Sunshine Set for USAC Sprint Car Double after Indiana Midget Week Heartbreak
Lonnie Wheatley, INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 7, 2018) – The Indiana Midget Week championship was within his grasp.
Tyler Courtney raced among the lead pack all week aboard the Clauson-Marshall Racing Driven2SaveLives/Indiana Donor Network No. 7bc Midget. And the Sunday night finale was no different.
And only needing to finish seventh or better in the Kokomo finisher seemed a certainty as the laps clicked off. Just when it seemed a certainty with only a handful of laps remaining, a tangle directly ahead left “Sunshine” with nowhere to go. He was collected and with that, the title was gone.
“It was a good week for us, it just wasn’t the finish we were looking for,” Courtney says. “We made up some ground in the points race though, so we’ll take it.”
After finishing second in Indiana Midget Week points for the second year in a row, Courtney is back in action this weekend aboard the Clauson-Marshall-Newman Racing Priority Aviation No. 7bc Sprint Car with a pair of USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car events at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, NE, on Friday and then Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway on Saturday.
The USAC Indiana Midget Week kicked off Tuesday night, June 29, at Montpelier Motor Speedway with Courtney rallying from the 14th starting position to post a runner-up finish behind Kyle Larson.
“Qualifying put us behind the eight ball, we went out late but you have to make the best of it,” Courtney comments. “And we did make the best of it by racing up to finish second behind probably the best driver in the world.”
After a Wednesday night rainout at Gas City, Courtney scored another podium finish by charging to the stripe in third at Lincoln Park Speedway after clocking in fourth in qualifying.
“It was a good run, we actually struggled a little bit early in the feature and then I wasn’t aggressive enough on a later restart,” Courtney says of the Putnamville outing.
Another rainout followed at Bloomington on Friday night before Courtney settled for fourth at Lawrenceburg Speedway after leading the initial 21 circuits of the 30-lapper.
“We led it most of the way, then had a tire go low on us on a couple of those late restarts that slowed us down,” Courtney explains.
“Sunshine” carried a 16-point Indiana Midget Week advantage into Sunday’s finale at Kokomo Speedway and gridded the feature outside the front row after a heat race win. Courtney raced among the top five throughout and seemingly had the title put away until he was collected by a flipping car in turns one and two with just a handful of laps remaining. Courtney continued on at the tail with a 15th-place finish and settled for second in Indiana Midget Week points.
“We were really good again, I was just biding my time to do what we needed to do to win the title,” Courtney recalls. “Unfortunately, we just got caught up in someone else’s mess.”
This weekend, it’s back to the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car ranks with Courtney carrying a ranking of third into Nebraska and Iowa. Courtney enjoyed plenty of speed at both ovals last year, topping the I-80 Speedway event and then holding down third in the Knoxville feature before an incident sidelined him.
With a victory in the most recent USAC Sprint Car event at Terre Haute on May 23, “Sunshine” looks to add to his three series wins on the year thus far in this weekend’s double.
2018 Quick Stats: 27 races, 5 wins, 16 top-fives, 18 top-tens.
Tuesday, May 29 – 2nd in USAC Midgets at Montpelier Motor Speedway.
Thursday, May 31 – 3rd in USAC Midgets at Lincoln Park Speedway.
Saturday, June 2 – 4th in USAC Midgets at Lawrenceburg Speedway.
Sunday, June 3 – 15th in USAC Midgets at Kokomo Speedway.
Up Next: USAC Amsoil National Sprint Cars at I-80 Speedway (Greenwood, NE) on Friday and Knoxville (IA) Raceway on Saturday.
Keep Track: Keep track of Tyler Courtney’s on-track action including schedule and results at www.tylercourtney.com.
If you would like Tyler Courtney Racing press releases e-mailed directly to you, send your e-mail address to Lonnie Wheatley at email@example.com.
Penning the recurring series of “The Wheatley Chronicles” articles on www.sprintcarmania.com, Lonnie Wheatley provides media, public relations and more for select tracks, drivers and events. For more information, Wheatley may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.