Bilderback, Riall, Phipps, Ellis and Morris Victorious on Friday Night

Story By Tom Hammond
Photos by Aaron and David Sink

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Some familiar names joined first-time winners during the MAX/WLBC Friday Night Summer Series at Anderson Speedway on June 23. Five different divisions provided a little bit of everything on the first official Friday night of summer at the World’s Fastest Quarter-Mile Oval.

A first-time winner entered winner’s circle in the Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Figure 8 feature. Anderson’s Donnie Ellis Jr. emerged from a tight battle to take the lead on the 6th of 12 laps and never looked back. Point’s leader Nick Warner tried to make a late surge but couldn’t make up the distance as Ellis scored the victory. Mt. Summit’s Keith Morris, Anderson’s Randy Owen and Allen Wagner rounded out the top five.

Alexandria’s Alice Riall led flag-to-flag to pick up her second feature win of 2006 in the Insight ThunderCars. Riall vaulted to a huge early lead only to see her advantage go away during a series of caution periods. Meanwhile Warner climbed through the pack to mount a late challenge. Riall was able to hold off Warner by less than a car length for the win. Anderson drivers Dustin Burge, Brad Stevens and Tim Brown filled out the top five.

Riall also scored a dominating win in the first ThunderCar heat, while Darryl Rogers picked up the victory in the second heat. Warner continued his hot steak in qualifying with earning fast time at 15.284 seconds.

Michael Bilderback made the long drive from Crystal Lake, Ill., a profitable one as he won the American Awards Legends feature. Bilderback, who didn’t arrive at the track until just before qualifying, withstood a furious challenge from both Albany’s Daniel Russell and season point’s leader Rodney Smith of Indianapolis. Mark Sullivan and John Robbins rounded out the top-five finishers.

Bilderback also took the win by a comfortable margin in the first Legends heat. Greenfield’s Paul Holden took top honors in the second heat. Robbins was fast qualifier at 14.196 seconds.

Keith Morris cruised to a big win in the Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Oval feature. Morris took the lead from Anderson’s Johnny Burge with an outside pass on the 7th of 15 laps and then built a comfortable lead. Burge ended up second, followed by a hard-charging Randy Owen of Anderson. Alexandria’s Brian Harmon and Donnie Ellis III rounded out the top five.

Johnny Burge was victorious in the first Front Wheel Drive Oval heat while Josh Stone scored his first career victory in the second heat. Owen recorded the best time in qualifying with an official clocking of 16.522 seconds.

Anderson’s Rod Phipps scored his second win of the season in the Insight ThunderCar Pro feature. Phipps went inside Chesterfield’s Brandon Leisure in turn three on the 4th lap and then went on to a comfortable win the 20-lap event.

Leisure was followed by Anderson’s Shane Cullen, Middletown’s Ronnie Phipps and Anderson’s Jim Brown in the top five. The car of Anderson’s Chris Bair Sr. was disqualified after the race after it failed technical inspection.

Cullen made it two-for-two as he won his second-consecutive ThunderCar Pro heat. Leisure was quick time at 15.229 seconds.
On Saturday, June 24, the World’s Fastest Cars return for the H.O.S.S. Winged Sprint Car event on the World’s Fastest Quarter-Mile Oval. The Star Press Saturday Night Series will also feature Boss Hogg Catering & Jerky Figure 8’s and Lampco Federal Credit Union Street Stocks.

On Saturday Night, spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with the racing beginning at 8. Admission is $12 for adults and $4 for kids ages 6-12. Children five and under get in free.

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