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Allman Goes Wire to Wire to Win WMDH ThunderCar Enduro; Charlie Hargraves Earns IOFS Victory

(March 31, 2012) – The opening night at Anderson Speedway turned into a battle of nerves between two veteran drivers in the WMDH Thunder Car Enduro on Saturday.

Rob Allman, in a brand new car, jumped into the lead at the start and was chased by Nick Warmer for the next 192 laps.

Over the final ten circuits Allman was able to open a slight gap over Warner to record the wire to wire victory before a good opening day crowd. Third went to Jeff Marcum, followed by Doug Dugger and Frankie Oakes.

For the entire second half of the race, which Allman maintained the low groove with Warner tapping on his rear bumper in an effort to garner an advantage. Although it appeared that Warner had the faster car, he showed a lot of patience while waiting for Allman to make a mistake.

It was a mistake that Allman never committed, which allowed him to claim the $3,000 payday for car owner Dave Hacker.

“The last two Enduros’ we destroyed race cars,” Allman said. “He (Warner) made it exciting. I just tried to keep the bottom because I never saw him go up high. He had the faster car tonight, but I was able to stay on the bottom.”

Allman thanked Warner for racing him clean for the entire race distance.

Scott Neal, who started last in the field was running third when his car developed an oil leak on lap 141, which forced him to the sidelines. Four laps later Curtis Chapman’s night ended when he pulled into the infield while running fifth.

Robbie Wyman’s night ended on lap 177 when the engine expired in his car while he was running fifth.

The Enduro turned into a race of attrition with several of the front running cars experiencing problems early in the race.

Fast qualifier Herb Rose was running third when a broken right front suspension ended his night on lap 36. Johnny “Mr. Enduro” Magee was caught in three separate incidents before a power steering problem forced him out of competition near the halfway mark.

It was a tough night for front runners during the International Outlaw Figure-8 Series feature, but bad luck for Johnny Hargraves resulted in a win for veteran driver Charlie Hargraves.

Hargraves took the lead from Bedell with a nifty inside move on a restart on lap 34 and the two drivers ran nose to tail for the next 13 laps. Several times Bedell tried to get alongside of Hargraves for the lead, but was unable to make the pass.

With three laps remaining the rear-end of Hargraves car locked up and he spun in turn one, ending his night. That gave Bedell the lead followed by Charlie Hargraves and Jeremy Vanderhoof. But coming to the final restart, Bedell’s car died and wouldn’t refire.

That made a winner of Charlie Hargraves followed by Vanderhoof, the only other driver on the lead lap. Robbi Loving, Jeff Hizer and Johnny Hargraves rounded out the top five.

There were three lead changes in the first ten laps with Charlie Hargraves taking the early lead, surrendering it to Ben Tunney on lap five with a bold outside move to climb from third to the point. Bedell took the lead on lap ten with an outside move while Tunney battled slower traffic.

Tunney lost an engine while running second on lap 15.

Indianapolis driver Jack Dossey Jr., the national points’ leader in the Legends Division showed a lot of patience before passing fast qualifier Andy Jones with three laps remaining.

Jones took the lead from the pole position chased by Bryan Nuckles, Dossey, Matt Erich and Alex Arelano. Dossey used an inside pass on the tenth circuit to pass Nuckles entering turn three.

From there Dossey closed on the rear bumper of Jones and coming off the fourth corner on lap 21, Jones slipped high which gave Dossey the inside groove. He made the pass to take the lead entering turn one.

On the final lap coming off the second corner, Jones got loose and made contact with the outside retaining wall. At the finish it was Dossey, Nuckles, Erich, Erick Black and Arelano.

Chris Weddle chased Nate Shrout for 11 laps but when the low line opened entering turn three he took advantage of the situation to grab the lead and went on to win the Thunder Roadster feature.

Marty Griffin finished second with Darrell Brown passing John Robbins entering turn three with five laps remaining to come home in third, Tony Holden rounded out the top five.

Anderson Speedway returns to action on Saturday, April 7 with McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models, EDCO Welding Street Stocks and G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drives on the Oval and Figure 8.