OPENING NIGHT AT THUNDER MOUNTAIN SPEEDWAY
Feature Winners: McMillen, Baun, Matko, and Greeley
April 30, 2010.
By Tyler Hopper
Knoxdale, PA...Another season at Thunder Mountain Speedway began Friday as spectators felt the thunder of fuel incinerating, dirt flinging action resonating from the 3/8 mile track. Feature winners of the evening were Bob McMillen (Steel Block Late Model), Eric Baun (Super Stock), Steve Matko (Pure Stock), and Chad Greeley (Thunderbolt Enduros).
Steel Block Late Model
The Steel Block Late Model feature race began with Denny Fenton and Jake Shady pulling away from the pack on the first lap. Shady’s spot in second vanished as quickly as it came and he dropped to fourth when his car slid from left to right, almost losing control, coming out of turn three. Fenton led the pack with Scott Stein and Matt Gaston nipping on his heels. Fenton managed to create a cushion, leaving Gaston and Stein to fight for the number two spot. Gaston came close on the inside of turn four, but Stein pulled away. Finally, on lap six, Gaston took second on a run starting on turn to, through the back stretch, and ending on turn three with an overtaking.
Meanwhile, back in sixth place, Tom Shaffer had a tail of his own with Rick Maxim trying on his left and right to make a move. Racing halted, and the playing field evened out, as Jake Shady spun out in a cloud of dust. The caution gave the field a chance to catch up to Fenton again for the restart.
Restart or not, Fenton began to pull away from the pack, showing a dominant performance until just five laps left. His right rear tire deflated, causing him to pit, giving the lead to Matt Gaston. Gaston was followed closely by Bob McMillen, it wasn’t until the last lap that McMillen took the opportunity for an overtaking. McMillen and Gaston slid side-by-side through turn two and no one gained an inch through the back straight. On the inside of turn three McMillen had the inside and coming out of turn four he took the lead for the checker flag.
Starting at the front, Eric Baun and Doug Tibbens came off the line hard, but Tibbens couldn’t hold on. He fell to fifth by the end of the first lap. Baun held on to first from beginning to end, leaving second place up for grabs between Fuzzy Fields and Rusty Martz at the end. Fighting for second is quite a feat for Martz, as he slowly moved his was up from ninth, overtaking cars one by one. A three car impact occurred on the front stretch involving Brandon Connor, Steve Cook, and Bruce Hartzfeld. Cook went to the pits but returned to the track before racing action resumed.
Skip Lindemuth took advantage of the restart to gain some distance on the leader. Rusty Martz tried to take advantage of the outside of Lindemuth on the back straight and on turn four he moved into third. Moving up in the ranks, Martz had his eye on Fields. Entering turn three with Lindemuth trailing they forced Fields into fourth place and held him off for the remaining two laps.
Zach Gustafson grabbed onto first off the bat and wouldn’t let go of it no matter how much Jason Joiner pressured and provoked him from second. Joiner took a number of shots at Gustafson during the fifteen lap race, but fell back to third and fourth around the middle of the race. Steve Matko took the inside on Joiner through turn four and Kyle Shannon followed suite. With two laps to go, Gustafson led the way, but Shannon pushed Matko harder and they pulled away from the pack. Exiting turn two, Matko and Gustafson were neck and neck through the straight and into turn three. Matko managed to pull it off at the checker flag for the win.
Jamey Lee started off in pole position, but Shawn Hadden and Chad Greeley move in on the position. Lee, Hadden, and Greeley rounded turn two, three cars wide. Hadden came out in the lead followed by Lee with Greeley trailing. Greeley managed to overtake Lee on the outside back stretch and move into first on the next lap as he slid past Hadden through turns three and four. Johnny Miller made his presence known as he passed Hadden and Lee to finish second behind Greeley.
The action continues at Thunder Mountain Speedway on Friday, May 7th. Don’t forget to mark May 28th on your calendar for the Michael J. Tully Salute to the Troops featuring 410 Sprints.
SUPER STOCKS: (16 Cars)
1. ERIC BAUN, 2. Rusty Martz, 3. Skip Lindemuth, 4. Fuzzy Fields, 5. Levi Ardrey, 6. Doug Tibbens, 7. Tim Anderson, 8. Gary Luzier, 9. Bruce Hartzfeld, 10. Steve Cook, 11. Brent Lee 12. Steve Barnes, 13. Brandon Conner - DNF., 14. Scott Fenton - DNF, 15. Dan Henry - DNF, 16. Ron Lindenpitz, 17. Tim Bish – DNS
HEAT WINNERS: Eric Baun, Fuzzy Fields
STEEL BLOCK LATE MODELS: (9 Cars)
1. BOB MCMILLEN, 2. Matt Gaston, 3. Jake Shady, 4. John Reed, 5. Scott Stein, 6. Ray Farrell, 7. Denny Fenton, 8. Rick Maxim - DNF, 9. Tom Shaffer - DNF
HEAT WINNERS: Denny Fenton, Matt Gaston
PURE STOCKS: (16 Cars)
1. STEVE MATKO, 2. Zach Gustafson, 3. Kyle Shannon, 4. Jason Joiner, 5. Steve Arthurs, 6. Matt Heindl, 7. Josh Fields, 8. Jeremy Buck, 9. Lori Weaver, 10. Jim Challingsworth, 11. Adam Brink - DNF, 12. Bob Geer - DNF, 13. Shawn Lindemuth - DNS, 14. Steve Cook – DNS, 15. Dustin Challingsworth – DNS, 16. Roswell Babcock - DNS
HEAT WINNERS: Steve Matko, Kyle Shannon.
THUNDERBOLT ENDUROS: (14 Cars)
1. CHAD GREELEY, 2. Johnny Miller, 3. Jamey Lee, 4. Shawn Hadden, 5.Ryan Kemmer, 6. Chris Arnold, 7. Randy Holliday, 8. Cory Silvis, 9. Mike Fields, 10. Rusty Murray, 11. Jake Kline - DNF, 12. Kie Brown - DNF, 13. Calvin Heilman - DNF, 14. Scott Brosius - DNS
HEAT WINNERS: Randy Holliday, Jamey Lee