Darland Nabs 40th USAC Sprint Car Victory
PEORIA, Ariz. — Dave Darland notched his 40th career USAC National Sprint Car Series victory on the opening night of the 12th annual Parker Store Hall of Fame Classic at Canyon Speedway Park Friday.
Darland’s victory was his sixth series triumph of the season, tying him with runner-up Bryan Clauson who actually gained a point on Darland to close the gap to 22 entering Saturday night’s Hall of Fame Classic finale.
While Darland took top USAC honors, Jacob Hawkins cracked CSP Challenge Cup sprint car victory lane for the first time this season in the companion feature event.
Kevin Thomas Jr., led from the pole for 17 rounds before Darland slipped past for good in turn two on the 18th round. Darland raced on to the checkered flag with a 1.093-second advantage over Clauson, who slipped by Thomas as well.
Thomas settled for third, with Mike Spencer and Robert Ballou rounding out the top five.
“The race track was pretty slick tonight, and we got up into second when Bryan was up trying the top. KT slipped wide a little bit there in turn-two and that was our opportunity,” Darland explained after the triumph aboard Jeff Walker’s Claxton-powered Jam-It-In Storage No. 11 Maxim.
Hawkins snared his first Challenge Cup win by racing to the checkered flag from the eighth-starting position. Hawkins crossed the stripe in front of Bryan Swinehart, with Johnny Shelton, Jr., Josh Shipley and Larry Gibson rounding out the top five.