HOFFNER, MARTZ, RHED, LEE BACK IN VICTORY LANE; FIRST WIN FOR PARSON AT THUNDER MOUNTAIN SPEEDWAY
August 1, 2008
As the season begins to wind down, point battles are heating up at Thunder Mountain Speedway. Luke Hoffner started the night 4th in the point standings despite missing 3 events this season. At the end of the night, Hoffner tied point leader Matt Gaston with his 4th Steel Block Late Model win of 2008. Rusty Martz continued to add to his track high win total with his 9th Super Stock checkered flag of the season and extend his point lead. Brian Rhed padded his Pure Stock point lead after his 3rd victory in what was nearly a photo finish. Kyle Parson made his first start of the season at Thunder Mountain and ended up with the RWD 4 Cylinder feature win. Jamey Lee closed the gap from his 3rd position in the point standings after his 2nd Thunderbolt Enduro main win. Rusty Martz made his late model debut and won the mechanics race for the division in Matt Gaston’s #47 while Butch Welch picked up the Super Stock mechanic’s race win in the Jamie Barber #13. Gaston and Welch were presented trophies donated by Andy and Sherry Watt of Race 1 Speedway in DuBois.
Turbotville, PA’s Luke Hoffner inherited the lead from Jason Witherite as his #24M went up in smoke with 2 laps to go. “That was tough for Jason, he was flying. It was his all the way” admitted Hoffner next to his #15 in Horizon Homes Victory Lane. Hoffner added “Matt (Gaston) was there, my car wasn’t too good. I had to keep it low or I was done. I almost let him by once, but I held on when Jason had problems.”
Chuck Kennedy and Witherite made up the front row of the 15 car feature with Witherite into turn 1. Kennedy settled into 2nd with 2nd row Hoffner and Brian Smith battling for 3rd. Hoffner held the spot at the completion of the first lap with Smith and Matt Gaston closely behind. Out front, Witherite was pulling away from Kennedy and Gaston was pressuring Smith for 4th before a lap 3 caution for debris slowed the field. Back under green, Witherite lead the field and went right back to growing a lead. On lap 5, 10th starter Dwayne Tanneyhill started to challenge Gaston, who just took 4th from Smith. Kennedy stopped his machine in turn 3 and collected Dan Stormer, bringing out the 2nd caution of the event.
Witherite took control of the restart once again and lead Hoffner into turn 1. Smith was back up to 3rd as Gaston and Tanneyhill battled for 4th. The pair swapped the spot on lap 7, but Gaston passed Smith for 3rd on lap 8. Witherite was running a race of his own out front and had a full straight stretch lead at the half way point. Hoffner and Gaston were about to battle for 2nd while Smith and Tanneyhill were already doing so for 4th. John Chesnalavich and Cory Wilson were locked in a battle for 6th which Chesnalavich held at lap 15. Gaston pulled along side of Hoffner as the duo were side by side at the line for lap 16. Ed Connor’s slowing machine brought out a yellow on lap 17 which reset the field. Tanneyhill headed to the pits under yellow, moving Chesnalavich to 5th for the restart.
Witherite lead the restart as Gaston took 2nd from Hoffner exiting turn 2 before the start was waved off due to a caution for debris. While the filed was getting back into position under yellow, Tanneyhill returned to the track and remained on the lead lap. When racing resumed, Witherite continued to lead the battle for 2nd involving Hoffner and Gaston as Smith and Chesnalavich fought for 4th. With 5 laps to go, Witherite had opened up a huge lead and cruised to the 2 laps to go signal.
Heading down the back stretch, Witherite’s car started to smoke and began to slow entering turn 3 before bringing out a caution in turn 4. Witherite’s fine run ended as he was headed to the pits, which put Hoffner on the point for the green-white-checkered finish.
Hoffner, who had to hold off Gaston for most of the race, seemed rejuvenated for the restart and drove the last 2 laps flawlessly, not letting Gaston make a strong effort to take the lead. Hoffner took the win over Gaston, Smith, Chesnalavich, and Rick Maxim. Completing the top 10 were Wilson, Bob Smith, Bobby McMillen, Josh Watt, and Tanneyhill. Heat wins went to Brian Smith and Hoffner.
Rusty Martz remains the car to beat in Super Stock action as the Brookville, PA ace proved with his latest feature win. “The car is good, I just get in and drive it. The crew wins these races for me” stated Martz with is potent #16M Faster Chassis in Horizon Homes Victory Lane.
