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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 Robinson.

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 next circuit.

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 fifth.

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.