HOFFNER WINS LATE MODEL TUNE-UP; BAINEY, MCMILLEN, GREELEY RETURN TO VICTORY LANE, STEIN EARNS FIRST OF THE SEASON IN SUPER STOCKS
June 20, 2008
Luke Hoffner proved he was ready to defend his home track for the upcoming $2,000 to win Mike Eberl Memorial by claiming his 2nd Late Model win of the season while Scott Stein broke the Martz-Fields stranglehold on the Super Stock division. Jason Bainey returned to Pure Stock victory lane as Chad Greeley took home his 2nd Enduro feature win. “Wild” Bill McMillen tallied career win #95 in RWD 4 Cylinder action.
With a field of 19 late models preparing for the biggest late model race of the season on June 27th, Luke Hoffner appeared ready to take home the Mike Eberl Memorial $2,000 check. “I want to thank my crew and car owner. They fixed the motor I ruined a couple weeks ago. I’m tired, but it’s nice to be here. We’ll try to put on a good show with the aluminum motors next week” expressed the Turbotville, PA veteran in Horizon Homes Victory Lane.
John Chesnalavich Jr and Dwayne Tanneyhill lead the feature line up to green as Tanneyhill bolted into the lead. Chesnalavich was holding off a challenge from Todd Baumgardner before a lap 1 caution for Rick maxim halted the action. Once racing resumed, Chesnalavich got sideways in turn 2 before making a nice save to stay on the track. The field bunched up behind the #812 with Dwayne Brooks and Jason Witherite spinning, resulting in another yellow.
Tanneyhill lead the following restart ahead of Chesnalavich as Chuck Kennedy slipped by Baumgardner for 3rd. Hoffner, who started 9th took 4th from Baumgardner while Kennedy moved into 2nd. Matt Gaston entered the picture on lap 4 by moving to 6th from 13th as caution flew for a Josh Watt spin. Racing resumed with Tanneyhill still leading Kennedy with Chesnalavich and Baumgardner battling for 3rd as Hoffner watched in 5th. Baumgardner went off the back stretch on lap 6 resulting in a caution.
The next restart saw Tanneyhill leading while Gaston took 4th from Chesnalavich. Tanneyhill’s impressive run came to end on lap 10 as a shower of sparks and flames erupted from a broken rear end bringing out a red and handing the lead to Kennedy. Kennedy lead Hoffner and Gaston on the restart. The cars sorted themselves out into single file at the halfway mark before Chesnalavich lost the handle in turn 4. No caution was required, but Chesnalavich lost a spot to Cory Wilson.
Hoffner took the lead on lap 17 as Gaston took 2nd from Kennedy on lap 18. The pass was negated due to a caution for Watt, sending Gaston back to 3rd. With 5 laps to go, Gaston resumed his battle with Kennedy before making the pass stick on lap 22. With 2 laps to go, Hoffner had plenty of breathing room over Gaston and went on to win his 2nd feature of the season. Gaston maintained his points lead with a strong 2nd place finish while Chesnalavich made a last lap pass to finish 3rd, sending Kennedy to 4th at the line. Brian Smith came from 17th to finish 5th. Rounding out the top 10 were Wilson, Ed Connor, Witherite, Dan Stormer, and Larry Wingard. Baumgardner, Jerry Redden, and Tanneyhill claimed heat race wins.
In a Super Stock season dominated by Rusty Martz and Fuzzy Fields, Scott Stein made his first appearance an impressive one as he held off both drivers for the first win by any other driver in the division. “I tried holding my high line, but kept seeing someone below me. Once Rusty (Martz) got by, I followed him for a while. Then I figured I better get back up there.” commented the Cherry tree, PA driver next to his #415 Faster Chassis in Victory Lane. When asked about the possibility of a return trip to Thunder Mountain, Stein replied “This is my weekly track now.”
