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Coons takes Putnamville.

Coons takes Putnamville.

Postby Ron Verash » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:01 am

PUTNAMVILLE, Ind. – Jerry Coons Jr. celebrated his independence in style Friday night at Lincoln Park Speedway as the veteran captured his first AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series victory of the season. It was the 15th career National Sprint win for Coons, tying him for 27th all-time.

Coons found himself on the pole after qualifying eighth, but it was Dave Darland driving around the outside to take the initial lead during the 30-lapper. Coons darted under him on lap two as they exited turn four, getting the official lead before point-leader Brady Bacon got caught up in a chain reaction and spun in turn four on lap three.

Coons kept his lead as Darland tried to work the high side just behind him. They moved into lapped traffic within just a few laps as Darland made a major mistake, getting sideways in turns one and two on lap 10 and nearly stopping before another car hit him and re-fired the Phillips Motorsports No. 71P. The caution came out, but since no cars had stopped, it was deemed an inadvertent yellow and Darland was placed in fifth, which is where he blended in as the caution appeared.

From there the race went green as Coons tried to slice through traffic with Bryan Clauson keeping pace with him. Clauson tried to apply pressure to his inside, but Coons was too strong as Clauson started to blow some smoke from underneath the hood. With just five laps to go, Coons encountered two cars racing side-by-side and was held up enough for Clauson to try the bottom through turns three and four, grabbing the lead as they crossed the stripe on lap 26.

Jerry Coons Jr. on his way to victory in Friday's AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series event at Lincoln Park Speedway. (Frederics Photography Photo)
Jerry Coons Jr. on his way to victory in Friday’s AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series event at Lincoln Park Speedway. (Frederics Photography Photo)

Clauson was slowing considerably, however, and Coons raced back by on lap 27 to take the lead for good, finishing unchallenged in the Edison Motorsports/Crume Evans Insurance No. 10E Spike/Chevy.

“Tonight, it makes or breaks your night to qualify pretty well and get through the heat, which helped us with the front row,” Coons said. The track was pretty narrow tonight with traffic, and the second time, I was a little too timid as I got to them. Clauson got up next to me, and I just had to jump up there and drive it in to get him back. Those guys were just side-by-side battling for position, so there wasn’t much of anywhere to go. We’ve been really good lately and found some things to be better later in the night, and that’s put us up front consistently.”

As Clauson faded, fast qualifier C.J. Leary was on the move, taking second to match his best-career finish in the Leary Construction Company/Green Tech Lubricants No. 30 DRC/Claxton Mopar. “(Crew chief) Derek Claxton and I have been on a pretty good streak lately, qualifying well and giving us a chance to start near the front. We’ve had some good runs and our confidence is high, so we’re excited to get Sprintweek started next week. We’re right there, and it would be great to get our first win during Sprintweek,” Leary said.

Shane Cottle rounded out the podium as he passed Clauson on the last lap in the Epperson Painting/PPG No. 2E Spike/Foxco. “We were actually pretty good by the end. We were way too tight early. I thought the traffic would blow off a little quicker, but it just took too long. I was actually talking to my car owner Tony Epperson about getting him a USAC Sprint Car win, so hopefully we can knock the door down on that next week,” Cottle said. Clauson wound up fourth in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing/Chevy Performance No. 20 Beast/Kistler, and Darland rounded out the top-five in the Phillips Motorsports/Racer’s Advantage Store No. 71P DRC/Foxco. Bacon saved some of his point lead by racing back to 13th.

AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series, Lincoln Park Speedway, Putnamville, Ind., July 4, 2014.

Qualifications: 1. C.J. Leary, Leary 30, 12.403; 2. Chad Boespflug, Hazen 57, 12.594; 3. Bryan Clauson, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian 20, 12.607; 4. Max McGhee, McGhee 17m, 12.675; 5. Shane Cottle, Epperson 2e, 12.679; 6. Jon Stanbrough, Dutcher 37rw, 12.707; 7. Dave Darland, Phillips 71p, 12.715; 8. Jerry Coons Jr., Edison 10e, 12.716; 9. Tracy Hines, Hines 4, 12.722; 10. Brady Bacon, Dynamics 69, 12.728; 11. Casey Shuman, Krockenberger 21k, 12.787; 12. Chris Windom, Walker 11, 12.868; 13. Daron Clayton, Byram 3r, 12.890; 14. Hunter Schuerenberg, Schuerenberg/Nolen 20n, 12.893; 15. Chase Stockon, 32/TBI 32, 12.905; 16. Jarett Andretti, Andretti 18, 13.013; 17. Lee Dakus, Dakus 21x, 13.050; 18. Kevin Thomas Jr., KT 9k, 13.087; 19. Chris Phillips, Phillips 6, 13.154; 20. Robert Ballou, Ballou 12, 13.259; 21. Mike Terry Jr., Terry 85, 13.320; 22. Aaron Farney, Farney 15F, 13.345; 23. Brian Hayden, Hayden 2h, 13.556; 24. Matt McDonald, McDonald 5m, 14.130.

First Heat (10 laps): Clayton, Bacon, Leary, Darland, Andretti, McGhee, Farney, Phillips.

Second Heat (10 laps): Schuerenberg, Coons, Cottle, Ballou, Boespflug, Dakus, Hayden, Shuman.

Third Heat (10 laps): Thomas, Stockon, Clauson, Windom, Hines, Stanbrough, Terry, McDonald.

Semi (12 laps): Stanbrough, Shuman, Dakus, McGhee, Farney, Hayden, Phillips, Terry, McDonald.

Feature (30 laps): Coons, Leary, Cottle, Clauson, Darland, Stanbrough, Boespflug, Hines, Windom, Shuman, Stockon, Ballou, Bacon, Clayton, Schuerenberg, McGhee, Thomas, Farney, Andretti, Dakus, Hayden, Phillips
Ron Verash
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Ron Verash
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