I-80 victory gives Anderson MLRA points lead
GREENWOOD, Neb. (Sept. 24) — Winless through late August, a late-season turnaround has John Anderson of Omaha, Neb., back on track and back on top of the Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association points.
Anderson jumped to the lead from outside the front row Saturday at I-80 Speedway and raced to a $3,000 victory in the finale of the Cornhusker Clash, a weekend event co-sanctioned by MLRA and the Dart Corn Belt Clash Tour. The 2008 MLRA champion moved ahead in the series points over reigning champ Al Purkey of Coffeyville, Kan., who couldn't crack the top 10 in the weekend doubleheader. | Slideshow
"We just needed to put the package together," said Anderson, whose first victory of the season came Aug. 21 in Sedalia, Mo. "Me and (crew chief) Vinny (Guliani) are gelling real good. The boss (team owner Greg Junghans) wasn't here tonight. We'll be glad to call him and let him know how this went."
Anderson was challenged early by second-running Kelly Boen of Henderson, Colo., but Anderson's maneuverable car enabled to him to slip away.
Jill George's flat tire with four laps remaining set up a late-race restart with Boen on Anderson's rear deck, but Anderson pulled away to take the checkers.
Jason Rauen of Farley, Iowa, dropped Boen to third in the closing laps while Iowa drivers Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon and Dave Eckrich of Cosgrove rounded out the top five.
Notes: Anderson's MasterSbilt Race Car is powered by a Jay Dickens Engine and sponsored by Shop Quik Convenience Stores, Allstars Performance, Sunoco Race Fuels Turbo Car Wash and the F.A.I.T.H. Youth Team. ... Among drivers failing to make the main event: Bo Egge, Kevin Sather, Scott Koskovich, Joe Walkenhorst and Jason Utter, a winner earlier this season at I-80. ... Next up for MLRA competitors is the Oct. 1 Larry Phillips Memorial at Springfield (Mo.) Raceway, the makeup of a Sept. 17 rainout. ... Corn Belt Clash competitors wrap up the season Oct. 14-15 at Elko (Minn.) Speedway. ... I-80 continues its Cornhusker Classic weekend with a $1,000-to-win Super Late Model Racing Series victory on Sunday.
Cornhusker Classic: (1) John Anderson, 2. Jason Rauen, 3. Kelly Boen, 4. Chad Simpson, 5. Dave Eckrich, 6. Denny Eckrich, 7. Al Humphrey, 8. Kyle Berck, 9. Tim Isenberg, 10. John Hampel, 11. Al Purkey, 12. Travis Dickes, 13. Chris Simpson, 14. Joe Kosiski, 15. Craig Preble, 16. Jason Utter, 17. Justin Mitchell, 18. Charlie McKenna, 19. Jay Stewart, 20. Bill Koons, 21. Bill Leighton Jr., 22. Jill George, 23. Rob Moss, 24. Mike Wiarda, 25. Justin Zeitner, 26. Leon Zeitner, 27. Mike Collins, 28. Steve Kempt. Heat race winners (among 46 cars): Hampel, Dickes, Anderson, Humphrey, Boen. Consolation winners: Chad Simpson, Berck.