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A View From the Tower - Rule Change Brings New Wrinkle

By Ken de la Bastide

(April 5, 2011) – Going into the opening weekend of the 2011 season at Anderson Speedway it would be safe to speculate that competitors and fans had loads of questions regarding the double-file restart rule.

After the first weekend of racing in the Anderson Late Model and WMDH ThunderCar divisions, the only way to describe the impact of the rule is positive.

The double-file restart in the Late Model Division created exciting side by side racing with drivers on the high side able to contend for position with those competitors using the low groove.

On the first restart Bret Miles Jr. got the jump on John Heck to grab the lead. On the second restart Miles and Terry Cater raced side by side for the top spot with Cater holding a slight advantage at the stripe.

With the yellow flag again displayed two laps later, the question was would Cater opt for the low groove or the high line on the restart. When Cater took the low side there was speculation that he might have been better off staying high.

As it turned out Cater made the right call. But as the season progresses the leader in all the racing divisions at Anderson Speedway are going to have to determine if their mount is working better high or low.

The Late Model feature was highlighted by clean racing among the competitors. At one point late in the feature Miles got Cater loose coming off turn two, but slowed to allow Cater to recover. A real sportsmanlike gesture from Miles.

In the WMDH ThunderCar feature, Rob Allman started on the outside on the restart and took the lead from Larry Swinford. Allman’s easy ascent to the top spot could have been attributed to the fact that Swinford suffered a suspension failure.

With Rod Phipps and Rob Wyman Sr. not returning to Thunder Car action this year, the expected front runners for the championship are Allman and Hannah Lundy, who finished third in the 2010 point standings and set fast time on opening night.

But look for Lonnie Burton, David McConnel and Jameson Owens to be among the drivers that will challenge Allman and Lundy for the division championship all season long.

The one thing that was obvious on opening night was that the double-file restart was going to result in tight racing from the front row all the way back through the field.

The close racing as a result of the new rule should carry over to the Street Stock Division, Front Wheel Drive and all the other divisions that compete at Anderson Speedway.

If you missed the return of the Anderson Speedway Late Models after an 18-year absence on opening night you missed an exciting show. Although it will be hard to top opening night, fans should see plenty of excellent racing throughout 2011.