Hanley Holds Off Hantz for NationsRent 400 Victory

By Kyle Larson
Public Relations

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Adding his name to an exclusive list, Canadian Legend Junior Hanley won the 38th Annual NationsRent 400 presented by Corteco and Great Deals at Anderson Speedway on Saturday, July 17.

Hanley began the day with turning the fastest lap in qualifications for the NationsRent 400, earning his 10th Sunoco Super Series pole position and initial for the NationsRent 400. That advanced him to second position in the Sunoco Super Series career pole list. Hanley pole winning lap was 12.063 seconds at 74.608 mph.

After grabbing the lead at the drop of the green flag, Hanley dominated the first half of the event. In the early stages, second-year racer Terry Fisher Jr. and Joe Beaver chased Hanley around the world’s fastest quarter-mile oval.

On the 48th circuit, an accident in turn three eliminated a couple of the contenders. Illinois driver Jim Malinowski spun and third running Joe Beaver and Frank Kreyer couldn’t avoid, both receiving significant damage.

Hanley continued to lead at the 100-lap mark with Fisher, Gabehart, last years winner Bobby Parsley and J.R. Roahrig rounding out the top five. Hanley relinquished the first position on lap 196 when a majority of the leaders drove on pit road for fresh tires.

2000 series champion Scott Hantz took over leadership honors and avoided immediate trouble on the restart. The lapped machine of Greg Boone pinched Hantz in the outside wall on the backstretch, causing a chain reaction crash that eliminated second-place running Rick Turner and Chuck Barnes Jr.

While Hantz controlled the first position, Hanley began his surge to the top of the leaderboard. On the 256th go-around, Hanley drove his No. 66 Martin Services entry to third position around Fisher. Four laps later, he advanced to runner-up honors after driving around Roahrig.

Hantz led the event until he stopped for service just prior to the 300-lap mark. That handed the top position back to Hanley. After his pit crew performed service, Hantz then charged to challenge Hanley for the win.

With the benefit of fresher tires, Hantz quickly climbed through the field, taking second place from J.R. Roahrig with 75 laps remaining in the event. After driving high and low to pass Hanley, the No. 72 EMF Corporation entry of Hantz spun in the second turn on lap 360. Jim Crabtree Jr. also spun to avoid contact with Hantz’s machine.

The remainder of the event featured Hantz making a final charge through the field to make a final try for victory. After advancing from fifth, Hantz pulled behind Hanley in the closing stages. He made several attempts to get around Hanley, but was forced to settle for second-place honors. For the second consecutive year, Roahrig was third.

Daleville’s Bull Baker placed fourth with Terry Fisher Jr. rounding out the top-five finishers. Sixth place was Jim Crabtree Jr. with Mike Eddy in seventh place. Steve Moenck was eighth with Alan Troxell and Tom Gray completing the top 10.

Anderson Speedway returns to racing action with the Best Way Disposal Night of Friday, July 23. The MAX/WLBC Friday Night Summer Series features the McCrocklin Ford & Mobility Legends, Insight ThunderCars on the Oval and Figure 8 and Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drives.

On Saturday Night, July 24, the 55th Signature Design National Crown will showcase the Boss Hogg Catering & Jerky Figure 8’s. The Ed Martin Auto Group Super Trucks and Terry’s RV Sales & Service Street Stocks will also make appearances on the quarter-mile oval.

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