Midget 400 Classic
Castle driver Dakota Armstrong led the final 74 laps to write his name in the
record books by capturing an exciting inaugural Anderson Midget Classic 400 at
Anderson Speedway on Saturday.
Armstrong took home $10,000 for the victory in a thrilling USAC sanctioned race
that saw the outcome remain in doubt until the final 30 laps.
Armstrong battled with Ricky Ehrgott and Alison MacLeod for the lead from lap
130 to the finish with the three drivers swapping the lead eight times.
The final run to the checkers was set up by the second competition yellow at lap
300 with MacLeod in the lead. On the restart both Armstrong and Ehrgott got
inside of MacLeod and took the top two spots exiting the first corner.
“My knees are tired,” Armstrong said after climbing out of his car. “The car was
Armstrong said he lost power steering after 200 laps and gave up the lead and
waited for the 300-lap break to add more power steering fluid into the car,
which lasted until there were 20 laps to go.
“I knew he (East) was there,” he said of East attempting to get back on the lead
lap with less the 60 laps remaining. “He kept bumping me, so I finally let him
Armstrong said the team put new tires on his mount for the final 100 laps.
Ehrgott also went the final laps without power steering to record the second
place finish and the brakes faded toward the finish.
“Without those problems I would have had a car good enough to win,” he said.
“The race wasn’t as physically bad as I thought.”
MacLeod said after the final caution period her car lost the brakes.
“This was a great experience,” she said. “Third is better than we expected to
finish. The pace slowed quite a bit during the first 300 laps because it was
going to be every man for himself over the final 100 laps.”
The run to the finish started when Ehrgott got inside of Armstrong on lap 307
with an inside pass exiting Turn two and led until lap 326 when Armstrong retook
the lead with an outside move on the back straight.
MacLeod dropped back early in the final 100 lap run and was closing on the two
leaders when Tracy Hines made contact with the Turn four wall bringing out the
sixth and final caution flag.
From there Armstrong pulled away from Ehrgott and MacLeod to win by 4.2 seconds.
The driver to watch was veteran racer Bobby East who led early in the event
giving up the lead on lap 109 to Hines and having to pit three laps later with a
right front tire. That put East four laps down.
During a long green flag run from lap 151 to lap 300, East gained two laps on
the leaders and in the final 100 circuits made up the gap to finish fourth.
Rounding out the top five was Joe Liguori, two laps down.
Eight-time Little 500 winner Eric Gordon pitted early with mechanical problems
fell several laps down and completed only 172 laps and finished 13th.
There were 11 lead changes among six drivers and the race was slowed a total of
six times, not counting the two competition yellow periods, for a total of 49
laps. Eight of the 21 cars starting the event were still running at the finish.
Racing action resumes at Anderson Speedway on Friday, August 1 with the WLBC/MAX
Friday Night Summer Series featuring UMRA Midgets, ThunderCars and Quick Auto
Front Wheel Drive Amateur and Figure 8 divisions.
On Saturday, August 2, the racing program will showcase the ThunderCar Enduro in
a 200-lap action packaged event. Other divisions on the schedule include Street
Stocks, Newco Metals Legends and Quick Auto Front Wheel Drive Pro.
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