GASTON, MARTZ, SHANNON, HENRY BACK IN VICTORY LANE; JOINER TAKES FIRST OF THE SEASON AT THUNDER MOUNTAIN SPEEDWAY
July 18, 2008
With Mid-Season Championships in the books, the second half of the season kicked off with Matt Gaston (Steel Block Late Models) and Rusty Martz (Super Stocks) adding to their win columns. Kyle Shannon (Pure Stocks) powered to his second win of the season while Don Henry (RWD 4 Cylinders) won his second in a row and third on the season. Jason Joiner (Thunderbolt Enduros) grabbed his first win of the year. Classic Impressions Racewear promoted a Sprint Car T-Shirt Contest with several sprint t -shirts given away to lucky fans who are ready for the July 25 Sprint Special. As a preview for the event, Clarion, PA’s Mike Dehner had his 410 sprint on display as well as a pair of exhibition on track sessions.
Matt Gaston used his outside front row starting spot to his advantage by leading wire to wire en route to his division high 4th feature win of the season. “After the last few weeks, we decided to put this little 358 in the car. We put the gear to it and it worked great” stated the Punxsutawney, PA hotshoe next to his #47. “I knew Luke (Hoffner) had to be coming. Beating him is tough.” continued Gaston.
Dwayne Tanneyhill and Gaston brought the 12 car field to green with Gaston taking the lead. Tanneyhill was 2nd followed by Cory Wilson and Rick Maxim heading down the back stretch. Chuck Kennedy got sideways in front of the pack and left Jerry Redden nowhere to go as the pair made contact and brought out a caution forcing a complete restart. Tanneyhill took the lead this time around, but Gaston quickly drove by the #81 in turn 2 to lead once again. As Gaston began to check out with 1 lap scored, Wilson looped his #10K in turn 3, collection Maxim and John Chesnalavich resulting in yellow #2.
Gaston maintained his lead despite lap 4 and 6 cautions for Bobby McMillen and Redden. Once continuous laps of green flag racing commenced, Gaston went back to work stretching his lead over Tanneyhill, who had his hands full with pressure from Bill Krause and 12th starter Hoffner who worked his way into the top 5 by lap 5. Krause took 2nd from Tanneyhill and tried to reel in the leader who was in front all by himself. Hoffner and Tanneyhill began their battle for 3rd before closing on Krause, setting up a 3 car battle for 2nd at the half way mark.
Tanneyhill moved past Krause for 2nd on lap 14 and put some distance between himself and the 3rd place battle. Krause and Hoffner caught Tanneyhill once again, then Krause put his #18 back into 2nd on lap 22 before a caution for debris erased Gaston’s huge lead. When green replaced yellow, Gaston went back to work out front as Hoffner went from 4th to 2nd in one swift move as the field came to the 2 laps to go flags. With Gaston well in front of 2nd place Hoffner, Krause and Tanneyhill swapped 3rd before Krause regained the spot at the white flag. Tanneyhill fired back in turn 2 and moved to 3rd for good heading down the back stretch.
While all eyes were on the battle for 3rd, Gaston was across the finish line first followed by Hoffner. Tanneyhill edged Krause for 3rd with Chesnalavich taking 5th. Bob Smith, Maxim, Kennedy, McMillen, and Dan Stormer completed the top 10. Wilson and Maxim picked up heat race wins.
Rusty Martz proved he doesn’t have to start up front to win as the Brookville, PA ace picked up his track leading 7th feature win in Super Stock competition. By virtue of his win the previous week, Martz’s #16M had to line up 12th on the starting grid. “We’ve been teched and passed, it’s all legal. The car hooked up and went tonight” commented Martz in Horizon Homes victory lane. “My cousin got hurt today and was life flighted. My thoughts are with him” added Martz in reference to part time Pure Stock competitor Dan Kennedy who fell away from the track. Kennedy was diagnosed with a concussion and was kept overnight for observation.
Fuzzy Fields and Mike Desch led the 15 car field to the start with Fields taking the lead as Desch settled into 2nd. Tim Bish and Skip Lindemuth jockeyed for 3rd and 4th while Martz began his march towards the front by moving into 8th after half a lap. Bish had control of 3rd while Martz joined Johnny Lindenpitz and Jamie Barber for a 5th place battle. A caution for John Poling on lap 2 slowed the action. While under yellow, Lindemuth headed to the pits and did not return. Fields lead the restart with Desch, Bish and now Martz in pursuit. Barber held 5th over Lindenpitz as a lap 3 caution for Tim Steis and Austin Roy bunched the field once again.
