Windom Finishes Fifth in Carb Night Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway


BROWNSBURG, Ind., May 26 — The late Dave Steele would have approved of the Dave Steele Carb Night Classic USAC Silver Crown race at Lucas Oil Raceway Friday night. It was an intense event with many heated battles and a torrid pace, as there was only one yellow-flag period during the entire 100-lap contest on the facility’s 0.686-mile asphalt oval. Nolen Racing had two cars in the race and the one driven by Chris Windom not only finished, it ran as high as second and placed fifth, setting the second-fastest lap of the race in the process. That lap was run in 21.409, which was only 0.006 off the event’s fastest race lap, which was set by race winner Kody Swanson.

The two Nolen Racing cars, which are sponsored in part by KECO Coatings and Indy Race Parts, were sixth (Windom) and ninth (Jerry Coons Jr.) in ProSource qualifying, but each moved up one position for the start when polewinner Tanner Swanson elected to go to the rear of the field to try to win bonus prize money.

Windom, of St. Louis, had a terrific start and passed David Byrne and Derek Bischak to move into third place by the end of the first lap. He passed Bobby Santos for second on lap five, and those two had an intense battle for the bulk of the race.

Windom remained second only to Kody Swanson for 34 laps, or a third of the race, and many times he was only two-tenths or three-tenths behind him. He was especially close on lap 15, when he drew to just 0.064 behind Swanson.

Unfortunately the handling of his car was going away, however, and Aaron Pierce and Tanner Swanson got around him on lap 40 to push him from second to fourth. That put him directly ahead of Santos, and those two battled for many laps. Windom fought off Santos’s challenges repeatedly, although Santos was just one-tenth of a second behind him shortly after the race’s midpoint. Santos finally got by on lap 65, but Windom kept working and finished a solid fifth. At the checkered on lap 100 he was 6.525 seconds ahead of the sixth-place finisher, Justin Grant.

“The handling on my car just went away,” Windom said afterwards.

Coons, a native of Tucson, Ariz. who now lives in Greencastle, Ind., had handling problems with his car too. He was scored in eighth place from laps one through 11 and remained in the top 10 through lap 39. Near the halfway point the handling got worse, so he pulled into the pits with 47 laps complete and called it a night. His best lap was lap four, which he did it 22.090.

The next USAC Silver Crown race is on another asphalt track June 29 when the series visits Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wis. for the Bytec Dairyland 100.

Windom is still fourth in the series’ point standings and Coons is tenth.

Nolen Racing will field three asphalt sprint cars in the 70th annual Pay Less Little 500 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway tonight for Coons, Kody Swanson and Shane Hollingsworth.

The Whiteland, Ind.-based team's complete schedule can be found on its Web site at nolenracing.com and its Facebook page. It's also on Twitter. For information on marketing partnerships, contact Restart Communications at LKMRestart@gmail.com. USAC's Web site is at usacracing.com.

Photo credit: Chris Windom (No. 17) and Jerry Coons Jr. (No. 20) photos by Gene Crucean

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