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Hargraves Opens Season with Victory

By Ken de la Bastide

(April 2, 2012) –
Three lead changes in the first ten laps and an unexpected winner marked the opening IOFS race of the season at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

Charlie Hargraves claimed the win when Gary Bedell’s car suffered an electrical ignition problem on a restart with three laps remaining.

There was plenty of action throughout the 50-lap feature and a few surprises in the final five laps.

The first thing that was not expected was when leader Johnny Hargraves locked up the rear-end of his car and spun to a stop in turn one with three laps remaining. That returned Bedell to the lead, but he couldn’t come to the green.

Charlie Hargraves finished head of Jeremy Vanderhoof, the only other driver on the led lap.

“We definitely weren’t the fastest car,” Hargraves said. “I don’t know what happened up there; we got lucky at the end.”

Johnny 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.

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.

Chad Sizemore’s race ended on lap 33 when he ran into the stopped car of Cale Ramey who was waiting for traffic to clear the cross-over.