Hanna Wins CRA Sportsman 75; Beaver, Phipps and Ellis Also Victorious

Racing on a limited budget, Charlie Hanna led all 75 laps at Anderson Speedway on Saturday to capture the opening event for the Champion Racing Association Sportsman Division.

While Hanna was never really challenged for the lead, the star of the night was fast qualifier Keith Sterkowitz. Sterkowitz started the feature event 12th after the inversion when on the thirteenth circuit he slowed on the track and was forced to the pits. In the process he lost two laps.

He got one lap back by lap 41 and then got back on the lead lap with ten laps remaining. Sterkowitz eventually finished sixth.

Hanna was chased for the entire Ric Pfeifer and Steve Stacy for the entire race. On a restart with 15 laps remaining Stacy was able to get inside Pfeifer entering turn one. Rounding out the top five were Steve Minich Jr. and Adam Hudson.

An impressive run was turned in by Mark Lambert who started 20th and finished eighth and by Rick Sullivan who gained nine spots to finish tenth.

Mechanical problems and on-track incidents knocked several of the front runners out of contention for the victory.

Justin Alsip got loose going down the back straight and hit the outside retaining wall on lap 6 and collected the car of Greenfield’s Phil Jenkins. Defending series champion Tony Dager dropped out after 37 laps and Noblesville’s Joe Beaver parked his Chevrolet after 41 laps.
Anderson’s Jacob Owens came home seventh after starting 13th.

“We’re going race to race,” Hanna said after the win. “This will get me through the next two races.”

Hanna said he was not concerned about Sterkowitz on the restarts.

“I knew he had a fast car,” Hanna said. “He signaled me that he was two laps down, so I just let him go.”

Stacy said his car was good on the restarts and for the first five or six laps.

“This is only the second time we’ve raced this car,” Stacy said. “We need to get it better on the long runs.”

Pfeifer was pleased with a third place finish to start the season.

“I didn’t have anything with Charlie (Hanna),” he said. “I could get close to him. On that restart, I got behind a lapped car and Steve (Stacy) schooled me. “

Noblesville’s Joe Beaver led all 30 laps for his first Street Stock Division win of the year at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

Beaver, the fast qualifier, started on the pole position for the 30-lap feature. Muncie’s Bret Miles moved from fourth to the second spot after eight laps. But Beaver was opening the lead over Miles and Randy Hoppes.

The caution flag waved on lap 19 because of debris on the track. On the restart Miles was able to remain close to Beaver but was not in a position to take the lead.

There was good racing between Rich Boyer, Rob Allman and Danny Acrey II for the third spot, with Allman several times looking to make an inside pass. Allman got inside of Boyer with two laps remaining entering Turn three and contact was made causing Boyer to spin.

Allman went to the pits for a quick repair and Acrey was finished with a flat left front tire.
Beaver went on to score the victory followed by Miles and Hoppes.

About the only thing that went wrong for Beaver was a burnt wheel bearing after a heat race.

“The crew did a good job of making the repairs,” he said.

Ronnie Phipps captured his first feature win of the year in the Front Wheel Drive Division oval race by climbing from fourth to the win in the final ten laps.

Fast qualifier Rickie Tharp was leading with five laps remaining when Phipps moved to the inside to take the lead coming off the fourth corner. Two laps later Tharp was forced to retire.
Phipps, Kevin Harmon, Gary Bragg Jr. and Eric Shell ran side by side for the top spot for two laps before lapped traffic made Phipps a clear winner followed by Harmon and Bragg.

“With these cars you have to play it smart,“ Phipps said. “When I saw Eric (Shell) getting held up, I moved to the outside.”

Donnie Ellis Jr. led the final four laps to capture the Front Wheel Drive feature on the Figure 8 with Bill Leisure and Nick Warner rounding out the top three.

Elliott McKinney led the first 10 laps but a dragging rear bumper forced him to the pit area for repairs which cost him the point. Andy Keller and Nick Warner tangled on the 12th lap and carried it over to during the caution period. Both were sent to the rear of the lead lap cars.

Anderson Speedway is hosting a double-header weekend with the rescheduled Thunder Car Enduro 200 on Friday with the Front Wheel Drive competing in a Figure-8 feature, and the first Night of Thrills on Saturday. Racing both nights starts at 7 p.m.

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