ANDERSON, Ind. – Bobby Santos III closed out the Anderson Speedway sprint car season with a victory in the fifth annual Tony Elliott Classic on Saturday.
Santos started fifth in the 125-lap feature, taking the lead from early leader Chris Neuenschwander on lap 29 with an inside pass coming off the fourth corner.
The first caution flag waved on lap 7 when Jacob McElfresh made contact with another car on the front straight and made contact with the outside retaining wall.
Tyler Roahrig, looking to three-peat in the Elliott Classic moved into the second spot on lap 30, and by lap 38 Kody Swanson moved into the third spot.
Roahrig avoided near disaster after making contact with Doug Fitzwater in turn four, but both drivers were able to continue.
With Santos and Roahrig running out front, there was a tight battle for the third through fifth positions among four drivers all looking for the opportunity to advance.
Near the halfway point, with Santos contending with lapped traffic, it was the best opportunity for Roahrig to grab the lead.
Coming off the second corner Santos momentarily made it three win on exiting and was able to keep Roahrig behind him.
Fast qualifier Dakoda Armstrong moved into the fourth spot but was never able to gain on the front three.
The final caution flag waved on lap 116 when Rob Keesling spun in turn four setting up a five-lap shoot-out.
Santos went on to win by .512 seconds over Roahrig, followed by Swanson, Armstrong and Travis Welpott.
“It’s an honor to win the Tony Elliott Classic,” Santos said in the Star Financial Winner’s Circle. “The crew gave me a great car and it’s a good way to finish the year.
“Things got tight when we got into the lapped traffic,” the reigning Little 500 champion said. “I knew Tyler (Roahrig) had a fast car and had to take advantage of the opening.”
Roahrig said the handle on his sprint car went away after contact with several cars.
“It’s been a good year here,” he said. “I never finished outside the top three.”
Roahrig had won the previous two 125-lap non-wing sprint car races at Anderson.
Swanson said the Nolen Racing Team again gave him a good car.
“I’m sorry we didn’t score a win this year,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity.
“It was hard working to the front because the cars were evenly matched,” Swanson added.
1. Bobby Santos III; 2. Tyler Roahrig; 3. Kody Swanson; 4. Dakoda Armstrong; 5. Travis Welpott; 6. Trey Osborne; 7. Rob Keesling; 8. Chris Neuenschwander; 9. Billy Wease; 10. Dylan Woodling; 11. Eric Gordon; 12. Don Hamilton; 13. Doug Fitzwater; 14. Jacob McElfresh; 15. Justin Harper.