Dale Yeaney and Stein made up the front row with taking the lead at the wave of the green. Fields took 2nd from Yeaney as Martz began his march from 12th by taking 5th on lap 3. Stein’s huge lead disappeared due to a lap 4 caution for a Johnny Lindenpitz spin. When green replaced yellow, Stein resumed his lead over Fields while Martz took 4th from Mike Desch on lap 5. A lap 6 restart saw Martz move into 3rd and challenge Fields for 2nd while Stein continued to lead. At the halfway mark, the top 3 were pulling away from the battle for 4th involving Desch and Yeaney. Desch took the spot before caution flew for Tim Bish in turn 4.
Stein lead the restart which was wiped out with a Desch spin in turn 2. Fields looked under Stein on the ensuing restart, but was unable to make the pass. In the meantime, Martz drove around Fields for 2nd on lap 14. Martz took the lead from Stein on lap 15 before a Tom Greeley spin brought out a yellow, bunching the field once again.
Martz commanded the restart and was leading with 2 laps to go as Stein mounted a challenge as the leader entered turn 1. Martz and Stein raced side by side down the back stretch and into turn 3 before Stein took the lead heading to the white flag. Martz was off the pace with a leaking right rear tire as he entered turn 1 on the last lap, allowing Fields to take 2nd. Stein went on to take the win over Fields and Martz with Yeaney and Chad Obrien 4th and 5th. 6th through 10th went to Bish, Desch, Rick Henry, Lindenpitz, and Greeley. Fields and Stein were heat race winners.
Clearfield, PA’s Jason Bainey returned to victory line after his division leading 4th Pure Stock feature win. “I knew they’d be coming, it’s fun racing with a good group of guys. My kids are into racing go karts, I’m trying to help them so this car is for sale. I’m also looking at getting a ride in a Super Stock, we’ll see.” commented Bainey.
Bainey and former winner Kyle Shannon brought the field to green with Bainey taking the lead with Brian Rhed taking 2nd and 10th starter Mike Donahue moving to 5th. Bruce Hartzfeld took 3rd from Shannon on lap 3 before the only caution of the event flew for a Nathan Yeaney spin. While under yellow, Yeaney’s car had a small fire ignite under the hood before being safely extinguished by the fire crew. With the red flag displayed, Shannon’s car shut off and the Brockway, PA driver was pushed to the pits.
When racing returned, Bainey lead Rhed, Hartzfeld and Donahue as the top 4 pulled away from 5th running Chuck Rittenhouse. The positions were unchanged until Donahue took 3rd on lap 11, then Hartzfeld was back in 3rd on lap 12 as Donahue headed to the pits with a flat. The final laps clicked off as Bainey stretched his lead en route to the win over Rhed, Hartzfeld, Rittenhouse, and Steve Barnes. The balance of the top 10 were Donahue, Yeaney, Adam Brink, Shannon, and Guy Coder. Rhed and Shannon won preliminaries.
After 10 lead changes, Chad Greeley was left standing in Victory Lane after a wild Enduro feature win. Ray Hickok was the first to lead after taking the point at the start with Jason Joiner moving into 2nd and Chris Hickok 3rd. Joiner took the lead on lap 3 before Chris Hickok lead lap 5. The pair swapped the lead again on laps 5 and 6 before a yellow reset the field.
Chris Hickok lead the restart with Joiner still pressuring. The 2 exchanged the lead several times on laps 7 and 8 before Chris Woodel turned Ray Hickock resulting in a yellow. Joiner lead the next restart over Greeley who took 2nd just before the prior yellow flew. With 2 laps to go, Greeley took the lead over Chris Hickock as Joiner began to fade. Ray Hickock was on the move coming from last to 5th as the white flag was waving. The Hickok’s battled as Ray took 2nd from Chris and tried to close on Greely. Greely had plenty of ground between himself and the field as he went on to win his 2nd of the season. Ray and Chris Hickok were 2nd and 3rd with Shawn Lindemuth and Shawn Dinger completing the first 5 spots. Making up the remainder of the top 10 were Barry Myers, Joiner, Michael Fields, Richie Snell, and Rich Draa. Chris Hickok, Ray Hickok, and Woodel were heat winners.
