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Tharp Wins National Crown

(July 26, 2011) – Four lead changes highlight event There is no bigger race for the Figure 8 competitors at Anderson Speedway than the 62nd running of the Best Way Disposal National Crown.

Started in 1950 the National Crown is the longest continuous race in American stock car racing and Josh Tharp added his name to the list of winners.

With three former winners in the starting field, including defending champion Curtis Chapman, the road to the victory didn’t some easy for Tharp.

Twice during the race Tharp saw big leads erased by the caution flag.

The early lead was taken by Shawn Cullen, making his first appearance of 2011, chased by Tharp, Ronnie Rose, Jeff Swinford and Chapman.

On the ninth circuit, Rose slipped outside of Tharp on the back straight to claim the second spot. But on lap 12 Rose spun exiting turn four and Nick Warner also looped his car, bringing out the first caution flag.

Cullen maintained the lead on the restart but Tharp went to the point for the first time on lap 16 by slipping inside entering turn one.

Chapman and Ranny Hinton, making his first start in two years, moved inside of Swinford when he tangled with Tharp in turn one. That ended Swinford’s night with suspension damage.

Hinton spun on lap 32 and the caution flag waved on lap 34 for debris on the track. Tharp held off Chapman on the restart until lap 34 when Chapman took the point with a pass on the back straight.

The third caution flag waved on lap 44 when Swinford spun and along with Rose, both drivers were sent to the tail.

On the first attempted restart, Tharp got inside of Chapman entering turn one. Before a lap could be completed Hinton and Mike Phipps got together in turn three.

Tharp used an identical move on the restart to claim the point.

Another caution period ensued on lap 48 for fluids on the track, Chapman made an effort to get around Tharp on the restart but couldn’t complete the pass. Warner passed Rose for third on lap 49 and the sixth and final caution flag waved when Danny Stanley Jr. had something break and he made heavy contact with the turn three wall.

Tharp maintained the lead on the restart and went on to win by 2.4-seconds over Chapman with Warner, Rose and Hinton rounding out the top five.