Ronnie Phipps National Crown Champion

Anderson's Ronnie Phipps captured his second National Crown Title Saturday evening at the Anderson Speedway in the 54th running of the nation's oldest continuous stock car race. Phipps grabbed the lead from teammate Ronnie Rose with just seven laps to go in the 50-lap headliner for the $1,500 payday.

Following last weeks Figure 8 feature Curtis Chapman issued a challenge to Rose. Answering that challenge by setting fast time at 20.449 seconds to grab the pole for the Crown, Rose set the stage for what turned out to be one of the best Crowns in recent memory.

Mike Perry, second fastest qualifier, grabbed the lead at the get-go.  Rose immediately hounded Perry and snatched the lead away on lap five. The yellow flew on the eighth circuit when Tony Hart tried to exit the track under green flag conditions and stalled in Turn 1. 

The red flag flew on lap 14 for the most serious incident of the night when Bobby Long and Ricky Tharp hit hard in the crossover. Tharp was shaken and taken in for a check up. A five-car spin out/pileup brought the next yellow on lap 18. Upon the return to green, Perry was able to pass Rose to retake the point. Rose never left Perry's bumper with Ronnie Phipps and Rod Phipps joining the two front-runners. It became obvious that this was the group that would battle for the Crown.

All of a sudden, on lap 35, Perry's car slammed the corner rubber safety cushion vaulting Rose back into the lead. That yellow would be the final slow down. The traffic in the crossover looked like rush hour.

Rose slowed for a crowd at the intersection and Ronnie Phipps was able to time it just right to make the pass with seven circuits left. Rose brought the fans to their feet when he pulled along side Phipps with two to go. The duo battled to the wire with 1998 champ Ronnie Phipps winning by a fender in one of the closest finishes in National Crown history. Ronnie Rose was bridesmaid followed by Rod Phipps. two-time Crown winner Herb Rose owns all the top three. Rounding out the top five were Michael Phipps and Jeff Swinford.

Phillippe Eco Water Super Truck action saw the field totally inverted by the draw for the main event. Todd Neal, in his strongest showing of the season grabbed the lead at the green. Mike Mendenhall was able to advance to second position by lap three and put the heat on Neal.

Mendenhall made several runs on Neal during the course of the next 17 laps only to have them spoiled by a slower truck. At the halfway point of the 40 lapper, Mendenhall found a clean track and made a pass on the outside of Neal to take the lead. Mendenhall never looked back to record his second win of the season over Neal, Rob Hazelbaker, Brent Busby and Bret Miles.

Hazelbaker took the fast heat over Jack Dossey Jr. and Busby while Neal copped the second heat checker over Mendenhall and Derrick Layne. Joe Beaver was fast qualifier at 13.907 seconds.

In the Terry's RV Street Stocks main, Danny Acrey, II grabbed the lead from the pole. Terry Burton quickly joined him. The duo battled back and forth until Burton made the pass on lap 14 to take a lead he would not relinquish.

Acrey chased Burton to the checker followed by Rich Boyer, Kevin Montgomery and Chris Hanna.

Darwin Blankenship snagged the lead from Hanna on lap five of heat No. 1 to cop the coins over Curtis Chapman and Hanna. A complete restart was ordered in the second heat race when Donnie Butler tried to pass J.D. Blankenship and everybody went sailing. Chris Miller captured win. Jacob Owens made a last lap pass for second while Mike Frederick was third. Burton was fast qualifier at 14.385 seconds.

Finally in the Chappy's Rent To Own Front Wheel Drives, Elliott McKinney led the first two circuits before David Baker took control not to be seriously challenged. Trailers were McKinney, Dustin Tomlinson, Bill King and Cale Ramey.

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