Pharos-Tribune

Sports

August 26, 2013

BOWMAN: Darland dazzles in Smackdown

Veteran shoe rules 3-day event, makes history.

Prior to the 2013 season, Lincoln open-wheel standout Dave Darland noted in a conversation that he had two primary goals entering the season.

The first was to score the first USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series win for Steve and Carla Phillips in the No. 71P. He got that one out of the way on May 11 at the Bloomington Speedway. His second goal was to surpass Tony Elliott for the most sprint car feature wins in the history of the Kokomo Speedway.

Well, Darland can now consider it mission accomplished.

Over the course of three days during the Sprint Car Smackdown II at the local track, the likable veteran was virtually untouchable, garnering two of the three feature wins while finishing second in the other. And for good measure, he broke Daron Clayton’s three-year old USAC track record on Friday night by laying down a lap of :12.618 as the final car out that had fans on their feet and USAC officials laughing in amazement.

With the two wins on Friday and Saturday, Darland now has a total of 49 and the scary thing is that he is showing no signs of slowing down. With the wins over the weekend, it makes four feature wins in national competition. In addition he has a pair of wins at the Gas City I-69 Speedway this season as well.

“It feels really special to pass Elliott for wins [at Kokomo],” said a jubilant Darland from Victory Lane. “Over the years there have been so many people who have helped me out to get this. For 45 years I’ve been racing after my parents [Bob and Joan] got me involved. They stood behind me and got me to this point.”

Darland also noted how much his current team has done for him as well.

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