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WNY Auto Racing by Larry Ott: Winning’s becoming a habit for Inman

Kyle Inman says he has the other Sportsman drivers at Genesee Speedway mad at him but it’s not because of anything controversial. It’s due to the fact that on four occasions this season, Inman has hogged the space in Victory Lane for himself and his KC Motorsports, Bicknell-built machine.

Inman, 33, has six Sportsman class feature wins this season overall, also scoring a pair of triumphs at Freedom Motorsports Park. The six wins are a personal career best, the most that Inman has secured in a single season dating to his rookie Sportsman year when he was just 18 years old.

His best previous Sportsman years were each of the last two with five wins apiece in 2014 and 2015.

“That’s the word I’m hearing on the street is that the other drivers are mad at me due to my winning and the fact I am doing so good,” said a laughing Inman, who lives in Darien.

Inman, based on the strength of his wins and solid top three finishes at the Batavia-based dirt track oval, is leading the points at Genesee and hopes that he is just a few weeks away from winning his first career Sportsman title anywhere.

Inman holds a 36-point advantage in the Genesee Sportsman standings over Greg Mrzywka.

“I love racing on Saturdays at Genesee because it’s 20 minutes from our shop,” Inman said. “Historically, we’ve gotten off to slow starts there but this season, we’ve been better prepared and were good right out of the gate.

“This season we got all top-three finishes in the first five weeks of the season at Genesee.

“My wins this season at Genesee have not been easy. One week I was able to win after starting 12th.

“I think the biggest difference this year is that we brought Fastline Performance on board to handle our shocks and shock package and it been very positive. We’re getting better week by week.”

Inman’s two victories this season at Freedom came in consecutive fashion with one of those being a special $1,000-to-win Bellinger Electric Sportsman event. He is only fourth in points at Freedom primarily because he missed a week there and already knows he will miss another at Freedom when he competes this Friday night at Ransomville Speedway instead.

“I took off from Freedom about three or four weeks ago for a week because of the very rough track surface they’ve had there this season, deciding to go to Ransomville Speedway that night instead. Due to the rough track at Freedom I’ve gotten no benefit at times racing there this season except a lot of broken parts.

“I will say that (Freedom promoter Bob Reis) has been working hard to fix the track and it has gotten better.

“The reason why I will not be at Freedom this Friday is because it’s Stirling Lubricants Night that night at Ransomville and my main sponsor is Stirling Lubricants so I better be at Ransomville.

“Also, Ransomville is a bigger track and I need to get some time on a bigger track right now because I will be racing later this season on some bigger tracks like Super DIRT Week. The competitive level at Ransomville is also very high.”

A veteran of 25 years of race driving, Inman’s career began in dirt track Go-Kart racing, mostly at Paradise Speedway from ages 7 to 12. He then went Go-Kart road racing at such national venues as Mid-Ohio and Road America.

Then it was on to the dirt track Sportsman cars.

“When I turned 18, I was only allowed to race if I could pay for my own race car and for the repairs to keep it going,” Inman said. “My dad (Carl Inman) worked on the engines and provided the truck and trailer to tow the race car.”

In addition to local tracks, Inman earned top rookie honors on the DIRT.car Sportsman Super DIRT Series in 2004 and finished fourth in that series’ points in 2005, earning his first series victory at Merrittville Speedway that year.

Inman is part of the four-car Sportsman KC Motorsports team, which also includes Brian Bellinger, Carl Inman and Matt Steffenhagen.

Kyle Inman has a definite goal for this current racing campaign of scoring a total of at least 10 feature race wins.

“It’s a very big goal and the season is moving along but I’m more than halfway there and I’ll see what happens,” said Inman. “No matter what, it’s been a great year so far but getting 10 wins would be very nice.”

Along with Inman, Butch Zimmerman has also excelled this season at Genesee with seven Street Stock wins, including the last two weeks in a row. He leads Mike Jackson by 15 markers.

In other Genesee point races, Beamer Guzzardi has a single point edge over Dave DuBois in the Crate Late Models. DuBois has seven wins and a 33-point lead over Tommy Kemp in the 360 Late Models. Brad Shepard is atop the Mini Stock parade, sporting a huge 57-point bulge over Dante Mancuso.

In Bandits, Cole Hicks has three wins and a 10-point cushion over Eddie Kowalczyk.

Humberstone win streaks

Dylan Llord has scored seven wins this season in the Pro 4 Truck class at Humberstone Speedway in Port Colborne, Ont. Also enjoying great seasons there in 2016 are Brad Rouse, DIRT.car Sportsman, and Dennis Lunger, Crate Late Models, who have each scored five wins apiece.

Dave Bailey has authored a trio of Humberstone triumphs this year in the Street Stocks.

email: lawrence_o_14075@yahoo.com

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