Cronewett Holds Off Withers for ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Win; Rose, Phipps Also Victorious

By Kyle Larson
Public Relations Director

Click to View Results - Trackside Audio:  Ronnie Rose - Rod Phipps

Anderson Speedway returned to racing action on Saturday, April 21, with the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series featured in a 100-lap event. They were joined by the first season appearances of the Ed Martin Auto Group SuperTrucks and Figure 8’s.

Steve Cronenwett held off a hard-charging Bill Withers, Steve Christman and Tully Esterline to win the ARCA Lincoln Welders 100 in his career first series start. The ARCA Late Model veteran, piloting the Morris Partridge-owned No. 18 Hydro Technology Chevrolet, inherited the point on lap two after early race leader Ron Wells and second-place contender Mark Otting tangled to bring out the first of seven cautions.

"It's a tight little track," said Cronenwett, pointing out his race truck, which took the checkers despite heavy damage to the rear. "These are racing machines. All those other guys had spoilers-I didn't. This is a fun little series."

Despite leading 97 out of 100 laps, Cronenwett was challenged throughout the race first by Steve Christman in the No. 34 Shrader Tire and Oil Chevrolet, and later Bill Withers in the No. 57 Mannings USA-Hall Electronics-Wachholz Engines Ford. Withers, who earned the 2Bkool Pole Award and accepted the Ultimate Truck Challenge, charged to the runner up finish, falling short of the $500 bonus by just 0.143 seconds. Christman settled for third, followed by Esterline in the No. 10 Rupp Seeds Chevrolet. Frank Wilson, Paul Hahn, Mark Otting, Robbin Slaughter, Mike Young and Duane Bischoff rounded out the top-10.

The 100-lap event marked the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series' 100th event and kicked off the series' ninth consecutive year of competition. At a driver/spotter/crew chief meeting held early in the day, ARCA Vice President of Marketing and Communications Mark Gundrum honored Withers and ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series Field Director Mike Hewer as the only two individuals who have actively participated in all 100 events.

While 24 cars entered, only ten finished. The race was stalled by seven cautions, the most noteworthy of which occurred on lap 18 when second-place contender Bob Mikolajczyk, in the No. 17 Target Advantage-Schorling Engines Ford, barrel rolled his truck after tangling with the lapped truck of Tim Schafer.

In the Ed Martin Auto Group SuperTruck feature, defending champion Ronnie Rose began his season on a stellar note, scoring a flag-to-flag victory. From his inside front row starting position, Rose got the jump on Brandon Phillips and never looked back.

At the checkered flag, Rose finished over four seconds ahead of former division champion Tony Broyles, who made his return to Anderson Speedway. Indianapolis’ Bob Lemen placed third with Brian Lemmer and Josh Poore completing the top-five finishers.

In heat race action, Rose visited the O’Reilly Auto Parts Winner’s Circle in the first heat with Larry Greene winning the second heat. Anderson’s Josh Poore was the top qualifier of the 15 trucks on hand with an official clocking of 13.884 seconds.

It appeared Ronnie Rose was going to make it a sweep of features before Rod Phipps made a late charge to score the Figure 8 victory. Rose led from the start with Phipps making an early challenge for the lead until he went sailing through the infield grass on the second lap. That exchange forced Phipps to patiently work up from third position. He got by Bobby Long for second place on the fourth circuit and then started closing the gap on Rose.

With two laps remaining, Phipps dove to the outside of Rose on Turn 3 and powered around to grab the lead and hold off Rose at the checkers. Long was listed in third position with Alexandria’s John Goforth and Ranny Hinton completing the top five.

In the 20-lap Oval heat for the Figure 8’s, Ronnie Rose scored a flag-to-flag victory. Phipps crossed the line in second spot with Long, Rob Allman and Dustin Burge filling out the top five.

Anderson Speedway returns to racing action on Friday, April 27 with the rescheduled opening points night featuring Ed Martin Auto Group SuperTrucks, Figure 8’s, Lampco Federal Credit Union Street Stocks and Newco Metals Legends.

On Saturday, April 28, don’t miss the Night of Thrills presented by The Herald Bulletin. Featured evens include School Bus Figure 8’s, Roll-Over Contest, Cork Screw Race, Spectator Races, Powder Puff Front Wheel Drives and School Bus Figure 8’s along with the Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drives in Oval and Figure 8 action.

For additional information contact Anderson Speedway at (765) 642-0206.