ANDERSON, Ind. – Noblesville teenager Chris Hacker turned in a dominating performance in capturing the season opening Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Powered by JEGS.com feature at Anderson Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
Hacker started on the outside of the front row taking the lead from Eric McGlothen and maintained the point on three restarts before pulling away to a commanding lead.
The fourth caution flag waved on lap 70 when Jon Watson spun in turn two after a green-flag run of 51 laps.
On the final restart Hacker selected the inside groove with Billy VanMeter starting on the outside of the front row followed by McGlothen, K.C. Spillers and Jack Dossey III.
Hacker was able to maintain the lead on the restart with VanMeter spinning on the back straight and coming to a stop in the infield. That allowed fast qualifier Jason Atkinson to move from the sixth spot to second with a nifty move to the inside through traffic.
For Hacker it was his second series win, both coming at Anderson. He was followed by Atkinson, McGlothlen, Spillers and Dossey.
Atkinson’s second place finish was even more impressive after the crew made repairs to the rear-end with six laps remaining.
“We made some adjustments before the race,” Hacker said. “We freed it up through the corners. We had a really good car today.”
Atkinson said at the start the throttle was sticking and then had the rear end leaking problem.
“A second place with fast time, it was a pretty good day,” he said.
McGlothen was making his first appearance at Anderson Speedway.
“It’s a fun quarter-mile,” he said. “I had some brake issues, so the red-flag helped a little bit.”
Jeff Marcum led all 75 laps to win the NASH-FM Thunder Car feature but he was challenged the entire distance by Trent Gossar and Curtis Chapman.
Gossar several times got close enough to give Marcum a nudge entering the corners, but was unable to gain the inside groove. While Gossar was fighting with Marcum, Chapman attempted to make the pass on the outside but was unable to claim the position.
Jessey Bilbrey finished fourth followed by Brian Lewis.
Fast qualifier Robbie Wyman brought out the only caution flag on lap seven when he lost a tire entering turn four while battling for the fourth spot.
“I knew they would race me pretty clean,” Marcum said. “The car was fast today.”
Eric Black used an inside move to pass Cody Anderson entering turn one on lap 19 and led the final 16 laps to win the season opener for the TriState Legends.
Local driver Mark Dietzen led the first 11 laps after starting on the outside of the front row, but lost the point on a restart when Anderson got inside coming off the fourth corner.
Black passed Dietzen on lap 12 and set his sights on Anderson.Following Black and Anderson to the checkers were John Robbins, Marty Griffin and Dietzen.
“It has been a while,” Black said of his victory to start the season. “Mark (Dietzen) did a good job upfront and I was waiting for Anderson to make a move.”
Fast qualifier Alec Webb’s day ended on lap eight when he brushed the turn one wall while trying to pass Black. Second quick qualifier Josh Dietz lost an engine on lap 11.