Miles Gets Street Stock Title; Five Season Champions Crowned

Muncie’s Bret Miles Sr. entered the final feature race of the season with a 34 point lead over Rich Boyer and locked up the Street Stock championship with a victory at Anderson Speedway on Saturday during Budweiser champions night.

Miles set quick time in qualifying with Boyer right on his tail. Boyer trimmed Miles point lead by winning a heat race, but the championship eluded him.

Miles led all 40 laps of the feature with Boyer battling Jacob McElfresh for the second spot. But on lap 14 Boyer and McElfresh rubbed coming through the second corner which resulted in

Boyer suffering a flat right rear tire bringing his night to an end.

Following Miles to the checkers was McElfresh who was challenged by Rob Allman for the second half of the race, coming home fourth was Joe Beaver followed by Randy Hoppes. Miles won by seven seconds and gave the crowd a bow after his third win of the year.
Miles drove to the championship in a borrowed car from Derreck Lane after his mount was damaged earlier in the year.

“Couldn’t believe all the help and friends a guy has,” Miles said. “We came here to have fun this season. It’s been a heck of a year, bad luck back luck and then we turned it around at the end.”
Miles said he was sorry to see Boyer’s problems because the two have always race each other clean.

Rich Boyer used the high groove to get around Rob Allman on the fifth lap of the first heat for the Street Stocks and went on to record the victory followed by Allman and Jacob McElfresh. It was Boyer’s third heat win of the year.

Keith Harmon and Kevin Rudisill battled side by side for the lead in the second Street Stock heat race with Rudisill using the high line to claim the top spot. But two laps later Elwood’s Bruce McFall got underneath Rudisill down the back straight to take the lead and went on to score his second consecutive win. Rudisill and Harmon rounded out the top three.

Kyle Flynn had a motor grenade entering turn three on the sixth lap and Russ George faced with no place to go made hard contact with the outside retaining wall, ending both drivers night of competition.

Anderson’s Rod Phipps did want he needed to in capturing the WMDH Thunder Car championship over Rob Allman.

Phipps planted his mount in second place behind Ronnie Rose for the entire 30 lap feature while Allman was mired in fourth place behind Rob Wyman Jr. with Sam Folsom rounding out to top five.

There was some excitement on lap 12 when the lapped car of Tony Grissom took Rose to the high side entering turn two which allowed Phipps to take the lead. The caution flag was waved and Rose was returned to the top spot as it appeared Grissom may have deliberately taken the leader toward the outside retaining wall.

“I had a lot of help this year,” Phipps said of the championship. “Everything worked out real well. It has been a heck of a year.”

Anderson’s Josh Poore used the inside line to pass Hannah Lundy on the sixth lap of the opening WMDH Thunder Car feature and went on to score his third heat win of the year followed by Rod Phipps and Nick Warner.

Tony Grissom took control of the second heat race early but Rob Allman dove to the inside entering turn one and went on to record his first win of the year followed by Terry Malone Jr. and Rob Wyman Jr.

Fast qualifier Josh Tharp, Noblesville, led all 30 laps to capture the ImmediaDent Figure 8 feature chased by Shawn Cullen, who was able to close when the leader encountered lapped traffic. It was Josh Tharp’s second feature win of 2009.

Cullen finished second followed by Mike Riddle Jr. with Johnny Magee and Rickie Tharp rounding out the top five.

Jeff Swinford won the championship but his race car took the worst of a crossover collision with Doug Riddle. For several laps Riddle tempted fate not slowing down entering the crossover and several times almost made contact with the front running cars.

Fate played its hand on lap six when Riddle clipped the rear of Swinford’s car, sending both cars into the outside retaining wall on the front straight. Swinford captured the title as a result of his tenth place finish and Rickie Tharp’s fifth place showing.

“It’s a shame that happened tonight,” Swinford said in the Royal Spa Winner’s Circle interview. “I’ve had a heck of a year.”

Mike Riddle Jr. led from start to finish toscore his fifth win in the first ImmediaDent Figure 8 heat race but had to hold off fast qualifier Josh Tharp for the entire race with Jeff Swinford coming home in third.

Shawn Cullen got to the inside of Rickie Tharp coming off the final corner of the last lap to score the victory in the second heat race with Josh Poore scoring a podium finish.

Kokomo’s Gary Bragg Jr. took the lead from season point champion Jeff Saxon on lap 17 with an inside move entering turn one and went on to record the victory. Kevin Harmon finished second followed by Saxon. It was Bragg’s fifth feature win of the year as he finished as runner-up in the point standings.

Fast qualifier Kevin Harmon took the early lead and was being chased by Bragg when they encountered the lapped car of Trevon Henson entering turn three on lap 10. Racing three wide into the fourth corner, Henson spun in front of the two leaders. That allowed Saxon with momentum on the high side to grab the lead until he was passed by Bragg seven circuits later.

“Hats off to all my competitors,” Saxon said of his championship. “I want to thank my fans, family and everyone that helped me during the year.”

Kokomo’s Gary Bragg took the lead with an inside pass of Paul Phipps on lap two restart in Front Wheel Drive oval competition to record his third heat win followed by Jack Leisure and Kevin Harmon. Rickie Craig while running fourth on the second lap got loose going down the back straight and came back onto the track in turn four taking out leader John Stevens.

New Castle’s Ryan Ammonett took advantage of the inside line to pass Ray Zirkle on lap four and then held off a rapidly closed Gary Bragg Jr. to record a win in his first visit to Anderson Speedway with Jeff Saxon finishing third.
Bill Leisure made it a clean sweep in Front Wheel Drive in Figure 8 competition setting a new track record, a heat race and then the feature. It was Leisure’s first tine of the year.

Leisure was chased for all 20 laps by 2009 champion Nick Warner. The two front runners lapped the remainder of the field with Jerry Dane, Archie Patterson and Lawrence Jones rounding out the top five.

There was action in the crossover during the Front Wheel Drive feature on lap 4 when Brandon Mayhugh hit the stopped car of Don Muckelbauer and the two collected the car of Harry LaShure, who was running fifth at the time.

The track record set on Sept. 19 by Rickie Tharp in Front Wheel Drive action on the Figure 8 survived for one week. Bill Leisure broke Tharp’s mark of 20.703 seconds by turning a lap at 20.642 seconds to establish the new standard.

Leisure drove away from the field to win the first heat race chased by Randy Hoppes and Harry LaShure. Champion Nick Warner led the entire way to capture the second heat race with Elliott McKinney and Chuck Gossett rounding out the top three.

Next Saturday WMDH presents the 12th annual Stock Car Festival with over 200 laps of action in nine divisions with racing starting at 7 p.m. Divisions racing include the Street Stocks, ImmediaDent Figure 8’s, WMDH Thunder Cars, Front Wheel Drive in action on the oval and Figure 8, Mini-cups, Ford Focus, Kenyon Midgets and Legends.