Atkinson Captures Willy's Race, Magee Takes WMDH ThunderCar Feature;
Rose Dane, McKinney Record Wins
(September10, 2011) – New Castle driver Jason Atkinson was the
class of the field leading the entire distance to win the inaugural “Willy’s
Race” at Anderson Speedway during Cooper Sport Bowl night on Saturday.
The race is named in memory of William “Willy” Mefford, who died in a racing
accident at the track last May.
Helped by the inversion of the fastest four cars, Atkinson powered into the
lead from the start and held it through five restarts. Although Atkinson led
all 100 laps, he was never able to pull away from Brett Robinson.
But the trip to victory lane was almost short-circuited on lap 89 when Danny
Trent spun in turn four and Atkinson was unable to slow and made slight
contact with Trent’s car.
That’s when there was plenty of action to the checkered flag.
Despite some minor front-end damage, Atkinson was able to hold on for the
win. Scott Neal got inside of Robinson entering turn three to claim the
second spot. Charlie Hanna, Jeff Lane and Jeff Marcum all got around
Marcum, the fast qualifier, brought out the red flag on lap 95 when he
tangled with another car battling for position and came to rest with the
outside turn three wall. Marcum climbed from his car uninjured.
Atkinson was pressed by Neal over the final five laps with Jeff Lane using
the inside line to pass Hanna for third and Robinson getting inside to claim
fourth on the final lap.
The driver that turned in the most impressive run was Knightstown’s Jeff
Lane, who worked his way through the field after making a brief stop in the
pits with 37 laps remaining and drove to a third place finish.
Lane said he got shuffled back in the pack early in the race and decided to
stop to make some adjustments to the car.
Kevin Claborn finished sixth after starting 12th.
“It was a good race,” an emotional Atkinson said after the race. “Willy was
a good friend of mine. This is probably the biggest win of my career.”
The race was slowed only four times by cautions for a total of nine laps.
In his first regular appearance for a weekly WMDH ThunderCar event, Johnny
Magee found his way to the winner’s circle at Anderson Speedway on Cooper
Sport Bowl Family Night.
Magee got the jump at the start to take the top spot from David McConnell
and was able to gradually pull away for the victory. Behind Magee there was
tight racing between McConnell, Lonny Burton, Hannah Lundy and Rob Allman.
For the second half of the feature race, Allman continued to look to pass
Lundy for the fourth spot on the outside, but she was able to maintain the
spot on the front and back straights.
Ronnie Rose held off Herald Bulletin fast qualifier Josh Tharp the entire
distance to win the Figure-8 Division feature with Nick Warner climbing from
the back of the field to come home third.
For the second half of the race Tharp kept trying to make an inside pass on
Rose, but was unable to get along side in clean, close competition, with
Warner glued to Tharp’s rear bumper. Curtis Chapman came home fourth
followed by Jeff Swinford.
Jerry Dane continued a hot streak in the Front Wheel Drive Oval competition
setting fast time during Herald Bulletin qualifying and went on to record
the feature win.
Dane worked his way through traffic to take the lead for the first time on
lap 9 with an inside pass of Paul Phipps, but it was short-lived when the
leaders encountered slower traffic and Phipps retook the top spot on the
But Dane took the lead for good on lap 12 with an inside pass entering turn
three. Jeff Williams passed Phipps on lap 15 to finish second followed by
Trevin Henson, Ron Phipps and Paul Phipps.
It was Dane’s fourth win in the last five Front Wheel Drive feature events.
Elliott McKinney took the lead at the start and led the entire distance to
win the Front Wheel Drive Figure-8 feature in a race that had a lot of near
misses in the cross-over.
Nick Warner moved around Donnie Ellis Jr. late in the race to finish second
with point’s leader Chris Teepe coming home in fourth and Randy Owen in
Anderson Speedway returns to racing action on Saturday, September 17 with
the H.O.S.S. Winged Sprint Cars, EDCO Welding CRA Street Stocks, Figure 8's,
WMDH ThunderCars and Front Wheel Drive Figure 8's.