Cottle Wins USAC Indiana Sprint Week Opener By Inches on the Last Lap And Myers Takes Micro-Sprint Feature Thursday Night at Gas City I-69 Speedway

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Cottle Wins USAC Indiana Sprint Week Opener By Inches on the Last Lap And Myers Takes Micro-Sprint Feature Thursday Night at Gas City I-69 Speedway

GAS CITY, Ind., July 19 — Thursday night at Gas City I-69 Speedway Shane Cottle reminded everyone that it’s the leader at the checkered who gets the big check.

In a night of innumerable ups and downs for many drivers, Cottle used the low line to pass C.J. Leary on the last lap, win by inches, and earn $5,000 in a 30-lap barn burner that opened the 32nd annual NOS Energy Drink “Indiana Sprint Week” featuring the USAC AMSOIL national sprint cars in fine style.

Cottle, 47, of Kansas, Ill., qualified by winning the B main, started 18th in the feature, only led on the last lap, and earned the race’s KSE Racing Products/B&W Auto Mart “Hard-Charger” award by improving his position more than any other driver in the 24-car field that was culled from 43 entries. It was his first victory during Indiana Sprint Week in 72 attempts and it came in the Epperson Racing/Epperson Painting-PPG Maxim Claxton Chevy No. 2E. Cottle, who works in the flooring industry, also won the sprint car feature at Gas City on June 28 in a different car.

C.J. Leary of Greenfield, Ind., who won the most recent USAC Indiana Sprint Week event on the Gas City quarter-mile clay oval in 2017, led 29 of the 30 laps and finished second. His Reimbold-Underwood Motorsports/AME Electrical-Mesilla Valley Transportation Spike Foxco Chevy was just 0.002 of a second behind Cottle’s car when the pair took the checkered. The finish was so close that the transponders, which are mounted at the rear of the cars, showed Leary first at the line, but the USAC rules go by when the cars’ front tires cross the line, and Cottle was deemed the winner in one of the closest finishes in USAC history. It was Cottle’s third career USAC sprint car victory. It’s safe to say Gas City is one of his favorite tracks, since all three have occurred at the Grant County oval that is an easy drive from either Indianapolis or Fort Wayne.

Chris Windom of Canton, Ill. was the final podium finisher in the Goacher Racing/NOS Energy Drink-Parallax Power Supply-Jonathan Byrd’s DRC Claxton Mopar. Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Okla. placed fourth in the Dynamics/Mean Green-Fatzheadz Eyewear-Tel-Star Triple X Hershey Chevy. Polesitter Kevin Thomas Jr. of Cullman, Ala. was fifth in Hayward Thomas Motorsports’ Speedtown Comfort-B&H Contractors DRC Speedway Chevy.

Jason McDougal of Broken Arrow, Okla.; Dakota Jackson of Elizabethtown, Ind.; Kyle Cummins of Princeton, Ind.; and two drivers from Avon, Ind. — Brent Beauchamp and Justin Grant — rounded out the top 10.

Leary started second and led the whole race except for two split seconds on the last lap. Cottle dipped under him for an instant in Turn 2, but Leary shook him off while sticking to the high side. Leary remained committed to the high side as the pair came down to take the checkered. Cottle stayed low and sneaked across the line first by the smallest of margins.

Leary, the series’ current point leader, appeared to have the race in the bag at the halfway point, as he had a 2.232-second lead over Thomas on lap 15 as the leaders weaved through lapped traffic.

Leary also survived four restarts. The first yellow occurred with three laps down when Scotty Weir spun in Turn 2 and Isaac Chapple couldn’t avoid him.

The second flew with six laps down when Corey Smith stopped high in Turn 2.

The third came with 16 laps down when Thomas Meseraull, who has won five times so far this year at Gas City, spun in Turn 3. Tyler Courtney had nowhere to go and they made contact. Courtney’s Clauson-Marshall-Newman Racing crew tried to repair the No. 7BC’s front end, but they didn’t have enough time in the work area to get Courtney, who dropped from second to third in points, back underway.

Chapple brought out the fourth caution with 24 laps down when he spun in Turn 1. On that restart Cottle passed Thomas for second with a move to the inside as they flew down the frontstretch. The race went green the rest of the way until the winner was decided in the thrilling finish.

Cottle didn’t even appear in the top 10 until lap 13, and he wasn’t in the top five until lap 20 when he vaulted from seventh to fifth by passing Bacon and Cummins. Bacon got him back on lap 21, but on lap 22 Cottle moved into fourth by repassing Bacon and also getting by Windom. McDougal dropped from third to fifth on lap 23 but Cottle was still fourth at that point because Windom repassed him.

