Imel, Ellis, Warner, Lewis and Phipps Victorious on Friday Night

Story By Tom Hammond

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The first night of the Cooper Sport Bowl / Shout’s Perfect Score Weekend at Anderson Speedway produced some wild action on the World’s Fastest Quarter Mile oval on July 7. Three-wide racing, lead changes and a lot of paint-trading made for an exciting night of racing.

Anderson’s Donnie Ellis Jr. survived a hotly-contested Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Figure 8 feature to pick up his second win of the season. Ellis emerged from a six-car battle on the 8th of 12 laps and pulled away from the rest of the field for the victory. Anderson drivers Travis Burge, Nick Warner and Allen Wagner along with Mt. Summit’s Keith Morris also picked up top five finishes.

The Kenyon Midgets made their first appearance on the MAX/WLBC Friday Night Summer Series a memorable one as the top two cars made contact on the final lap, opening the door for Anderson’s Sammy Imel to take the checkered flag. Bargersville’s Kenny Biro and New Castle’s Dakoda Armstrong were battling for the win when the two collided in the 3rd turn. Both cars slammed into the wall, and Imel was able to avoid the incident to score the win. New Castle’s Caleb Armstrong, Chris Windom of Canton, Ill., Dakota Armstrong and Jacob Thompson of Franklin completed the top five.

Canada’s Steven Mathews, New Whiteland’s Jeff Wimmenaur and Fairland’s Blake Fitzpatrick each won eight-lap heat races. Windom led qualifying with a time of 12.642 seconds.

Anderson’s Nick Warner pulled off an outside pass four laps from the end to win the Insight ThunderCar feature. Warner initially passed Anderson’s Tim Dick on the 13th lap, but a yellow flag put Dick back in front as the field reverted to the previously-completed lap. After the restart Warner made the same move heading onto the front stretch and through the first and second turns. Fortville’s Lonny Burton, Anderson drivers Jeff Dick and Dustin Burge and Noblesville’s Katie Beaver rounded out the top five.

Jeff Dick won the first ThunderCar heat while Alexandria’s Darryl Rogers took the second heat. Warner paced qualifying with a time of 15.313 seconds.

Indianapolis’s Brian Lewis scored his first career victory in the Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Oval feature victory. Lewis picked up the lead on the second lap after the initial start of the race was wiped out by a multi-car pileup in the turn 1. Lewis then cruised to a comfortable win over Anderson’s Randy Owen. Morris, Alexandria’s Kevin Harmon and Anderson’s Jeff Wright also finished in the top five.

Lewis also took the checkered flag in the first Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Oval heat with Muncie’s Doug Hollingsworth victorious in the second heat. Morris led qualifying with a time of 16.272 seconds.

Insight ThunderCar Pro points leader Rod Phipps scored his third feature win of 2006 by vaulting to the lead from the outside of the front row. Phipps, of Anderson, held off a consistent challenge from Chesterfield’s Brandon Leisure to capture the win. Last week’s winner Chris Bair Sr., Middletown’s Ronnie Phipps and Anderson’s Shane Cullen rounded out the top five.

Bair picked up the win in the ThunderCar Pro heat while Rod Phipps led qualifying with a time of 15.289 seconds.

Anderson Speedway returns to racing action on Saturday, July 8, with the conclusion of the Cooper’s Sport Bowl / Shout’s Perfect Score Weekend. The Star Press Saturday Night Series will feature Ed Martin Auto Group SuperTrucks, Boss Hogg Catering & Jerky Figure 8’s, Lampco Federal Credit Union Street Stocks and the Midwest Super Cup Showdown for the Mini-Cups.

On Saturday Night, spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with the racing beginning at 8. Admission is $10 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.