ANDERSON – Caleb Armstrong used a bump-and-run move with 17 laps remaining to win the 14th running of the Glen Niebel Classic at Anderson Speedway on Sunday.
Armstrong, the fast qualifier, was running second to Aaron Pierce following a caution flag on Lap 66. With 18 laps remaining, Armstrong bumped Pierce coming off the fourth corner and made the inside pass entering Turn 1.
Pierce stayed glued to the rear bumper of Armstrong’s sprint car, but came up 1 second short of a third consecutive win in the Classic.
Pendleton resident Travis Welpott finished third with Jarett Andretti and Kyle Hamilton rounding out the top five.
The early lead was taken by Jason Fuller, who was passed by Chris Neunschwander with an inside move entering the first turn.
Armstrong was strong early in the race using the outside groove to pass Welpott and Fuller to run fourth at the halfway point.
Pierce took the lead from Neunschwander on Lap 63 getting to the low groove entering Turn 1. Neunschwander’s car was losing grip in the right rear tire and was having handling problems through the corner.
Neunschwander spun on Lap 66 after he was bumped by Armstrong, which set the stage for the final pass for the lead.
“I want to apologize to Chris (Neunschwander) and Aaron (Pierce) for what happened,” Armstrong said. “The brakes were going in and out. “This is a good preview for the Little 500.”
Andretti started 13th in his first race at Anderson Speedway and, aside for a slip with three laps remaining, would have finished third.
There were three caution periods for a total of 25 laps and four lead changes among four drivers.
With a victory in the Mel Kenyon Midget Series race in hand, Jessica Bean lost her patience in lapped traffic and spun coming off the fourth corner with eight laps remaining.