Chapman Returns with a Win; Leads Wire
to Wire in ThunderCar 100

By Ken de la Bastide

(March 31, 2013) -  A
fter taking a year off from racing, Curtis Chapman returned to the victory circle at Anderson Speedway in the WMDH ThunderCar 100.

Chapman set fast time and led all 100 laps to open the season Saturday with a victory, but it wasn’t a walk in the park.

For the first 64 laps Chapman was pressed by Eric Evans with Nick Warner, Robbie Wyman and Johnny Magee running in a tight formation.

On lap 65 Evans got loose coming off the fourth corner, made a dramatic save of the car, but was passed by Warner. Warner stayed glued to Chapman’s rear bumper until the finish.

Wyman passed Evans to claim the third spot on lap 74 with Magee coming home in fifth.

“Lapped cars were a problem,” Chapman said after scoring the win. “Everyone raced me clean, but it was tough to decide where the slower cars were going.”

Several times over the final 25 laps Chapman almost made the wrong decision on how to get around lapped traffic. More than once Chapman and Evans went into the corners three wide with a lapped car on the bottom of the track.

The race was slowed by only four caution flags and the race stayed green from lap 32 to the finish.

The first caution came out on the second lap when Nicholas Lewis lost the driveshaft in turn two. The second came out seven laps later when Eddie VanMeter’s car erupted in steam coming off the third corner.

The third yellow flag was for a spin by Justin Keith in turn two on lap 17. The final caution was on lap 29 when Jeff Hopkins and Jess Bilbrey tangled on the front straight, the contact sent Bilbrey’s car over the hood of Hopkin’s ride.

Rob Allman was forced to the pits on lap 31 with both a water pump and transmission problem while running in the top five. Jeff Marcum suffered an ignition problem which took him out of contention for the win through the halfway point.

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