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Allstate Lightning 100, USAC Midgets @ THR 3/14/09

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East the beast in Mopar Midget main

Young Bobby East gave the 22-car USAC midget field a good ol' fashioned whoopin' in the 60-lap Allstate Texas Lightning 100. The Brownsburg, Indiana

driver took the lead early on green and never looked back. Even two cautions that regrouped the field couldn't deter East as he would easily rebuild huge leads over Darren Hagan. At the checkers East finished with nearly a half track advantage.


East easily beat Zach Daum into turn 1 as the green waved, with Hagan taking second, Daum falling in third followed by Kevin Swindell, Jerry Coons jr. and Tracey Hines. East quickly flexed his muscle stretching out is lead while Hagan and Daum battled for second. Cale Conley spun on lap 4 sending Slade Miller on a wild ride through the turn 4 grass, with Levi Jones having to take evasive action. Under caution, third place Daum stopped on the back stretch and needed to be towed off.


Once back under green, East motored away as Swindell took quick look under Hagan for second. By lap 10 East built a straightaway lead over the scramble for second. In the field, Brad Kuhn got past Cole Whitt for eighth on lap 14. Dakoda Armstrong began his charge to the front taking fifth from Hines on lap 15. As East increased his margin over Hagan and Swindell, D. Armstrong began challenging Coons for fourth.


Just before halfway caution waved for Buddy Lowther who stopped in turn 4. East jumped out by two car lengths on green, with Hagan, Swindell, Coons and D. Armstrong in the top five at the midpoint. D. Armstrong was finally able to work his way by Coons for fourth on lap 33. Hines and Kuhn were able to grab spots from Coons on lap 35, moving him back to seventh.


With East in the wind, D. Armstrong, Hines and Kuhn closed in on Swindell and Hagan with twenty to go. D. Armstrong began looking high on Swindell for third but fell short in that attempt. After fending off D. Armstrong, Swindell took his look for second under Hagan, only to give D. Armstrong the chance to get around for third on lap 50.


Despite dodging lapped traffic, East kept laying it on the field and was nearly a half track ahead on Hagan, who was being pressured now for second. D. Armstrong got close enough to put the nerf bar on Hagan but nothing more in the final laps. Up front it was East in the Klatt Enterprises, Ford Racing, Club Sport, Esslinger powered, Beast Chassis easily cruising to the win.


“We gave it all that it had,” said East as his car sat smoking and losing fluid in the Winners Circle. “It was pretty awesome. This Beast Chassis was just hooked up. We unloaded pretty decent and my dad made a few small changes throughout the night and really got it dialed in for the feature. It was pretty fun.”


“The only trouble I had was with lapped traffic. Some of those guys made it as hard as possible it seemed like for me. So I was worried about that and wrecking. “


“I got that big lead because the car was fast and handling tonight.”


Mopar USAC Midget Lightning 60

4 Bobby East, Brownsburg, Ind

3 Darren Hagan, Riverside, Calif

7A Dakoda Armstrong, New Castle, Ind

67 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

21 Tracey Hines, New Castle, Ind

17B Brad Kuhn, Avon, Ind

1 Cole Whitt, Alpine, Calif.

11 Jerry Coons jr., Tucson, Ariz.

98 Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass

7C Caleb Armstrong, New Catle, Ind

30 Chad Boat, Phoenix, Ariz

49 Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, Calif

20 Levi Jones, Brownsburg, Ind

69 A J Fike, Galesburg, Ill.

8 Ricky Ehrgott, Brandon, Fla.

97 Cale Conley, Vienna, W.V.

12 Henry Clarke, Ventura, Calif.

06 Mario Clouser, Auburn, Ill.

17 Chris Windom, Canton, Ill.

16 Slade Miller, Edmond, Okla.

31 Buddy Lowther, Cinncinnati, Ohio

5D Zach Daum, Pocohantas, Ill.


USAC Midget heats


Heat 1

30 Chad Boat

97 Kale Conley

1 Cole Whitt

3 Darren Hagan

21 Tracey Hines

06 Mario Clauser

8 Ricky Ehrgott

12K Henry Clarke


Heat 2

20 Levi Jones

69 A J Fike

7A Dakoda Armstrong

5D Zach Daum

98 Bobby Santos

67 Kevin Swindell

16 Slade Miller


Heat 3

49 Brad Sweet

17B Brad Kuhn

7c Caleb Armstrong

4 Bobby East

17 Chris Wisdom

11 Jerry Coons jr.

31 Buddy Lowther


USAC qualifying saw two drivers break the current THR Midget Series track record. with Tracey Hines, in the Tony Stewart Racing, Bass Pro Shops, Chevy/Kissler powered Spike Chassis putting his name in the record books with 15.134 besting Josh Wise's 13.981 set in 2006. Kevin Swindell's early time of 13.924 landed him second, with Jerry Coons jr., Darren Hagan, Zach Daum and Bobby East rounding out the top six. With a six car invert, East and Daum will lead the 22-car field to green.


"The car was working good,' stated Hines. "Everything that Chevrolet provides for us was pretty nice. The car was working good and we just laid down the lap we needed. We don't try to look for a new record. Just like in any race you try to go as fast you can, if it happens to faster than everyone else that's great."


"The times are really close, just a little bobble could have had me tenth. We weren't leaps and bounds above everyone else, just a little bit above them. That's all we needed. We have notes from different tracks, and I look at the track to figure out what gear and stagger to use. You put things on as a baseline and tune on it from there."


"With our invert my fast time will start sixth, so I'm just hoping for a top five finish. It's going to be tough to pass with our times so close. I'm hoping it won't be a boring but I'm afraid it will be follow the leader. We'll just try to get the bottom as quick as we can here"


Mopar USAC Midget Qualifying

21 Tracey Hines, 13.896 NTR

67 Kevin Swindell, 13.924 NTR

11 Jerry Coons jr., 13.995

3 Darren Hagan, 14.039

5D Zach Daum, 14.048

4 Bobby East, 14.049

06 Mario Clauser, 14.141

7A Dakoda Armstrong, 14.143

17 Chris Windom, 14.148

1 Cole Whitt, 14.151

98 Bobby Santos, 14.171

17B Brad Kuhn, 14.185

30 Chad Boat, 14.195

69 A J Fike, 14.214

7C Caleb Armstrong, 14.262

97 Kale Conley, 14.288

20 Levi Jones, 14.309

49 Brad Sweet, 14.504

12K Henry Clarke, 14.610

16 Slade Miller, 14.974

31 Buddy Lowther, 16.491

8 Ricky Ehrgott, DNT

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