MORRIS, Ill. — It was the Carter/Anderson classic at Grundy County Speedway and an Anderson ended up scoring the victory in the Illini Racing Series portion of the event.
The emotional victory by Mike Anderson was no easy feat though. The driver of the No. 7 Merlins 200,000 mile shop SET racing Stewart/Ecotec had to fend of a hard charging pack of drivers in the 20 lap feature, including Patrick Bruns, Sean Murphy, Lamont Critchett and Ben Gills.
Anderson started the feature on the front row next to pole starter Gillis. The race went on in a torrid pace with all 20 laps going without a single yellow flag. After a few laps the lead cars started to separate themselves from the rest of the field. A pack of 4-5 cars lead the way under a blanket, with everyone trying to take a swipe at the driver of the #7. Both Murphy and Bruns got alongside Anderson but were never able to complete the pass. Murphy dropped out of the race with only a couple laps remaining due to a cut tire after contact. That gave Anderson enough distance to take the checkered flag over Bruns and Gillis. The rookie driver was overjoyed after winning the race named after his late father.
“I don’t think it has set in yet. It feels great, it really does. I have a lot of people here tonight watching me, friends and family, and this is something I have always wanted to do. Midget racing has been in my family for as long as I have been around, for as long as my brother has been around and to win and become another member of the fraternity of racing midgets and winning means a lot to me. And I know my dad would be proud of me and my brother and we just are trying to make him proud, and hes not around to say it but we know it, so its another good night.”
The driver out of Joliet, Illinois knew how hard he had to battle for the victory “I saw Patrick and Sean’s numbers jumping back and forth on the score board there and knew they were right behind me on my tail tank, so you had to be smooth and you had to make the car a little wide and hope it stuck and tonight it worked and I’m excitied for Roger Engstrom and the SET boys. They put a hell of a lot of time in and I’m glad we can give a little something back with a win. ”
Patrick Bruns had his streak of 4 straight heat race wins come to end but the current series points leader was still pleased with a 2nd place finish. “I personally want to congratulate SETracing and Roger Engstrom, it was a great win for those guys, proud to see them win and congratulations to Roger, first win in seven years, that’s pretty cool.”
The driver of the #83 Tin Cup RV Park/Advanced Financial/Cains Marine Welding/Mobil 1/Triple T car wash and lube Beast/Focus had an up and down weekend after driving Bobby Logans sprint car at Farmer City on Friday night running second on the last lap before being involved in an accident. “For the most part it was clean but there was a little bit of contact out there, I mean that is tight racing and considering the night we had last night with the sprint car to come back here tonight and have a 2nd place in the heat and 2nd place in the feature is pretty good.”
The person who was right behind the lead pack waiting to pounce for most of the feature was Ben Gillis.