Tharp Wins National Crown
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
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
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.