By Ken de la Bastide CNHI News Service
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — There’s something about the month of August that California driver JoJo Helberg likes about Anderson Speedway.
For the third consecutive year, Helberg captured an August race with the Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint Series in Saturday’s running of the Best Way Disposal 50.
With an invert of the eight fastest qualifiers, Chris Neuenschwander grabbed the early lead chased by Brian Olson and Tyler Roahrig with Helberg starting fifth in the 20-car field.
Helberg passed local favorite Aaron Pierce on the second lap and got around Roahrig for third before 10 circuits were completed.
Neuenschwander’s night ended on Lap 8 as he slowed on the track and pulled out of contention, expressing his displeasure at the mechanical problem.
That gave the point to Olson with Helberg hot on his trail. Helberg used an inside move entering Turn 1 on Lap 9 to take the lead.
Fast-qualifier Brian Gerster gained two positions in the first 10 laps and was running sixth, before starting a climb to the front.
Gerster passed Troy Decaire and Pierce and was running fourth at the halfway point. Pay Less Little 500 winner Jacob Wilson, running in the top 10 at the time, pulled into the infield on Lap 25 after making contact with Kevin Blue, which brought out the only caution of the race.
From there, Helberg pulled away on the restart to win by six-tenths of a second over Roahrig and Gerster, with Olson and Pierce rounding out the top five.
Following the restart, Gerster and Pierce made it three wide in Turn 2 as they worked around a lapped car, something normally not seen in sprint-car action at Anderson Speedway. All three drivers escaped without incident.
“The bottom was working well,” Helberg said of his car running the low line. “For the last four laps, the car started to develop a vibration. So I was a little worried.”
New Castle’s Jason Atkinson make it two consecutive Champion Racing Association Street Stock wins in the 75-lap race after exchanging paint with leader Jim Crabtree Jr. on Lap 55.
The racing action got off to a slow start as the caution flag waved five times in the first 20 laps as the 27 drivers in the field jockeyed for track position. Most of the cautions were for single-car spins.
During the opening melee, Crabtree used the outside line on a restart on the front straight to grab the point from early leader Larry Lathan.
By Lap 25, Atkinson moved up to the second position after passing Tyler Marsh on the back straight and was glued to Crabtree’s rear bumper.
There then followed a 30-lap run of green flag racing with Atkinson looking for a way around Crabtree. On Lap 55, as the leaders’ encountered lapped traffic, Atkinson was able to get to the inside of Crabtree.
The two traded paint entering Turn 1 with Atkinson and Marsh getting around Crabtree entering the fourth turn.
“You can’t win in the first 15 laps,” Atkinson said. “You have to take your time and do what you can.”
The eighth and final caution flag waved on Lap 59 when Lathan’s car erupted in a plume of white smoke.
On the restart, Marsh, Calvin Parham and fast-qualifier Josh Poore all tangled on the back straight while battling for the third spot.
Atkinson went on to win by 1.1 second over Crabtree, Dustin Burge, Colby Lane and Larry Matillo.