Ballou Wins, Clauson Is Sprintweek Champ
HAUBSTADT, Ind. — Robert Ballou won the battle on Saturday night at Tri-State Speedway, while Bryan Clauson won the war as the 27th Indiana Sprintweek came to a close. Both drivers picked up two wins on the week and Clauson came out 30 points ahead of Ballou in the final tally for the week-long crown.
Ballou began from the pole and took the early lead, as local favorite Kyle Cummins stayed tucked in tightly with the track being very fast early on. Cummins came on as the track started to blow off some, working underneath Ballou off nearly every corner. He finally edged past as they completed lap seven.
The race’s lone caution flew on lap fourteen, as Casey Shuman slowed, and it was exactly what Ballou needed. He attacked Cummins on the high side this time, nearly nipping him at the line on lap 14 before clearing Cummins for the top spot through turns one and two. Cummins kept Ballou in sight as they worked through traffic, but could never mount a charge.
For Ballou, it was an emotional victory, marking his seventh career score in the Ballou Motorsports – Deaton’s Waterfront Services No. 12x Maxim/Ott.
“There ain’t a guy here who tries harder or wants it more than me,” Ballou said. “I had a long dry spell with USAC and haven’t been able to run all the races lately, and this means a lot. I came here a long time without ever winning. We’ve finally started to see it pay off. This is one of my favorite places. We have a ton of people helping us, and it’s mostly little contributions, but those people mean a lot to me.”
Cummins finished off a fine showing in his only race of the week, finishing second in the Vincennes University – Greenwell Auto Body No. 3c Spike/Cummins.
“I wanna win a USAC race worse than anything, and we don’t run a lot of them, so it was great to have that opportunity tonight and hurts to miss it. Driving by him for the lead in a Sprintweek show here in front of all of our fans was an incredible feeling. I don’t know if something went away a bit under the yellow, but we just didn’t have what we did before that. It seems like the bottom to middle has been better in the last few shows here. I could stay there with him towards the end but never could capitalize,” Cummins said.