Tharp Wins FWD Figure 8, Teepe Claims Oval Win
Rickie Tharp led the entire distance to win the IOFS Front Wheel Drive event pressured all the way by Nick Warner on Saturday.

With Tharp and Warner running nose to tail the battle developed behind the leaders between Josh Tharp, Bill Leisure and Donnie Ellis Jr. for the third position.

Ellis moved into the third spot by lap 10 but then lost a right front wheel ending his night. Josh Tharp and Leisure would swap the third position several times before Leisure claiming the spot at the finish.

Rickie Tharp was able to pull away from Warner on the point and than a caution flag would bunch up the field.

 “I don’t mind the restarts in the little cars,” Tharp said. “It’s a chance for the slower cars to catch up.

“I knew Nick (Warner) and my brother were right behind me with fast cars,” he continued. “We put a new set of tires on the car and it made a big difference. I told my car owner that I ran as fast as I needed to stay out front. As long as I could feel them bumping me I could use it to my advantage.”

Tharp said he didn’t want to leave the door open for an inside move by Warner.

“If they were bumping me it meant they weren’t passing me,” he said.

In the oval feature on Sunday Gary Bragg Jr. took the early lead but on the fifth circuit Chris Teepe was able to make a move to the inside entering turn three and the two drivers raced side by side before Teepe earned the front position.

The race was red-flagged on the first lap when Peter Corsaro Sr. made heavy contact with the turn three-rubber barriers. Corsaro suffered a fractured ankle and cut on the chin in the incident.

Bragg dropped back to third after two restarts but made a late charge to challenge for the win, but was unable to get around Teepe. Teepe won by .369 seconds over Bragg with Jeff Williams, Gary Bragg Sr. and Ellis rounding out the top five.

“It took a few laps to get going,” Teepe said of his car. “Gary (Bragg) always races clean, so I wasn’t concerned when we ran side by side.”

Bragg Sr. passed Aaron Jones with one lap remaining to win the first heat race with a move to the inside coming off the fourth corner. Frank Gasho came home in third.

In the second heat race Teepe passed Bragg Jr. with two laps remaining by grabbing the low line entering turn three to record the victory with Jared Keller claiming the final podium position.