ANDERSON, Ind. – There were plenty of fireworks before the big show at Anderson Speedway Thursday as Ben Tunney won the IOFS Outlaw Figure 8 feature that turned into a race of attrition.
For Tunney it was his second career Outlaw Figure-8 victory at Anderson, holding defending IOFS champion Jeremy Vanderhoof on a restart with three laps remaining with Shawn Cullen coming home in third.
“Feels good to win here again,” Tunney said. “I’ve only won once here before, but always seem to be running upfront.”
The action on the track took out several drivers that were in contention for the victory, including previous two-time Anderson winner Charlie Hargraves, Mike Riddle and Larry Swinford.
Riddle started on the pole position and led the first nine laps before being passed by both Ben Tunney and Austin Tunney in turn one.
The Tunney brothers swapped the lead three times during the race, before Ben took control of the event with 22 laps remaining.
The second caution flag of the night waved when Charlie Hargraves made contact with Bruce McFall in the crossover on lap 20. At that point Josh Tharp, who had climbed from the 11th starting position to fourth, went to the pits. Tharp later returned to the action, several laps down to the leaders.
On the restart Hargraves made contact with Jeff Swinford and Shawn Cullen coming off the second corner. Hargraves crew made repairs and he returned to the action.
Larry Swinford spun coming through the front straight, spinning and coming to rest for several laps along the front straight retaining wall.
But eight laps later, Riddle’s car which was showing tire smoke for much of the race, lost a tire entering turn three. Riddle’s car ended up against the turn three wall and collected Hargraves car.
Austin Tunney slowed unexpectedly on lap 43 and had to settle for a fifth place finish.
Of the 12 cars that started the race, only four were running at the finish.
In the Front Wheel Drive Figure-8 feature, Nick Warner took advantage of early leader Kevin Henson having to slow for a car in the crossover to take the lead entering turn one to record the victory.
Warner set a new track record during qualifying, but the drive to the victory was not without some excitement. Several times Warner had to take evasive action to get around slower traffic.
That allowed Henson to close at times, but he was never able to regain the lead. Elliott McKinney came home third followed by Mike Alley and Austin McKinney.
In a race similar to Daytona or Talladega, David Reynolds and Randy Caldwell used the draft to move to the front on lap 10 in the SuperKarts race.
With Reynolds and Caldwell pulling away, Caldwell came to a stop with just three laps remaining and faded to a ninth place finish.
Reynolds went on to win for the second time at Anderson, followed by Dustin Kares, Ryan Cherry, Ben Tunney and Jason Reynolds.
Matt Smith flipped his SuperKart end over end on the front straight after brushing the front straight wall.
Kevin Henson led the entire distance to capture the trailer race.