Magee Dominates ThunderCar Enduro; Tharp Wins Ed Maynard Memorial

Carthage’s Johnny Magee captured his third WMDH Thunder Car Enduro of the year in dominating fashion leading the final 164 laps on the way to victory at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

Magee took over the lead on lap 36 when early race leader Ronnie Rose tangled with a lapped car in Turn two.

From there Magee dominated the event nearly lapping the entire field. Shawn Cullen finished second followed by Rod Phipps, a lap down, Nick Warner and Herb Rose.

The only thing that could have kept Magee from the win was several incidents among lapped cars that took place in front of him, that he was able to avoid. The last one was on the final lap exiting Turn four when the car of Ronnie Basham III spun as Magee was headed to the checkered flag.

Magee started the year by capturing the first two 200-lap Enduro’s of the year and his streak was broken by Nick Warner in August.

“We had a pretty good car all night,” Magee said. “I was just trying to keep it in one piece. The second half went pretty quick.”

The second half of the Enduro was only stopped for a red flag with eight laps remaining when Artie Ware spun in Turn two losing a left rear tire.

Ronnie Phipps night ended on lap 172 while he was running fifth and by lap 181 the fourth place car of Amonett slowed and went to the pits. That put Warner and Herb Rose into the top five, both multiple laps behind the leader.

Early race leader Ronnie Rose was chanced at the drop of the green flag by Magee, Kentucky driver Raymond Johnson, Ryan Amonett and Ronnie Phipps through the first 25 laps.

The complexion of the race changed on lap 36 when Rose made contact with the lapped car of Justin Dibbern in Turn two. Rose spun losing a tire and ending his night of competition.

From there Magee inherited the lead and pulled away from the remainder of the field. At the halfway break only Shawn Cullen and Rod Phipps remained on the lead lap and 24 of the 48 cars were still running.

Early contender Artie Ware from Kentucky pulled to the infield on lap 26, Rob Allman’s night ended on lap 34 while running fourth and Johnson along with Randy Hoppes ducked into the pits on lap 55.
The first half of the race was red-flagged a total of 12 times. The biggest incident took place on lap 14 when the car of Brad Cain failed to start on the front straight and collected the cars of Josh Poore and Hannah Lundy.

Anderson driver Ronnie Rose set a new track record for the WMDH Thunder Car Division during time trials with a lap of 14.589 seconds (61.690 mph) which broke the mark set on June 17 by Johnny Magee at 14.818 seconds.

Seven teams came from the Bluegrass State to compete in the $3,000 to win Enduro along with drivers from Clarksville and Floyd’s Knob making the trip to Anderson Speedway.
Ricky Tharp, subbing for Jack Leisure led all 100 laps to capture the 2nd Annual Ed Maynard Memorial for the Front Wheel Drive division.

Tharp was chased for most of the lap by defending race winner Nick Warner, but was only seriously challenged when the leaders encountered lapped traffic.

Gary Bragg Jr. moved into the second spot with 15 laps remaining but was unable to close on Tharp. Bragg got collected by a lapped car on the front straight with three laps remaining.
On the restart Gary Bragg Sr. spun in Turn two which knocked him out of a top five finish. Warner suffered a flat right rear tire and was forced to the tail of the lead lap cars with two laps remaining.

At the finish it was Tharp, Chris Teepe, Elliott McKinney, Peter Carsoro and Josh Tharp, who started 22nd in the 40 car field.

Leisure was taken to St. John’s Hospital before the racing program started suffering from pneumonia with Tharp filling in for the victory.

Fast qualifier Kevin Harmon pulled into the infield while running second on lap 49. The race was slowed by eight caution periods for a total of 25 laps.

Chesterfield’s Kevin Harmon set a new track record in the Front Wheel Drive division during qualifying turning a lap at 15.390 seconds (58.480 mph) which broke the mark set on May 10, 2008 by Trevor Abbott of 15.439 seconds.

A total of 88 cars were on hand for the final regular racing card of the 2009 season with 48 Thunder Cars and 40 Front Wheel Drive racing machines in the pit area.

The 2009 racing season comes to an end next Saturday with the final Night of Thrills featuring the Culver Trailer Races, Front Wheel Drive demolition derby, powder puff School Bus Figure-8, Corkscrew Figure 8 and Roll-over competition. Racing starts at 7 p.m. There will be a Trunk or Treat for school age kids and the Halloween costume parade.