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Beaver's Strategy Brings MEP
Late Model Win

By Ken de la Bastide

(April 9, 2012) –
Noblesville driver Joe Beaver turned back a number of challengers to win the first McGunegill Engine Performance Late Model event of the year at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

Beaver took the lead from Robert Amos Jr. on the second lap with an inside pass going down the back straight. From there Beaver turned back challengers on seven double-file restart to record the victory.

Amos crashed on the third lap after trading paint with Greg Van Alst on the front straight and made contact with the outside retaining wall in turn one.

The double-file restarts became a chess match of sorts with drivers opting to pick the high or low line, in some cases surrendering positions in the running order in favor of the more valuable track position.

During the second caution period on lap five, the four front running drivers all elected to stay on the bottom of the race track. That decision allowed Josh Cave and Rob Allman to gain positions.

Defending champion Terry Cater experienced a mechanical problem while running third on lap 12, bringing out the fourth caution.

The fifth caution flag waved on lap 16 when Van Alst spun in turn one and on the restart with Beaver and Cave staying low, Brandon Phillips and Allman went to the high side.

By lap 20 Cave faded to fourth with Beaver chased by Phillips and Allman. Six laps later Phillips spun on the back straight.

With six laps remaining Allman challenged Beaver on the outside for the lead and as the two drivers raced side by side down the back straight the caution flag waved when Brock Anderson spun and the car of Ryan Amonette was found to be leaking oil.

On the final restart Allman elected to remain low behind Beaver with Nick Moore moving up to the front row. Allman passed Moore on lap 33 on the front straight.

Following Beaver to the checkers was Allman, Nick Moore, Fred Hopkins and Ronnie Rose.

“We weren’t very good early in the night,” Beaver said of the team’s fifth place qualifying effort. “We made some changes; we still have a lot of work to do.”

Fred Hopkins won the first heat race when Ronnie Rose was black-flagged for turning laps faster than his qualifying time. Rose has taken the lead from Randy Hoppes on the second lap entering turn three and pulled away from the field.

Hopkins got underneath Hoppes entering turn one on the sixth circuit and inherited the lead when Rose was black-flagged. Following Hopkins to the checkers was Hoppes, Jeff Williams, Amonette and Josh Poore.

Amos won the second heat race leading the entire distance but had to hold off a closing Beaver at the finish. He won by .264-seconds.

Following Amos and Beaver to the checkers were Phillips, Allman and Moore.