GASTON, HANDYSIDE, SHANNON, AND LEE VICTORS ON MICHAEL J. TULLY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND AT THUNDER MOUNTAIN SPEEDWAY
May 22, 2009
Knoxdale, PA- Defending track champion Matt Gaston returned to the speedway and took home a convincing Steel Block Late Model win as Kyle Shannon learned from last week’s set up to take his first Pure Stock main of the season. Jim Handyside Jr grabbed his first ever Super Stock checkered flag while Jamey Lee continued his Thunderbolt Enduro winning streak. Prior to the racing action, members of the US Army were on hand to help the speedway and fans honor SFC Michael J. Tully, a local resident who was lost fighting the war on terror. Tully’s parents Jack and Marilyn & family was on hand to participate in the opening ceremonies.
After a 2008 season full of close races, Punxsutawney, PA’s Jim Handyside Jr finally parked his #366 in Super Stock victory lane. “This is the best I ever did here. Gotta thank my wife and daughter and my sponsors.” Declared Handyside.
Handyside and newcomer Ben Asel paced the 16-car field to the green with Asel taking the lead out of turn 2. 4th starter Steve Cook was 3rd with 6th starter Tim Bish taking 4th from 3rd starter Skip Lindemuth. Asel would lead lap 2 before slowing down the backstretch, handing positions to Handyside and company. Asel coasted to a stop bringing out a lap 3 yellow.
Two attempts at a restart were needed after a Scott Hollopeter spin in turn 2. Once racing resumed, Handyside and Cook engaged in a battle for the lead with Tim Bish following in 3rd. Jamie Barber joined the fray and challenged Bish for 3rd on lap 5. Bish held off the charge from Barber and settled into 3rd as Handyside and Cook pulled away from the 2 wide battle. Cook looked under the leader at the halfway mark as the duo entered lapped traffic. Handyside made short work of a slower car while Cook lost ground on the leader. Barber pulled alongside Bish and took 3rd a lap later before a caution for Mike Hummel negated the pass.
Handyside took the restart with Cook in tow. Cook was all over the back of Handyside’s car with 5 to go. Barber tried once again to take 3rd from Bish and made the pass stick with 2 laps to go. On the same lap, Cook slowed and pulled into the infield moving Barber to 2nd and Bish 3rd with Lindemuth 4th. With a comfortable lead, Handyside lead the final lap and took the win over a fast closing Barber, Bish, Lindemuth, and Chad Rougeux. Brandon Connor, Cook, Steve Barnes, Denny Draisma, and Gary Little filled the 6th through 10th spots. Cook and Lindemuth were heat race winners.
After losing the win to Bob Alcorn last week, Kyle Shannon learned from his experience and returned the favor this week in Pure Stock feature action. “I hit the set up good this time. I looked to pass on the outside last week, but it didn’t work. The track had lots of bite tonight, it was fast.” Exclaimed the Brockway, PA driver beside his #1S.
Alcorn and Brian Rhed lead the 16-car field to the start with Alcorn controlling the top spot. Shannon pulled along side Rhed as the two cars were side by side with newcomer Matt Heindl following in 4th on lap 1. Shannon took the 2nd spot on lap 2 and set his sites on Alcorn.
At the halfway point of the race, Shannon took his car high as Alcorn guarded the bottom. Shannon’s momentum gave him the advantage and lead in turn 4 heading to lap 9 before Nathan Yeaney brought out the lone caution with a turn 4 spin.
Back under green, Shannon started putting distance between himself and Alcorn with Rhed still in 3rd. 10th starter Tim Schreckengost took 4th from Heindl with 2 laps to go and closed on Rhed as the white flag was in the air. Out front, Shannon was unchallenged the final lap as he grabbed his first win of the season. Alcorn settled for 2nd while Rhed held off Schreckengost for 3rd. Heindl held on for 5th. Completing the top 10 were Kyle Lindemuth, Zach Gustafson, Guy Coder, Mike Calhoun and Shawn Hadden. Heindl and Shannon were preliminary winners.
After missing opening night, defending Steel Block Late Model champion Matt Gaston returned with a vengeance by taking the feature win from his 8th place starting spot. “I missed it here,” admitted the Punxsutawney, PA ace next to his #47 in Victory Lane. “It’s really fast, I forgot how much fun it is to race here. This is only the 3rd race on this car, still working on it. But we’ll be back” continued Gaston.
Ed Connor and John Reed brought the 17-car field to starter Tom Mott’s green with Connor taking the lead. Reed was running 2nd before spinning in turn 3 in front of the field. Everyone missed the idle #9, but caution was displayed with 1 lap complete. Connor lead the restart as Luke Hoffner took 2nd from John Chesnalavich and set up a rematch of last week’s battle with Connor. Gaston moved to 4th with Rick Maxim in 5th.
Gaston took 3rd from Chesnalavich on lap 4 and chased down the leaders on lap 6 and was aided with a yellow for Ernie Millon. Gaston and Hoffner were side by side on lap 7, but Hoffner held the spot before a caution for Rich Womeldorf slowed the pace. Gaston drove to the outside of Hoffner on the restart and took the 2nd spot, but Gaston was not done. He kept his high line through turns 3 and 4, taking the lead from Connor as the field completed lap 8. Once in front, Gaston started opening a huge lead over Connor and Hoffner. At the halfway flags, Hoffner tried getting under Connor in turn 2 but bobbled, losing ground. Millon spun again bringing out a yellow and erasing Gaston’s lead.
