By C. Barry Goodband

Thunder Mountain Speedway, Center Lisle NY – Fans at Thunder Mountain had a new reason to be glad for recent improvements to the speedway grounds last Saturday. As temperatures climbed well into the 90s, the newly constructed VIP tower provided a wide band of shade and shelter over the grandstand. There was action both on track and in the sky as we celebrated Independence Day weekend with a dazzling fireworks display.

Jared Green and Rich Gardiner made up the front row for the start of the 20-lap 600cc modified feature. These small yet powerful cars make for some spectacular racing as there is more than enough room for them to routinely battle four and five wide. Fabius NY’s Doug Windhausen took full advantage of this fact as he sprinted into the top spot from his third starting position. After failing to start in his heat, double duty driver Byron Worthing started dead last in the 12-car field. He pedaled his Dinosaur Dental sponsored ride to a second place finish. Worthing’s feat is made all the more impressive by the fact that this event stayed green the whole way. Windhausen’s lead was insurmountable though as he rode to his second 600cc win of the season.
600cc Modified Doug Windhausen, Byron Worthing, Rich Gardiner, Rich Powell, Justin LaDue, Jared Green, Chris Jordan, Jake Waibel, Chris Krebs, Dana Davis, Ali Scutt, Chace Scutt

The 25-lap crate sportsman main event had Crawford NY resident Tighe Sherlock and Auburn’s Hilary Ward leading the 21-car field to the green. Sherlock would show the way for the first five laps while behind him Jimmy Zacharias was making hay on the top side. While the Zacharias name is of course synonymous with excellence on asphalt, Jimmy showed the skills of a dirt track ace as he rode the cushion up from eighth on the grid. He took the lead from Sherlock as lap 6 clicked off and set a blistering pace that could not be matched. Not a single yellow would fly to impede his march to Little’s Lawn Equipment Victory Lane.
Crate Sportsman – Jimmy Zacharias, Kenny Hammond, Tighe Sherlock, Daryl Krebs, Dustin Jordan, Chance Spoonhower, Shayne Spoonhower, Mike Decker, Hunter Lapp, Randy Brokaw, Hilary Ward, Darren Smith, Mike Austin, Will Eastman, Chris VanDuser, Chris Kithcart, Kimberlee Morgan, Kinser Hill, Craig Cuneo, Isaiah Forward

Matt Spencer and Earl Zimmer had the front row for the 20-lap Street Stock feature. Zimmer who is known as ‘the Logger’ got the hop at the drop of the green and quickly accelerated to a good lead over Spencer. Some excellent full fendered action took place mid pack featuring two and three wide battles among the 16 street stock hot shoes. This race was also on its way to going the full distance without a yellow until it came for Jon Carpenter who had gotten into the front stretch wall on the final lap. Zimmer would then hold the top spot through the green, white, checkered finish fending off a challenge from Jack Holcomb.
Street Stock – Earl Zimmer, Jack Holcomb, Jerry Lobdell Jr., Don Russell, Shane Wolff Jr., Matt Spencer, Mike Wilbur, Jon White, Jake Fowlston, Trevor Dudley, Tom Donahue, Eric Boynton, Jonathan Fowlston, Jon Carpenter, Rich Green, Anthony Rundell

