Eight Feature Winners During Opening Night of Insight Double Thunder Power Weekend

Story By Kyle Larson

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Anderson Speedway returned to action on Friday, July 28, with the first of two nights of racing for the Insight Double Thunder Power Weekend. The MAX/WLBC Friday Night Summer Series featured eight winners on The World’s Fastest Quarter-Mile Oval.

The racing program kicked off with the make-up features from last Friday’s rain-delayed events. In the Insight ThunderCars, Mark Lightfoot scored his first victory of the season. The Anderson competitor charged into the first position in the early stages. On the opening lap, a multi-car incident took place after Darryl Rogers and Shantell Banks tangled in turn three. It also collected, Dustin Burge, Tom Tacket, Katie Beaver and Alice Riall.

After the race restarted, Lightfoot was able to hold off a hard-charging Lonny Burton and Nick Warner. Fourth at the finish was Jeff Eytchison with Jeff Dick rounding out the top-five finishers.

In the Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive make-up feature, Mt. Summit’s Keith Morris returned to the Winner’s Circle with another impressive performance. At the drop of the green flag, Anderson’s Jeff Wright grabbed the lead. Eric Shell then became the newest leader with a pass on Wright.

Morris completed the final pass for the lead on Shell. At the finish, Morris was able to edge away from runner-up Shell. Third was Kevin Harmon with Devin Mitchell and Randy Owen completing the top five.

For the first occasion this season, Brandon Leisure was victorious in the Insight ThunderCar Pro make-up feature. He benefited from his front-row starting position, jumping out to an early advantage he would never relinquish.

Chasing the winner across the finish line included point’s leader Rod Phipps with Chris Bair Sr. placing third. Ronnie Phipps grabbed the fourth finishing position with Shane Cullen limping home in fifth spot.

Frankton’s John Robbins recorded his second victory of the American Awards Legends season after completing a mid-race pass on Rodney Smith. The 25-lap feature began with Eric Black pacing the opening three circuits, with Smith then charging under the race leader.

Smith held the top spot until Robbins drove around Smith after several laps of side-by-side racing. At the finish, Robbins pulled away from Smith, who was forced to fend off the charging Daniel Russell. Fourth went to Billy Smith with Mark Dietzen completing the top five.

In preliminary action, Rodney Smith and Billy Smith grabbed the winning hardware during heat races. Robbins was fast qualifier at 14.027 seconds.

The Insight ThunderCars returned for the second feature of the night with Alice Riall returning to the Winner’s Circle. She got the jump on Darryl Rogers and never looked back, leading all 20 circuits. At the checkers, Riall was chased by Nick Warner, Dustin Burge, Lonny Burton and Rogers.

In heat race action, Warner grabbed the victory in the first heat race with Jeff Eytchison the victor in heat race number 2. Warner recorded the fastest lap in qualifying with an official clocking of 15.226 seconds.

Anderson’s Shane Cullen turned in another dominant performance in the Insight ThunderCar Pro division, scoring a division-leading fourth feature victory. He sailed into first position at the drop of the green flag and finished a full straightaway ahead of runner-up Chris Bair Sr. Third was Brandon Leisure with Rod Phipps and Rob Allman completing the top five.

In preliminary action, Allman scored top honors in the Insight ThunderCar Pro heat race, finishing in front of John Goforth.

Randy Owen drove a superb race, holding off current point’s leader Keith Morris to win the Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Oval Feature. Armando Jarrett led the opening two circuits with Jeff Wright then taking control of the 15-lap event.

On the fifth lap, Owen powered into the lead. During the closing stages, Owen was forced to fend off Morris, who was going for his second Oval win of the night. Morris was able to close behind the leader, but was unable to make the pass. Third at the finish was Jeff Wright with Bryan Wright and Kevin Harmon filling out the top five.

Morris and Bryan Wright recorded Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Oval heat race victories.

After experiencing bad luck in his previous Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive Figure 8’s, Anderson’s David Baker responded with earning his second victory of the season. Donnie Ellis drove into first position at the start with Baker and Owen right behind. On the fourth lap while trying to hold off the advances of Owen and Baker, Ellis experienced suspension problems that ended his night.

That gave the top spot to Owen, who was then black flagged on lap seven for dropping liquids on the track. Baker then inherited the lead and finished ahead of Nick Warner, Keith Morris Allen Wagner and Jesse King.

Anderson Speedway returns to action on Saturday, July 29 with the conclusion of the Insight Double Thunder Power Weekend. The ThunderCar Enduro 200 will be showcased with up to 55 cars in the starting field. Other events include Ed Martin Auto Group SuperTrucks and Lampco Federal Credit Union Street Stocks.

The ThunderCar Enduro annually showcases some of the premier ThunderCar drivers from around the state of Indiana. Recent winners include Eric Evans (2005), Phi Jenkins (2004) and Carl Muffley (2003). Other top drivers that have already filed entries include National Crown winner Rob Allman, current Lampco FCU Street Stock point’s leader Rod Phipps and veteran drivers Joe Beaver and Johnny Magee.

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.