Two drivers that scored 12 wins in their respective divisions a year ago but fell short of a championship opened the season at Anderson Speedway with feature wins.
Curtis Chapman visited victory lane five times in 2016 but came up short in the championship chase to Jeff Swinford.
On Saturday Chapman took the lead at the start of the Harts Auto Figure-8 feature and was closely chased by Shawn Cullen and fast qualifier Joe Beaver, driving the Swinford car in 2017.
With Cullen glued to his rear bumper for the first half of the feature race, Chapman caught a break when both Cullen and Beaver lost ground while getting around a slower car.
Once Cullen and Beaver passed the lapped car they remained in close contact with Chapman, but could never challenge for the win.
His car did show some right front damage behind the wheel well, something Chapman said he didn’t know how it happened.
Frankton driver John Robbins won seven Thunder Roadster features in 2016 but lost the championship to Dave Osborn.
Osborn took the lead at the onset but Robbins quickly moved into the second spot with Marty Griffith and fast qualifier Rodney Oliver in close pursuit.
Robbins took the lead on the second lap with an inside pass of Osborn coming off the fourth corner and started to pull away.
Oliver spun into the infield entering the fourth corner while running fourth but was able to continue without the caution flag waving.
Griffith passed Osborn for the second spot with an inside pass entering turn one.
At the checkers it was Robbins, Griffith and Osborn.
Ron Phipps used the outside line to pass Brandon Lee Cook to score the feature win in the Marcum Welding Front Wheel Drive division.
Cook took the lead at the start chased by Nick Warner and Phipps. Phipps pass Warner with an inside move on lap three.
For the next several laps Cook used the high groove around Anderson Speedway keeping up the momentum and holding Phipps at bay.
But eventually Phipps was able to get inside of Cook entering turn three and took control of the race.
Phipps and Cook were followed to the checkers by Warner.
Daleville driver Aaron Pierce, making a rare appearance in a late model, drove to victory followed by Rick Segvich and Larry Southerland.