Jon Stanbrough captured the King of Indiana Sprint Series points title to become the only 2-time champion on Saturday.
Jon Stanbrough doesn't like to do things by half-measures. While he would have secured his second King of Indiana Sprint Series championship by simply taking the green flag in the main event at the Terre Haute Action Track, instead he led every lap, thoroughly dominating the big finale. Shane Cottle finished two seconds behind, followed by Brad Sweet, Jon Sciscoe and Mitch Wissmiller.
After the victory ceremonies, Stanbrough explained what winning a second KISS title meant to him. "I've won a few championships here and there and never repeated," he said. "It's really exciting to be a two-time champion and even more exciting to have gotten the most wins in the series. Hopefully I can continue with that."
Starting fifth for the 30-lap feature, Stanbrough hugged the bottom through turn two and grabbed the lead when the front cars slid up. He admitted that he was surprised, "I always kind of have in mind what I'm going to do and if somebody opens the door for me, then I'm going to go for it. If it's somewhere I can get through - my car was hooked up, I got to it and it just took off."
At the completion of the first lap, Stanbrough had the Fox Brothers DRC a dozen car-lengths ahead of Cottle, with pole-sitter Bryan Stanfill ahead of Hud Cone, Sciscoe, Sweet and Shane Hollingsworth. Clearly Brad and Steve Fox had found the car's sweet spot, as Stanbrough kept the FOXCO powerplant wound up, as he smoothly negotiated the cushion at each end. He owned a two-second lead and had just caught the tail-enders by lap 13 when the yellow came out for Hunter Schuerenberg, who had come to a stop while running in the top ten.
Stanfill challenged Cottle for second at the restart, grabbing the spot in turn four. But Cottle battled back and Stanfill began falling back and dropped out several laps later when his engine began overheating. At 20 laps, Stanbrough was a half-straightaway ahead and extended his advantage to a full straightaway while negotiating slower cars with just a handful of laps remaining. Cottle closed the gap to two seconds at the end, but no one had been able to challenge Stanbrough.
"I have to give credit to the guys who put a great setup on it," Stanbrough said. "They got the tire pressures and the stagger and everything right. I'm just the guy turning the wheel and they make me look good. I definitely have to give all of the credit to Brad and Steve Fox. They build the motor and take care of the car. They do a great job, obviously. It showed tonight."
For the third time, Cottle finished second to Stanbrough in a KISS race. If not for missing the Lawrenceburg round when he was competing in the Little 500, he certainly would have been in the thick of the point fight. After the feature, he candidly noted, "Down in three and four it was up on the high side, that was about the only place to run. Coming off of two on the high side, it was real slow. So I got down on the bottom and I was a little bit faster than he was, but I just couldn't keep the momentum up on the straightaway. I was kind of hard on my tires early and burned them off when I was trying to get out in front of him and I used up a lot of my tires. I was kind of just hanging around there at the end."
Brad Sweet had a strong run in Jack Yeley's DRC. He finished a strong third after starting seventh. "It looks like we finally got the car kind of figured out. It took us a few weeks, but we're starting to run better. The track was definitely hooked up tonight. We started in the fourth row, and just kind of picked them off as we went along. But once we got up to Stanbrough and Cottle, I don't think we had anything for them. It was a good run for our team and we definitely needed it."
As in the 30-lap finale, Stanbrough grabbed the KISS point lead with back-to-back victories in the opening races and no one was able to mount a credible challenge. With a fifth place finish at Lawrenceburg, and third at Paragon, the Terre Haute victory gave him a 135-point advantage in the final standings. Jonathan Vennard trailed by 99 points when the evening began, but after fighting engine problems during his heat race, he switched to Chris Gentry's team car for the main event. A ninth-place run from the tail solidified second in the final points.
Results: King of Indiana Sprint Series at Terre Haute Action Track, July 1, 2006
Heat 1 (5 transfer): 1. Hud Cone (2), 2. Bryan Stanfill (1), 3. Brad Sweet (6), 4. Jeff Davis (3), 5. Chase Stockon (5), 6. A.J. Anderson (4), 7. Hunter Schuerenberg (9), 8. Alex Shanks (10), 9. Randy Bateman (8), 10. Patrick Bruns (7)
Heat 2: 1. Shane Cottle (3), 2. Jon Stanbrough (6), 3. Critter Malone (7), 4. Chris Windom (5), 5. Chris Gentry (1), 6. Mitch Wissmiller (10), 7. Kyle Wissmiller (9), 8. Jerry Ruble (8), 9. Bob Botts (4), 10. Jonathan Vennard (2)
Heat 3: 1. Kyle Cummins (1), 2. Jon Sciscoe (2), 3. Shane Hollingsworth (6), 4. Chris Urish (3), 5. Danny Brackett (4), 6. Justin Marvel (5), 7. Derek O'Dell (7), 8. Matt Westfall (9), 9. Dale Christian (8), 10. Sam Stockon (10)
Semi (5 transfer): 1. M. Wissmiller (2), 2. Marvel (3), 3. Shanks (7), 4. Schuerenberg (4), 5. Anderson (1), 6. O'Dell (6), 7. Westfall (9), 8. Ruble (8), 9. Christian (12), 10. Botts (11)
Feature (30 laps): 1. Stanbrough (5), 2. Cottle (4), 3. Sweet (7), 4. Sciscoe (2), 5. M. Wissmiller (14), 6. Windom (11), 7. Hollingsworth (9), 8. Marvel (17), 9. Vennard (20), 10. Malone (8), 11. Cone (3), 12. Shanks (16), 13. Brackett (15), 14. Anderson (18), 15. Davis (10), 16. C. Stockon (13), 17. Urish (12), 18. Cummins (6), 19. Stanfill (1), 20. Schuerenberg (19)
Final Points: Stanbrough 645, Vennard 510, Windom 495, Cottle 485, Marvel 484