Cottle passed Windom again on lap 24 to take third right before the final yellow with 24 laps down, and he got second by passing Thomas on the restart with five laps to go to set up the dramatic last-lap victory on the immaculately prepared, multi-groove surface. A large and appreciative crowd turned out to watch it all despite hot weather.

Carson Short of Marion, Ill. was the fastest qualifier with a time of 12.046 seconds but then he flipped between Turns 3 and 4 with one lap down in the first heat after getting together with Josh Hodges. Joe Stornetta was also collected in that accident.

Corey Smith flipped on the frontstretch during qualifying, but like Short he got out of his car under his own power.

The winner of the 600cc non-wing micro-sprint feature, Devan Myers of Delphi, Ind., started way back in the field just like Cottle did. He came from 19th in a 21-car field to win that 20-lap feature in the Vance and Hines No. 75 with polesitter Justin Harper of Denver, Ind. right behind him at the checkered. Mike Landis of Logansport, Ind. finished third, Eastin Ashbrooke of Marion, Ind. was fourth and Abby Hohlbein rounded out the top five.

Landis started third but led the first 12 laps, surviving three restarts including one with 11 laps down after Dylan Woodling of Warsaw, Ind., flipped hard in Turn 2 while in second place trying to pass Landis. Luckily Woodling, who can usually be found competing in the UMP modified division at Gas City and even won the modified feature here on May 31, wasn’t hurt.

Myers was third on lap 12 but he got second by slipping under Ashbrooke in Turn 2 working lap 13, and he wrestled the lead from Landis with a similar move in the next turn. Harper passed Landis for second two laps later for the runner-up honors.

Gas City will be back in action on Friday nights with its “Wings and Fast Things” show on July 26. It will feature Great Lakes Super Sprints (GLSS) 360 winged sprints, UMP modifieds, outlaw winged 600cc mini-sprints, hornets and tough trucks. Dustin Daggett of Portland, Mich. hopes things will go differently for him in the GLSS race at Gas City on July 26 than they did last year during the first GLSS feature ever held at Gas City. Last June Daggett led every lap of that feature except for the lap that counted. Lapped traffic held him up in the fourth turn on the last lap, which allowed Max Stambaugh of Lima, Ohio, to slide ahead for the victory. The margin of victory for Stambaugh, who hounded Daggett the entire race, was a mere 0.108 of a second.

Fans can see the track’s 2019 schedule and get additional information on its website at Fans can also follow it on Facebook (@GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas), Twitter (@GasCitySpeedway) and Instagram (@GasCitySpeedway).

The results:

USAC Fatheadz Eyewear Qualifying Group 1: 1. Carson Short, 21, RCM-12.046; 2. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-12.050; 3. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-12.058; 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 19, Hayward/Thomas-12.111; 5. Chris Windom, 5G, Goacher-12.113; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-12.126; 7. Scotty Weir, 4p, Pedersen-12.133; 8. Dustin Ingle, 2DI, Ingle-12.191; 9. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-12.289; 10. Shane Cottle, 2E, Epperson-12.313; 11. Chad Boespflug, 98e, EZR-12.345; 12. Brent Beauchamp, 34, Olson-12.416; 13. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-12.425; 14. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-12.426; 15. Clinton Boyles, 57, Hazen-12.430; 16. Max Adams, 5m, Adams-12.562; 17. Koby Barksdale, 22, Barksdale-12.573; 18. Zane Hendricks, 27, Goodnight-12.599; 19. Terry Richards, 18m, Richards-12.679; 20. Matt Moore, 9, Moore-12.731; 21. Joe Stornetta, 04, Burton-12.732; 22. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-12.820.

USAC Fatheadz Eyewear Qualifying Group 2: 1. Jason McDougal, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-12.199; 2. Dakota Jackson, 17, On The Gass-12.269; 3. C.J. Leary, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-12.300; 4. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-12.310; 5. Thomas Meseraull, 47, Eades-12.338; 6. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-12.367; 7. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-12.671; 8. Corey Smith, 66s, CS-12.673; 9. Cole Ketcham, 41, Ketcham-12.694; 10. A.J. Hopkins, 4J, 4J-12.715; 11. Anthony D’Alessio, 01, D’Alessio-12.797; 12. Brian VanMeveren, 24, VanMeveren-12.813; 13. Dave Darland, 42, Cheney-13.040; 14. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-13.050; 15. Dallas Hewitt, 18H, Keen-13.056; 16. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-13.061; 17. Dustin Christie, 75, Christie-13.167; 18. Dickie Gaines, 44, Soudrette-13.178; 19. Matt McCarthy, 28m, McCarthy-13.209; 20. Mitchell Davis, 56, Davis-13.275; 21. Eric Perrott, 45, Perrott-14.010.

