Van Meter Earns 39th Anderson 400 Pole; Ellis, Warner and Harmon Score Wins

By Kyle Larson
Public Relations Director

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Eddie Van Meter picked a good time to win the first CRA Super Series pole of his career Friday night at Anderson Speedway, during qualifying for the 39th Anderson 400 presented by Great Deals.

Van Meter recorded a quick tome 12.129 seconds to take the top spot for Saturday night’s 39th running of the Anderson 400 at Anderson Speedway. Van Meter’s time gave him a top qualifying speed of 74.202 miles per hour on the world’s fastest quarter mile oval. Tommy Cook was just 0.025 seconds behind to capture the outside of the front row. Jeff Lane timed in third quickest with Bobby Parsley and Chris Gabehart rounding out the top five.

In MAX/WLBC Friday Night Summer Series action, Anderson’s Donnie Ellis Jr. scored his first win of the season in the Insight ThunderCar Figure 8 feature. Chesterfield’s Colin Ratliff took the early lead in the 15-lap event with Robert Brumback right on his tail. Brumback then took the point on the second lap and pulled away to a big advantage, only to see it disappear when the yellow flag came out on the ninth lap as James Peterson lost the hood on his car in the crossover.

When racing resumed, Brumback maintained his advantage for two more laps until Roy Grissom Jr. caused Brumback to spin in turn three. Both drivers had to go to the back of the pack, giving the lead to Ellis. Terry Malone Jr. tried to pass Ellis for the lead on the 14th lap only to spin in the crossover. Paris Swallows Jr. also spun as a result of Malone’s misfortune, allowing Ellis to cruise to a comfortable victory. Anderson drivers David Short, Tim Nickerson, Brumback and Grissom rounded out the top five.

Nick Warner scored his seventh feature win of the season in the Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Figure 8 feature in exciting fashion. Fellow Anderson driver John Burge jumped to a huge advantage at the start of the 10 lap race, while Warner had to fight his way through traffic after starting sixth.

Burge got caught up in traffic in the crossover, allowing Warner to close the gap. Warner pulled even with Burge on the eighth lap, only to fall back after the two traded paint in turns three and four. Warner then drew even again on the white flag lap and beat Burge to the checkered flag by the nose of the race car as the two literally raced side-by-side across the finish line. Mt. Summit’s Keith Morris finished third followed by Markleville’s Chris Teepe and Anderson’s Allen Wagner.

Westfield’s Clint Groves paid his third visit of 2005 to the Texas Roadhouse Winner’s Circle in the Insight ThunderCar Oval feature. Groves enjoyed the advantage over the length of the 20-lap event as several drivers literally took turns holding the runner-up position. Kyle Dautrich of Middletown, Brandon Phillips of Anderson, Dave Short of Anderson and Grissom completed the top five.

Brian Harmon survived two restarts to easily capture the Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Oval feature and picked up his first win of the season. Two separate accidents forced the race to be restarted twice, but Harmon was able to take over the lead each time. Sam Folsom placed second with Brad Stevens, Dustin Burge and Travis Burge rounding out the top five.

On Saturday, July 16, a warm-up session for the 39th Anderson 400 is set for 5 p.m. with an on-track autograph session scheduled for 6. The 39th Annual Anderson 400 presented by Great Deals goes green at 8.

On Saturday Night, admission is $20 for adults and $5 for kids ages 6-12. Children five and under get in free. All seats are general admission.

For additional information on Anderson Speedway call (765) 642-0206. For more information on the CRA Super Series Late Models, visit