Cole Anderson tackled the Rumble By The River 125 at Montgomery Motor Speedway as if he were a prize fighter chasing a title belt.
He bided his time, felt out his opponents, picked the perfect opportunity to attack and never relented until the final bell sounded.
Anderson pounced on leader Kyle Grissom with 52 laps to go, and never looked back to capture his first Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco victory.
“It feels really good to get back in victory lane after the rough couple of weeks we have had,” Anderson said. “This win is a total team effort and I can’t say enough about how great this team is. ACR (Anthony Ciampi Racing) worked really hard in testing the last few weeks, and it paid off big time tonight.”
Anderson took the Super Late Model world by storm in January, winning the Red Eye and Orange Blossom at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.
Saturday’s trip to victory lane in Montgomery was his first checkered since the stellar opening month. The dominant night on the Alabama half-mile has Anderson primed for a second-half charge.
With the win, Anderson etched his name in the Montgomery Motor Speedway winners’ book, alongside NASCAR legends Tim Flock, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and David Pearson, as well as short track aces Dick Trickle, Gary Balough, Dave Mader and Bobby Gill.
“It means a lot to be mentioned with those guys that have won here before,” Anderson said. “I am just proud I am able to say that I won at the same place they did. It’s really cool.”
Grissom’s quest for a third straight Southern Super Series win looked promising in the middle part of the event, but ultimately came up one spot short.
With two wins and a runner-up in his last three SSS races, Grissom kept on smiling.
“We were pretty good tonight, but he (Anderson) was just a bit better than us,” Grissom said. “We have been working hard on this deal this year, and have been fortunate to bring the car home in one piece most nights. That has helped us at the shop a lot, and we are going to keep building on it.”
Series points leader Donnie Wilson set fast time in time trials, and looked to be a contender in the late stages of the race, but was doomed by a flat tire. In the end, Wilson came home with a disappointing ninth-place finish..
“We kind of got bit tonight and had a right rear go down on us late,” Wilson said, shrugging his shoulders. “We we came in after the race, the right rear had 12 pounds (of air pressure) in it. We had a really good car tonight, but when that happened; it was all she wrote.”
Casey Roderick finished third, Chandler Smith came home fourth and veteran Allen Karnes turned in a season-best fifth.
On-demand coverage of Saturday’s race at Montgomery can be seen by visiting Speed51.com’s Trackside Now.
The 2016 Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco season continues on July 9 when the series visits South Alabama Speedway.
For more information on the Southern Super Series, visit www.southernsuperseries.com.
Rumble by the River 125
Southern Super Series
-Southern Super Series/51 Sports Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com