Clauson Edges Darland In USAC Sprint-Car Season Opener

Ocala, Fla. – Sprint-car aces Bryan Clauson and Dave Darland waged a hotly contested battle throughout the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car feature race at the Bubba Raceway Park on Thursday evening with Clauson eking out a narrow victory on the 1/3-mile dirt track.

From the drop of the green flag, the dirt-track veterans waged a torrid battle, and they exchanged the lead four times before Clauson powered by with two laps remaining in the 30-lap feature event.

Clauson drove the Tony Stewart Racing-Curb Agajanian Racing Chevy Performance Kistler while Darland had the wheel of the Phillips Motorsports/Racers Advantage Foxco Chevy.

Said the happy victor, “I had to work him and work him and threw some stuff at him with 10 to go. I through my best stuff at him, but he countered and got my me. I had to re-group and use traffic to get by him. I was better than him in turns 1 and 2, but he was better than me in 3 and 4, which made it tough to complete the pass.

“It feels very good to get the first feature win of the year. It is awesome and I can’t wait for tomorrow night.”

Darland got side-tracked in the opening laps with a bout with pole-sitter Coleman Gulick. When the latter thought Darland wasn’t racing him fair and spun out, he retaliated by ramming his foe. Without hesitation, USAC officials quickly stepped in and benched the young driver. The two exchanged words after the race, but officials and onlookers quickly broke up the affair.

Said Darland about the race, “Bryan and I had a good race, except for the deal with Coleman, who drove into the back of me and then blamed me for whatever he thought I did.”

Brady Bacon raced to third place.

Hunter Schuerenberg garnered fourth ahead of Robert Ballou.

Sixth through 10th was Kevin Thomas Jr., fast qualifier Chase Stockton, Chris Windom, Scotty Weir and hard-charger Jac Haudenschild.

Shane Cottle flipped in the feature and Derek Hastings did the same in the semi.

Stockton’s qualifying time was 14.150 seconds.

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