Swallows, Burge, Haack, Groves and Stevens Score Hardware

By Tom Hammond

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Several tight battles highlighted the MAX/WLBC Friday Night Summer Series at Anderson Speedway on July 1. It was the opening night of the Titan Auto Insurance Independence Celebration Weekend.

Albany’s Daniel Russell appeared to make seven consecutive Legends victories after crossing the finish line in first position. Following technical inspection, Russell was disqualified. That propelled Craig Haack, from his second-place finish to the Texas Roadhouse Winner’s Circle. Scott McGinley collected runner-up honors with Elwood’s John Robbins in third position. Mark Sullivan and T.J. Sneva rounded out the top five.

In heat race action, Mark Sullivan took top honors in the first heat with Mark Dietzen capturing a flag-to-flag victory in the second heat. In qualifications, Tennessee’s Craig Haack posted the best lap with an official clocking of 13.979 seconds.

Westfield’s Clint Groves found the Texas Roadhouse Winner’s Circle for the second time this season in the Insight ThunderCar Oval feature. He started sixth and rocketed to the front of the field by the end of the second circuit after passing Jesse King. Groves then pulled away to a huge lead and avoided trouble in lapped traffic for the win. Roy Grissom Sr. held off Alice Riall for second with Billy Riddle and Tim Nickerson also scoring top five finishes.

Darryl Rogers took top honors in the first Insight ThunderCar Oval heat with New Albany’s Charles Durbin scoring the win in the second heat. Groves led qualifying with a time of 15.274 seconds.

Anderson’s Paris Swallows Jr. was dominant in the Insight ThunderCar Figure 8 feature. He jumped to a huge lead on the first lap, only to see it go away on a yellow flag. The restart wasn’t a factor, however, as Swallows pulled away the second time the green flag was displayed. Riddle ended up second followed by fellow Anderson drivers Tim Nickerson, William Coffman and David Short to round out the top five.

Brad Stevens showed his new track record in qualifying was no fluke as he cruised to the win in the Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Oval feature event. Alexandria’s Kevin Harmon started from the pole and took the early advantage in the 15-lap race. Stevens started seventh and quickly moved up to third position by the end of the first lap.

Stevens then vaulted to the runner-up spot the next time around and took the lead on the sixth circuit. Stevens’ advantage then grew quickly as traffic filled the world’s fastest quarter-mile oval. The best racing ended up being for second as Dustin Burge took the runner-up position at the finish. Kreigh Leever, Kevin Harmon and Sam Folsom completed the top five.

Fans were treated to three Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Oval heats. Anderson’s David Baker won the first heat, while Kevin Harmon took the checkered flag in the second heat and Anderson’s Donnie Ellis III scored his first-ever win in the third heat. Stevens record-setting qualifying lap timed in at 15.987 seconds.

The Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Figure 8 feature turned into a dandy three-car battle following some big-time jockeying in the early stages of the 10-lap race. Anderson’s John Burge took the lead from the outside of the front row at the start. Pole starter David Baker then took a brief lead on the second lap, only to drop out soon thereafter. Burge then retook the lead and held off Anderson’s Randy Owen and point’s leader Nick Warner of Anderson in a bang-bang finish in the crossover. Anderson drivers Travis Burge and Allen Wagner completed the top five.

The Titan Auto Insurance Independence Celebration Weekend continues at Anderson Speedway on Saturday Night, July 2, with the final appearance of the USA Modified Tour. The Ed Martin Auto Group SuperTrucks and Terry’s RV Sales & Service Street Stocks will also be featured during The Star Press Saturday Night Series.

On Saturday Night, spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with racing beginning at 8. Admission is $10 for adults and $4 for kids ages 6-12. Children five and under get in free. Titan Auto Insurance will hand out free t-shirts to fans. Watch the NASCAR race at the track on our big screen.

The Titan Auto Insurance Celebration Weekend concludes on Monday, July 4, with The Right Movers Figure 8 Madness. Featured events include the 1 Hour Figure 8 Enduro, School Bus Figure 8’s and Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Figure 8’s. After the racing program comes to a close, Anderson Speedway will feature an awesome fireworks show.

On Monday, spectator gates open at 4 p.m. with racing beginning at 7. Admission is $10 for adults and $4 for kids ages 6-12. Children five and under get in free. Titan Auto Insurance will hand out free t-shirts to fans.
For additional information contact Anderson Speedway at (765) 642-0206.