Dave Darland Looks Good At 53!
KOKOMO, Ind. – Dave Darland didn’t waste any time breaking the tie atop the all-time AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series win list.
Darland backed up his win on Saturday that matched him with Tom Bigelow at 52 wins with the record-breaker in Sunday’s Stoops Freightliner – Quality Trailer Sprint Car Smackdown III at Kokomo Speedway. The Lincoln, Ind., native put himself alone on top of the mountain with 53 victories at his home track in front of frenzied fans.
“Fifty-three feels great. Breaking Tom’s record is special enough, but to do it here with my family and so many friends and fans at Kokomo Speedway, it just couldn’t be better. This place has been really good to me, and it’s nice to get it done. There’s a lot of attention that comes with the chase, so it’s a bit of a relief. We’ve got a lot of races left this season, and it’s off my mind now,” Darland said.
Brady Bacon, who earlier beat out Darland in the B&W Auto Mart King of the Hill finals to earn the pole as they made up the Factory Kahne Front Row, took the early lead in the 40-lapper. The track was heavy early in the going, but Darland finally carved in a higher line as the track widened out, and he came calling for the lead five laps in. He roared by on the outside to complete lap-six with a lead he would never relinquish.
Only three cautions slowed the pace, with the second coming just past the halfway mark. From there, Robert Ballou came after Bacon and Jon Stanbrough in a torrid battle for the second spot. C.J. Leary also poked his nose as he entered the top-five from 12th.
Darland entered traffic for the second time with just a handful of laps remaining, and Ballou had cleared the runner-up battle to chop Darland’s lead down with five laps to go. Ballou was closing on Darland as they approached a bunch of lapped cars with less than three laps left, but Leary’s night came to an end with a flat right-rear tire, and he stopped in turn-four.