Night of Thrills Lives Up to Its Billing

Story By Tom Hammond

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Thousands of fans turned out for the rescheduled Night of Thrills at Anderson Speedway on Sunday, September 3. They were treated to a mix of races involving a couple of regular divisions along with some more “irregular” events that are away from the stress of the racing season.

A fan favorite, the School Bus Figure 8 race, provided some of the best racing all night. Anderson drivers Basil Stanley, Tony Grissom and Mike Day traded the top spot on several occasions before Stanley emerged victorious. Grissom finished second followed by Day, Gaston’s Brian Harman and Muncie’s Kendra Burgess.

The Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drive cars competed in a 15-lap feature event. A strong field of 29 cars started the race that produced a wild finish. Anderson’s Devin Mitchell took the lead on the sixth lap from fellow Anderson driver Devin Mitchell in traffic and appeared to have the path cleared for a winning finish. However both Mitchell and second running David Baker got caught behind a car that had slowed on the final lap, allowing Jerry Smith to make the move for the win. Baker finished second followed by Eric Shell and Randy Owen.

The Mattress Race came down to who literally could hold on the longest. Drivers had to hold onto a mattress placed on top of their car. They were disqualified if they lost their grip. Anderson drivers Robert Moreland and Rickie Craig were the only two drivers running at the end of the 10-lap event. Moreland passed Craig on the last lap for the win. Anderson drivers Jeremy Chubb, Josh Shepherd and Armondo Jarrett rounded out the top five.

The Rollover contest may need a new name after Sunday’s night’s event as the top three competitors all had Mohawk haircuts. Geoff Lehman won the Mohawk Rollover championship with 15 total points, including a five-point complete roll on his first attempt and 10 points for two complete rolls on his second attempt. Nathan Burgess finished second with 12 points, including two complete five-point rolls on his first two attempts and a two-point half-roll on his second attempt. Josh Walker made two complete five-point rolls on his first two attempts but couldn’t get the car moving for a third try.

Seventeen drivers took to the track in Front Wheel Drive cars for the Powder Puff feature. Indianapolis’s Jascinda Lewis made the pass on the eighth lap and held off Anderson’s Victoria McKinney for the win. McKinney had taken the lead from Lewis on the previous lap, only to see Lewis surge back in front a lap later. The top five also included Anderson drivers Rhonda Simons, April Villegas and Holly Arnold.

Noblesville’s Rickie Tharp took the win in the Cork Screw Race, which featured drivers running 360 degrees around a tractor tire placed in the Figure 8 crossover. Anderson’s Jerry Smith constantly challenged Tharp before settling for runner-up honors followed by Mark Funderburk, Eric Shell and Anderson’s Zack Patterson.

The Boss Hogg Catering and Jerky Figure 8 division also provided fans with some great racing as a three-car battle developed throughout the 20-lap event. Anderson’s Joe Hart Jr. held off National Crown winner Rob Allman for the victory, with Noblesville’s Shawn Cullen running a close third. Anderson drivers Ronnie Phipps and Rod Phipps rounded out the top five.

Anderson Speedway returns to racing action on Friday, September 8 with the MAX/WBLC Friday Night Summer Series showcasing Kenyon Midgets, Insight ThunderCars, Pro ThunderCars and Chappy’s Rent to Own Front Wheel Drives in Oval and Figure 8 action.

On Saturday, September 9, The Star Press Saturday Night Series will include X2RA Midgets, Lampco Federal Credit Union Street Stocks, Boss Hogg Catering & Jerky Figure 8’s, Insight ThunderCup and Anderson Speedway Spectator Championships.

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