VanDoorn Gets Anderson 125 Win; Saxon and Riddle Also Grab Checkered Flags

Michigan driver Johnny VanDoorn applied pressure on leader Eddie Hoffman for 34 laps before finally making an inside move with 31 laps remaining to capture the Anderson 125 on Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

Hoffman grabbed the lead from the pole position and was chased during the early laps by rookie Tyler Roahrig, VanDoorn, Aaron Pierce and Scott Hantz.

VanDoorn moved into the second spot when Roahrig spun in Turn three on lap 18 which moved Pierce and Hantz up a position and put fast qualifier Boris Jurkovic into the top five.

On lap 31 Pierce pushed high entering Turn three which allowed Hantz and Jurkovic to slip past. Within the next few laps Jurkovic went inside of Hantz to grab the third spot.

The caution flag waved six times before the halfway point and with 64 laps remaining VanDoorn started to turn the pressure up on Hoffman. Several times over the next few laps VanDoorn was looking to get on the inside.

The top seven drivers ran nose to tail as each driver was waiting for someone to make a mistake. The front runners were looking to save their tires for the final 50 laps and VanDoorn managed tire wear the best.

With 35 laps remaining VanDoorn appeared to get to the inside of Hoffman, but the veteran Illinois driver would shut the door entering Turn one.

On lap 95 VanDoorn got inside of Hoffman coming off the second corner and took the lead entering Turn three followed by Jurkovic.

From there VanDoorn and Jurkovic started to pull away from Hoffman, Hantz and Pierce. Finishing on the lead lap were Rick Turner and Terry Fisher Jr.

There was a final restart with five laps remaining but there was no change among the top five.

“The car stayed good,” VanDoorn said of his Chevrolet. “I have good people behind me. The spotlight is on me this year because I left Tim Steele’s team for a new team.

“Eddie (Hoffman) is a good short track racer,” he said. “I made a run on the inside a couple of times and finally it opened. I had to use a little fender but that is quarter-mile racing.”

It was VanDoorn’s second win at Anderson Speedway, he took the checkers in August, 2007.
Jurkovic said the tires on his Chevrolet went away at the finish.

“On the last restart I was hoping to stay with him, but he pulled away,” he said. “I spun the tires earlier in the race and it wore them out.”

Hoffman said he had a good car for 50 laps and then it started getting looser and looser.
“We used up something,” he said. “He (VanDoorn) was working me over, but that what your supposed to do on a short track. When he got a fender underneath me, I just let him go.”
Terry Fisher Jr. turned in an impressive run, starting seventh and then having to go to the tail following an incident with Brian Rievley on lap 55.

Fisher was using the outside line to try and get into the top ten and was along side of Rievley going down the back straight when the two made contact. Rievley’s night was finished and Fisher recovered to come home in seventh.

Prior to that incident Rievley climbed into the top ten after starting 25 in the field after making some adjustments following qualifying.

Greenfield’s Kenny Tweedy lost an engine after 17 laps while running eighth. Knighstown’s driver Jeff Lane got caught up in the incident when Roahrig spun on lap 18 and suffered extensive damage to the front of his Chevrolet. He pulled out of competition on lap 24.

Jeff Saxon battled with three-time Front Wheel Drive division champion Nick Warner and scored his second win of the season on Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

Warner used the outside line on the eighth lap to get around Rob Ward, who took the lead from the start.

Saxon and Kevin Harmon used the outside line to get around Ward and halfway through the feature event it was Warner, Saxon and Harmon battling for the lead.

Ray Zirkle, who was running fifth was black-flagged because he was turning laps faster than what he qualified at.

With five laps remaining Saxon got to the inside of Warner exiting the fourth corner and grabbed the lead. From there he opened a little breathing room to record the win with Warner and Harmon finishing second and third.

“It was exciting to me to race Nick (Warner) like that,” Saxon said. “He’s one of the best in the division. We’re all good friends so it was good racing.”

Mike Riddle Jr. took the lead with an inside pass of Larry Swinford Jr. on the fifth circuit and then led the rest of the way to score his first win of the season.

Despite Riddle’s dominant win there was plenty of fireworks. On lap 14 Ranny Hinton Sr. was stopped at the crossover when he was hit by Ronnie Phipps Sr., who was running third at the time.

On Lap 14 Jeff Swinford used the outside line entering Turn one to pass his son, but on the next lap he made contact with Johnny Magee entering Turn one and hit the outside wall. Both drivers decided to end their night when ordered to restart from the rear of the field.

Riddle was followed to the checkers by Swinford Jr. and Rickie Tharp, the winner last week.

The Champion Racing Association Sportsman Division returns to Anderson Speedway next Saturday at 7 p.m. The Street Stocks and the Front Wheel Drive divisions will be in competition. The Front Wheel Drive will be in action on the oval and the Figure-8.

For additional information on Anderson Speedway call (765) 642-0206.