Anderson Makes it Two Straight in NCRA Speed Week ENID, Okla. (July 3, 2007) - John Anderson hasn't committed to running for the NCRA championship this season. But the way he's performed, one could think he should focus on running for the title...
Anderson Makes it Two Straight in NCRA Speed Week
ENID, Okla. (July 3, 2007) - John Anderson hasn't committed to running for the NCRA championship this season. But the way he's performed, one could think he should focus on running for the title in the O'Reilly NCRA Late Model Series, presented by ICM/Ethanol.
After beginning the season with four straight finishes of fourth or better, Anderson finally broke through with a win Sunday that boosted him into the season point lead. Tuesday at Enid (Okla.) Speedway Park, he added to that lead by making it back-to-back feature wins in Speed Week.
"We're just out having fun, running where it's the most convenient," said the Omaha, Neb., driver.
He seemed to be having a lot of fun Tuesday at the Garfield County Fairgrounds as he led all 30 laps in the 24-car feature. Anderson opened his evening with a charge through the first heat race, finishing second from a seventh-place start. That earned him an outside front row starting spot, alongside Gary Gorby, who won his heat with a thrilling last-lap, back-straight, pass from fifth on the grid.
But it was Anderson with a big jump at the start to take the lead. However, that went for naught with a spinner before they could complete the first lap. Gorby was better on the restart and protected the line through the first two turns. Anderson just had too much muscle as he roared by on the high side for the lead.
A trio of Nebraska pilots quickly settled in behind the leaders. At the end of the first lap, Kyle Berck was third, followed by Bo Egge and Mike Wiarda.
While the early jockeying for position was going on up front, two-time defending series champion Kelly Boen was trying to make up ground behind them. Boen started his heat second but finished fourth as Delbert Smith passed him for third coming off turn 4 on the last lap.
Boen started 14th in the feature, the final car to qualify with passing points. But by lap five, he had moved up to seventh.
Smith passed Kuchar for fifth just before a caution came out on lap six. On the restart, it was still Anderson leading the way with Gorby, Berck, Egge, and Smith on his tail.
As he would do all night, Anderson quickly and smoothly pulled away from the field on the restart. The others in the top 10 tucked in behind, trying to move toward the front.
Lap 12 is when Berck was able to get around Gorby into second. Behind them, Boen also moved up a spot as he passed fellow Henderson, Colo., driver John Kuchar for sixth.
From there, Boen continued to move up. When he caught Smith, the pair ran side-by-side and swapped spots for a couple of laps before Kelly moved in front of Delbert into fifth to stay.
Midway through the race, Anderson held a comfortable lead over Berck, who still had Gorby on his tail. Gorby pulled up close to Berck several times as they weaved through lapped traffic. He would put his nose down low, but never could make a pass stick.
Running in fourth, Egge had his hands full with Boen, who had moved up right behind. Boen got around for position on lap 15, while Egge and Smith crossed start/finish side-by-side at the end of lap 16. Smith had the momentum to complete the pass and move into fifth on that circuit.
Chasing the leaders, Boen moved up to challenge Gorby for third. Boen completed the pass as they went through the first two turns on lap 20. But a red flag quickly negated his pass. Steve Foster, Bud Longpine, and Brad Fortney got together on the front straight which stopped action for the clean up.
Fortney continued but race officials motioned him into the hot pits to remove twisted sheet metal. The other two drivers, however, weren't so lucky. Foster came in on the hook minus a right rear wheel and part of the axle, while they brought out the forklift to cart in Longpine. Both drivers were uninjured.
Anderson again got a good restart on lap 20 with Berck, Gorby, Boen, and Smith in tow. Before they completed the lap, Boen had dispatched Gorby to take over third.
The next-to-last caution of the night came out on lap 24 for debris on the front straight. It took two tries to get going again, as Fortney and Brian Balsters both spun in turn 4 on the initial restart.
When they did get going again, it was still Anderson jumping away from the others. Boen looked to the inside of Berck going through turns 1 and 2, but couldn't power his way around.
From there, Anderson cruised the final six laps to the checker.
"We were quick right off the trailer and had a good car tonight," Anderson said. It was his third career NCRA victory.
Behind him, Berck held off Boen for second while Gorby managed to stay in front of Smith to take fourth.
"This is our best finish of the year but not our best car," Berck said. "It's nice to have such a good finish when your car isn't handling well."
As for Boen, it was just too much for him to overcome.
"We dug ourselves a whole in the heat that we just couldn't get out of," he said. "Still, John was really strong and it would have been tough for any of us to beat him tonight."
Anderson added to his 15-point lead over Boen, who finished third for the second straight night.
Greg Larsen won the B-feature while Egge, Berck, and Gorby picked up heat victories.
1. Bo Egge, Kearney, Neb.; 2. John Anderson, Omaha, Neb.; 3. Ronnie Warman, Wichita, Kan.; 4. Ryan Rairden, Brookville, Kan.; 5. Jason Schobinger, Wiggins, Colo.; 6. Brian Balsters, Wichita, Kan.; 7. Brad Fortney, Wichita, Kan.; 8. Robbie Anderson, Blair, Neb.
1. Kyle Berck, Marquette, Neb.; 2. Mike Wiarda, Aurora, Neb.; 3. John Kuchar, Henderson, Colo.; 4. Chris Kratzer, Wichita, Kan.; 5. Steve Foster, Abilene, Kan.; 6. Greg Larsen, Plattsmouth, Neb.; 7. Kelly Dunn, Salina, Kan.; 8. Gerald Spurgeon, Ponca City, Okla.
1. Gary Gorby, Caney, Kan.; 2. Jimmy Segraves, Valley Center, Kan.; 3. Delbert Smith, Wichita, Kan.; 4. Kelly Boen, Henderson, Colo.; 5. Jim Beaman, Littleton, Colo.; 6. Corey Zeitner, Bellevue, Neb.; 7. Bud Longpine, Drummond, Okla.; 8. Bill Koons, Omaha, Neb.
1. Greg Larsen, 2. Steve Foster, 3. Corey Zeitner, 4. Kelly Dunn, 5. Bud Longpine, 6. Brian Balsters, 7. Robbie Anderson, 8. Brad Fortney, 9. Bill Koons, DNS: Gerald Spuregon.
1. John Anderson, 2. Kyle Berck, 3. Kelly Boen, 4. Delbert Smith, 5. Gary Gorby, 6. Jimmy Segraves, 7. Bo Egge, 8. John Kuchar, 9. Mike Wiarda, 10. Jim Beaman, 11. Ryan Rairden, 12. Greg Larsen, 13. Gerald Spurgeon, 14. Bill Koons, 15. Brian Balsters, 16. Brad Fortney, DNF: Corey Zeitner, Steve Foster, Bud Longpine, Chris Kratzer, Ronnie Warman, Jason Schobinger, Kelly Dunn, Robbie Anderson.