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Central Arizona Speedway

Last-lap fracas nearly costs Parker victory

April 6, 2008, 4:00 am
By M.J. Anderson
DirtonDirt.com correspondent

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (April 5) — Lonnie Parker Jr. of El Mirage, Ariz., survived a last-lap melee in turn three at Central Arizona Raceway to win his series-leading 47th career Southwest Dirt Racing Association victory. Parker had nearly a half-track margin on second-running Mark Fowler and looked like he had his second straight SWDRA victory in the bag until near-disaster struck on the white-flag lap. | Weekend winners

As he was attempting to lap a pair of slower cars, Keith McKinney and Randy Anderson got together in turn three and collected Parker in their crash. With Fowler and other pursuers closing ground, Parker gathered up his mangled car and was able to win the race to the checkered flag by a matter of inches. Fowler was second followed by Mike Tahtinen at the 3/8-mile oval.

“I was just amazed that the car was still rolling after the crash in turn three," said Parker, icing his hand following the race. "I think the impact broke my thumb."

Notes: Mike Tahtinen rallied to finish third after dropping from third to eighth on the first lap. ... Joey Moriarty started on the front row but lost an angine on the second lap. ... Tommy Hussak was running second on the 10th lap but got sideways in turn two and fell back to fifth. ... The event drew 14 cars as series regulars Lee Hoy, Steve Ricehouse, Harry Harris, Bruce Duckett, Art Lacy, Adam Crippen and Brad Williams were no-shows. ... The series returns to Central Arizona on April 26 for its next event.

SWDRA @ Central Arizona: (1) Lonnie Parker Jr., (2) Mark Fowler, (3) Mike Tahtinen, (4) Jerry Fincher, (5) Tommy Hussak III, (6) Randy Anderson, (7) Keith James, (8) Randy Carder, (9) Lonnie Parker Jr., (10) Wes Hall, (11) Wayne Noyes, (12) Andy Rudy, (13) Keith McKinney, (14) Joey Moriarty. Heat race winners: Parker Jr., Fowler.

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