By Ken de la Bastide
For The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Keith Sterkowitz used the classic bump and run on Lap 19 to win the opening night of action for the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models on Saturday at Anderson Speedway.
Ronnie Rose took the early lead and had built up a comfortable margin when the only caution waved on Lap 17 when fast-qualifier Chet Fillip spun in Turn 2.
On the restart, Sterkowitz lined up outside of Rose and after challenging for a lap, slipped back into the second position. One lap later he bumped Rose just enough entering Turn 3 to claim the low groove and the lead.
Several times Rose looked to return the favor but was unable to move Sterkowitz out of the preferred racing line. Sterkowitz went on to win by 1.3 seconds after Rose slipped on the final lap.
“I tried to run him clean on the outside, and we bumped a little,” Sterkowitz said. “He went to protect the outside groove, and I was able to get underneath.”
Rob Allman finished third, followed by Jeff Marcum and Ronnie Phipps.
Chris Hacker, the 13-year-old driver from Noblesville, started on the front row but fell back to sixth after two laps. He worked his way back to fifth but spun on the back straight on the final circuit and finished eighth.
For the second week in a row, Nick Warner was in a dogfight in Front Wheel Drive oval action, with the difference Saturday being he held on for the win.
Warner swapped the point with fast-qualifier Chris Jennings in the middle stages of the race, and then he was able to use lapped traffic to hold off Jennings in the closing laps.
A week ago, Warner surrendered the lead to Paul Phipps with three laps remaining, again with lapped traffic playing a role in the finish.
Jennings finished second, followed by Elliott McKinney, Phipps and Marshal Clark Jr.
“Lapped traffic helped me tonight,” Warner said. “We both had great cars, and we raced clean.”
Jacob McElfresh was in the right place at the right time to record the victory in the Street Stock season opener when the two front runners spun on the final lap.
Calvin Parham took the lead from Tyler Marsh on a restart on Lap 11 and pulled away from his competition.
But with five laps remaining, Parham got trapped behind lapped traffic which allowed Marsh to close. For the final two laps, Parham and Marsh exchanged paint coming off the corners.
Exiting Turn 2 on the final lap, Parham and Marsh spun which allowed McElfresh to slip past for the victory. Marsh was credited with second, followed by Parham, Jeff Hopkins and Joe Pulley.
Kevin Henson was able to get inside of Elliott McKinney entering Turn 4 with four laps remaining and went on to record the win in Figure-8 action for the Front Wheel Drive Division.
Warner came home third followed by Jerry Lee Swinford and Mark Allman.