Ballou banzais Lakeside to Weld Racing Spring Classic win

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April 26, 2015

USAC feature winner Robert Ballou is flanked by runner-up Chase Stockon (left) and third-place finisher Brady Bacon (right).
USAC feature winner Robert Ballou is flanked by runner-up Chase Stockon (left) and third-place finisher Brady Bacon (right).

KANSAS CITY, Kan.--It was “take no prisoners” for Robert Ballou on Sunday night at Lakeside Speedway as the Rocklin, Calif., driver decimated the field to win the 30-lap Weld Racing Spring Classic. After a caution with 12 laps to go, Ballou tore away from the field to an eventual 7.519-second victory in the No. 12 Blakesley Auto/MPHG Promotions Maxim/Ott on the first visit to the track by the AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship since 2001.

“Our car was just a tick too tight on the cushion, and I had to search and go up a little higher to get it comfortable,” Ballou said. “It was a little smoother up there and I had just enough room to work past guys. It was crazy going through traffic, but I just kept digging. This place has always been good to us, and it’s nice to come back and win here.”

Tracy Hines led from the pole as the fastest part of the race track was way up high on the cushion. Chase Stockon ran in second as Ballou took third right away. Those three pulled away, and just as they hit traffic, Ballou moved in on Stockon. On lap 7, he tried going above Stockon but couldn’t quite make it stick. A lap later, Ballou rolled into turn 1 with four wheels in the cushion to flash past Stockon for second.

With a big run down the backstretch, Ballou used the same maneuver through turns 3-4 to circle Hines for the top spot. After that, Ballou checked out, tearing through lapped traffic while building a lead well over a half-lap.

Stockon used traffic to slide past Hines as well, and Brady Bacon came calling for the third spot from Hines on lap 19. After completing a slide past Hines, the two made contact and sent Hines spinning, causing the only caution of the night with 12 laps to go.

Ballou was not to be denied, again racing away from the field and lapping more cars as he collected his 12th career series victory to tie himself with Eric Gordon for 39th on the all-time list.

Behind him, it was a free-for-all for the second spot as Stockon and Bacon went after each other. Stockon held Bacon back at every turn, taking the second spot in the No. 32 Superior Tank & Trailer/Crescent Electric Supply DRC/Fisher.

“The race track tonight is just Robert Ballou’s forté. We knew coming in that he was probably the guy to beat, but we didn’t know he’d be that fast. It was frustrating to see him pull away like that, but it was a strong second for us at the same time,” Stockon said. “It’s a challenge to race with some new guys out here and try to work around them while having a battle of our own, but luckily Brady and I respect each other and race well with each other to settle the second spot.”

Bacon rounded out the podium in the No. 69 Hoffman Auto Racing/Mean Green Triple X/Williams Mopar.

“We thought we had something at the beginning, but then Robert got up there and just left us all. There was a big difference in speed between cars as we’re lapping them, and it was tough to gauge how things would go with some of them, especially with the track being pretty treacherous up top. I tried to go up where Robert was, but we just weren’t able to do it. Pretty happy with our night and ready to go back east to the next one,” Bacon said.

Dave Darland came home in the fourth spot after setting ProSource Fast Time aboard the No. 71 Phillips Motorsports/Trench Shoring DRC/Foxco and Kevin Thomas Jr. rounded out the top-five after starting tenth in the No. 17RW Bakken Concrete/Griffin’s Propane Maxim/Fisher.

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AMSOIL USAC Sprint Car National Championship
Lakeside Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
Sunday, April 26, 2015

QUALIFYING: 1. Dave Darland, 71P, Phillips/Curb-Agajanian 17.675 seconds; 2. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics 17.703; 3. Jon Stanbrough, 81, JSR 17.866; 4. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou 17.872; 5. Aaron Farney, 15F, Farney 17.986; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI 18.094; 7. Tracy Hines, 4, THR 18.187; 8. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary 18.223; 9. Casey Shuman, 2X, Barnhill 18.281; 10. Kevin Thomas Jr., 17RW, Dutcher 18.365; 11. Landon Simon, 24, LSR 18.375; 12. Chris Windom, 21X, Pollock 18.419; 13. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti 18.593; 14. Riley Kreisel, 90, Smith 18.768; 15. Ricky Stangl, 24X, Stangl 18.937; 16. Chris Parkinson, 75, Hockett 19.093; 17. Bret Mellenberndt, 97, Mellenberndt 19.415; 18. Ryan Kitchen, 11, Hafenstine 19.458; 19. Warren Johnson, 42, Johnson 19.480; 20. Josh Stephens, 09, Stephens 19.679; 21. Danny Thoman, 27, Thoman 19.754; 22. Alex Schriever, 0, Davis 19.925; 23. Steve Thomas, 20, Thomas 20.017; 24. Mike Moore, 69X, Moore 20.046; 25. Robert Black, 7JR, Black 20.099; 26. Jeff Wingate, 8, Wingate 20.175; 27. John Helm, 12X, Helm 20.524; 28. Scott Comstock, 41, Comstock 20.564; 29. Mike Ell, 99, Ell 20.620; 30. Kenny Potter, 55, Potter 21.141; 31. Robert Bell, 71, Bell 21.155; 32. Clyde Knipp, 13, Korte 21.230.

FIRST HEAT (8 laps): 1. Darland, 2. Mellenberndt, 3. Shuman, 4. Andretti, 5. Thoman, 6. Black, 7. Ell, 8. Farney. (no time)

SECOND HEAT (8 laps): 1. Stockon, 2. K. Thomas, 3. Bacon, 4. Kitchen, 5. Kreisel, 6. Schriever, 7. Potter, 8. Wingate. (2:32.99)

THIRD HEAT (8 laps): 1. Hines, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Simon, 4. Stangl, 5. Johnson, 6. Helm, 7. Bell, 8. S. Thomas. (2:31.88)

FOURTH HEAT (8 laps): 1. Leary, 2. Ballou, 3. Parkinson, 4. Windom, 5. Moore, 6. Stephens, 7. Knipp, 8. Comstock. (2:34.00)

SEMI (12 laps): 1. Kreisel, 2. Farney, 3. Johnson, 4. Moore, 5. Stephens, 6. Thoman, 7. Helm, 8. Black, 9. Wingate, 10. Bell, 11. Potter, 12. S. Thomas, 13. Ell, 14. Schriever, 15. Comstock, 16. Knipp. (no time)

FEATURE (30 laps): 1. Ballou, 2. Stockon, 3. Bacon, 4. Darland, 5. K. Thomas, 6. Stanbrough, 7. Leary, 8. Hines, 9. Windom, 10. Shuman, 11. Farney, 12. Andretti, 13. Simon, 14. Thoman, 15. Kriesel, 16. Kitchen, 17. Stephens, 18. Moore, 19. Parkinson, 20. Stangl, 21. Johnson, 22. Mellenberndt. (no time)

Lap Leaders: Hines 1-7, Ballou 8-30.
Points Standings: Stockon 591, Ballou 564, Darland 563, Bacon 559, K. Thomas 503, Stanbrough 477, Hines 453, Leary 433, Windom 342, Justin Grant 315.