Thomas Returns To Winning Ways In USAC
HAUBSTADT, Ind. — Kevin Thomas Jr. became the winningest driver on the AMSOIL National Sprint Car tour this season as he picked up his seventh win of the season —and first since July 17th — in Saturday’s “Haubstadt Hustler” at Tri-State Speedway.
The event was co-sanctioned by the Midwest Sprint Car Series.
Tracy Hines got the jump on the field to start the 40-lapper, but Brady Short grabbed the lead to close lap one. A quick caution on lap-two set up a long green-flag run, with Short out front as Dave Darland moved to second and brought Thomas and Brady Bacon with him.
As the leaders sliced through traffic, Darland cut into Short’s lead as he ran the top while Thomas and Bacon battled for the third spot. The cushion was getting more and more treacherous, as Short and Thomas both ran through the middle without issue. Just past the halfway point, the top-four all ran together before Darland faltered on the cushion and Thomas cut underneath for second.
From there, Thomas wasted no time diving under leader Short to take the top spot on lap 27, just before Darland slowed with issues after dropping to fourth.
The final thirteen laps went without issue as Thomas sped away, crossing the line just before A.J. Hopkins flipped in turn-four to bring out a red flag. For Thomas, it gave him a sweep of the races at Tri-State this season in the Mike Dutcher/RW/TriStar Motorsports – Black Jack Oil Company No. 17rw Maxim/Fisher.
“It’s good to get back here and get us a win. This place has treated us really well. This thing was a chariot tonight, so I just had to be patient and work traffic. We just can get off the corner on the bottom so well here. Hopefully, we have things back where they should be now and can keep the momentum going through the end of the season,” Thomas said.
Short came home second in the Pottorff Logging – Indiana Stone Works No. 11p Maxim/SPEC.
“I lost a little bit at the end, but it was fun and $5,000 for second ain’t bad. I kinda figured KT was gonna be the guy to beat, just knowing how good they’ve been here. I finally saw his nose in lapped traffic and knew I was in trouble. Once he got in front of me, I knew I couldn’t do much to get him back,” Short said.
Bacon finished on the podium for the third time in his last four races aboard the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green No. 69 Triple X/Stanton Mopar.
“I’ve never really done that well here, so it was good to get a good finish with a good car. It got a little trickier and more technical on the top as the race went on. We had a little stumble that really hurt us a couple times. I think we shoulda gotten Brady for second, if not for that. I felt like we were as fast as anybody in open track, but they could maneuver a little better, especially in traffic,” Bacon said.
Jon Stanbrough came home fourth with Kyle Cummins fifth.