WILD OPENING NIGHT AT ANDERSON By Dave Hascall ANDERSON, Ind. (April 13) The Anderson Speedway's opener last Saturday night was as wild and strange as any night in recent history. Blown engines, questionable driving and chilling ...
WILD OPENING NIGHT AT ANDERSON
By Dave Hascall
ANDERSON, Ind. (April 13) The Anderson Speedway's opener last Saturday night was as wild and strange as any night in recent history. Blown engines, questionable driving and chilling to-the-bone wind were the bill affair for the evening..
Action began early, as a practice disaster set the tone for the night. Jeff Hizer was leading a group of practicing Hoosier Park Late Models when his racer got into the third turn fence. Second year LM driver Jim Crabtree sailed into turn three and the throttle stuck. He hit Hizer's mount and the pair knocked the boiler plate wall from its mounting. The steel poles that support the wall are buried three feet deep. The pair pulled two of them out of the ground. Repairs took over one hour with track owner John Hellis and crew welding the wall.
The 25 lap Hoosier Park LM feature was a rough affair. Defending points champ Jim Cooper and Ray Fullen touched down the homestretch as the field got the green. Cooper was through but Fullen returned for the restart. Billy Boyer, Jr. jumped ahead at the restart over polesitter Orie Parkhurst. Boyer pulled in on lap 3, giving the lead to Bobby Fields. This was Fields' first LM race after his horrendous crash last April. Bobby's brother Rick moved to second with Fullen third. Rick pressured Bobby a bit too much and got into the leader on lap 10. Bobby spun with Fullen crashing into the rear of Rick's mount. Fullen appeared to have punctured an oil cooler in the wreck, and was out for the night. Rick assumed the lead on the restart. Vic Hellis, who like B. Fields, was injured last spring also made his comeback but spun while in fifth and locked up the oil pump. Rick took the win over Ray Skillman, Parkhurst, Herb Rose and B. Fields. Bobby let Rick know how he felt, after the victory photos were taken. Tim Neal and R. Fields won heats, while Fullen set fast time.
Tim Lemon took the lead at the start of the 15 lap Figure-8 main. Rick Fields, fresh from his LM win, took the lead on lap 5 and was looking to go four for four, on the night. Rich Boyer caught up Rick in lapped traffic and took the lead on lap 12. Boyer defeated Fields, Rod Phipps, Ronnie Rose and Terry Burton. Fields and Ronnie Phipps won heat races with Joe Beaver nailing quick time.
Opening night usually offers up small car counts but 51 street stocks jammed the pit area. James Gann led early but was overhauled by Neil Huddleston on lap 3. Fast drivers Wayne Young and Chris Bair moved to the front by lap 14. With two circuits to go, Young began shoving Huddleston down the straightaways. Young turned Neil's mount around in turn three on the last lap. Young took the controversial win over Dennis Wallen. Bair, Benny Blevins, Jr. and Keith Barnes. The "boo-birds" were out as fans responded to Young's driving. Huddleston also let Young know his feelings after the race. Pat Boyer won the wild "B" mail after leader Jerry Swinford, Jr. was spun by a lapped car. Jamie Williams, Steve Jackson, Steve Harrick and Rich Goodwin won heats.
RESULTS: April 14
HOOSIER PARK LATE MODELS: Fast Heat: 1. Tim Neal (Honey Creek) 2. Jim Cooper (Anderson) 3. Bobby Fields (Willow Branch) 2nd Heat: 1. Rick Fields (Willow Branch) 2. Jerry Stires (Anderson) 3. Tom Flynn (Yorktown) 25 Lap Feature: 1. R, Fields 2. Ray Skillman (Greenwood) 3. Orie Parkhurst (Anderson)
BIG LOTS FIGURE-8's: Fast Heat: 1. Rick Fields (Willow Branch) 2. Joe Beaver (Noblesville) 3. Ronnie Rose (Anderson) 2nd Heat: 1. Ronnie Phipps (Anderson) 2. Gene Huston (Anderson) 3. Bruce McFall (Elwood) 15 lap Figure-8 Feature: 1. Rich Boyer (Anderson) 2. Fields 3. Rod Phipps (Anderson)
STREET STOCKS: Fast Heat: 1. Jamie Williams (Alexandria) 2. Michael Stewart (Carmel) 3. Benny Blevins, Jr. (Anderson) 2nd Heat: 1. Steve Jackson (Anderson) 2. Keith Barnes (Gaston) 3. Neil Huddleston (Maxwell) 3rd Heat: 1. Steve Harrick (Anderson) 2. Jerry Swinford, Jr. (Noblesville) 3. Todd Neal (Frankton) 4th Heat: 1. Rich Goodwin (Noblesville) 2. Jeff Cravens (Muncie) 3. Sean Ellis (Pendleton) 15 lap B-Main: 1. Pat Boyer (Anderson) 2. Harrick 3. Swinford, Jr. 20 lap A-Main: 1. Wayne Young (Anderson) 2. Dennis Wallen (Pendleton) 3. Chris Bair (Anderson)