Eric Baun and first time visitor Emory Rinehart Jr lead the 22 car field to green with Rinehart taking the lead over Jamie Barber and Baun. A multi car pile up in turn 2 forced a complete restart, minus the #92 of newcomer Dan Henry who headed to the pits. Rinehart lead the second attempt of the start with Baun holding 2nd over Barber and Mike Desch. Martz, starting in his familiar 12th position, moved to 7th after 1 lap was in the books. Dale Yeaney went from 9th to 3rd on lap #2 before red was displayed for Tom Greeley, whose #67 went hard into the front stretch wall. Greeley was ok, but done for the night.
Rinehart had a nice restart and took a comfortable lead into turn 1. Lap 4 saw Desch take 3rd from Barber as Martz moved to 5th. As Desch closed on 2nd runner Baun, Martz was all over his back bumper on lap 6. Steve Cook brought out a caution on lap 7 bunching the field. Rinehart had another good start over Baun and now Martz. Martz took 2nd from Baun in turn 3 and reeled in Rinehart at the line for lap 8. Martz drove under Rinehart in turn 1 and took the lead out of turn 2. Desch took 3rd from Baun on lap 9 as Allen English brought out a yellow with a turn 3 spin.
Martz lead Rinehart to the restart as Baun began slowing and losing several spots before heading to the pits. Desch was pressuring Rinehart for 2nd before he looped his #59 in turn 2, collecting Barber. Both cars were able to restart from the tail of the field. Back under green, Martz continued his run in front of Rinehart as the battle for 3rd was shaping up with Chad Obrien and Yeaney. The battle caught Rinehart and a 3 car fight for 2nd was shaping up as the 2 to go flags were displayed.
Martz was unchallenged the remainder of the race and crossed the line ahead of Rinehart. Yeaney won the battle for 3rd with Obrien finishing 4th. 21st starter Tim Bish completed the first 5. Mike Dempsey, Barber, Desch, Johnny Lindenpitz, and Skip Lindemuth rounded out the top 10. Barber, Desch and Martz claimed heat race wins.
Pure stock point leader Brian Rhed used his pole starting spot to take his 3rd feature win of the season. “They gave me a run for my money. I thought he (Kyle Shannon) was going to get me on the bottom, but I held on up high. Been a while, glad to be back in victory lane” expressed the Brockport, PA driver.
Rhed and Shannon made up the front row of the 9 car field with Jason Bainey and Mike Donahue a row behind. The top 4 held their side by side starting positions into turn 1 of the start before 5th starter Alan Trunzo took 4th from Donahue. The nonstop event saw Rhed lead with ease until the halfway point where Shannon began his bid for the top spot. As the leader entered lapped traffic, Shannon was able to pick a preferred line and pulled along side Rhed with 2 laps to go. Rhed turned the tables on the white flag lap as he used a lapped car as a pick to open his lead on Shannon. Shannon charged back in turns 1 and 2 and reeled in Rhed entering turn 3. Shannon made a strong run under Rhed in turn 4, but Rhed used his outside momentum to hold the lead heading to the checkered flag. Shannon found some terrific bit and closed on the leader before running out of distance as Rhed won by half a car over Shannon. Bainey was 3rd with Trunzo and Donahue 4th and 5th. Bruce Hartzfeld, Steve Barnes, Guy Coder, and Nathan Yeaney rounded out the field. Chuck Rittenhouse and Shawn Hadden failed to make the call for the start. Donahue and Bainey picked up heat race wins.
Lewiston, PA’s Kyle Parson made his first start at Thunder Mountain a memorable one as he took the RWD 4 Cylinder feature win along with the heat race honor. “I like it here, it’s a nice track, nice place” stated Parson next to his #28. The team cars of Joe Malobicky Jr and Bill McMillen paced the field to the green. The St Mary’s, PA drivers were side by side in turn 1 as 7th starter Don Henry was up to 3rd. Henry caught the leaders in turn 3 before making contact with Malobicky, resulting in both cars spinning for a caution. After a complete restart was set up, Parson took the lead from McMillen at the start and started putting distance between himself and the field.
Henry was back up to 3rd by lap 8 and took 2nd from McMillen a lap later. With 2 laps to go, Henry closed on Parson and made an attempt to take the lead with the white flag overhead. Parson held the lead for the first half of the last lap before Henry tried once again in turn 3. Parson closed the door in turn 4 and went on to win over Henry, McMillen, Paul Metz Jr, Brandon Weidow, Malobicky, and Jason Young.
Jamey Lee parked his #44J in Horizon Homes Victory Lane for the 2nd time this season after another wild Enduro feature was finished. The Fairmont City, PA driver thanked his wife and family for their help.
