FAMILIAR FACES REIGN AT THUNDER MOUNTAIN SPEEDWAY AS HOFFNER, MARTZ, BAINEY, GREELEY AND HENRY TAKE MID SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP HONORS
July 11, 2008
With double points up for grabs, Luke Hoffner (Steel Block Late Models), Rusty Martz (Super Stocks), Jason Bainey (Pure Stocks), Chad Greeley (Thunderbolt Enduros), and Don Henry (RWD 4 Cylinders) found themselves standing in Horizon Homes Victory Lane at the conclusion of their respective feature events.
With feature line ups set heads up according to point standings, point leader Matt Gaston appeared to be well on his way to another Steel Block Late Model feature win. 5th starter Luke Hoffner had other plans in mind as the #15 took the lead on lap 15 and never looked back en route to his 2nd win of the season. “I didn’t know if I could get by Matt. If you pass him, you earned it” stated the popular Turbotville, PA veteran in victory lane. “I’m trying something different. I won’t say what it is, but it worked. After the heat race, I knew we’d be in good shape” continued Hoffner.
Gaston and Chuck Kennedy lead the field to green with Gaston taking the immediate lead with 3rd starter Dwayne Tanneyhill in 2nd. Hoffner moved to 3rd with Jerry Redden and Rick maxim making up the top 5 before for Josh Watt slowed the pace with cautions on laps 2 and 3. When racing resumed, Hoffner took 2nd from Tanneyhill and set chase after Gaston as Larry Wingard went hard into an infield barrier bringing out a red. Keith Witherite was also involved in the melee. Both drivers were ok, but done for the night.
The restart saw 2 car battles for 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and 5th and 6th with Gaston, Hoffner, Tanneyhill, Redden, Maxim and John Chesnalavich Jr filling the spots. The battles lasted until lap 7 when red flew again, this time for Jeremy Newcome’s bone jarring impact into the turn 1 wall. Newcome got out of the car under his own power and walked away from his battered machine.
Gaston again lead the restart with Hoffner in tow. Hoffner continued to dog the leader until his lap 15 pass to take over the top spot while 11th starting Ed Connor climbed into 5th. While Hoffner began to stretch his lead over Gaston, Connor began pressuring Redden for 4th. Redden survived the challenge and held the spot with 2 to go. Out front, Gaston began reeling in Hoffner as the leader was set to catch lapped cars.
With the white flag in the air, Gaston was on the back bumper of Hoffner heading out of turn 2. Hoffner made his way around the slower car and put distance between himself and Gaston’s #47. Hoffner charged through the final turns and picked up the win over Gaston, Tanneyhill, Redden, and Connor. 6th through 10th went to Chesnalavich, Kennedy, Cory Wilson, Bruce Raybuck, and Dan Stormer. Tanneyhill, Wilson and Hoffner were heat race victors over the 17 car field.
Rusty Martz padded his points lead with his 4th Super Stock victory of the season. “It was starting position again” commented Brookville, PA’s Martz next to his #16M in victory lane. “My car wasn’t good tonight, but it got things done. It looked better than it drove. I have to thank my wife, family, and pit crew for getting me here, and the fans who support me everywhere I go.” added Martz.
Big winners Martz and Fuzzy Fields made up the front row with Martz jumping into the lead at the drop of the green with 3rd starter Mike Desch and 5th starter Johnny Lindenpitz making up the top 3. A 3 car battle ensued for 5th with Chad Obrien, Jamie Barber, and Tim Bish before Bish lost the handle on lap 5 bringing out a yellow. Fields was also involved and headed to the pits, done for the night.
Back under green, Martz resumed his lead and left Desch and Lindenpitz to battle for 2nd. The pair swapped the spot on laps 7 and 8 before Lindenpitz looped his mount in turn 2 on lap 8 for a caution. Martz held his lead after the restart with Desch and Barber running 2nd and 3rd. The top 3 began to pull away from Dale Yeaney, who moved into 4th ahead of the battle for 5th with Obrien and Eric Baun. Lindenpitz moved back into 5th on lap 13 before Obrien spun in turn 3, bringing out the yellow.
With 5 laps to go, Martz was opening a lead while Yeaney’s car started smoking down the back stretch. Yeaney limped to the pit entrance before having his car erupt into flames. The fire crew was quickly on the scene and safely extinguished the blaze. Yeaney was unhurt in the incident.
Action resumed as Martz continued to lead. With 2 laps to go, Martz had opened up a ½ straight lead over Desch and Barber as Lindenpitz moved to 4th as the white flag flew. Martz went on to win over Desch, Barber, and Lindenpitz who had his best race of the season. Baun settled for 5th. Rounding out the top 10 were Bish, Yeaney, Tom Greeley, Obrien, and newcomer Austin Roy. Bish and Martz won heats over the 13 car field.
Although Jason Bainey is not competing for a point championship due to family commitments, the Clearfield, PA driver leads the Pure Stock division with wins after his 5th of the season. “My car was getting real hot, I sure didn’t want to see that last caution. I lost a lot of power the last couple laps.” revealed Bainey beside his #22 in victory lane. Bainey continued, “It’s fun racing with these guys. I love racing here. It’s a great track, always smooth. The fans are great too.”
Point leader Brian Rhed and Steve Barnes lead the field to green as Rhed took the initial lead. Bainey quickly moved into 2nd and stayed within striking distance of the leader. Mike Donahue broke a 3 wide battle for 3rd with Kyle Shannon and Alan Trunzo. Shannon took 3rd from Donahue at the completion of lap 5, but was a full straight behind Rhed and Bainey. The gap was erased with a lap 6 caution for Nathan Yeaney.
