allen, Logan Easterday and Alyssa Clark. He started second in that race and led every lap.

Despite a card that featured 95 race cars, the complete program was run in three hours, ending at 10:35 p.m.

The complete show was streamed live on SpeedShiftTv.com. The USAC portion will also be available for on-demand viewing beginning later this weekend on LoudPedal.tv.

Fans can get up-to-date information on the 2019 season on the track’s Web site at GasCityI69Speedway.com. Fans can also follow it on Facebook (@GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas), Twitter (@GasCitySpeedway) and Instagram (@GasCitySpeedway).


The results:

USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car Time Trials: 1. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-11.988; 2. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-12.016; 3. Kevin Thomas Jr., 69, Dynamics-12.078; 4. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-12.144; 5. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-12.242; 6. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-12.251; 7. Jason McDougal, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-12.263; 8. Tyler Thomas, 2E, Epperson-12.272; 9. Shane Cottle, 5G, Goacher-12.293; 10. Thomas Meseraull, 00, Meseraull-12.297; 11. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-12.302; 12. Dave Darland, 36D, Goodnight/Curb-Agajanian-12.327; 13. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-12.346; 14. Brady Bacon, 99, Bacon-12.347; 15. Tony DiMattia, 50, TDM-12.382; 16. Carson Short, 5B, Briscoe-12.422; 17. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-12.427; 18. Brian VanMeveren, 24, VanMeveren-12.442; 19. Kyle Cummins, 3c, EZR/Cummins-12.453; 20. Dustin Ingle, 2DI, Ingle-12.493; 21. Clinton Boyles, 57, Hazen-12.495; 22. Dallas Hewitt, 18H, Keen-12.553; 23. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-12.603; 24. Garrett Abrams, 32A, Abrams-12.603; 25. Tyler Hewitt, 97x, One More Time-12.731; 26. Travis Hery, 21H, Hery-12.748; 27. Billy Cribbs, 16, Cribbs-12.782; 28. Shane Cockrum, 24p, Paul-12.900; 29. Luke Harbison, 40, Harbison-13.261; 30. Frank Rodgers, 11, Rodgers-13.312; 31. Jack James, 99J, James-13.353; 32. Bob McMillin, 5m, McMillin-13.358; 33. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-NT.

USAC AMSOIL Sprint Heat 1 (10 laps): 1. Tyler Courtney, 2. Clinton Boyles, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Shane Cottle, 5. Justin Grant, 6. Matt Westfall, 7. Tyler Hewitt, 8. Luke Harbison. 2:03.21.

USAC AMSOIL Sprint Heat 2 (10 laps): 1. Isaac Chapple, 2. Dallas Hewitt, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. C.J. Leary, 5. Travis Hery, 6. Thomas Meseraull, 7. Frank Rodgers, 8. Brian VanMeveren. NT.

USAC AMSOIL Sprint Heat 3 (10 laps): 1. Kyle Cummins, 2. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3. Jason McDougal, 4. Tony DiMattia, 5. Matt Goodnight, 6. Josh Hodges, 7. Billy Cribbs, 8. Jack James. 2:03.79.

USAC AMSOIL Sprint Heat 4 (10 laps): 1. Dustin Ingle, 2. Dave Darland, 3. Carson Short, 4. Chase Stockon, 5. Tyler Thomas, 6. Shane Cockrum, 7. Garrett Abrams, 8. Bob McMillin. 2:05.02.

USAC AMSOIL Sprint B Main (12 laps): 1. Justin Grant, 2. Josh Hodges, 3. Tyler Thomas, 4. Matt Westfall, 5. Thomas Meseraull, 6. Tyler Hewitt, 7. Garrett Abrams, 8. Shane Cockrum, 9. Billy Cribbs, 10. Travis Hery, 11. Frank Rodgers, 12. Luke Harbison, 13. Bob McMillin, 14. Jack James, 15. Brian VanMeveren, 16. Matt Goodnight. 2:30.38.

USAC AMSOIL Sprint Feature (30 laps; starting positions in parentheses): 1. Kevin Thomas Jr. (4), 2. C.J. Leary (5), 3. Isaac Chapple (2), 4. Chris Windom (6), 5. Chase Stockon (3), 6. Dave Darland (12), 7. Kyle Cummins (18), 8. Justin Grant (7), 9. Tyler Thomas (8), 10. Clinton Boyles (20), 11. Shane Cottle (9), 12. Matt Westfall (13), 13. Brady Bacon (14), 14. Carson Short (16), 15. Tyler Hewitt (22), 16. Tony DiMattia (15), 17. Tyler Courtney (17), 18. Jason McDougal (1), 19. Josh Hodges (11), 20. Dallas Hewitt (21), 21. Dustin Ingle (19), 22. Thomas Meseraull (10). NT.


