ANDERSON, Ind. – A sunny spring Saturday greeted a talented field of drivers for the running of the Sun Valley 60 in the highly anticipated return of the NSTA Top Speed Modified Tour to Anderson Speedway.
After recognizing 1999 Tour Champion L.J. Lines as the inaugural inductee into the National Modified Hall of Fame, the field of 19 took to the track for a 60 lap battle at the high banks of Anderson Speedway. Ohio’s Mark Timmerman led the field to the green flag and would set the pace for the opening 29 circuits.
A caution just shy of halfway set the stage for one of the most spectacular restarts in the speedway’s history. Lucas Oil Raceway winner Blake Rowe went thee wide on the narrow Anderson oval, and survived to take the lead away from Timmerman at lap 30. Rowe appeared to be well on his way to his second consecutive victory, but fast qualifier Jonathan Martin had other plans. The two drivers would engage in a furious duel for the lead, until Martin’s day ended facing the wrong way in turn four.
With just six laps to go, Rowe and 2016 Champion Bob Sibila Jr. brought the field to the green flag. Entering turn one side by side, Sibila’s suspension failed sending him hard into the wall and collecting Rowe as well. This would hand the lead back to Timmerman with five laps remaining.
Former Series Champion Chad Poole, making his second ever appearance at Anderson Speedway, and his first since 1998, would snatch the lead away from Timmerman. 2017 World Series of Asphalt Champion, Travis Eddy spent most of the night stalking through the field putting himself into contention for the win. Eddy’s furious charge to the front fell just short as Poole held onto the win.
Eddy would settle for second with Timmerman, Dave Christensen, and Greg Fullarton completing the remainder of the top five. Jonathan Martin was quickest in qualifying with a 13.041 (69.013 mph) second lap around the quarter mile. Loren Short was the rookie of the race despite retiring early with a mechanical failure.
The series will be in action one more time this month, as they make their first appearance of the season in the state of Michigan running the Spring Fling 50 at Berlin Raceway on April 29.
-NSTA Top Speed Modifieds Press Release
-Photo credit: David Sink