Hargraves Wins for Second Time; Vanderhoof, Tharp Get Podiums

By Ken de la Bastide

(June 15, 2013) - There was plenty of drama during the second appearance of the IOFS outlaw Figure-8 cars at Anderson Speedway on Friday with Charlie Hargraves picking up a hard-earned win.

The complexion of the night’s racing action changed during a warm-up session prior to the 50-lap feature event.

Ben Tunney, who qualified second quick, slowed during the warm-up session and appeared to be heading off the track, when defending IOFS champion Jeremy Vanderhoof couldn’t stop in time and made heavy contact.

The contact punctured the fuel cell in Tunney’s car, ending his effort for the night. Vanderhoof made contact with the outside retaining wall and suffered front-end damage, but was able to compete.

It was a prelude for what was to come in the feature event.

With the top eight cars inverted from the start, Chuckie Hargraves grabbed the early lead, but the driver on the move was visiting Kentucky driver Artie Ware climbing from the sixth starting spot to third in the opening lap.

Two laps later Ware used the inside line coming off the second corner to take the lead from Chuckie Hargraves.

On a restart on lap five, Chuckie Hargraves dropped from the second o sixth position, which gave the second spot to Josh Tharp.

The final caution flag waved on lap nine when Randy Spence spun in turn three. By that time the running order among the top five was shuffled with Ware leading Charlie Hargraves, Vanderhoof, Richard Dickens and Tharp.

Charlie Hargraves grabbed the top spot on lap 19 with an inside pass of Ware entering turn one. Four laps later the two leaders encountered slower traffic with Ware bumping the back of Hargraves car.

 Ware’s night ended a lap later with front end damage and Hargraves ride suffered a broken rear suspension part, which sent tire smoke billowing from the back of the machine.

Vanderhoof, looking for his first career win at Anderson Speedway, used lapped traffic to claim the top spot on lap 24. Hargraves stayed glued to the rear bumper of Vander hoof’s car as the two sliced through the remainder of the field.

In a care of turn about being fair play, Charlie Hargraves reclaimed the lead on lap 32 when Vanderhoof got trapped behind a slower car.

For the next 18 laps Vanderhoof looked for a way to get back in front, but Hargraves never surrendered the preferred racing line. Tharp finished third followed by Dickens and Chuckie Hargraves.

“I’m still trying to figure out how I won,” Hargraves said. “We weren’t the fastest car tonight, but I was determined to win.

“I knew Jeremy (Vanderhoof) would race me clean,” he added.

Vanderhoof thanked his crew for making the necessary repairs following the warm-up session incident.

“I could get close to taking the lead,” he said of the final circuits, “but I didn’t want to wreck both cars.”