“Wild” Bill McMillen was all smiles after his 5th RWD 4 Cylinder feature win at Thunder Mountain. McMillen started outside of pole sitter Adam Nixon and lead from start to finish. Don Henry sent Nixon to 3rd after 1 lap. With a season high 11 cars, McMillen cruised to the win over Henry, Nixon, Brandon Weidow, and Joe Malobicky Jr. Rounding out the top 10 were Jason Young, Aaron Henry, Scott Overbeck, Ken Erskine, and Cooter Wolfe. D. Henry and McMillen were heat race victors.
Next on the Thunder Mountain Speedway schedule is the Mike Eberl Memorial on June 27. The speedway will honor the memory of the former track photographer who passed away during the offseason. The highlight of the program will be a 35 lap, $2,000 to win open late model feature. The weight limit was lowered to 2300 lbs to accommodate aluminum engine cars. Also on the card will be the Super Stock who will be racing for 25 laps and $400 to win. The “Thunderbolt” Enduros will pay the winner $100 for the 12 lap feature. Pure Stocks and RWD 4 Cylinders will have the night off, and all features will be non-point events. Gates open at 5:30 with racing kicking off at 7:30. General admission is $15 while pit passes will be $25.
July 4 is Mid Season Championship Night and will feature a 5 division program of Steel Block Late Models, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks, RWD 4 Cylinders, and Enduros. All divisions will be racing for double points.
For the latest information, visit the track’s website at www.thundermountainspeedway.net.
STEEL BLOCK LATE MODELS: 19 Cars
LUKE HOFFNER, Matt Gaston, John Chesnalavich Jr., Chuck Kennedy, Brian Smith, Cory Wilson, Ed Connor, Jason Witherite, Dan Stormer, Larry Wingard, Jerry Redden, Josh Watt -DNF, Scott Fenton -DNF, Dwayne Brooks -DNF, Dwayne Tanneyhill -DNF, Todd Baumgardner -DNF, Rick Maxim -DNF, Chris Clark -DNF, Jake Shady -DNS.
HEAT WINNERS: Baumgardner, Redden, Tanneyhill
SUPER STOCKS: 14 Cars
SCOTT STEIN, Fuzzy Fields, Rusty Martz, Dale Yeaney, Chad Obrien, Tim Bish, Mike Desch, Rick Henry, Johnny Lindenpitz, Tom Greeley -DNF, Chad Rougeux -DNF, Jim Handyside Jr., Jay Blum -DNF, Phil Uplinger -DNF.
HEAT WINNERS: Fields, Stein
PURE STOCKS: 10 Cars
JASON BAINEY, Brian Rhed, Bruce Hartzfeld, Chuck Rittenhouse, Steve Barnes, Mike Donahue -DNF, Nathan Yeaney, Adam Brink -DNF, Kyle Shannon -DNF, Guy Coder -DNF.
HEAT WINNERS: Rhed, Shannon
RWD 4 CYLINDERS: 11 Cars
BILL MCMILLEN, Don Henry, Adam Nixon, Brandon Weidow, Joe Malobicky Jr., Jason Young, Aaron Henry, Scott Overbeck, Ken Erskine, Cooter Wolfe -DNF, Scot Umbaugh -DNF.
HEAT WINNERS: D. Henry, McMillen
ENDUROS: 22 Cars
CHAD GREELEY, Ray Hickok, Chris Hickok, Shawn Lindemuth, Shawn Dinger, Barry Myers, Jason Joiner, Michael Fields, Richie Snell, Rich Draa, Wayne Terwillinger, Ryan Kemmer -DNF, Randy Holliday -DNF, Brent Lee -DNF, Randy Rickard -DNF, Mike Guthrie -DNF, Chris Woodel -DNF, Mike Calhoun -DNF, Jamey Lee -DNF, Aaron Hill -DNF, Scott Brocious -DNF, Sam Orf Jr. -DNF.
HEAT WINNERS: C. Hickok, R. Hickok, Woodel