FULLEN WINS BATTLE AND HALF OF THE WAR, JIM COOPER REPEATS AS LM DRIVERS CHAMP By Dave Hascall ANDERSON, Ind. (September 7)---Saturday night saw the Anderson Speedwayâ€™s final Hoosier Park Late Model race of the season, with the points...
FULLEN WINS BATTLE AND HALF OF THE WAR, JIM COOPER REPEATS AS LM DRIVERS CHAMP
By Dave Hascall
ANDERSON, Ind. (September 7)---Saturday night saw the Anderson Speedway’s final Hoosier Park Late Model race of the season, with the points coming down to final race. Defending points champ Jim Cooper had a moderate lead in the drivers points standings but a precarious one on the owners side. Fast timer Tim Neal jumped ahead at the start of the 50 lap feature. Don Bickford fell into second but his mount began to slip back. Vic Hellis, third in points, slowed on lap eight. He was trying to coax his mount to a finish but scattered a motor one lap later. During that yellow, Neal pulled pitside with a flat. He rejoined from the tail, but parked it a few laps later. Fullen led the next 38 laps to score the win. Cooper placed second with teammate Rick Rhonemus in third. Rick Fields was fourth over Brian Rievley. Unofficially Fullen won the owners point title by a scant point over Cooper. Cooper did take the drivers points title, for the second straight year. Next week the outlaw Late Models will compete in the annual “Outlaw 100.”
Rich Boyer led every lap to win the Big Lots Figure-8 feature. Second running Herb Rose clinched the Figure-8 points title. This is Rose’s fifth Figure-8 title but his most recent crown was 32 years ago! Mike Cain escaped injury when his mount went head-on into the wall, just past the start-finish line. He was racing side-by-side with Ronnie Phipps when the pair hit oil in the turn. Rick Tharp got into the oil - from Gene Huston’s mount - and finished Cain off. Phipps was able to soldier on. Behind Boyer and Rose were Rod Phipps, Doug Riddle and Joe McKinney. Terry Malone and Tharp won the heats.
Street Stock points leader Wayne Young set on the pole of the 40 lap main and never looked back. Defending points champ Chris Bair tried to get by on the start but there wasn’t room. Bair never strayed far from Young’s bumper as the pair worked through traffic. 8 more cars than normal started the main. A lap 34 restart saw Young simply motor away from Bair and the pack. Bair took second over Benny Blevins, Jr., Steve Jackson, Larry Southerland and Don Cain. Cain had to transfer through the consi. Rose won the 20 lap consi over Gary Moore and Cain. Young, Bair, Danny Whitaker and Blevins won the qualifying heats.
SUMMARY: Hoosier Park Late Models: Fast Time: Tim Neal (Honey Creek) 50 Lap Feature: 1. Ray Fullen (Anderson) 2. Jim Cooper (Anderson) 3. Rick Rhonemus (Desoto) 1996 Drivers Champion: Cooper 1996 Owners Champion: Fullen
Big Lots Figure-8: First Heat: 1. Terry Malone (Anderson) 2. Chris Bair (Anderson) 3. Doug Riddle (Anderson) Second Heat: 1. Rick Tharp (Anderson) 2. Mike Cain (Noblesville) 3. Joe Wright (Anderson) 25 Lap Figure-8 Feature: 1. Rich Boyer (Anderson) 2. Herb Rose (Anderson) 3. Rod Phipps (Anderson) Rose clinches points title.
Street Stocks: First Heat: 1. Wayne Young (Anderson) 2. Steve Jackson (Muncie) 3. James Gann (Muncie) Second Heat: 1. Chris Bair (Anderson) 2. Larry Southerland (Noblesville) 3. Brian McVey (Anderson) Third Heat: 1. Danny Whitaker (Knightstown) 2. Dennis Wallen (Pendleton) 3. Rob Hazelbaker (Anderson) Fourth Heat: 1. Benny Blevins, Jr. (Anderson) 2. Ronnie Rose (Anderson) 3. Neil Huddleston (Maxwell) 20 Lap Consi: 1. John Rose (Fairmount) 2. Gary Moore (Anderson) 3. Don Cain (Fortville) 40 Lap Feature: 1. Young 2. Bair 3. Blevins Young has a nearly insurmountable points lead