ANDERSON — Traffic worked in pole sitter Eddie VanMeter’s favor early in the Outlaw Figure 8 event and he went on to capture the feature win.
VanMeter led the final 38 laps but was pressed over the final five circuits by Ben Tunny as the leaders encountered slower cars on Community Hospital Figure 8 Madness night Thursday at Anderson Speedway.
RJ Norton Jr. took the lead on the opening lap with Jesse Tunny in close pursuit. Tunny took the lead from Norton on Lap 4 and was chased by VanMeter, who climbed from the sixth starting spot to second.
Tunny, looking to make it back-to-back July 4 wins, went up in a puff of smoke on Lap 12, which put VanMeter onto the point.
The first caution flag waved on Lap 4 when Brandon White and Jeff Shackelford got together approaching the crossover and both spun.
VanMeter won by .6 seconds over Ben Tunny, with Austin Tunny finishing third.
Mike Riddle Jr. drove to a fourth place finish after starting ninth in the field.
VanMeter was the most recent winner of an Outlaw Figure 8 event last October and set the fastest time during qualifications with a lap of 17.054 seconds.
“I was worried starting back in the pack,” VanMeter said in the Star Financial Winner’s Circle. “But the way the traffic went on the start I was able to drive through on the inside line.”
VanMeter said he slowed the pace down trying to avoid the slower traffic because he knew Tunny was on his heels.
“Those guys showed some respect and gave me the needed room,” he said.
All the drivers qualified within a second of VanMeter’s pole position time with Mike Hadley and Ben Tunny rounding out the top three.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.