Bobby Stahl out of Smithville Flats and Byron Worthing from Owego led a field of 21 Modifieds to the start of the 35 lap main event of the evening. A $1776 big winner’s check awaited in Little’s Lawn Equipment Victory Lane. Current point leader Jeremy Smith was sidelined after contact on lap 1. The ensuing restart had former street stock ace Damon Decker joining Worthing on the front row. Decker’s car had an outstanding grip on the racetrack and would leap out of the gate on the restart. While Decker set the pace over the first 10 circuits the driver known as the High Side Hustler, Alan Barker, was carving his way through the top ten. A pair of yellows on lap 10 bunched the field and again the Hank Decker & Son Logging sponsored machine catapulted the rookie into the lead. Barker, in hot pursuit, studied his target for four laps until a small miscue by Decker opened a door to the low side for the charging Alan Barker who completed the pass as they came off turn four. The yellow would fly again on laps 16 and 17 and Barker held his advantage on the restarts. A red flag would appear after heavy impact on the front stretch. Unadillas Brandon Walters had made contact with the wall and was then collected by Bobby Stahl at high speed. Stahl was able to drive to the pit area while Walters was shaken but soon climbed from his machine under his own power. An unspecified mechanical failure would force Damon Decker to retire a few laps later leaving Barker to drive unchallenged for the win.
Modified – Alan Barker, Brent Wilcox, Kevin Jordan, Nick Nye, Kailee DiMorier, Steven Deinhardt, Jeff Sheeley, Pat Parker, Colton Wilson, Alissa Cody, Byron Worthing, Damon Decker, Bob Stahl, Brandon Walters, Larry Mekic, Randy Brokaw, Sam Allen, Jeremy Smith, Kenny Hammond, Chance Spoonhower, Ryan Jordan

The front row for the 20-lap IMCA Modified feature had Billy Ward and Shawn Bruce on the pole. Bruce would endure through several minor incidents and restarts with Ward chasing him from second for much of the race. The final 11 laps were run under green while Bruce extended to what would become a more than four second margin of victory in just his second appearance of the season at TMS.
IMCA Modified – Shawn Bruce, Rodney Morgan, Will Ward, Mark Griffin, Keith Lamphere, Ray McClure, Billy Ward, Bill Nichols, Jeff Cardinale, Gary Roberts, Tyler Stoddard, Bumps Scutt, Beau Ballard

The Open Sportsman closed out Farmers Insurance, Green’s ACE Hardware night with their 25-lap dance. Tommy Eiklor and Greg Morgan sat on the front row as the field came to green. The Barton Bullet, Eiklor, would show the way in the early going as Chris Jordan who started in the third position engaged him. Eiklor would fend off Jordan and lead the first eight laps until a yellow allowed Jordan to regroup with the leader for a restart. Jordan took the hole shot as the green flew and Eiklor was left to defend second from Landon Cummings and Brian Mady. One more caution period would come on lap 12. Jordan again led from the restart while Cummings was finally able to wrestle second from Eiklor. Jordan accumulated a 2.5 second gap enroute to his first Open Sportsman win of the season.
Open Sportsman – Chris Jordan, Landon Cummings, Tom Eiklor, Brian Mady, Samantha Fuller, T.J. Frost, Jesse Velez, Greg Morgan, Nick Mady, Jim Gould, Chris Clemens

In the Rookie Sportsman, Cody Jackson picked up win number three on the season after leading the full 15-lap distance from the outside pole.
Rookie Sportsman – Cody Jackson, Jake Mason, Joe McCabe, Tyler Lawrence, Leah Decker, Danielle Smith, Ed Utter, Zacharey Diedrickson

Justin Ladue earned another feature win in the run what ya brung four cylinder division albeit by the narrowest of margins. LaDue surged to the lead in the space of a lap and half and led the entire remaining distance. The race was not without drama however as LaDue was at times hindered by lap traffic. This allowed Cortland native Rich Wagner to close on Ladue in the final moments. On the white flag lap, LaDue got bottled up behind a slower car and Wagner seized his chance to take the high side, employing the back marker as a pick. LaDue had no recourse but to keep his foot buried in the throttle pushing the lap car to line and taking the victory by a bumpers width.
4cyl Stock – Justin LaDue, Rich Wagner, Mark Atutis, Zach Hayward, Austin Edwards, Tyler Rose, Shane Farrell, Chuck Wheeler, Cole Williams, Isaiah Forward, DNS Trey Palmer

Yanmar and Upstate Tractor & Mower are the title sponsors for next Saturday, July 7th. Kids bike racing is on the docket with a regular weekly show. Coming up in two weeks, Saturday the 14th is Barrett Paving Materials Night and features a regular show with a $750 to win IMCA Modified main event.