Clauson Breaks Through At Lincoln Park
Chase Briscoe walked away from a hard flip on lap 11, as two cars got together ahead of him. Clauson tried to bomb inside of Bell going into the first turn on the restart, but Bell held his ground. On the next circuit, he charged around Bell on the outside of turn four, and cleared him as they raced past the flagstand. On lap 19, Darland suffered a flat left front when Brady Bacon moved up the track in turn three as Darland was trying to work around him.
With the recurring restarts, Clauson didn’t really get into traffic. He was quick and precise as he circled the oval, building a straightaway lead at one point. Brady Short hustled into third, passing Stanbrough when Bell slammed the door as Stanbrough tried to get inside of him. Clauson led Bell to the finish by half the length of the straightaway. Short held third with Stanbrough and Chris Windom in the top five.
Clauson explained that when he battled Bell, he felt like he had the stronger car, and just needed to get out front.
“We were able to carve a second lane up in one and two and on a restart got a run down the back straightaway,” Clauson said. “I guessed right on what he was doing. He was doing a good job of mixing up where he was going into three, a couple of times I went to slide him and he was there and a couple of times I just followed him. So, I saw the opening and made sure I got to the curb because I was sure he’d be sliding up and I got the diamond down into one and just took the bottom away. It felt like we had the stronger car and it was just a matter of working him.”
Bell noted that it was only his eighth non-wing sprint car start, and he was still learning. He explained, “I kept seeing his nose down there and I wasn’t really sure where he was getting his run on me. I knew it wasn’t coming off of four because I felt pretty good there. So I knew that he had to be doing something different than me in one and two. Then, once he drove by me, I tried running the top down there, I tried running the diamond, and I just couldn’t get off of two very well.”
With his win, Clauson closed to 11 points behind Darland in USAC’s national sprint car standings and third in the Sprint Week points, just 10 behind Thomas, the leader. Stanbrough is second, eight points behind Thomas with two races remaining.