Battling Back Phipps Gets Figure 8 Victory

An unexpected meeting with a tire marking the Figure-8 course at Anderson Speedway almost derailed Rod Phipps hopes of winning the opening event of the 2010 season.

Phipps was racing side by side with race leader Curtis Chapman on the 10th lap of Saturday’s feature. Trying to use the outside line exiting turn two, Phipps ran out of racing room and slammed into the tire barrier.

Before racing action could resume Jeff Swinford lost a tire entering turn three, which allowed Phipps to move up one spot on the restart. The veteran driver passed James Peterson and Bruce McFall on the 11th lap and one lap later Chapman slowed and Phipps was able to get inside Dale Phillips for the lead.

Phipps pulled away from the field followed by Phillips and McFall.

“I’m real surprised,” Phipps commented from victory lane. “This has been one of the toughest cars I had to drive. When I hit the tire it bent something on the front suspension.”

In the heat race Chapman led all eight laps chased by Phipps, so that set the stage for the feature event. McFall came home in third in the heat race.

There was an aborted start to the heat race when Swinford and Phillips, teammates, spun in turn one on the first lap as a result of wet pavement through the crossover.