Fields led the restart with Desch 2nd. A 3 wide battle for 3rd involving Bish, Martz, and Barber started in turn 1. As the battle sorted itself out in turn 2, Martz was in 3rd ahead of Bish who was still holding off Barber for 4th. As the cars crossed the line for lap 5, Martz was on the back bumper of Desch’s #59. Martz took the 2nd spot exiting turn 2 and set chase after the leader Fields. Dan Henry stopped in turn 4 resulting in a lap 6 caution.
Martz used the restart to take the lead from Fields in turn 1, but a caution for Poling and Henry negated the restart and resulting pass. Fields kept Martz at bay for the second try of the restart. As Fields went low into turn 1, Martz tried the high line to no avail out of turn 2. Fields kept his lead through turns 3 and 4 before Martz got under the #28 in turn 1. Martz’s effort was once again thwarted by a caution, this time by Roy as the newcomer stopped his #85 in turn 4.
As Fields brought the pack to the green flag, Martz had a strong run on the outside of turn 1 and took the lead heading out of turn 2. Desch and Bish also got by Fields heading down the backstretch. Fields started to slow in turn 3 before having his car emit smoke and expire and engine on the front stretch for a caution.
With Martz now leading the restart, the battle was on for 2nd with Desch, Bish and Barber as Lindenpitz watched from 5th. As Martz began to pull away from the field, Bish took 2nd from Desch with 2 laps to go. Lindenpitz drifted wide in turn 4 and slipped back to 7th. The field came to white flag with Martz well out front. Barber pulled alongside Desch at the line for 3rd with Bish putting breathing room between himself and the 3rd place battle. Desch had a good run out of turn 2 to hold control of 3rd heading down the back chute.
Out front, Martz cruised to the win over Bish, Desch, Barber, and Dale Yeaney. Lindenpitz climbed to 6th ahead of Poling, Roy, Jim Handyside Jr., and Fields. Martz and Bish were heat race victors.
Kyle Shannon earned his 2nd Pure Stock win of the year by taking the lead from point leader Brian Rhed on lap 2. The Brockway, PA driver exclaimed “I love it here, the car is always fast here. I didn’t want to over drive it like I’ve done before. I’ve spun and lost too many races. Glad to be here again”.
Adam Brink and Rhed paced the field to the start with the duo side by side into turn 1. Rhed claimed the lead out of turn 2 as Shannon moved to 2nd. Rhed went high into turn 2 the next lap, opening the door for Shannon to take the lead. Bruce Hartzfeld took 3rd from Brink and began pressuring Rhed for 2nd a lap later.
Shannon had a ¾ stretch lead on the field at the halfway mark before Nathan Yeaney brought out the event’s only caution as his car came to a halt on the back stretch. Shannon took off on the restart as Brink began to slow with a softening tire. Brink’s run came to an end as he headed to the pits with 5 laps to go.
Out front, Shannon distanced himself from the field as he went on to take the win over Rhed, Hartzfeld, Trunzo, and Steve Barnes. Chuck Rittenhouse, Todd English, Brink, Yeaney, and Mike Donahue completed the field. Trunzo and Shannon were heat winners.
In victory lane, Brockway, PA’s Don Henry stated “It’s nice to win 2 in a row. That doesn’t happen much” after his 3rd of the season in RWD 4 Cylinder action. Joe Malobicky Jr and Brandon Weidow brought the cars to the start with the top 4 side by side heading into turn 1. 2nd row starters Bill McMillen and Henry joined the mix as the field was looking for a leader out of turn 2. Weidow vaulted his #55 into the lead ahead of Henry heading down the back stretch. Weidow led the first lap before Cooter Wolfe’s machine went up in smoke resulting in a lap 2 caution, the only yellow of the race.
Weidow maintained his lead through turns 1 and 2, but went high in turn 3 allowing Henry and McMillen by. Visibly upset with himself, Weidow tried to stay with the top 2 cars heading back into turn 1. The field began to string itself out and the positions froze for the remainder of the event. Henry took the win over McMillen, Weidow, Jason Young, Malobicky, and Wolfe. Henry won the sole heat race.