Overall USAC Fatheadz Eyewear Fastest Qualifier: Carson Short, 12.046 seconds.

USAC Sprint Heat 1 (10 laps; 4 transferred): 1. Scotty Weir, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Josh Hodges, 5. Chad Boespflug, 6. Brody Roa, 7. Clinton Boyles, 8. Koby Barksdale, 9. Joe Stornetta, 10. Terry Richards, 11. Carson Short. No time.

USAC Sprint Heat 2 (10 laps, 4 transferred): 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Chase Stockon, 4. Brent Beauchamp, 5. Shane Cottle, 6. Dustin Ingle, 7. Matt Westfall, 8. Jarett Andretti, 9. Max Adams, 10. Zane Hendricks, 11. Matt Moore. No time.

USAC Sprint Heat 3 (10 laps, 4 transferred): 1.  Jason McDougal, 2. Thomas Meseraull, 3. Dave Darland, 4. C.J. Leary, 5. Dallas Hewitt, 6. Cole Ketcham, 7. Isaac Chapple, 8. Dustin Christie, 9. Matt McCarthy, 10. Anthony D’Alessio, 11. Eric Perrott. No time.

USAC Sprint Heat 4 (10 laps, 4 transferred): 1.  Tyler Courtney, 2. Dakota Jackson, 3. Corey Smith, 4. Kyle Cummins, 5. A.J. Hopkins, 6. Dickie Gaines, 7. Brandon Mattox, 8. Matt Goodnight, 9. Mitchell Davis, 10. Brian VanMeveren (DNS). No time.

USAC Sprint C Main (10 laps; 4 transferred): 1. Max Adams, 2. Terry Richards, 3. Matt Goodnight; 4. Mitchell Davis, 5. Dustin Christie, 6. Koby Barksdale, 7. Dickie Gaines, 8. Zane Hendricks, 9. Matt Moore, 10.  Matt McCarthy, 11. Eric Perrott. 2:18.56

USAC Sprint B Main (12 laps; 6 transferred):  1. Shane Cottle, 2. Carson Short, 3. Isaac Chapple, 4. A.J. Hopkins, 5. Cole Ketcham, 6. Max Adams, 7. Brody Roa, 8. Chad Boespflug; 9. Dallas Hewitt, 10. Dustin Ingle, 11. Jarett Andretti, 12. Clinton Boyles, 13. Mitchell Davis, 14. Brandon Mattox, 15. Matt Goodnight, 16. Terry Richards, 17. Brian VanMeveren, 18. Anthony D’Alessio. No time.

USAC Sprint Feature (30 laps): 1. Shane Cottle, 2. C.J. Leary, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Kevin Thomas Jr., 6. Jason McDougal, 7. Dakota Jackson, 8. Kyle Cummins, 9. Brent Beauchamp, 10. Justin Grant, 11. Cole Ketcham, 12. Chase Stockon, 13. Max Adams, 14. Josh Hodges, 15. Chad Boepflug, 16. Carson Short, 17. Isaac Chapple, 18. Brian VanMeveren, 19. Corey Smith, 20. Dave Darland, 21. A.J. Hopkins, 22. Thomas Meseraull, 23. Tyler Courtney, 24. Scotty Weir. No time.

Micro-Sprint Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Dylan Woodling, 2. Mike Landis, 3. Mychael Schimmel, 4. Abby Hohlbein, 5. Dale Phillips, 6. Bob Baker, 7. Devan Myers.

Micro-Sprint Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Eastin Ashbrooke, 2. Ty Nevins, 3. Jakeb Boxell, 4. Billy Briscoe, 5. Kevin Hapner, 6. Dawson Phillips, 7. Darin Naida (DNS).

Micro-Sprint Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. Justin Harper, 2. Brad Sutton, 3. Ryan Ball, 4. Matt Martini, 5. Tyler Chalk, 6. Dave Cochran, 7. Austin Helm.

Micro-Sprint Feature (20 laps): 1. Devan Myers, 2. Justin Harper, 3. Mike Landis, 4. Eastin Ashbrooke, 5. Abby Hohlbein, 6. Austin Helm, 7. Kevin Hapner, 8. Brad Sutton, 9. Robert Phillips, 10. Ryan Ball, 11. Billy Briscoe, 12. Mychael Schimmel, 13. Jakeb Boxell, 14. Dylan Woodling, 15. Ty Nevins, 16. Dawson Phillips, 17. Matt Martini (DNS), 18. Tyler Chalk (DNS), 19. Bob Baker (DNS), 20. Dave Cochran (DNS), 21. Darin Naida (DNS).