WALKER OUTGUNS BACHETTI EN-ROUTE TO WADE DECKER MEMORIAL VICTORY
By C. Barry Goodband
CENTER LISLE, NY – For a second straight year, the annual running of the Wade Decker Memorial was pushed to September because of rain. Weather has also conspired to maneuver a handful Brett Deyo’s STSS tour dates into the Thunder Mountain Speedway postseason. This time it was the Round 3 of the Halmar Sponsored Northern Open Sportsman tour that joined the dance card for the 6th annual Wade Decker Memorial.
Fireworks blazed overhead as a four wide salute to the fans preceded the 51 lap Modified main event. Brandon Walters and Justin Wright then led the 27-car starting field to the green. Walters would get off turn two with the lead and set the pace through the first 20 laps. However, Walters would fall victim to a mechanical failure on lap 21 drawing a caution and surrendering the number one position to Shaun Walker. Walker has made Thunder Mountain his new home in the last few weeks of the season and has quickly become a weekly contender after picking up two feature wins. When the field regrouped for the restart heavy hitting invaders Andy Bachetti, Jerry Higbie, and Billy Decker held three of the top five spots. Over the next 13 circuits, Walker and Bachetti would engage in a splendid side-by-side duel. Walker’s machine showed tremendous drive down low off the corners while Bachetti would have the momentum of the high side to his advantage. On lap 34 Bachetti would get the upper hand with heavy lap traffic looming just ahead. The two would swap the lead back and forth over the next few laps as they each chose their own paths through the back markers. A yellow for a car off pace would allow the fans to catch their breath on lap 37. With a clear track ahead of them, Walker and Bachetti would reignite their battle. Despite being engaged in this fight for dominance, the pair would begin to break away from the field. Their struggle continued over the final 14 laps with Walker sticking to his guns on the low side and Bachetti firing away up high. When the checkers flew it was Walker first to the line with Bachetti nipping at his heels. Higbie was third and newly crowned track champion Alan Barker took fourth in addition the $500 HigFab gift certificate.
Modified – Shaun Walker, Andy Bachetti, Jerry Higbie, Alan Barker, Jeremy Smith, Billy Decker, Nick Nye, Mike Bowman, Brett Tonkin, Cory Costa, Brent Wilcox, Colton Wilson, Justin Wright, Kenny Hammond, Damon Decker, Scott Ferrier, Steven Deinhardt, Ken Titus, Brad Rothaupt, Brian Malcolm, Kurt Decker, Brandon Walters, Steve Cummings, Dan Allen, Rusty Smith, Ryan Jordan, Paul Jensen
Don Hart and Dan Burman were the pole sitters for the start of the 31-lap STSS Open Sportsman feature. Hart piloted teammate Skip Pickwick’s 33 car to the lead and held it there for several laps while Burman fell under pressure from Dominick Roselli. By lap six Roselli had worked his way by Burman and set his sights on the back bumper of Hart. It took the “Ice Cube” another seven circuits to move into striking distance on the leader. At the halfway mark, Roselli made a power move to the high side of the speedway taking the lead. Roselli monopolized the second half of the race as he cruised to the win while Don Hart held on to second.
Open Sportsman- Dominic Roselli, Don Hart, Dan Burman, Dale Welty, Chris Jordan, Craig Pope, Dennis Clapperton, J.J. Courcy, Kris Lilick, Greg Morgan, Travis Green, James Gould, Shawn Davis, Chance Spoonhower, Tyler Hart, Tom Eiklor
The Wade Decker Memorial has always been special for the Street Stocks as well. Wade’s own preserved number one Street Stock car paced the field in the same fashion as his famous modified car did for the modified feature. The front row was occupied by 4th generation stock car pilot Shawn Boynton and the newly minted SS track champion, Shane Wolf Jr. The champ would flex his muscles early leading the first 6 circuits until coming under attack by dash winner Jerry Lobdell Jr. Contact between the two would send Wolf wide in turn four a few laps later and Lobdell would move into the lead. A restart on lap 9 would find Afton street stock champion Butch Green on the outside of row one. Five laps later Green would find the groove he needed to overtake Lobdell for the number one spot. Green would go on to the win with a comfortable 3-second margin of victory as Lobdell held off a challenge from Mike Wilbur to come home second.
Street Stock – Butch Green, Jerry Lobdell Jr., Mike Wilbur, Earl Zimmer, Gene Sharpsteen, Bob Benjamin, Don Russell, Trever Dudley, Buck Mills, Aksel Jensen, Cody Kershner, Shane Wolf Jr., Lanson Albanese, Bob Crandall, Rich Green, Shawn Boynton, Rich Sharpsteen, Steven Deinhardt, Bob Mills, Jonathan Fowlston, T.J. Frost
The Crate Sportsman also joined the action with a 31 lap feature event. Todd Hayward sat on the pole with sophomore sportsman driver Garrett Rushlow to the outside. The first three laps would be run with Hayward at the point. An early caution flag re-stacked the deck and allowed “The Young Gun” Garrett Rushlow to get the hole shot and the lead. A long green flag run then ensued that saw Rushlow galloping out to a full straightaway advantage while gliding cleanly through lap traffic. The rest of the top five was highlighted by a duel of champions between Thunder Mountain’s own Jimmy Zacharias and AMP title holder Corey Cormier but no one had anything for Rushlow. The teenage pilot flew to his first ever trip to Little’s Lawn Equipment Victory Lane at TMS. This victory is made all the more poignant as one of Rushlow’s primary sponsors, Bolt Works Tactical Firearms of Dryden was recently gutted by fire.
Crate Sportsman – Garett Rushlow, Corey Cormier, Mike Austin, Todd Hayward, Jimmy Zacharias, Rich Powell, Byron Worthing, Brian White, Shayne Spoonhower, Hunter Lapp, Craig Cuneo, Daryl Krebs, Erica Bowman, Lenny Miller, Geordie Decker, Tyler Keener, Matt Brewer, Marc Goodwin, DNS Brian Bartos
The 21-lap 600cc Modified feature was led from start to finish by Jamie Frantz. Frantz started on the pole with Alex Tonkin to his outside. Tonkin would chase Frantz all the way to the checkers with Dough Windhausen third.
600cc Modified – Jamie Frantz, Alex Tonkin, Doug Windhausen, Jared Green, Dana Davis, Tom Shiner, Chace Scutt, Chelsie Beebe, Ben Morales, Rich Gardiner, Aiden Miller, Kristen Chamberlain, James Randall, Paul DeRuyter, Bumps Scutt, Justin LaDue, DNS Dakota Anderson
All eyes now turn to Sunday, September 23rd for LIGHTNING ON THE MOUNTAIN and the Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Short Track Super Series, fueled by Sunoco. Halmar North tour round 7. The Stars of the STSS will dance for 50 laps and a $5000 winners share. The $1000 to win round 4 for the STSS Crate Sportsman north tour will also be on the docket along with a 20 lap $1000 to win main event for the street stocks. For rules and info on any upcoming events, visit us on the web at www.thundermtnspeedway.net or check us out on Facebook.