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Tharp Wins Best Way Disposal National Crown; Sterkowitz, Dane Claim Victories

(July 23, 2011) – Twice Josh Tharp saw big leads wiped out by cautions, but got the jump on defending champion Curtis Chapman with 10 laps remaining to win his first Best Way Disposal National Crown at Anderson Speedway.

Tharp opened a big lead in the early stages of the race after passing Shawn Cullen, when the caution waved on lap 33. Taking advantage of the double-file restart Chapman grabbed the point.

Twice Tharp had to pass Chapman on lap 46, both times using the inside line entering turn one to regain the top spot. The first time was nullified when the caution flag waved when Ranny Hinton and Mike Phipps got together in turn three.

Again Tharp pulled away from Chapman and Nick Warner when the sixth caution flag waved when Danny Stanley Jr. had a mechanical failure and hit the turn three wall.

From there Chapman and Warner were able to stay in close contact with Tharp’s rear bumper but were never able to challenge for the win.

Following Tharp to the checkers were Chapman, Warner, Ronnie Rose and Hinton.

Shawn Cullen had one of the fastest cars all evening, but lost five laps as a result of a flat tire after contact with Tharp while battling for second position on lap 29.

For the second time this season Keith Sterkowitz captured a Champion Racing Association Sullivan RV Sportsman feature taking the lead on lap 66 with an outside pass of Terry Cater.

Sterkowitz won the McGunegill Engine Performance 100 by 2.1 seconds over Cater with Charlie Hanna coming home in third.

Cater took the point on lap 41 when he used the outside line on the back straight to pass Mark Lambert. Cater opened up a sizeable lead but it was Sterkowitz on the move.

Sterkowitz moved into the second position on lap 62 by slipping inside of Lambert entering turn three.

Sterkowitz had to hold off Cater on two final restarts, one caused when fast qualifier Bret Miles Jr. lost a right front tire and made contact with the turn one wall.

“Our strategy was to save the car,” Sterkowitz said. “We ran a 75-lap race here earlier this year and the tires went away. We planned to run the first 50 laps and keep the car there until the end.”

Chris Parker took the early lead thanks to the inversion of the fastest 10 qualifiers, but the lead only lasted for one lap when Mark Parker went to the outside on the front straight. Mark Parker led until lap 13, when Lambert got inside entering turn one.

It was a tough night for point’s leader Jason Atkinson, who started sixth and climbed as high as third when he spun on lap 61 and collected Brent Robinson.

Robinson worked his way back through the field to finish fourth with Atkinson coming home in sixth.

There were five lead changes among four different drivers and a total of seven caution periods for a total of 12 laps.

The mid-season battle in the Front Wheel Drive Oval Division between Jerry Dane and Jeff Williams continued on Saturday.

Dane took the lead on the fourth lap with an inside pass of Trevin Henson on the front straight and Williams used the same move in turn one to claim the second spot.

For the remainder of the race Dane was able to keep Williams behind him, including on a restart with eight laps remaining. It was Dane’s second feature win of the year.

Following Dane and Williams to the checkers were Henson, Andy Jennings and Sean Bragg, who climbed back through the field following a lap four incident with Ron Phipps.

Racing action returns to Anderson Speedway on Saturday, July 30 with the Holiday Inn Express Night at the Races. Featured divisions include EDCO Welding Street Stocks, WMDH ThunderCars, Front Wheel Drive Figure 8's, Figure 8's, Last Chance Wrecker Thunder Roadsters.

On Monday, August 1, the SealWrap Redbud 300 presented by Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Great Deals Savings Magazine and Ed Martin Toyota will feature the CRA Super Series Late Models stars along with Ken Schrader, Chase Elliott, Ross Kenseth and Ryan Blaney. NASCAR rising star Brad Keselowski will sign autographs prior to the racing action.