ANDERSON – James Kirby turned in a flawless performance in capturing the Tom Wood Honda 150 for CRA Street Stocks.
Kirby qualified ninth among the 24 drivers Saturday at Anderson Speedway and as a result of the inversion started on the front run.
He took the lead on opening lap and went on to stay on the point for 149 of the 150 laps around the high-banked oval.
The race got off to a slow start with three caution periods in the first 15 laps with the most significant being damage to the car of Chuck Barnes Jr., who was able to continue after a quick trip to the pit areas.
During the early stages of the race Kirby was challenged by Jason Atkinson who lost several position by lap 50 to Andrew Teepe, Dalton Conner and Brett Hudson.
That running order remained unchanged through the first 75 laps with Atkinson, Teepe and Allan Williams Jr all looking to take the point on restarts, but were unable to pass Kirby on the high side.
Following the half break, Teepe took the lead from Kirby on lap 76 in the high groove, but on the next circuit Kirby was again in control of the race.
Teepe fell back to the fourth spot being passed on the inside by Williams and Conner.
The final caution flag waved on lap 135 for a spin by Dylan Hoppes, giving Conner one more chance to take the lead.
Kirby was able to maintain the point and Conner was passed by Hudson and Teepe in the final laps.
At the finish it was Kirby winning by .319-seconds over Hudson with Teepe, Conner and Williams rounding out the top five.
“I tried to drive a perfect race,” Kirby said in the Peterman Brothers Victory Lane. “I didn’t have the fastest car with raw speed but on the restarts I had to get a little rough.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I’ve been trying for years to win this race and I finally got it done.”
Hudson said he felt like he lost the battle swapping positions between fourth and sixth place for much of the race.
“If you got stuck on the outside, you would fall back,” he said of the slick track conditions because of the high temperature. “It was hard to pass.
“I was better than him (Kirby), but I wasn’t going to rough him up,” Hudson said.
Teepe said it was a rough race with a lot of trading of paint because of the tight racing.
“Did what we could and finished third,” he said. “I’ll take it. I was pretty good on the outside, but he (Kirby) was pretty strong.”