David Steele Wins Glen Niebel
Classic On Sunday
By Tom Hammond
Displaying an act of patience and
skillful thinking, Dave Steele led all 50 laps in Sunday’s caution-marred USAC
Valvoline National Sprint Car Series season opener, winning the “Glen Niebel
Classic” at Anderson Speedway.
The Tampa, Fla. native, in the No. 02 Nicholas Motorsports Northside Propane/Sun
Welding Beast/Mopar, took the lead from the pole and led Aaron Pierce, Aaron
Fike, Bobby East and Jay Drake across the start/finish line.
“We just had a good starting spot,” said Steele, now the winner of 25 USAC
sprint car points-paying features. “We didn’t have a great car, but we’ll take
whatever we can get.”
The opening quarter of the 50-lap affair wasn’t easy for Steele though. After
sweeping into the lead on the opening lap, he failed to pull far away from
Pierce, with whom he shared the front row of the feature.
Pierce, the 2003 race winner, attempted to pry the point away by making moves on
the outer groove of the quarter-mile. A trio of cautions – two of which included
track favorite Eric Gordon – bunched the field up after the eventual top four
finishers battled for the lead.
When the final of those three cautions – which all occurred on lap 14 – ended,
Steele, who admitted his car was best on short runs, pulled away. Over the
remainder of the final 35 laps, four cautions involving six cars helped Steele.
He got good jumps on all four restarts, including one with less than a handful
of laps to go, to beat Pierce by .622 seconds.
East, the event’s final qualifier, set fast time for the event with a lap of
11.452 seconds. He also won the 12-lap semi-feature. Gordon joined Mat Neely,
Josh Ford and Darren Hagen as a winner of the 10-lap heats.
In other racing action at Anderson Speedway on Sunday afternoon, Paris Swallows
Jr. took the lead on the 10th lap of the Insight ThunderCar Figure 8 feature
after misfortune struck race leader James Peterson and the second-place car of
Terry Malone Jr. The two collided coming towards turn four, allowing Swallows to
surge ahead. Both Malone’s and Peterson’s cars suffered terminal damage,
allowing Swallows to cruise to victory.
Swallows was able to bounce back despite mechanical troubles in the heat race.
Mike Peters, Robert Brumback, Roy Ellis and Darryl Rogers rounded out the top
five in the feature rundown with Peters taking the checkered flag in the Figure
8 heat race.
Sam Folsom ended a two-year drought by winning the Chappy’s Rent to Own Front
Wheel Drive Oval feature in exciting fashion. The Anderson competitor surged to
the top of the leader board on the 15th and final lap when race leader Travis
Erhart got caught up in traffic.
“To finally win one in two years is great,” Folsom said. Jeremy Wilber finished
second with Dustin Burge grabbing third-place honors. The remainder of the top
five included Travis Erhart and Nick Warner finished fifth to round out the top
Muncie’s Dustin Burge took the checkered in the first Chappy’s Rent to Own Front
Wheel Drive Oval heat, while Keith Morris of Mt. Summit taking top honors in the
Anderson Speedway returns to racing action on Saturday, April, 16, with the
first appearance of the CRA Super Series Late Models. They will be joined on the
schedule by the Terry’s RV Sales & Service Street Stocks and the Boss Hogg
Catering & Jerky Figure 8’s
For additional information contact Anderson Speedway at (765) 642-0206.