By Ken de la Bastide CNHI News Service
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — New Castle’s Jason Atkinson led the final 56 laps Saturday to capture the CRA Sportsman 75-lap feature at Anderson Speedway on Poet Biorefining night.
Atkinson started ninth in the 23-car field, working his way into the top five after just 11 laps of racing. He moved into the second spot on Lap 19 when J.J. Haley spun in Turn 2.
On the restart, Atkinson used the outside line to get around Fort Wayne driver KC Spillers and pulled away to a comfortable margin.
The battle over the final 20 circuits was for the second position between Spillers, Danny Trent and Mark Lambert.
Spillers held on for second, with Lambert grabbing the third spot at the checkered flag and Trent and Josh Cave rounding out the top five.
It was Atkinson’s second CRA Sportsman feature win of the year having won the season-opening event at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Two incidents in the first 20 laps knocked several of the leaders out of contention. The first took place on Lap 12 when Rob Noel spun in Turn 1 and collected the car of Jacob Garrigus.
An incident on Lap 19 developed when slower traffic was running two wide in Turn 3 and collected the cars of fast qualifier Billy VanMeter, John Heck, Trey Craig, Robert Amos Jr. and Joe Woodring. All were running in the top 10 at the time and only Woodring was able to continue.
Rob Allman led the first seven laps before he slowed dramatically and pulled out of competition. That gave the lead to Hanley, who was passed by Spillers on a restart.
In his first appearance of the season, A.J. Ridner led all 30 laps to capture the Street Stock feature.
Ridner took the lead on the start from Danny Adams, who was passed by Josh Tharp on the third lap. Adams lost two more spots when he drifted high in Turn 2 and was passed by Jimmy Kirby and fast-qualifier Calvin Parham.
Tharp closed the gap on Ridner with three laps remaining as the two leaders closed on two slower cars, but Ridner held on for the win. Tharp finished second followed by Kirby, Parham and Tyler Marsh.
Jerry Dane claimed his fourth feature win of the 2013 season in the Front Wheel Drive Oval Division by taking the lead from Kamden Creek on the 10th lap with an inside pass entering Turn 3.
Elliott McKinney came home in second, followed by Paul Phipps, Creek and Jerry Swinford.