Thomas Stumbles, Courtney Steals 4-Crown Sprint

Tyler Courtney (7bc) passes Kevin Thomas Jr. on his way to victory Saturday at Eldora Speedway. (Brendon Bauman photo)

ROSSBURG, Ohio – Tyler Courtney capitalized on a rare mistake by Kevin Thomas Jr. in the second half of Saturday’s AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series feature at Eldora Speedway to secure back-to-back victories at the 4-Crown Nationals.

Courtney, who won the USAC national midget feature to kick off the night, pounced after Thomas slapped the outside wall coming onto the frontstretch at the conclusion of lap 17.

Thomas was able to hold the point for one more revolution, but coming off the second corner Courtney raced to the inside of the McDonald’s-backed No. 19 and never looked back with his NOS Energy Drink-sponsored No. 7bc.

Not even a restart with nine laps left, after C.J. Leary spun off turn two thanks to contact with Chris Windom while racing for second, could stop Courtney’s march to victory lane.

Sunshine pulled away from Windom when the green flag waved and, despite tagging the outside wall in his own right with a lap and a half to go, held on to reign victorious by 1.424 seconds in the end.

It was Courtney’s second win in two races Saturday night and his fourth consecutive USAC national sprint car win at Eldora, setting a record at the historic half-mile dirt oval.

“It’s great to double down here, but honestly, I think KT (Kevin Thomas Jr.) was definitely the car to beat in that race,” Courtney said. “He just got sucked in the wall. He was fast the whole race though. I knew it was going to be tough to get around him because it was really tough to pass guys. It took a mistake and we were there when we needed to be to take advantage of it.”

After a slow start to the year, Courtney has turned up the wick through the late summer months, with five wins since July 4 and seven victories overall on the season as he chases a second straight title.

“Hats off to my whole Clauson-Marshall-Newman team. We’ve kind of struggled the first half of the season,” Courtney admitted. “We’ve turned it on here the last few weeks though, to put a little pressure on C.J. (Leary, points leader). I hate to see what happened to him tonight, but this is a great night for us as a team … and it’s two in a row here tonight, but four in a row here at Eldora in the sprint car.

“That second one is the number we’re really proud of.”

Windom crossed the line second ahead of Justin Grant, making for an all NOS Energy Drink-sponsored podium, with Thomas fading to fourth and Brady Bacon finishing fifth.

Leary’s incident was the only caution during the 30-lap non-winged sprint car feature. The first 21 laps ran uninterrupted, with the final nine following suit in the same fashion after cleanup.

To view complete race results, advance to the next page.


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