Jeremy Smith picks up win at Thunder Mountain Speedway
By C. Barry Goodband
Thunder Mountain Speedway, Center Lisle, NY– After a somewhat sketchy forecast earlier in the week, the sun came out Saturday afternoon and gifted the fans and teams with a gorgeous night for racing on the mountain. Fans were treated to an on track demonstration by the Midstate Antique Stock Car Club and the top notch prep crew had the racing surface in pristine condition once again as the eight division racing card went green for the fourth night of competition at TMS.
The front row of the 35-lap Modified feature saw a seasoned veteran and fresh faced rookie leading the field to green as Sammy Allen and Kailee DiMorier set the pace. Allen led the first two laps with Adam Hilton chasing from second after getting under DiMorier who slid back to third. Hilton would take the holeshot on a restart at lap three and remain unchallenged for the next 18 circuits. Meanwhile, the Smith Site Development #46 of Jeremy Smith had been steadily skating through the field after starting mid pack in position 12. Smith would catch the leader Hilton in lap traffic and sneak under for the lead as they came around to complete lap 22. At nearly the same moment the other Smith owned machine piloted by Billy Decker made hard contact with the backstretch wall causing significant damage to the front and back ends of the 91 ride bringing out a red flag. Billy was fortunately uninjured. When the green flew once again, Jeremy Smith sailed out to a comfortable first win of the season at TMS.
Modified – Jeremy Smith, Alan Barker, Adam Hilton, Kailee DiMorier, Nick Nye, Colton Wilson, Brent Wilcox, Kevin Jordan, Ryan Jordan, Charlie Hendrickson Jr., Byron Worthing, Larry Mekic, Paul Jensen, Damon Decker, Bob Stahl, Alissa Cody, Billy Decker, Sam Allen, Pat Parker, Brandon Walters, Randy Brokaw
The 25-lap Crate Sportsman feature had Tyler Keener and Hillary Ward on the front row.
Keener looked strong in the early going as he was pursued by Hunter Lapp. The two top dogs engaged in an outstanding side by side duel between laps 8 and 14. Lapp; a graduate of the Rookie Sportsman class last season, was in veteran form as he stalked Keener on the low side eventually working his way into the top spot with ten to go. Lapp would then go on to claim his first career victory as a full-fledged Crate Sportsman competitor.
Crate Sportsman – Hunter Lapp, Kenny Hammond, Billy Spoonhower, Jimmy Zacharias, Daryl Krebs, Mike Austin, Tyler Keener, Chance Spoonhower, Shayne Spoonhower, Tighe Sherlock, T.J. Frost, Mike Decker, Chris Kithcart, Kimberlee Morgan, Hilary Ward, Dustin Jordan, A.J. Williams
The 20-lap street stock feature rolled off with Trevor Dudley and Jake Fowlston on the front row. Dudley would show the way for much of the first 10 laps holding off repeated challenges by Don Russell Jr. and Shane Wolff. The three way battle that included a bit of paint swapping between Dudley and Russell continued until Russell got the drive he needed to the high side off turn four, grabbing the lead on the ninth circuit. The caution flag would come out one more time on lap 10 after which Russell would motor out to what would become a six or seven car length margin of victory.
Street Stock – Don Russell, Shane Wolff Jr., Trever Dudley, Jack Holcomb, Mike Wilbur, Jerry Lobdell Jr., Jake Fowlston, Matt Spencer, Jason Beebe, Earl Zimmer, Rich Green, Tom Severcool, Shawn Boynton, Jon White, Tom Donahue, Jonathan Fowlston, DNS Bob Maynard
Jake Waibel and Rich Gardiner paced the field for the start of the 20-lap 600cc main event. Waibel rode out to the point for the first five laps Jaime Frantz took the top spot away. One later Dana Davis would make a charge to the inside of Frantz in turn 2 making contact with leader and bringing out a yellow. This turn of events handed the top spot back to Waibel who was joined on the front row by Chris Jordan for the restart on lap 6. Jordan would power by Waibel on the high side one lap after the restart and maintain his position out front for the remaining 14 laps.
600CC Modified – Chris Jordan, Rich Powell, Doug Windhausen, Tim Frantz, Dana Davis, Jamie Frantz, Tom Shiner, Jake Waibel, Rich Gardiner, Jared Green, Paul DeRuyter, Justin LaDue, Ali Scutt, Ben Morales, Doug Lattner, Chace Scutt
Nick Mady and Tom Eiklor set the pace for the 25 lap open sportsman main event that had originally been slated to pay a $1000 winners share. That pot had been sweetened by a $550 bounty that had been placed on Brian Mady who had won 3 straight features coming into night four on the mountain. Nick Mady had an impressive run started until a miscue on a lap 4 restart saw Mady spinning off the front bumper of Billy Spoonhower. The incident sent Mady to the back for the next restart. On the green, Chris Jordan took over and led the next four laps until Brian Mady, who had been unstoppable in the first three events of the season powered past Jordan on the high side. The yellow would fly three laps later as Jordan lost the handle on his machine in turn 2. While under yellow Nick Mady used this opportunity to express his displeasure with Billy Spoonhower drawing a disqualification from track officials. Spoonhower’s ensuing reaction also caused his disqualification. Following the restart on lap 11, Brian Mady cruised to what appeared to be his fourth straight win with Jimmy Zacharias chasing from a distant second place. However, following post-race inspection, Mady’s car was found to have an illegal carburetor. This handed the $1000 win and the $550 bounty over Jimmy Zacharais who had driven up from a seventh place starting spot.
Open Sportsman – Jimmy Zacharias, Don Hart Jr., Chris Jordan, Greg Morgan, Landon Spoonhower, Tyler Hart, Jesse Velez, Dan Burman, DQ Billy Spoonhower, DNS Tom Eiklor, DQ Nick Mady, DQ Brian Mady
The 20-lap IMCA Modified main event had Bill Nichols and Ray McClure on the pole. The Imca’s had some trouble putting green laps together as the yellow flag flew 3 times before the second lap could be completed. These incidents allowed the previous weeks winner Will Ward to tiptoe through the jumble to restart in the number 2 spot. Ward surged out to command the first green flag run and held his advantage following one more caution period on lap 11. Keith Lamphere would make the effort to reel in Ward but to no avail as Ward wheeled his way to a weekend sweep after winning on Friday night and picking up back to back victories at Thunder.
IMCA – Will Ward, Keith Lamphere, Ray McClure, Rodney Morgan, Bumps Scutt, Tyler Stoddard, Beau Ballard, Bill Nichols, Jeff Cardinale, Billy Ward, Gary Roberts, Logan Terry
Justin Ladue picked up his second straight feature win after leading every circuit in the 15-lap four-cylinder stock feature.
4CYL Stock – Justin LaDue, Chris Taylor, Mark Atutis, Zach Hayward, Austin Edwards, Mike Ferris
In the rookie sportsman division, Cody Jackson started on the pole and finally got to park his number 99 machine in victory lane thus ending two straight weeks of tough luck that sidelined him while leading in the late stages.
Rookie Sportsman – Cody Jackson, Joe McCabe, Brandon Fritsch, Jake Mason, Zachery Diedrickson, Adam Haddow
Next Saturday, June 16th is Fan Appreciation Night at the Speedway. A free gift awaits the first 200 adult attendees and the nights regular racing program will be joined by the Classics on Dirt Stock Car Club.
(photos courtesy of Ashley Miller)