Courtney Shines In Final Edition Of Hoosier 100 At Fairgrounds

Hoosier 100 winner Tyler Courtney celebrates in victory lane. [Joe Jennings Photo]

Hoosier 100 winner Tyler Courtney celebrates in victory lane. [Joe Jennings Photo]

By Joe Jennings

INDIANAPOLIS – Running second throughout much of the Hoosier 100 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, hometown driver Tyler Courtney pounced when the opportunity presented itself and raced to victory in the last-ever race on the famed mile dirt-track.

Auto racing is leaving the track to allow the application of limestone for the benefit of horse racing. Although no specifics were available, race organizers plan to move the popular race to an unidentified location.

Driving the Hans Lein entry, Courtney thrilled the large crowd when he passed leader Kevin Thomas, Jr. on the 93rd lap to win the 64th and final edition of the legendary USAC Silver Crown championship race.

“I knew we had to maintain our pace for a while and just run our race,” said the popular driver known as Sunshine. “On that last restart, my spotter let me know that another driver was doing well running high and I knew where Kevin would be lifting, so I knew where to time it right I could sneak by him. It worked out and this is incredible.

“Being the last Hoosier 100, we get to put our names alongside all the greats, which no one else can do now.”

Thomas held on for second in the finely tuned Foxco Racing car.

Seeking a record fifth consecutive victory in the race, Kody Swanson had to settle for third but he did hold on to the point lead. The cordial Californian had brake problems during qualifications and they weren’t fully resolved for the race.

Swanson said, “I didn’t really come close with third. Kevin did a great job and Tyler had a great restart and timed it just right. Unfortunately, we weren’t good enough even though everyone gave it everything they had. For the first night in the Nolen car and to run third in the Hoosier 100 was good but not good enough.”

Fourth and fifth were Justin Grant and Brady Bacon.

Rounding out top 10 were Jason McDougal, David Byrne, Steve Buckwalter, Brian Tyler and Jacob Wilson.

Chris Windom led the first five laps before ramming the outside wall on front-stretch and flipping some seven times before coming to a grinding stop just past the starting line. Onlookers believe the Windom wreck was one of the worst-ever in the Hoosier 100. Fortunately, he escaped injury but his Goodnight-Byrd car was demolished.

Sophomore driver Chris Dyson also escaped injury in a backstretch flip on lap 92.

Thomas set fast time of 32.929, besting 38 other drivers.

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