Atkinson Wins Wild CRA Late Model Sportsman Race; Myers Scores
By Ken de la Bastide
14, 2012) – New Castle’s Jason Atkinson took advantage of a
restart with three laps remaining to get outside of Greg VanAlst to win the
Champion Racing Association Sportsman feature at Anderson Speedway on
Tommy Cook took the lead on lap 26 when early leader John Heck spun on the
front straight. From that point Cook was chased by KC Spillers, VanAlst and
Heck took the lead at the start and swapped the lead following the first
caution on lap five for debris on the track. Heck took command on lap eight
and led until he spun entering turn one following contact with Cook.
VanAlst made the move of the race on lap 56 when Spillers and Atkinson went
high on the front straight and VanAlst dived to the low side to claim the
VanAlst closed on the rear bumper of Cook with Atkinson and Eldon Wright
closing on the leaders. Just when it looked like Cook was going to make it
two Sportsman wins in a row, VanAlst tapped his rear bumper on the front
With Cook cutting through the infield that gave VanAlst the lead followed by
Atkinson on lap 73. At the same time the sixth and final caution flag waved
for a multiple car incident in turn three.
On the final restart Atkinson got the jump on the front straight and
completed the pass in turn one. Wright was able to get around Cook in the
Following Atkinson to the checkers was VanAlst, Wright, Cook and Terry
Jones. There were six lead changes among four drivers.
Atkinson started 11th in the 18-car starting field. It was his third CRA win
at Anderson Speedway and the second of the 2012 season, winning the opener
at Plymouth Speedway.
“I was trying to save the tires for the end,” Atkinson said.
Anderson’s Josh “Country” Myers started eighth in the 28-car starting field
for the CRA Street Stock 75-lap feature, but it only took him 22 laps to
move to the front.
Myers used the high groove following a restart on lap 20 to race
side-by-side with early leader Rickie Tharp and then took control of the
It was Myers third straight win at Anderson Speedway in the Street Stock
Although he led the final 53 laps, Myers was not able to shake a determined
effort from Tharp, who closed within striking distance with eight laps
remaining as the front-runners encountered lapped traffic.
Tharp and pole sitter Eddie Wolf swapped the lead three times over the first
16 laps with the driver on the outside line having the advantage.
After being passed by Tharp and Myers, Wolf was battling with Josh Poore for
the third spot on lap 40, getting loose on the front straight and regaining
control in turn one after losing several positions.
Following Myers and Tharp to the checkers were Poore, Ronnie Rose and J.J.
“The car was on a rail,” Myers said. “I’ve gotten off to a good start to the
season, guess I’ll have to try and win another next week.”
Fast qualifier Calvin Parham only made it to lap seven before a mechanical
problem sent him to the sidelines. Local favorite Jimmy Kirby was taken out
in a four-car incident in turn three on the second lap.
Mike Alley inherited the lead on the next to last lap in G.W. Pierce Front
Wheel Drive Figure-8 action when Elliott McKinney made contact with leader
Donnie Ellis Jr. coming to the crossover. Ellis spun toward the front
straight wall. Following the caution both Ellis and McKinney were sent to
the rear of the field.
But that was only the start of the action.
On the restart Alley went high in turn two which gave the lead temporarily
to Trevon Henson. Entering turn three Henson went three-wide in turn three
with McKinney and Ellis. The three cars bounced off each other with McKinney
hitting the turn four wall.
Ellis recovered to pass Henson on the back straight to record the victory
followed by Henson and Alley.
Early in the race Ellis opened a sizeable lead over Alley, but when McKinney
had a problem in turn three on lap seven it brought out the first of the
Anderson Speedway returns to racing action on Saturday, May 19 with Hoosier
Park Spring Championships. Featured divisions include McGunegill Engine
Performance Late Models, EDCO Welding Street Stocks, WMDH ThunderCars along
with G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drives (Oval and Figure 8’s).