Jason Joiner has been close to breaking into the win column all season and finally did just that after the Thunderbolt Enduro feature capped the night’s action. “I’ve had lots of problems with the car, but it finally got me here. Tim Bish and the entire Bish family has helped me a lot, thanks to them all” said the Brookville, PA driver after leading the distance.
Jamey Lee and Joiner made up the front row as Joiner took the lead at the drop of the green. Lee was never out of striking distance of the leader, but the Fairmount City, PA driver also had to keep his eye on the 3rd place battle behind him involving Chris Woodel , Steve Cook, and Chad Greeley. With a lap 10 restart, Lee had his best chance to wrestle the lead from Joiner as he drove his #44J beside Joiner’s #1B at the flag stand. Joiner drove through turn 1 with the preferred line and held the lead out of turn 2. Lee then faced pressure from Woodel and Cook for 2nd while catching Joiner once again as the white flag waved.
Joiner crossed the line first ahead of Lee. Cook was 3rd with Woodel and Greeley 4th and 5th. Richie Snell, Barry Myers, Randy Rickard, Ryan Kemmer, and Shawn Dinger rounded out the top 10. Greeley, Snell and Joiner took home heat race wins.
Next on the schedule will be the highly anticipated 410 Sprint Special. The potent machines will be making their first ever appearance at the 3/8 mile oval racing for 25 laps and $1,000 to win. Drivers from several out-of-area tracks are planning on competing. Steel Block Late Models, Super Stocks, and Enduros will also be on the card. RWD 4 Cylinders and Pure Stocks will have the night off before returning the following week. Gates open at 5:00 with sprint hot laps around 6:00. Heat races will get underway at 7:30.
Visit the track’s web site at www.thundermountainspeedway.net for more information regarding this event, as well as the information on the rest of the season.
STEEL BLOCK LATE MODELS:
1. MATT GASTON, 2. Luke Hoffner, 3. Dwayne Tanneyhill, 4. Bill Krause, 5. John Chesnalavich Jr., 6. Bob Smith, 7. Rick Maxim, 8. Chuck Kennedy -DNF, 9. Bobby McMillen -DNF, 10. Dan Stormer -DNF, 11. Jerry Redden -DNF, 12. Cory Wilson -DNF.
HEAT WINNERS: Wilson, Maxim
1. RUSTY MARTZ, 2. Tim Bish, 3. Mike Desch, 4. Jamie Barber, 5. Dale Yeaney, 6. Johnny Lindenpitz, 7. Jim Poling, 8. Austin Roy, 9. Jim Handyside Jr -DNF, 10. Fuzzy Fields -DNF, 11. Dan Henry -DNF, 12. Phil Uplinger -DNF, 13. Tim Steis -DNF, 14. Skip Lindemuth -DNF, 15. Tom Greeley -DNS.
HEAT WINNERS: Martz, Bish
1. KYLE SHANNON, 2. Brian Rhed, 3. Bruce Hartzfeld, 4. Alan Trunzo, 5. Steve Barnes, 6. Chuck Rittenhouse, 7. Todd English, 8. Adam Brink -DNF, 9. Nathan Yeaney -DNF, 10. Mike Donahue -DNS.
HEAT WINNERS: Trunzo, Shannon
RWD 4 CYLINDERS:
1. DON HENRY, 2. Bill McMillen, 3. Brandon Weidow, 4. Jason Young, 5. Joe Malobicky Jr. -DNF, 6. Cooter Wolfe -DNF.
HEAT WINNER: Henry
1. JASON JOINER, 2. Jamey Lee, 3. Steve Cook, 4. Chris Woodel, 5. Chad Greeley, 6. Richie Snell, 7. Barry Myers, 8. Randy Rickard, 9. Ryan Kemmer, 10. Shawn Dinger, 11. John Miller, 12. Mike Calhoun, 13. Sam Orf Jr., 14. Rusty Murray, 15. Wayne Terwillinger, 16. Scott Brocious -DNF, 17. Randy Holliday -DNF, 18. Cory Silvis -DNF, 19. Brent Lee, 20. Shawn Lindemuth -DNF, 21. Rich Draa -DNF.
HEAT WINNERS: Greely, Snell, Joiner