Lightening Larry Wight Strikes on the Mountain
By Kyle Young
Center Lisle, NY – The Thunder Mountain Speedway once again roared to life for another Saturday night of dirt track racing. This week’s show provided another round of close racing, exciting finishes, and dramatic moments.
The Open Modified feature took the green flag with Bailey Boyd and Landon Cummings on the front row. A couple early caution flags kept things tight at the front of the field, but a little further back in the field, the invading Larry Wight was wasting little time charging to the front. Wight started back in the 12th position and had himself up to fifth after the first caution flew at the completion of the first lap. His tear through the field did not stop there. Wight made a couple more passes before he and Bailey Boyd got into a lengthy battle for second. Boyd put up a great fight with Wight, but Wight eventually made the pass. Once getting into second, Wight had his sights set on the lead. He ran down race leader Landon Cummings and made the pass in turn four after Cummings made a mistake and pushed tight. It was lights out after that as Wight pulled away from the field and took the checkered flag in a very strong performance. Rounding out the top five behind Wight were Brandon Walters, Nick Nye, Billy Decker, and Alan Barker.
Larry Wight also made himself a factor in the DIRTcar 358 Modified feature. The race started off with Devin Willis showing the way through the first eight circuits. Last week’s feature winner Willy Decker would take the lead away from Willis off of a restart and started to once again get comfortable with the lead. Larry Wight also started this feature back in the 12th position. It took him longer to get to the front of the field than it did in the Open Modified feature, but by the time the cross flags flew, Wight was next to Decker’s door challenging for the race lead. The two fought hard throughout the entire second half of the race. Wight threw everything he had at Decker, but Decker was just a tad bit stronger and kept the #99L machine in the runner-up position. Lapped traffic came into play in the final few laps, which worked into Decker’s hands. The traffic stayed down in Wight’s lane, giving Decker an open lane on the top of the track to take his second consecutive victory. Wight held on for second with Pat Ward, Marshall Hurd, and Colton Wilson completing the top five.
The 25 lap DIRTcar Crate Sportsman feature was dominated by Will Eastman. Eastman started on the outside pole and was able to take the lead right off the start of the race. His car looked very comfortable out in front of the field, but he never quite pulled away and left them. Seventh place starter Mike Austin made his way up to second and was able to stay with Eastman, but just couldn’t quite close in enough to become a real threat for the lead. Eastman’s smooth driving kept him in the lead and he was victorious for the first time in the 2020 season. Mike Austin crossed the line in second with Cody Jackson, Brandon Carvey, and Rocco Leone taking the remaining top five positions.
A thrilling finish capped off another exciting race in the Wheeler’s Excavating Street Stocks this week. Gene Sharpstein was the early race leader from the outside pole until seventh place starter Steven Deinhardt made his way to the front of the field. Deinhardt made the pass for the top spot on the outside of Sharpstein and immediately began to check out. A caution with four laps to go erased his lead and ultimately changed the entire complextion of the race. Off the restart, second place competitor Lanson Albanese got into the back of Deinhardt, spinning him around and sending the field behind them scattering. When it was all settled, Sharpstein returned to the lead with Jerry Lobdell Jr. in second. Sharpstein stayed glued to the bottom of the track during the final run of the race, but he left enough space down there on the final lap for Lobdell to make an impressive high to low switch in turns one and two. They drag raced down to turn three, made a little contact with each other, and came off of turn four with Lobdell completing the pass and taking the win.
Chris Jordan had a rocket ship underneath him in the 600cc Modified feature. The early laps were led by outside pole sitter Chad Mason and he started to put some distance on the field. As the race progressed, Jordan’s car came to life. He got himself up to second and closed in on Mason for the race lead. The fight was on once he got there and he made the pass with a daring move. Having to work around the lapped car of Jake Waibel, Jordan had enough space to squeeze in between Waibel and Mason to pull off the pass in the middle of turns three and four for the lead. From that point on, Jordan checked out and finally got his first 600cc Modified win of the season. This was also his first victory since the passing of his father Roger, which made for a very special night for himself, his race team, and his entire family.
The opening laps of the Pop’s Automotive Factory Stock feature was led by pole sitter Buck Mills Sr. He paced the field for the opening laps, but he did not go unchallenged. Mike Morse started back in sixth place and joined Mills at the front of the field after using lanes all over the race track to make passes on the cars in front of him. Mills and Morse battled hard for a couple laps, trading the lead and even making a little contact with each other. Morse won the battle and took control of the race from that point on. He slowly gapped Mills and claimed another checkered flag for his dominant 2020 season.