The restart saw a 3 car battle for the lead with Bainey taking the lead on lap 8. Shannon looked under Rhed in turn 3 to no avail while Trunzo was in 4th as Donahue headed to the pits under green. With 5 laps to go, the yellow flag Bainey didn’t want to see flew for a 2nd spin by Yeaney. This set up a wild restart as Bainey lead through turns 1 and 2. Shannon looked to the inside of Rhed in turn 4 but Rhed held the spot at the line. Rhed then drove under Bainey in turn 3 before Bainey used his outside momentum to maintain the lead coming to the 2 to go flags. Rhed got loose in turn 2 and lost ground to the leader. Shannon was in the perfect spot to capitalize on Rhed’s miscue and took 2nd. Shannon then set his sights on Bainey as the white flag was waving. The front 2 battled through the first turns and down the backstretch before Shannon threw a last chance effort to take the lead from Bainey in 3. Bainey held off the charge and won by less than a car length over Shannon. Rhed was 3rd with Trunzo and Barnes completing the top 5. Rounding out the field were Chuck Rittenhouse, Yeaney, and Donahue. Rhed won the lone heat race.
Brookville, PA’s Chad Greeley used his pole starting spot to his advantage and led the Thunderbolt Endure feature wire to wire for his 3rd win of the season in his #27. While Greeley was relatively unchallenged out front, there was lots of action behind him as Chris Woodel and Jason Joiner sent 2nd starter Shawn Lindemuth to 4th.
By the halfway mark, Greeley made terrific moves through heavy lapped traffic to stretch his lead over Woodel who was still fending off Joiner for the 2nd spot. Lindemuth was 4th, but had the cars of Brent Lee and Aaron Hill lurking behind him. Joiner lost several spots on a late race restart allowing Hill to take 3rd over Lindemuth. Lee moved into 4th with 2 laps to go.
Out front all by himself, Greeley cruised to the checkered flag ahead of Woodel, Brent Lee, Hill, and Lindemuth. The balance of the top 10 was Randy Rickard, Jamey Lee, Barry Myers, David Kohler, and Michael Fields. Hill, Greeley, and Jamey Lee bested the 26 car field for heat race wins.
Brockway, PA’s Don Henry narrowed the gap between himself and point leader Bill McMillen by picking up his 2nd RWD 4 Cylinder feature win in a caution free event. McMillen and Henry were the front row and were side by side at the drop of the green Henry wrestled the lead from McMillen in turn 2. McMillen shadowed Henry the entire distance and almost made a last lap pass for the lead. Henry was too strong out of turn 4 and went on to win over McMillen, Joe Malobicky Jr., Brandon Weidow, Jason Young, and Tim Bailey. McMillen won the heat event to close out preliminary action.
On deck for the fast 3/8 mile Thunder Mountain Speedway will be a regular show of Steel Block Late Models, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks, Thunderbolt Enduros, and RWD 4 Cylinders on July 18. Fans will be treated to a preview of the July 25th Sprint Special as some 410 sprints will be on hand for exhibition displays and hot lap action. The interest from fans and drivers has been growing each week as the highly anticipated date nears.
Be sure to visit the track’s web site at www.thundermountainspeedway.net for the latest information.
STEEL BLOCK LATE MODELS:
1. LUKE HOFFNER, 2. Matt Gaston, 3. Dwayne Tanneyhill, 4. Jerry Redden, 5. Ed Connor, 6. John Chesnalavich Jr., 7. Chuck Kennedy, 8. Cory Wilson, 9. Bruce Raybuck, 10. Dan Stormer, 11. Josh Watt, 12. Rick maxim -DNF, 13. Jake Shady -DNF, 14. Jeremy Newcome -DNF, 15. Brian Smith -DNF, 16. Larry Wingard -DNF, 17. Keith Witherite -DNF.
HEAT WINNERS: Tanneyhill, Wilson, Hoffner
1. RUSTY MARTZ, 2. Mike Desch, 3. Jamie Barber, 4. Johnny Lindenpitz, 5. Eric Baun, 6. Tim Bish, 7. Dale Yeaney -DNF, 8. Tom Greeley -DNF, 9. Chad Obrien -DNF, 10. Austin Roy -DNF, 11. Skip Lindemuth -DNF, 12. Fuzzy Fields -DNF, 13. Jim Handyside Jr -DNS.
HEAT WINNERS: Bish, Martz
1. JASON BAINEY, 2. Kyle Shannon, 3. Brian Rhed, 4. Alan Trunzo, 5. Steve Barnes, 6. Chuck Rittenhouse, 7. Nathan Yeaney, 8. Mike Donahue -DNF.
HEAT WINNER: Rhed
1. CHAD GREELEY, 2. Chris Woodel, 3. Brent Lee, 4. Aaron Hill, 5. Shawn Lindemuth, 6. Randy Rickard, 7. Jamey Lee, 8. Barry Myers, 9. David Kohler, 10. Michael Fields, 11. Jason Joiner, 12. Scott Brocious, 13. Shawn Dinger, 14. Wayne Terwillinger, 15. Rusty Murray, 16. Ryan Kemmer, 17. Derek Dezelan -DNF, 18. Richie Snell -DNF, 19. Mark Neagle -DNF, 20. Rich Draa -DNF, 21. Sam Orf Jr. -DNF, 22. Randy Holliday, 23. Devin Dempsey -DNF, 24. Roswell Babcock -DNF, 25. Mike Guthrie -DNF, 26. Michael Fields -DNF.
HEAT WINNERS: Hill, Greely, J. Lee
RWD 4 CYLINDERS:
1. DON HENRY, 2. Bill McMillen, 3. Joe Malobicky Jr, 4. Brandon Weidow, 5. Jason Young, 6. Tim Bailey -DNF, 7. Cooter Wolfe -DNS.
HEAT WINNER: McMillen