Craig Makes Right Call to Win ThunderCar 100 Allison, Riley & Robbins Score Victories

A decision made in the pit area was a key factor in Ricky Craig’s win in the Noble Wine & Spirits ThunderCar 100. With low temperatures and a brisk wind Saturday at Anderson Speedway, Craig was the only competitor in the 100-lap race not to suffer a flat tire.

Shirley’s David McConnell set a new track record for the division during qualifications and led the first 42 laps. He was chased early by Jimmy Kirby and Ronnie Rose with Craig running in the fourth spot. Kirby encountered a flat tire on lap 42 at the same time as both McConnell and Rose. That put Craig on the point chased by Kirby, Rose and McConnell. For the next 58 laps Kirby ran in the tire tracks of Craig as the two battled for the lead. Several times Kirby would put the front bumper to Craig’s ride in the corners, but not strong enough to gain the preferred low groove. At the finish Craig, the 2022 rookie of the year in the division, won by .3-tenths of a second over Kirby with Rose, Mike Lewis and McConnell rounding out the top five.

“I waited until the last minute before putting in the (tire) pressure,” Craig said in Peterman Brother’s Victory Lane. “I waited all night and set the pressures at the last minute. “It was a good race,” he said, “I felt him beating on me. He raced me clean.”Craig said in the early stages of the race he was holding back to see what would happen in front of me. “I was saving my tires until halfway,” he said. “It feels good after all the work we’ve done.”

For the second time this year Noah Allison set a new track record during qualifying for the Vintage Wrench Ford Division. James Mikesell took the early lead following the inversion of the top four in qualifying chased by Michael Cranmer and visiting Kentucky driver Brandon Winters. Allison climbed from the fourth starting position and took the lead on the 11th circuit with a pass of both Mikesell and Cranmer in the high groove in turns three and four. Winters would climb to the second spot by lap 14 but was never able to challenge Allison for the victory. At the checkers it was Allison winning by 3.6-seconds over Winters and Cranmer.

Fast qualifier Cody Riley took the lead of the Marcum’s Welding Front Wheel Drive feature on lap five when early leader Tim Dovel pitted. Riley survived three restarts to win by 2.5-seconds over JD Blankenship and visiting Ohio driver Josh Sage.

Frankton’s John Robbins led 29 of the 30 laps to score the victory in the Legends feature with Sam Johnson and Xavier King rounding out the top three.