Ben Smith and Lee lead the 28 car field to the start with lee taking control at the drop of the green. Smith and Brent Fields brought out the first yellow with a spin in turn 4. Smith was unable to continue after contact.
Lee survived 4 more restarts as the entire field changed positions behind him each lap. Lee picked up the win as Fields climbed back to 2nd at the checkers. Bryan Warren, Steve Cook, and Barry Myers made up the top 5 with 6th through 10th went to Shawn Lindemuth, Randy Holliday, Cory Silvis, Mike Calhoun, and Richie Snell. Lee, Cook, and point leader Chad Greeley won heat races. Greeley’s #27 was sitting sideway in turn 2 at the drop of the checkers resulting in a hard hit in the points race.
Next on the Thunder Mountain Speedway schedule is a regular 5 division show of Steel Block late Models, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks, RWD 4 Cylinders, and Thunderbolt Enduros on August 8. Fan Appreciation /Autograph Night will be held a week later on August 15. Both shows will kick off at 7:30 with gates opening at 5:00. Regular admission prices of $10 are in effect with pit passes being $20. For all the latest information, visit the track’s newly redesigned web site at www.thundermountainspeedway.net.
STEEL BLOCK LATE MODELS: (15 Cars)
1. LUKE HOFFNER, 2. Matt Gaston, 3. Brian Smith, 4. John Chesnalavich Jr., 5. Rick Maxim, 6. Cory Wilson, 7. Bob Smith, 8. Bobby McMillen, 9. Josh Watt, 10. Dwayne Tanneyhill -DNF, 11. Jason Witherite -DNF, 12, Dan Stormer -DNF, 13. Ed Connor -DNF, 14. Larry Wingard -DNF, 15. Chuck Kennedy -DNF.
HEAT WINNERS: Brian Smith, Hoffner.
SUPER STOCKS: (22 Cars)
1. RUSTY MARTZ, 2. Emory Rinehart Jr., 3. Dale Yeaney, 4. Chad Obrien, 5. Tim Bish, 6. Mike Dempsey, 7. Jamie Barber, 8. Mike Desch, 9. Johnny Lindenpitz, 10. Skip Lindemuth, 11. Allen English -DNF, 12. Tim Steis -DNF, 13. Eric Baun -DNF, 14. Jim Handyside Jr. -DNF, 15. Jay Blum -DNF, 16. Todd Matthews -DNF, 17. Steve Cook -DNF, 18. Phil Uplinger -DNF, 19. Tom Greeley -DNF, 20. Dennis Draisma -DNF, 21. Dan Henry -DNF, 22. Jay Kelichner -DNS.
HEAT WINNERS: Barber, Desch, Martz.
PURE STOCKS: (11 Cars)
1. BRIAN RHED, 2. Kyle Shannon, 3. Jason Bainey, 4. Alan Trunzo, 5. Mike Donahue, 6. Bruce Hartzfeld, 7. Steve Barnes, 8. Guy Coder, 9. Nathan Yeaney -DNF, 10. Chuck Rittenhouse -DNS, 11. Shawn Hadden -DNS.
HEAT WINNERS: Donahue, Bainey.
REAR WHEEL DRIVE 4 CYLINDERS: (7 Cars)
1. KYLE PARSON, 2. Don Henry, 3. Bill McMillen, 4. Paul Metz Jr., 5. Brandon Weidow -DNF, 6. Joe Malobicky Jr. -DNF, 7. Jason Young -DNF.
HEAT WINNER: Parson.
THUNDERBOLT ENDUROS: (28 Cars)
1. JAMEY LEE, 2. Brent Fields, 3. Bryan Warren, 4. Steve Cook, 5. Barry Myers, 6. Shawn Lindemuth, 7. Randy Holliday, 8. Cory Silvis, 9. Mike Calhoun, 10. Richie Snell, 11. Shawn Dinger, 12. Roswell Babcock, 13. Michael Fields, 14. Sam Orf Jr., 15. Devin Dempsey, 16. Wayne Terwillinger, 17. Rusty Murray, 18. Chad Greeley -DNF, 19. Tony DeBoey -DNF, 20. Ryan Kemmer -DNF, 21. Kie Brown -DNF, 22. Randy Rickard -DNF, 23. Jacob Kline -DNF, 24. Matt Krause -DNF, 25. Jason Joiner -DNF, 26. Aaron Hill -DNF, 27. Ben Smith -DNF, 28. Mike Guthrie -DNF.
HEAT WINNERS: Greeley, Cook, Lee.