MCMILLEN, BISH, AND THE HICKOCKS RETURN TO VICTORY LANE AT THUNDER MOUNTAIN SPEEDWAY
August 7 , 2009
By Tyler Hopper
Delayed, although intermittent, thunderstorms were on the forecast at Thunder Mountain Speedway. Spectators filed into Thunder Mountain while the track crew diligently prepared the dirt surface for racing. The sunshine of day turned to night, and the red and purple hues of the sun setting began to disappear behind the mountainous terrain. The scene of the track crew frantically trying to prep the surface was visible in the foreground. When racing action finally got under way, feature winners of the evening were Tim Bish (Super Stocks), Ray Hickok (Pure Stocks), Bob McMillen (Steel Block Late Models), and Chris Hickok (Thunderbolt Enduros).
Chad Obrien took the early lead of the Super Stocks in turn two after starting in the front row beside Jim Handyside Jr. By the end of the first lap, Tim Bish was starting to put pressure on Handyside. Obrien, Handyside, and Bish made up the top three in their respective order, while Jason Murray and Steve Barns started to fall behind. Brent Lee made minor contact to the wall on the front stretch, but held onto his mid-field position. Tim Bish took the lead from Obrien on lap seven; with two laps to go Obrien coasted to a stop on the front stretch, inevitably leading to a caution. Crossing the line in the front, Tim Bish followed by Jim Handyside Jr., Steve Cook, Brandon Connor, and Skip Lindemuth make up the top five. Gary Luzier, and Brent Lee were the only two racers to finish outside of the top five. A smoky run for Steve Barns saw him to the pits in the same lap as Obrien, Jeffrey Taylor, and Jason Murray.
Steven Cook got off to a good start in his Pure Stock taking an early lead. Bob Alcorn started to creep up beside him on the back stretch, but Cook shut him down. The Pure Stock race was interrupted by silence for a moment as the thunder storm of high revving, octane drinking engines were halted for a caution. During this time Alcorn went to the pits and returned three laps later. Cook lost his early lead after only two laps to Ray Hickok. Cook struggled to take back the lead, and almost lost it around turn two in the process. Hickok, Kyle Shannon, and Brian Rhed held the top three spots with an ever widening margin between them and the rest of the field. That wide margin was too much of a difference for Cook to make up. Finishing out the top five were Ray Hickok, Kyle Shannon, Brian Rhed, Steven Cook, and Adam Brink. Bringing up the tail end were Zach Gustafson, Jim Challingsworth, Guy Coder, Mike Calhoun, and Bob Alcorn.
The Steel Block Late Model feature race that was plagued by silence, accompanied by wrecks, debris, and driver errors, saw Ed Connor take the lead on turn four in the first lap. Bob McMillen snatched the position from Connor and held on for the rest of the race. Cautions took place nearly every other lap, not giving the drivers enough time to gain momentum in between breaks. In the midst of the cautions and racing in between second and third place switched between Bruce Raybuck, Ed Connor, and Rick Maxim. Bob McMillen finished first, followed by Rick Maxim, Ed Connor, Luke Hoffner, Pete Alspaugh, Bob Smith, Todd Sallack, Matt Gaston, Bruce Raybuck, Tom Jobe.
The four-cylinder Thunderbolt Enduros were led the entire race by Chris Hickok, John Miller, and Chuck White. Jamey Lee held a steady fourth place and Roswell Babcock and Cory Silvis exchanged places as they battled for sixth. A fight for seventh ensued between Chad Greeley and Randy Rickard with Greeley leading most of the race and Rickard finishing ahead. Sam Orf Jr. and Randy Holliday exchanged places a few times with Orf coming out in 8th. The top five Thunderbolt drivers were Chris Hickok, John Miller, Chuck White, Jamey Lee, and Ryan Kemmer. Making up the back half of the top ten are, Cory Silvis, Randy Rickard, Sam Orf Jr., Randy Holliday, and Jason Joiner.
The next even at Thunder Mountain Speedway will take place on August 14 at 7:30PM with a regular show plus “Girls Gone Wild” Powder Puff Races. Also on the card will be the TMS Kids Club Power Wheels and Big Wheels Races at intermission.
The management at TMS has announced that due to the circumstances at this weekend’s race that led to a delay, any person showing a ticket or wrist band from this weekend will get a $5 discount for admission on August 21. Sprint cars will be racing at TMS on August 21 and it is also autograph night.
SUPER STOCKS: (11 Cars)
1. TIM BISH, 2. Jim Handyside, 3. Steve Cook, 4. Brandon Connor, 5. Skip Lindemuth, 6. Gary Luzier, 7. Brent Lee, 8. Chad Obrien -DNF, 9. Jeffrey Taylor -DNF, 10. Jason Murray -DNF, 11. Steve Barnes –DNF
HEAT WINNERS: Cook, Bish.
STEEL BLOCK LATE MODELS: (16 Cars)
1. BOB MCMILLEN, 2. Richard Maxim, 3. Edward Connor, 4. Luke Hoffner, 5. Pete Alspaugh, 6. Bob Smith, 7. Todd Sallack, 8. Matt Gaston, 9. Bruce Raymond, 10. Tom Jobe, 11. Chris Clark, 12. Tom Shaffer, 13. Jerry Redden, 14. Tim Steis, 15. Chuck Kennedy, 16. John Reed.
HEAT WINNERS: Redden, Gaston.
PURE STOCKS: (15 Cars)
1. RAY HICKOK, 2. Kyle Shannon, 3. Brian Rhed, 4. Steven Cook, 5. Adam Brink, 6. Zach Gustafson, 7. Jim Challingsworth, 8. Guy Coder, 9. Mike Calhoun, 10. Bob Alcorn, 11. Jim Gullace - DNF, 12. Nathan Yeaney -DNF, 13. Jason Young - DNS, 14. Matt Clinger – DNS, 15. Dustin Challingsworth - DNS.
HEAT WINNERS: Rhed, Alcorn.
THUNDERBOLT ENDUROS: (17 Cars)
1. CHRIS HICKOK, 2. John Miller, 3. Chuck White, 4. Jamey Lee, 5.Ryan Kemmer, 6. Cory Sylvis, 7. Randy Rickard, 8. Sam Orf Jr., 9. Randy Holliday, 10. Jason Joiner, 11. Scott Brocious, 12. Michael Fields, 13. Dan Bish, 14. Chad Greeley - DNF, 15. Rusty Murray -DNF, 16. Roswell Babcock - DNF, 17. Matt Eshbaugh – DNS.
HEAT WINNERS: Joiner, Lee.