UMP Modified Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Derek Losh, 2. Garrett Jameson, 3. Jason Jones, 4. Casey Davis, 5. Corey Bevard, 6. Aaron Orr, 7. Pat Ehlert, 8. Jamie Lomax.

UMP Modified Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Bradley Jameson, 2. Jerry Bowersock, 3. Jim Mallery, 4. Daniel Russell, 5. Dillon Nusbaum, 6. Craig Walker, 7. Brennan Sherman, 8. Richard Swan.

UMP Modified Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. Zeke McKenzie, 2. Randy Lines, 3. Andy Bishop, 4. Steven Hogue, 5. Tim Wilbur, 6. Todd Sherman, 7. Jerry Bland Jr., 8. Jessica Sroufe.

UMP Modified B Main 1 (10 laps): 1. Todd Sherman, 2. Aaron Orr, 3. Jerry Bland Jr., 4. Jessica Sroufe, 5. Craig Walker, 6. Brennan Sherman, 7. Pat Ehlert, 8. Richard Swan, 9. Jamie Lomax (DNS).

UMP Modified Feature (20 laps): 1. Derek Losh, 2. Randy Lines, 3. Zeke McKenzie, 4. Jerry Bowersock, 5. Todd Sherman, 6. Garrett Jameson, 7. Bradley Jameson, 8. Daniel Russell, 9. Jim Mallery, 10. Tim Wilbur, 11. Casey Davis, 12. Jessica Sroufe, 13. Jason Jones, 14. Corey Bevard, 15. Andy Bishop, 16. Craig Walker, 17. Dillon Nusbaum, 18. Brennan Sherman, 19. Steven Hogue, 20. Jerry Bland Jr., 21. Aaron Orr (DNS).


Super Street Heat 1 (6 laps): 1. Jeff Matheny, 2. Tim Wilbur, 3. Jami Cale, 4. Jeremy Creech, 5. James Headley, 6. Jeffery Jessup, 7. Casey Barr.

Super Street Heat 2 (6 laps): 1. Randy Lines, 2. Glenn Bradley, 3. Tony Homan, 4. Josh Robertson, 5. Jarrett Rennaker, 6. Mike Fincher, 7. Scott Robertson.

Super Street Feature (15 laps): 1. Glenn Bradley, 2. Randy Lines, 3. Tim Wilbur, 4. Jeremy Creech, 5. Jami Cale, 6. Jeffery Jessup, 7. Tony Homan, 8. Casey Barr, 9. Mike Fincher, 10. Jarrett Rennaker, 11. Josh Robertson, 12. Scott Robertson, 13. Jeff Matheny, 14. James Headley.


Thunder Car Heat 1 (6 laps): 1. Kaleb Hinkley, 2. Ervin Turner, 3. D.J. Holt, 4. Kaleb Hinkley, 5. Brad Keith, 6. Steve Tanner, 7. Cody Devlin.

Thunder Car Heat 2 (6 laps): 1. James Headley, 2. Ron Flaugh, 3. Mike Reitz, 4. Bryce Krider, 5. Greg Long, 6. Stevie Clark, 7. Rick Paul.

Thunder Car Feature (15 laps): 1. Ron Flaugh, 2. D.J. Holt, 3. Kaleb Hinkley, 4. Jeff Hinkley Jr., 5. Steve Tanner, 6. Brad Keith, 7. Greg Long, 8. James Headley, 9. Rick Paul, 10. Stevie Clark, 11. Bryce Krider, 12. Mike Reitz, 13. Ervin Turner, 14. Cody Devlin.


Front-Wheel Drive Compact Heat 1 (6 laps): 1. Eric Solms, 2. James Headley Jr., 3. Gage Allen, 4. Kolten Sollars, 5. Logan Easterday, 6. Alyssa Clark, 7. Jacob Beard, 8. Brett Clark, 9. Brad Evans, 10. Dillen Loudy.

Front-Wheel Drive Compact Feature (15 laps/15 minutes): 1. James Headley Jr., 2. Eric Solms, 3. Gage Allen, 4. Logan Easterday, 5. Alyssa Clark, 6. Kolten Sollars, 7. Brett Clark, 8. Dillen Loudy, 9. Brad Evans, 10. Jacob Beard.