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Sunday, May 27 - After another full day of house hunting we would end the day watching some racing at one of the best tracks in the country. The 3/8 mile clay oval straight up Rt. 31 from Indianapolis is a gem of a race track with exciting racing every Sunday night. Tonight’s card would consist of the wingless sprint cars, the UMP modifieds, street stocks and thundercars. Things got underway an uncharacteristic half hour late on the sunny and hot day with the temperature topping 94 degrees. Tonight was the Kokomo Klassic for the sprint cars and 23 sprinters were on hand with many of the big boys racing in a KISS/MSCS combo race in the southwest corner of the state at Haubstadt. They would be joined by 26 UMP modifieds, 17 street stocks and 14 thundercars. The sprint cars started things off with group time trial qualifying and before the first heat race I had time to hit the concession stand below the steep wooden bleachers. I brought back two giant grilled pork chop sandwiches ($5 each) which were delicious. If you ever visit Kokomo don’t pass on the pork chop sandwich, you won’t be disappointed!!
Three sprint car heats were contested with Scotty Weir, Wes McIntyre and Brent Beauchamp winning the heats and looking like contenders for the Klassic. Three UMP modified heats followed then two heats each for the street stocks and thundercars. All heat qualifying was done by 8:41 with only the UMP modifieds needing a consie. That was completed just seven minutes later and it was now intermission time. Twenty minutes later it was feature time and the wingless warriors would be first up to contest their Kokomo Klassic for the distance of 25 laps. Scotty Weir took the early lead until young Wes McIntyre caught and passed him for the front spot. McIntyre would lead through lap 11 when the caution waved. On the restart Binghamton, New York’s own Coleman Gulick swept to the high side while running third and raced his way to the front after another full lap was completed taking the lead on the homestretch. Gulick is what we call a gasser mainly using the high side to sling his wingless sprinter around the track. The only problem with this style is you really have to work the cushion and make sure you don’t jump it. This happened to Gulick exiting turn four and his out of control racer bounced from the wall to the middle of the track where he met up with second place runner McIntyre and the result being McIntyre sliding sideways and barrel rolling twice coming to rest just past the flagger’s stand. McIntyre was upset but it was just a racing accident and after viewing the DVD he will fully realize what happened. On the restart Gulick took off again with Weir in tow. Chris Windom hooked up his racer in the later stages of the race passing Weir on the low side and sticking his nose alongside the high flying #14. Windom who had a banner year last year is still looking for his first win of 2012 and he would have to wait another week as Gulick was not to be headed. Coleman Gulick flashed under the checkered flag at 9:40 for his second career win at Kokomo winning over Gulick with Weir third, Tracy Hines registering fourth after his big win at IRP the night before and Andrew Elson who always runs strong when we see him rounded out the top five.
The UMP modifieds would go next with their 20 lap feature and it turned out to be a competitive run. Nick Allen came out of the fifth hole to take the lead around the halfway mark and didn’t look back with Phil Line second, Kevin DeYoung third, Zeke McKenzie fourth after starting 13th and Derek Losh, a heat winner rounding out the top five with the checker waving at 10:05. With two features to go and a 1 1/2 hour drive to the hotel we decided to call it a night.
It was not classic Kokomo action but a mediocre night at Kokomo is probably better than most good nights at the majority of the other tracks in the USA.
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