Dave Darland's record Turkey Night

Dave Darland's record Turkey Night

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Dave Darland's record Turkey Night

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Dave Darland set one record and tied another Thursday night at Perris Speedway. At 47, he became oldest winner of the Turkey Night Grand Prix and joined Mel Kenyon and the late Stan Fox as the only drivers to have won the classic USAC midget race on pavement and dirt.

?It looked good for a while, then not so good and then we got lucky,? said Darland, referring to the fact he looked resigned to second place before leader Damion Gardner lost a wheel only three laps from the checkered flag.

?Damion got by one of those restarts and he was strong, I couldn’t catch him but then he had his problem (broken wheel) and we got by him and now I’m going to go drink some beer.?

The five-time USAC champion, whose moniker as ?The People’s Champion’ fits to a T because of his short-track prowess and pleasant personality, started sixth and stormed into the top spot on the cushion ” passing Andrew Felker on lap 50.

Felker then had to pit when his left-rear tire shredded. From that point until lap 81, Darland used his Eldora Speedway touch to run up against the fence on the quick half mile clay and withstood several restarts until Gardner got past with a slide job on lap 82.

?The Demon? pulled away and looked like he was set to join the list of immortal open wheel racers who have conquered Turkey Night before his wheel came off exiting Turn 4 on lap 95. Darland then held off Brad Sweet to the checkered flag.

?Pretty cool to win this thing twice, once on pavement and now on the dirt where it belongs,? said the native of Lincoln, Ind. ?It’s also cool to think about the guys who have won this race (A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Bill Vukovich, Gary Bettenhausen, Bubby Jones and Ron Shuman to name a few) during its history.

?I’ve always liked this place and done well and I can’t thank my owner, Keith Ford, enough for letting me drive. Hell, I’m only 47, I can do this for a few more years.?

Darland also confirmed he would be running an ARCA stock car at Daytona next February. 

Overall USAC champion Bryan Clauson charged from 23rd to 10th before his engine went sour

73rd ?Turkey Night Grand Prix?

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Parker Price-Miller, 9P, Ronk-16.889; 2. Andrew Felker, 11A, Felker-16.958; 3. Brad Sweet, 67z, Kahne-17.1014; 4. Taylor Ferns, 55, Ferns-17.037; 5. Caleb Armstrong, 7c, C&A-17.051; 6. Dave Darland, 73, Ford-17.119; 7. Chris Windom, 3, RFMS-17.140; 8. Darren Hagen, 56A, Hmiel-17.155; 9. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-17.169; 10. Nick Drake, 55x, Cline-17.228; 11. Christopher Bell, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.230; 12. Dalton Armstrong, 7A, C&A-17.245; 13. Ronnie Gardner, 68, Johnson-17.265; 14. Damion Gardner, 4, Klatt-17.304; 15. Bryan Clauson, 39, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-17.306; 16. Nic Faas, 25, Rodela-17.324; 17. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-17.357; 18. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.361; 19. Jarid Blondel, 98, Blondel-17.378; 20. Rico Abreu, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.402; 21. Mike Spencer, 51s, Fly-17.424; 22. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-17.441; 23. Scott Pierovich, 35, Pierovich-17.445; 24. Jake Swanson, 05, VanDyne/Swanson-17.447; 25. Danny Stratton, 56P, Hmiel-17.454; 26. Ricky Shelton, 15, Neverlift-17.470; 27. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-17.473; 28. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-17.476; 29. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 72, Ford-17.487; 30. Taylor Simas, 62, Bock-17.539; 31. Shane Golobic, 26, Bock-17.588; 32. Kevin Swindell, 71x, Ronk-17.627; 33. Brad Kuhn, 10, Cook-17.643; 34. Thomas Meseraull, 0, Lamott-17.659; 35. Kyle Edwards, 39K, Edwards-17.659; 36. Nick Chivello, 27, Chivello-17.670; 37. Trey Marcham, 37, McQueen-17.679; 38. Jac Haudenschild, 73x, Ford-17.749; 39. Cody Swanson, 71s, Swanson-17.755; 40. Chris Ennis, 86, Ennis-17.897; 41. Rick Hendrix, 12, Hendrix-18.116; 42. Joey Fabozzi, 84, Fabozzi-18.158; 43. Terry Nichols, 45, Neverlift-18.202; 44. Kyle Smith, 55K, Smith-18.320; 45. Terry Goodwin, 2G, Goodwin-18.440; 46. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-18.503; 47. Tony Everhart, 55T, Everhart-18.866; 48. Danny Ebberts, 2, Boyd-NT (time of 18.326 disallowed).
 
FIRST B MAIN : (12 laps) 1. Daum, 2. Pierovich, 3. T. Thomas, 4. Stratton, 5. Spencer, 6. Clauson, 7. C. Swanson, 8. K. Thomas, 9. Marcham, 10. Golobic, 11. Edwards, 12. Goodwin, 13. Kuhn, 14. Blondel, 15. Hendrix, 16. Nichols, 17. Everhart.

SECOND B MAIN : (12 laps) 1. Abreu, 2. McQueen, 3. Thorson, 4. Faas, 5. J. Swanson, 6. Swindell, 7. Haudenschild, 8. Meseraull, 9. Simas, 10. Johnson, 11. Chivello, 12. Ennis, 13. Fabozzi, 14. Ebberts, 15. Smith, 16. Pankratz, 17. Shelton.
 
FEATURE: (98 laps) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Brad Sweet, 3. Caleb Armstrong, 4. Zach Daum, 5. Ronnie Gardner, 6. Nic Faas, 7. Jake Swanson, 8. Rico Abreu, 9. Mike Spencer, 10. Tanner Thorson, 11. Tracy Hines, 12. Damion Gardner, 13. Brad Kuhn, 14. Tyler Thomas, 15. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 16. Nick Drake, 17. Danny Stratton, 18. Parker Price-Miller, 19. Dalton Armstrong, 20. Trey Marcham, 21. Christopher Bell, 22. Andrew Felker, 23. Taylor Ferns, 24. Darren Hagen, 25. Shannon McQueen, 26. Cody Swanson, 27. Kevin Swindell, 28. Jac Haudenschild, 29. Chris Windom, 30. Scott Pierovich, 31. Bryan Clauson, 32. Thomas Meseraull, 33. Randi Pankratz.
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FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-49 Felker, Laps 50-81 Darland, Laps 82-94 D.Gardner, Laps 95-98 Darland.

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