Racing resumed, and so did Gaston’s growing lead over Connor. Hoffner kept the 2nd place car in striking range and the field passed a slowing Bob McMillen. McMillen safely pulled into the infield avoiding a yellow. Doug Updyke stopped on the backstretch for the event’s final yellow on lap 17.
The remaining laps were more of the same as Gaston marched to a big lead over Connor, who put distance between himself and Hoffner. Gaston set a torrid pace as the final laps clicked off as he crossed the checkers nearly half a lap ahead of Connor and Hoffner. Chesnalavich and Chuck Kennedy completed the top 5. The remainder of the top 10 went to Jake Shady, Dwayne Brooks, Maxim, Bruce Raybuck, and Paul Kot. Heat wins went to Hoffner and Chesnalavich.
Fairmont City, PA’s Jamey Lee remains the man to beat in Thunderbolt Enduro competition thus far as he picked up his 2nd consecutive feature win. Lee commented “The car was running good, but I had a tire going down. I’m glad it wasn’t a couple more laps or I wouldn’t be here”.
Roswell Babcock and Randy Rickard lead the field to green with Babcock taking the lead. Lee moved to 2nd on lap 1 and looked ahead to Babcock in front. Babcock went high on lap 2, allowing Lee to close on the back of the #77R. Lee took the top spot on lap 4 as Babcock began slowing with a flat tire. Lee started pulling away before a caution for a Jason Joiner – Chuck Himes – Sam Orf Jr pile up in turn 2 with 5 laps in the books.
With Lee out front, Chad Greely and Shawn Lindemuth started a battle for 2nd with Chuck White watching from 4th. Lindemuth threw everything he had at Greely for the runner up spot, but the defending track champion was up to the challenge and held the spot with the final yellow flying on lap 9 for Mike Fields, who made contact with the front stretch wall. Fields was ok, but done for the night.
When racing resumed, Lee went back to distancing himself from the Greely-Lindemuth battle. Lee went on to take the win as Greely held off Lindemuth for 2nd. White was 4th with Randy Holliday finishing 5th. Rounding out the top 10 were Rickard, Himes, Ryan Kemmer, John Miller, and Cory Silvis. Lee and Greeley picked up heat race wins over the 21-car field.
Next on the Thunder Mountain Speedway schedule is the highly anticipated return of the 410 Sprint Cars. The lightning fast machines will make their first of three appearances for a 25-lap shoot out. Also on the card will be the Steel Block Late Models, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Thunderbolt Enduros on Marcy Reiter Trophy Night. Gates open at 5:00 with heats kicking off at 7:30. Sprint hot laps will take place at approximately 7:00. Adult general admission will be $15 with pit passes $25 for this event. After a standing room only crown in 2008, fans are advised to arrive as early as possibly to grab a seat to witness the extremely potent winged machines. As always, all information can be found on the track website at www.thundermountainspeedway.net.
MAY 22, 2009 COMPLETE RESULTS:
SUPER STOCKS: (16 Cars)
1. JIM HANDYSIDE JR., 2. Jamie Barber, 3. Tim Bish, 4. Skip Lindemuth, 5. Chad Rougeux, 6. Brandon Connor, 7. Steve Cook, 8. Steve Barnes, 9. Denny Draisma, 10. Gary Little (DNF), 11. Jamie Price (DNF), 12. Fuzzy Fields (DNF), 13. Mike Hummel (DNF), 14. Scott Hollopeter (DNF), 15. Ben Asel (DNF), 16. Rick Henry (DNS).
Heat Winners: Cook, Lindemuth
PURE STOCKS: (16 Cars)
1. KYLE SHANNON, 2. Bob Alcorn, 3. Brian Rhed, 4. Tim Schreckengost, 5. Matt Heindl, 6. Kyle Lindemuth, 7. Zach Gustafson, 8. Guy Coder, 9. Mike Calhoun (DNF), 10. Shawn Hadden (DNF), 11. Nathan Yeaney (DNF), 12. Travis Brady (DNF), 13. Jason Young (DNF), 14. Steve Cook (DNF), 15. Bruce Hartzfeld (DNS), 16. Josh Fields (DNS).
Heat Winners: Heindl, Shannon
STEEL BLOCK LATE MODELS: (17 Cars)
1. MATT GASTON, 2. Ed Connor, 3. Luke Hoffner, 4. John Chesnalavich Jr., 5. Chuck Kennedy, 6. Jake Shady, 7. Dwayne Brooks, 8. Rick Maxim, 9. Bruce Raybuck, 10. Paul Kot, 11. Rich Womeldorf (DNF), 12. Doug Updyke (DNF), 13. Bob McMillen (DNF), 14. Ernie Millon (DNF), 15. Dan Stormer (DNF), 16. John Reed (DNF), 17. Brian Molnar (DNS).
Heat Winners: Hoffner, Chesnalavich Jr.
THUNDERBOLT ENDUROS: (21 Cars)
1. JAMEY LEE, 2. Chad Greeley, 3. Shawn Lindemuth, 4. Chuck White. 5. Randy Holliday, 6. Randy Rickard, 7. Chuck Himes, 8. Ryan Kemmer, 9. John Miller, 10. Cory Silvis, 11. Dustin Kemp, 12. Chad Desmett, 13. Scott Brocious, 14. Rusty Murray, 15. Wayne Terwillinger, 16. Roswell Babcock, 17. Mike Fields (DNF), 18. Jason Joiner (DNF), 19. Sam Orf Jr (DNF), 20. Barry Myers (DNF), 21. Aaron Hill (DNF).
Heat Winners: Lee, Greeley