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Allman Goes Wire to Wire to Win WMDH ThunderCar Enduro

By Ken de la Bastide

(April 2, 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.

Dugger finished fourth despite twice spinning out in the early stages of the race in turn two.

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 ran the final laps without brakes.

“I gave him (Warner) plenty of room on the outside,” he said. “He didn’t have the car to make the pass on the outside.”

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

Warner said he was pleased with the second place finish, but would have preferred making it two Enduro wins in a row. He won the October, 2011 event.

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.

Neal said during the halfway break the team discovered a pinhole sized leak in the oil pan that they repaired with a pop rivet and epoxy.

“Getting black-flagged probably saved the engine,” he laughed.

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

The race was slowed seven times through the first 100 laps but only twice in the second half of the event.

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.