BARKER BACK IN TOP FORM, MADY GOES 3 FOR 3, HOLCOMB ENDS 25 YEAR DROUGHT
By C. Barry Goodband
Thunder Mountain Speedway, Center Lisle NY – The third week of competition for the ⅜ oval speedplant went green under overcast skies and cooler temps, allowing for nearly perfect track conditions at feature time.
Standard procedure for TMS is to open the evenings feature program with the Novice Sportsman division and 4-Cylinders taking to the speedway for their 15 lap main events.
For the second week in a row Cody Jackson led the way for much of the first half of the rookie main event. Unfortunately, heavy contact with a lap car on the front stretch wiped out the side of his 99 machine and his hopes for a win. Jake Mason who had started the race alongside Jackson on the front row was still in the number two position and inherited the top spot. Mason held on to his advantage for the remaining laps becoming the newest feature winner in the rookie sportsman ranks.
Rookie Sportsman – Jake Mason, Joe McCabe, Matt Hoffmier, Ed Utter, Cody Jackson, Zachery Diedrickson.
Justin LaDue started on the pole for the 4-Cylinder feature with last week’s winner Rich Wagner to his outside. LaDue claimed the lead at the drop of the green and led every circuit on his way to his first win of the season.
4cyl Stock – Justin Ladue, Rich Wagner, Mike Ferris, Mark Atutis, Greg McKernan.
The 600cc modified front row consisted of 99 Jake Waibel and Rich Gardiner. Gardiner would take the holeshot and lead for 7 laps until the arrival of Byron Worthing who had driven up from an eighth starting spot. As the leaders encountered back markers, Worthing capitalized on an opportunity diving under the leader in lap traffic to take the lead. From there Worthing galloped out to a comfortable margin of victory.
600cc Modified – Byron Worthing, Dana Davis, Rich Gardiner, Rich Powell, Chris Jordan, Doug Windhausen, Tom Shiner, Jared Green, Jamie Frantz, Jake Waibel, Justin LaDue, Doug Lattner, Paul DeRuyter, Chace Scutt, Chris Krebs, Ali Scutt.
The mighty Modifieds came next on the evening’s docket with Dan Allen and Nick Nye pacing the field of twenty-two. A succession of yellows held up the first few laps of this event. When the action did get rolling, fans watched as Nick Nye showed the way until a spin in turn two bunched the field up on lap nine. In the two laps that followed the restart, Alan Barker fought his way through the middle of a three wide battle with Brandon Walters and rookie Damon Decker. Barker, now running second began to reel in leader Nick Nye moving into striking distance with thirteen on the lap counter. With the halfway mark looming Barker, known as “the highside hustler” earned the moniker as he powered by Nye on the top shelf with the crossed flags overhead. The pace would slow only once more when Nick Nye lost a right rear tire handing over second to Walters with three to go. Barker held down the top spot for the final run to checkers. Walters drove home in second with Jeremy Smith marching back to third after being involved in one of the early incidents.
Modified – Alan Barker, Brandon Walters, Jeremy Smith, Damon Decker, Kevin Jordan, Colton Wilson, Chad Cook, Brent Wilcox, Ryan Jordan, Adam Hilton, Steven Deinhardt, Byron Worthing, Jeff Sheely, Brian Weaver, Nick Nye, Bob Stahl, Pat Parker, Dan Allen, Alissa Cody, Paul Jensen, Kailee DiMorier, DNS Sam Allen.
The IMCA mods rolled out next for their 20-lap dance. Brandon Smith and Jeff Cardinale sat on the front row with Smith getting the drive off turn two and into the early lead. Will Ward spent the first two circuits carving his way from sixth to second when the yellow came out for a three car tangle in turn 4. When action resumed Smith and Ward engaged in a few laps of side-by-side racing to the delight of the TMS fans. Ward would eventually work his way out to the number one spot on the low side and lead from there to the checkers.
IMCA Modified – Will Ward, Beau Ballard, Bumps Scutt, Brandon Smith, Mark Griffin, Tyler Stoddard, Ray McClure, Rodney Morgan, Billy Ward, Bill Nichols, Jeff Cardinale, Curt Stiles, Gary Roberts
The full fendered Street Stocks lined up behind Jack Holcomb and Jake Fowlston for a 20-lap feature. Holcomb had the holeshot but Shane Wolf Jr. moved by on the top side 2 laps in. Wolf maintained the advantage through 12 more laps until a softening right rear sent him pit side with six to go. Holcomb had been able to hang on to second up to that point and assumed command on the restart. Former track champ Rich Green chased Holcomb in the final green flag run but Holcomb was on his marks as he cruised to his first set of checkers since 1993.
Street Stock – Jack Holcomb, Rich Green, Matt Spencer, Doug Stack Jr., Earl Zimmer, Jon Carpenter, Dustin Harris, Tom Donahue, Jake Fowlston, Jason Beebe, Shane Wolff Jr., Trevor Dudley, Jonathan Fowlston, John Hoover, Eric Boynton, Don Russell
The 25-lap Crate Sportsman feature went green with Chance Spoonhower and Mike Decker on the front row. Spoonhower quickly shot out to the point and increased his advantage as the laps went on. The pace was slowed twice for minor incidents but nothing would impede Chance’s charge to the win. The race for the runner up spot was hotly contested among Mike Decker, Daryl Krebs and Shayne Spoonhower with Spoonhower getting the upper hand and coming home second.
Crate Sportsman – Chance Spoonhower, Shayne Spoonhower, Mike Austin, Mike Decker, Daryl Krebs, Kenny Hammond, Jimmy Zacharias, Billy Spoonhower, Randy Brokaw, Dustin Jordan, Hunter Lapp, Chris Kithcart, A.J. Williams, Tighe Sherlock, Tyler Keener, Rich Talada, Tim French, Hilary Ward, DNS T.J. Frost.
While the open sportsman feature was marred by as many as 9 yellow flags the final run of 7 green laps saw a battle of brothers as Nick and Brian Mady dueled side by side. The pair even banged sidebars during the final two circuits. The brothers were still wheel to wheel on the exit of turn four with checkers flying, Brian to the high side and Nick in the low groove. At the line, it was Brian with the momentum taking the win by narrow margins.
Open Sportsman – Brian Mady, Nick Mady, Billy Spoonhower, Dennis Clapperton, Chris Jordan, Tyler Hart, Greg Morgan, Skip Pickwick, Jesse Velez, Landon Spoonhower, Tom Eiklor, Craig Pope.
The next show at Thunder Mountain is on Saturday, June 9th and brings a special $1000 to win event for the Open Sportsman and a visit form from the Midstate Antique Stock Car Club. The annual fan appreciation night arrives on the following Saturday, June 16th.