By Ken de la Bastide
CNHI News Service
---- — ANDERSON — In his seventh appearance of the year at Anderson Speedway, Noblesville driver Mark Lambert finally scored a win in the season-ending 100-lap race for the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models.
Lambert inherited the lead on Lap 46 when leader Danny Trent got loose and spun in Turn 2, which brought out the first caution flag of the race.
Lambert survived six restarts, holding off Chris Hacker and Ronnie Rose for the victory. Lambert, the 2013 CRA Sportsman Late Model champion, has never finished outside the top five during the year at Anderson Speedway.
Pole-sitter Jeff Marcum led the first 43 laps before he was passed by Trent with an inside move coming off the fourth corner.
After working his way to the front from the third starting spot, Trent spun in Turn 2 and surrendered the lead. Trent was sent to the tail of the field twice more for making contact with other drivers but still worked his way to a runner-up finish.
Chris Hacker ran in the top five for the first 65 laps but while challenging Lambert for the lead on the back straight, spun and was relegated to the rear of the field.
At the finish, it was Lambert winning by 2.4-seconds over Trent with Steve Stacy, Hacker and Ronnie Phipps rounding out the top five.
“Finally got a win here,” Lambert said. “This track has owed us a win for about five years, we probably raced here 20 times. I was having a good race with the 24 (Hacker), but I don’t know what happened on the back straight. If I got into him, I’m sorry for that.”
Curtis Chapman capped off his championship season in the NASH FM Thunder Car Division by using a bump and run move to take the lead from Johnny Magee on Lap 53 and then pulling away to an impressive victory in the 100-lap feature.
Chapman led the first 19 laps chased by Magee, Trent Gossar, Rob Allman and Robbie Wyman.
On an Aerco Heating & Air Conditioning restart on Lap 20 Magee claimed the top spot with Chapman and Gossar close behind.
After taking the lead Chapman saw a comfortable margin disappear when he encountered a large pack of slower cars with Magee and Gossar right on his bumper when the caution flag waved on Lap 85 for a spin by Earl Adams II.
Chapman was able to maintain the lead on the final restart with Magee running several car lengths back to the finish.
Gossar finished third followed by Tommy Brown Jr., who made the trip from Louisville, and Allman.
In the Front Wheel Drive 100, it was a two-car shoot-out between Don Gallaher and Nick Warner over the final 25 laps with Gallaher entering the Tim Thompson Nationwide Insurance Winner’s Circle for the first time in 2013.
Warner led the first 40 laps before he got trapped by slower traffic which allowed Gallaher and Paul Phipps to slip inside coming off the fourth corner.
The three front-runners ran in a tight pack until Lap 75 when Warner used the high line to pass Phipps in Turn 3.
From that point, Gallaher and Warner pulled away followed by Phipps, Josh Tharp and Ron Phipps.
During the closing laps, Gallaher said he had to hold his car in gear to be able to hold off Warner.
“Last year, I ran this race and ended up with a torn up race car,” Gallaher said following the win. “I love racing at this track, the competition is tough. You can race here side by side and everyone races you clean.”