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View from the Tower:  Pay Less Little 500 Top Race of 2012

By Ken de la Bastide

(January 3, 2013) – On a weekly basis there was exciting races at Anderson Speedway throughout the 2012 season, but a few were exceptional and deserve special recognition.

This list of the seven top races at Anderson Speedway is my own opinion and your list may be different, it’s a good starting point for discussion.

The Pay Less Little 500 was the best race of the year with Brian Tyler capturing his second championship and the second for long-time car owner Larry Contos.

Tyler took the lead on lap 342 when leader Aaron Pierce stopped for fuel and led the remaining 158 circuits.

Following Tyler to the checkers was rookie Billy Wease and veteran Brian Gerster, who started 29th in the field.

Pierce would suffer a flat tire with less than 100 laps remaining and knock him from contention.

The Stoops Freightliner Red Bud 300 comes next with Ross Kenseth, who never finished a super late model race at Anderson Speedway, led the final 51 laps for the victory.

Kenseth took the lead from Bubba Pollard following a round of pit stops and then had to hold off 2011 champion Steve Dorer for the victory. Johnny VanDoren finished third.

For Kenseth the victory in the Red Bud 300 was the first of three impressive victories that included the Winchester 400 and the All American 400.

The third best race of the season was the National Crown for the IOFS competitors with Eddie VanMeter coming from the back of the pack to pass Mike Riddle Jr. with two laps remaining.

VanMeter’s team made some hasty repairs to his mount and to the delight of the fans charged back from the eighth position to record the win.

Fourth on my list is the Bud Light Challenge for the Front Wheel Drive Oval Division on the last night of racing.

Four drivers battled for the lead throughout the 100 laps. Kevin Harmon, Jerry Dane, Chris Jennings and Nick Warner swapped the lead several times.

Traffic made the difference with Harmon able to slip past Dane for the lead and the win. Dane finished second followed by Jennings.

There were only three cautions during the first 50 laps and a total of eight for the event.

Fifth goes to the final IOFS race of the year won by Mike Riddle Jr.

Johnny Hargraves and Ben Tunney battled for the top spot for most of the 50 laps with Riddle running a close third.

Entering turn one of the Figure-8 course, Hargraves and Tunney got together with both cars making contact with the outside retaining wall.

Riddle led the final six laps for the win.

Next was the first appearance of the Most See Racing Series Super Modifeds at the Speedway with two stops scheduled for this year.

Charlie Schultz dominated the first 78 laps of the 100 lap feature when he tangled with a slower car, which ended his night.

Schultz’s misfortune gave the win to Kyle Edwards with Little 500 regular Jimmy McCune coming home in second.

The final event on my list is the 200-lap feature for the EDCO Welding Street Stocks.

What made this race memorable was the fact that Josh Poore led all 200 laps, holding off Dustin Burge over the final half of the race.

For additional information contact Anderson Speedway at (765) 642-0206.