Thousands Thrilled at Night of Thrills

Thousands of race fans from near and far jammed the grandstands of Anderson Speedway Saturday evening for another edition of the Night of Thrills and they were certainly not short changed! The IOFS Figure 8's & Front Wheel Drives headlined the card with corkscrew racing, school bus figure 8's, the Culver's trailer figure 8 and spectator drags sending fans out the gate with smiles on their faces.

The International Outlaw Figure 8 Series feature was awesome with sensational crossover action at high speed! Series point leader Doug Greig took the point at the green but was soon chased down by fast qualifier Eddie VanMeter when he took over the lead on lap 5. At this juncture came our only incident when Elliott McKinney was rear ended by Dane Laster while waiting at the crossover for traffic to clear.

VanMeter, Greig and Charlie Hargraves raced hard in and around traffic with Greig trapping VanMeter behind a slower car on lap 20 and regaining the lead. That would be short lived however as VanMeter got back round Greig on lap 23 with the race winning pass and went on to make it two in a row at Anderson Speedway. Rounding out the top five were Charlie Hargraves, Greig, Chris Green and Butch Winters. VanMeter and Hargraves were heat winners with VanMeter fast timer at 16.917 seconds.

In the debut of the IOFS Front Wheel Drives, 13 cars took the green flag, many of which were bedecked with all sorts of wings and lexan. They were truly a sight to behold! Ray Zirkle grabbed the early lead but was immediately pressured by Travis Burge and Rickie Tharp. Zirkle got into a tangle on lap 4 and fell to 7th vaulting Burge to the point with Tharp in hot pursuit. Tharp was able to make the pass on lap 5 trailed closely by Nick Warner. Warner was on a string of 6 wins in a row, but "superman" couldn't make it 7 as Rickie Tharp took the Tim Marvel "Kryptomite Machine" to victory for the first checker in this new division. Nick Warner settled for second followed by Burge, Josh Tharp and Bill Leisure. Rickie Tharp was fast qualifier at 20.871 seconds.

In the school bus figure 8's, 10 busses filled the crossover course and put on a great race! There were more near misses in the crossover than you could count! Busses tilted upon three sets of wheels, rocked, rubbed paint and fenders and even raced three abreast! Josh Tharp led the first three laps before Basil Stanley took the lead. Tony Grissom caught Stanley slowing at the crossover on lap 9 and grabbed the lead at the white flag and rocked on to victory. Finishing out the top five were Josh Tharp, Danny Stanley, Jr, Basil Stanley and BJ Perry.

After a false start and a pileup on the pace lap, the jitters worked out of the corkscrew race and Mike Alley showed the field how to do the corkscrew! Alley did have a couple of altercations with slower cars at the corkscrew, but not enough to deny him from leading from green to checker. Trailers were Brian Cooper, Josh Tharp, David Carr and Ray Zirkle to round out the top five.

The one on one spectator drags returned with 11 fans bringing out their hot rods from the parking lot to try their skills on the world's fastest quarter mile! Competition started with a bang…literally, as the first two competitors touched! They shook hands when it was over. The winner of that event, Jake Woessner, went on to take top honors, defeating Scott Razor in the two lap finals.

The Night of Thrills was capped with the Culver's Trailer figure 8 where the competitors have to knock off the other competitor’s trailer, while keeping their own intact, to win. There were pieces, boats, you name it strewn all about the infield but it came down to the last turn move in the race. Gary Bragg, Jr led the race from the get go until Nick Warner got a run on him on a restart and took the lead on lap 6. Coming out of the final corner for the checker, Bragg was able to hit Warner's trailer, sending Warner partially sideways. This allowed Bragg just enough time to slide by for the win at the finish line. A great way to end the night! Bob Rabenstein was 3rd, Jay Sullivan 4th and Ryan Kramer 5th.