Darland wires for USAC checker

PORT ROYAL – National sprint car veteran Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind., turned in a flag to flag performance in Saturday night’s 30-lap USAC Sprint Eastern Storm feature event at Port Royal Speedway, worth $6,000 for the win.

In the 20-lap ARDC Midget feature, Bruce Buckwalter Jr. scored the victory while Derrick Garman out-dueled Tim Krape for his second win in the division in as many weeks.

Darland started outside the front row in the USAC feature alongside polesitter Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind. And when the green flag unfurled Darland took off aboard his No. 71P never to look back on his way to the win while Clauson fell backward in his Tony Stewart-owned No. 20.

Instead in second at the completion of the races first lap was third starter Chase Stockon with Daron Clayton racing third.

The first 24 laps of the 30-lapper went non-stop with Darland entering lapped traffic on the 14th tour.

The leader threaded his way through the backmarkers with ease, working high, low and through the middle, never skipping a beat in his run at the front. Meanwhile, a three-way race for second developed by the halfway point between Stockon, Clayton and a rebounding Clauson.

The trio raced under a blanket for second for numerous laps throughout the mid stages of the event, pulling slide job after slide job for the spots on one another before the No. 92 of Sikeston, Missouri’s Clayton finally took second just before the yellow unfurled with six laps to go.

Darland was separated from Clayton by three lapped cars for the return to action and by that time 12th starter Brady Bacon had worked his way up to fifth for the restart.

Both Clauson and Bacon disposed of Stockon over the final loops but the pair was still no match for the fleet running Darland who ended up crossing the finish line 3.003 seconds ahead of Clayton.

Clauson ended up on the podium in third followed by Bacon and Stockon.

“Tonight was a tough race track, but I like to run the high line,” Darland said. “I was just concentrating on my entries, especially getting into turn one. The restart wasn’t what I wanted to see, but I knew I had some lapped cars and just made sure I ran into one hard enough.”

Heats for the 26-car field went to Levi Jones, Darland and Clayton. Bacon took the B-Main. Hines of New Castle, Ind., set fast time with a lap of 21.120 seconds.

Bruce Buckwalter Jr. started fourth in the ARDC Midget main and took the lead from Brenden Bright on the second lap. After that Buckwalter drove to the win in the 20-lap non-stop affair by 1.715 seconds to score his second overall win of the season in the division.

Fifth starter Tim Krape powered into the lead on the first lap of the 15-lap pro stock main and tried to run off with another win on the season but a yellow flag with seven laps down proved his undoing.

Last week’s winner Derrick Garman was up to second for the restart and the regrouping of the field played to his advantage. Rather than let Krape get away when action resumed, he pressured the veteran for the next three laps before being scored the leader with five to go.

Krape crossed in second followed by Tim Fedder, Dave Bowsman and Kyle Rapp.