ANDERSON, Ind. — Story by Race Chaser Online Correspondent Aaron Bearden — David Sink photo —
Many doubted that Eddie Van Meter would never return to victory lane.
On Sunday, he proved them wrong.
Van Meter took the lead just after the halfway point and fended off a furious late charge from Trent Snyder to win the Madison Counter Community Health Center 125 at Anderson Speedway. The ARCA/CRA Super Series win was the first for Van Meter since 2006, ending a nine-year, 142-race drought for the 44-year-old series veteran.
Van Meter maneuvered his No. 23 EDCO Welding/Irrigation Plus Chevrolet from seventh to the lead on lap 72, passing pole-sitter Greg Van Alst to take the position. Van Alst led a race-high 69 laps on Sunday before a broken rear-hub on lap 89 forced him to watch the final laps from the infield.
While Van Meter led in the closing stages, Snyder followed in his tire tracks. Snyder ran a consistent race, rising from fourth to the lead for a lone lap on lap 16 and keeping himself in contention until the checkered flag. Snyder had the quickest car down the stretch, but ran out of times Van Meter beat him to the finish by .474 seconds.
Brett Robinson, Hunter Baize, and Paul Shafer Jr. rounded out the top five.
Competition was high on Sunday’s race. With the race serving as a tune-up for July’s Redbud 300, the 18 entrants found themselves fighting for gains that’ll pay greater dividends in the future. This hunt for speed left many fighting for the win, and others fighting through mechanical issues.
In all, eight cautions fell in the 125-lap event. Both Van Alst and second-place started Cody Coughlin fell victim to mechanical issues, failing to finish along with Thomas Woodin.
The ARCA/CRA Super Series was forced to run the event, originally scheduled for Saturday, on Sunday after rain postponed Saturday’s festivities.
The ARCA/CRA Super Series will return to action on May 16, when they head to Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich., for a 125-lap feature.