A nine year winless drought came to an end at Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Indiana on Sunday afternoon. Veteran ARCA/CRA Super Series driver Eddie Van Meter, who resides just a few miles up the road from Anderson Speedway in Indianapolis, drove through the field to claim the checkered flag in the Madison County Community Health Center 125. The win was his first series win since July 22, 2006 at Angola Motor Speedway (IN).
“It feels pretty awesome to have broken that streak. It’s been way too long since I’ve been in victory lane,” Van Meter said excitedly after the race.
Although having a lengthy streak without scoring a victory in the competitive Super Late Model series, Van Meter is a name that is very recognizable in the pit area of numerous tracks around the Midwest region.
Van Meter has been running with the ARCA/CRA Super Series since the 1999 season where he had one start at the famous high-banked ½ mile of Winchester Speedway (IN). His first (and last) win came at the now Angola Motorsport Speedway in 2006. Van Meter has led a total of 813 laps including the 54 laps he led during Sunday’s race when he broke his 142-race winless streak, the longest streak in the 19 year history of the series.
After timing in third quick during his qualifying run, Van Meter started seventh after the EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier Mark Lambert drew a ten inversion to set the field.
The race went to green and drivers wasted no time getting into the mix of things at the drop of the flag. Greg VanAlst took the top spot in the early laps of the 125-lap event. Trent Snyder was very fast racing in the second position but was never able to get the lead spot while battling his very loose race car.
Rookie competitor Hunter Baize was able to make his way around the No. 88 machine of Snyder and started to work on VanAlst for the race lead.
Baize went to the inside to make a bid for the lead and tapped the bumper of VanAlst, which sent him spinning. CRA Officials determined that both drivers would go to the tail; this gave the lead to fellow rookie driver Grant Quinlan. Quinlan started on the inside with Eddie Van Meter to his outside.
Van Meter worked around Quinlan and took over the top spot on lap 72. Quinlan never took his sights off of Van Meter and the hunt for the lead. Quinlan raced hard and tapped the rear end of Van Meter’s No. 23 machine forcing him sideways towards the stripe.
Van Meter was able to withstand the contact and continue leading, but stuck his hand out of the car and used a hand gesture to let Quinlan know he did not approve of his stunt.
A late race caution came out when VanAlst broke a rear end and came to a halt on the backstretch. Van Meter elected to start on the inside of Quinlan, something that he had not done since taking the lead. Quinlan was no match for the leader at the drop of the green flag, as he had a tire going down and quickly fell back in the field before crossing under the checkered flag in the eighth position.
Eddie Van Meter would keep the rest of the field behind him and come to the checkered flag to win his first race in 142 races.
“I told the youngster he had to quit beating on me like that or I might break a hip,” Van Meter said jokingly after the race. “Quinlan was racing rough, and so was I, I didn’t give him any room on the track, but he did what he had to do and he ran a good race. I am so proud of my guys to help get me here it’s been a long time coming, too long.”
Battling through a tough race and a loose racecar Trent Snyder came home in the second position.
“Tight track and a lot of good battles, we had a great team behind us and I am super proud of my guys. I can’t wait to come back here for the Redbud 300 in July,” Snyder stated.
The next race for the ARCA/CRA Super Series will take place at the Berlin Speedway in Berlin, MI. on Saturday May 16th.
-By Mikayla Kugler, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent – Twitter: @MikaylaKugler
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
-Statistical information provided by 51’s TheThirdTurn.com
ARCA/CRA Super Series Official Results
Anderson Speedway – April 26, 2015
|5||7||Paul Shafer Jr|
|9||33||Wes Griffith Jr|
|12||20||Jack Dossey III|