It has been a rough stretch of racing for Jamie Kamrowski in the Rookie Sportsman division over the last few weeks. After a win on Independence Day, Kamrowski has found nothing but struggling runs since then. He started on the pole for this week’s race and looked to make the most of it. A plethora of early cautions filled the opening lap, but after a brief pause, the field found their footing and got a green flag run in. Kamrowski led the race the whole way and drove away from points leader Jonathan Fowlston behind him. Kamrowski’s streak of misfortune came to an end in the best way possible as he capped off a dominating performance with a victory.
For the second week in a row, Logan LaDue was the only Rookie 600cc Modified competitor in the field. He tagged the back of the third heat for the regular class and immediately showed an increase in pace. He stayed with the back of the pack for the opening laps, but got a little too sideways in turn two and slid down into the infield. He gathered himself up, rejoined the race, and completed the race with no other mistakes.
With another week in the books, we’re down to just four more points shows left. All eight divisions will return to “The Mountain” next Saturday night on August 22nd to continue their run towards the track championships.
Finishing Order for 8-15-20
Modified – Larry Wight, Brandon Walters, Nick Nye, Billy Decker, Alan Barker, Shaun Walker, Danny Tyler, P.J. Goodwin, Pat Ward, Jeff Sheely, Kenny Hammond, Greg Morgan, Chris Jordan, Landon Cummings, Bailey Boyd, Jeremy Smith, Richard Coons, Rick Wilk, Chris Stull, Marc Goodwin, Eric Leet, Travis Smith, Jesse Velez, John Morse
DIRTcar 358 Modified – Willy Decker, Larry Wight, Pat Ward, Marshall Hurd, Colton Wilson, Ronnie Davis, Corey Cormier, Jeff Taylor, Michael Stanton, Chris Stevens, Brandon Walters, Darren Smith, Lance Willix, Glen Forward, Daniel Morgiewicz, Todd Root, Lucas Heintz, Kevin Root, Shayne Spoonhower, Tom Eiklor, Kirk Reynolds, Jordan McCreadie, Taylor Meeks, DNS – Gordy Button
DIRTcar Sportsman – William Eastman, Mike Austin, Cody Jackson, Brandon Carvey, Rocco Leone, Matt Meade, Hunter Lapp, Casey Pavlick, Alan Fink, Mike Button, Tom Collins, A.J. Miller, Isaiah Forward, Stacy Jackson, Daryl Krebs, Tom Velez, Troy Arnold, Richard Riggs III, Colby Herzog, Tim Guild, Lance Irwin, Rich Talada, Tyler Keener, Will Shields, Tony Finch, Matt Richardson
Wheeler Excavation Street Stocks – Jerry Lobdell Jr., Gene Sharpsteen, Matt Roberts, Jake Fowlston, Don Russell, Steven Deinhardt, Earl Zimmer, Damon Decker, Rich Fife, Craig Kranz, Don Reeves, Bobby Wagner, Doug Polhamus, Lanson Albanese, Cameron Searles, Eric Boynton, Mike Wilbur, DNS Rich Sharpsteen
600cc Modifieds – Chris Jordan, Doug Windhausen, Chad Mason, Tom Shiner, Brenton Miller, Mark Golden, Justin Ladue, Tracy Oliver, Tommy Paige, Devon Green, Tyler Smith, Chace Scutt, Ali Scutt, Nolan Smith, John Glover, Samantha Mills, Taylor Wilk, Christian Hafl, Jake Waibel, Tom Donahue
Pop’s Automotive Factory Stocks – Mike Morse, Buck Mills Sr., Tommy Groover, Buck Mills Jr., Jake Fowlston, Bob Mills, Josh Towner, Jerry Lobdell Jr., Shane Moshier, Luke Mills, Wills Jones, Tim Parker Shawn Sabo, DNS Nick Stark, Norm Whittemore
Rookie Sportsman – Jamie Kamrowski, Jonathan Fowlston, Bryan Pospisil, James Costlow, Blake Sarpriacone, Jared Green, Josh Allen, Alan Komar, Derrick Cormier, Bryan Bartos, Michael Roach, Coleby Felber, Ryan Barrett, Chris Cook, DNS Richard Riggs Jr., Matt Irwin, Billy Fiske
Rookie 600cc Modifieds – Logan LaDue
Congratulations to Jordan McCreadie and Stacy Jackson for being the recipients of the Hoosier Tire giveaway. They were the highest finishing TMS regulars at Can-Am and Land of Legends last week. More Hoosier tires will be handed out this weekend on the mountain!