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Atkinson Gets CRA Late Model Sportsman Victory; Charlie Hargraves Captures Outlaw 100

(August 11, 2012) – New Castle’s Jason Atkinson used the outside line on a restart on lap 49 to grab the lead in the CRA Sportsman feature at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

For Atkinson it was his fourth Top Speed Fabrication series win at Anderson Speedway, tying him with Keith Sterkowitz, on Lawrence Lubricants Night at the Races.

Brian McFadden, helped by the inversion of the 12 fastest cars, led the first 49 laps first chased by Josh Cave. Atkinson, who started tenth in the field, passed Cave on lap 46 with an outside move racing down the back straight.

The sixth caution flag waved on lap 47 when Josh Timmerman spun in turn three following a bump from fast qualifier Damon Ecoff.

On the restart Atkinson got the jump on McFadden and made the pass on the back straight. McFadden finished second, followed by Cave, Dean Cook and Tommy Cook.

It’s Atkinson’s third CRA win of the season and his second of the year at Anderson Speedway.

“We had a good car on the long run,” Atkinson said.

The top five got scrambled on lap 15 when the middle of the field got three wide entering turn one with Fred Hopkins and K.C. Spillers coming to rest against the turn one wall.

There was drama before the running of the IOFS Outlaw 100 when fast qualifier Brian Rievely was informed that the tires he qualified at on Aug. 4 were determined to be illegal after initially approved by series officials.

Rievely was informed in order to compete he would have to change tires and start at the rear of the field, an option the veteran driver decided not to exercise.

Charlie Hargraves inherited the lead on lap 51 when his brother, Johnny, experienced a mechanical problem.

Johnny Hargraves took the lead from his brother on lap nine when the two encountered slower traffic in turn three. The two Hargraves were leading the rest of the field by a lap at the midway point after an oil leak knocked Tommy St. John from the race.

The driver to watch during the first 30 laps was St. John who used the outside line to move into the top three, but he was forced to the pits with an oil leak, which could not be repaired.

During the final 50 laps the driver on the move was Ronnie Phipps, who moved outside of Shawn Cullen on lap 73 in turn three to move into the second spot. Phipps passed Hargraves on lap 84 to put himself one lap down to the leader.

At the finish it was Charlie Hargraves, Phipps, Cullen, Jeff Swinford and Jeff Williams, driving a late model.

“The last 30 or 40 laps I was just cruising around,” Hargraves said. “I knew what was happening.”
Hargraves won the Outlaw 100 for the second consecutive year.

Larry Fritz held off challenges from fast qualifier Chris Weddel and David Lobbia to capture the Thunder Roadster feature. Fritz, 63, has been racing for 54 years, and used the bottom groove to record the win.

Fritz passed Doug Dugger on the third lap to take the lead and on lap 19 Weddel attempted to get inside coming off the fourth corner and instead spun. That put Lobbia into the second position and he tried several times without success to get underneath Fritz.

Behind Fritz and Lobbia were Dugger, Nate Shrout and Darrell Brown.

Nate Shrout led all 25 laps to win the make-up of the July 14 feature for the Thunder Roadsters.

David Lobbia got inside of Shrout on lap 17 but Shrout was able to maintain the momentum on the outside lane to record his first feature win of the year. Lobbia finished second followed by Marty Griffin, Larry Fritz and Doug Dugger.

Don Gallaher drove from the tail of the field to take the lead with an inside pass entering turn one of Ron Phipps. Gallaher had set time during qualifications, but was disqualified for a camber problem.

Phipps grabbed the early lead but it was Gallaher slicing his way through the field to record his second feature win of the year. Phipps finished second followed by Paul Phipps, Trevin Henson and Ronnie Phipps.

Donnie Ellis Jr. passed Josh Tharp entering turn three on the final lap to win the IOFS Front Wheel Drive Figure-8 feature. Ellis and Tharp raced wheel to wheel over the final seven laps before the decisive pass was made.

Third went to Jimmy Kirby with Rickie Craig and Harry Lashure rounding out the top five.

Anderson Speedway returns to racing action on Saturday, August 18 with the Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint Series featured in the Mitch Auto Service 50. Other divisions in action include WMDH ThunderCars, Legends and G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drive Figure 8’s.

For additional information on Anderson Speedway, visit or contact Anderson Speedway at (765) 642-0206.