PC- Rich Forman
PETERSEN MEDIA: Though the Kokomo Smackdown still has the finale to run, three nights are officially in the books and Wednesday’s ‘GYATK’ event was the highlight of Ballou’s weekend as he would rally from a tough start to the night and come home with a sixth place finish.
“We had some good speed, but unfortunately we had some bad luck and I made some mistakes,” Robert Ballou said.
Wednesday night’s ‘GYATK’ night got off to a rocky start for ‘The Mad Man’ as issues in time trials left him without a time and in the last row of his heat race. Able to make repairs, Ballou put on a show in his heat and worked his way forward to finish second and punch his ticket into the 27-lap feature event.
Lining up behind the redraw cars, Ballou continued to flex his muscle as he worked around the Baddest Bullring in Indiana. Running well inside the Top-10 on this night, Ballou would accept the checkered flag with a sixth place finish.
Thursday night brought on the first of three USAC National points races at the Smackdown, and Ballou would kick things off by timing the Dickinson Farms/Lucas Oil Products/Abreu Vineyards entry in 15th fastest in qualifying time trials.
Jumping out to the lead in his heat race, the Rocklin, CA native turned Hoosier would quickly pull away from the field until issues with his rear-end cable forced him back to his trailer and put him in the 12-lap “B” Main.
Running second in the semi, Ballou would move into the feature event where he would line up in the 14th starting position. Working his way into the Top-10 on this night, a slower car would have issues in front of Ballou and has he tried to come across the track to get into the infield it would leave Ballou with nowhere to go and his night would come to an early end.
Friday night got off to a much better start for Ballou as he would time the Deaton’s Waterfront Service/RFG/MPHG Promotion machine in sixth quickest in qualifications, Ballou would work his way forward to finish second in his heat race.
By way of his qualifying time, Ballou would find himself on the front row of the 30-lapper and in prime position to pick up his fourth win of the season. Jumping out to the early lead, Ballou would lead the way with the only thing slowing him was the red flag for a couple of red flags who were victims in turn two.
Continuing to lead the way, Ballou would take the cross flags as the race leader, but on the 16th circuit turn two would gobble him up as he got into the wall and got his entry upside down and brought his night to an early end for the second night in a row.
“Friday night we were in a good position but I was just a little too free and should have been more conservative,” Ballou added. “I kept pushing it and it finally came back and bit me and we got upside down. Thanks to these awesome supporters on our car for their help all year long. We will put it back together and try again this weekend.”
Robert Ballou would like to thank Dickinson Farms, Lucas Oil Products, Abreu Vineyards, Deaton’s Waterfront Service, Rossie Feed and Grain, MPHG Promotion, Unique Breedz, Suburban Subaru, Jamie Davidson Scrap Metal, Twister-X, Hinchman Indy, Don Ott Racing Engines, Manvel Motorsports, Blakesley Auto, Olson Custom Design, Konnected Clothing, Hooker Harness, Indy Race Parts, Hoosier Tire, Schoenfeld Headers, ISC Racers Tape, Chalk Racing Products, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Saldana Racing Products, and Bell Helmets for their support.
ON TAP: Ballou is slated to be in action in Granite City, IL on Friday night and Pevely, MO on Saturday night.
2018 BY THE NUMBERS: Starts- 42, Wins- 3, Top 5’s- 19, Top-10’s- 31
STAY CONNECTED: Stay up to speed with ‘The Mad Man’ by following him on Twitter @RoberBallou81, liking https://www.facebook.com/robertballoumotorsports/, or by clicking over to www.balloumotorsports.com.
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