ANTICIPATION GROWS AS DRIVERS AND FANS READY FOR 410 SPRINTS AT THUNDER MOUNTAIN SPEEDWAY ON FRIDAY.
June 23, 2010
After the disappointment of losing the first appearance of the 410 sprint cars on Memorial Day Weekend to rain, the end of the wait draws near. A forecast of sun and warm temperatures means one thing…the blistering speeds of the winged warriors will bring the lightning to Thunder Mountain Speedway on Friday, June 25. Fans have been excited to see the potent 800+ horsepower cars make their return to the 3/8 mile Jefferson County oval.
Drivers from New Jersey to Ohio, Maryland to New York have expressed interest in making the tow to add their name to the growing list of winners at the speedway. 2008 winner Gale Ruth Jr has the honor of winning the first ever 410 Sprint race in the area. The Pleasantville, PA native will bring his #5X HRE Powered/J&J Chassis to try to win his 2nd trophy at the track. Fresh off of a feature win at Sharon Speedway on Saturday, Ruth hopes to stretch his winning streak. Greenville, PA’s Eric Williams picked up his career first sprint feature win nearly a year ago as he defeated a 26 car field on June 26, 2009. Williams has been a front runner in his limited appearances this season and looks to challenge Ruth for the 2nd feature win. While Ruth and Williams have a win each, Johnstown, PA’s "Showtime" Dan Shetler was the car to beat in 2009. With wins on May 29 and August 21, Shetler finished second to Williams and has not finished worse than 2nd in his visits to Thunder Mountain. After a strong showing and a narrowly finishing behind former World of Outlaws star and PA Posse hot shoe Daryn Pittman on Sunday, Shetler has to feel confident of his chances to be the car to beat during Friday’s 25 lap feature.
Other drivers to watch are Clinton County Raceway regulars Daryl Stimeling, opening night winner Scott Lutz, 2-time winner at the close of 2009 Dylan Proctor, Craig Folmar, defending track champion George Suprick, Chuck Brion, Mark Ide, Rich Brungard, Zeke Brungard, and Bill Jones Jr will lead the challenge from the eastern cars. Lincoln Speedway regular Kyle Pruitt has also expressed interest in making the tow west on I80.
Not to be outdone, the western PA cars of Shetler, Williams and Ruth will have the likes of Russ Sansosti, Scott Priester, Chris Pochiro, Jeff Taylor, Tony Beaber, Brian Steinman, Andy McKisson, Gale Ruth Sr, and Jack Sodeman Jr, who has wins at Lernerville, Sharon and Wayne County in 2010 supporting the trio in the civil war. Additional drivers from both sides are likely to add their names to the mix.
In addition to the 410 Sprint cars, a regular program of Steel Block Late Models, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Thunderbolt Enduros will also be on the card. Double points will be on the line for the 4 weekly divisions. Defending track champion Matt Gaston, who has 3 feature wins so far this season in Steel Block Late Model competition, will not be on hand as he will be away on vacation. The Punxsutawney, PA owner/driver has a substitute chauffeur lined up to get behind the wheel of his #47. Denny Fenton picked his first feature win last Friday and looks to make it 2-for-2 this week. Rick Maxim, Luke Hoffner, Bruce Raybuck, and Chris Clark are not to be overlooked as well.
The Super Stocks have seen Eric Baun’s #99X in victory lane twice so far this season. Rusty Martz, Fuzzy Fields and last week’s winner Tim Bish have also taken home feature wins. Skip Lindemuth, Gary Luzier, Jamie Barber, and Bruce Hartzfeld are all looking for their first feature wins.
The popular Pure Stock division has been perhaps the most competitive division this season. Steve Matko earned 2 feature wins in his #F1 mount while defending champion Kyle Shannon, Nate Smith, and Mike Calhoun each have one win with Calhoun picking up his career first last week. Zach Gustafson, Shawn Lindemuth, Josh Fields, and Jason Joiner are all knocking on victory lane’s door.
The wild Thunderbolt Enduro division has been a battle between Chad Greeley and Ryan Kemmer, who each have 2 feature wins. Aaron Hill has a lone victory as Shawn Hadden, Cory Silvis, Mike Fields, and Randy Holliday are still searching for their initial wins.
The TMS Kids Club will provide action off the track for kids 12 and under with a Pop Toss, where winners take home 2 liter bottles of soda during intermission. Any kid 12 or under is welcome to participate in TMS Kids Club events.
Ms. Dirt Trackin’ 2010 Arynne Moody will be on hand with autographed posters for sale prior to the racing getting underway. Arynne hails from East Berlin, PA where she attends graduate school at Arcadia University working on her doctorate degree in physical therapy. After her poster table closes, Arynne will start the program by singing the National Anthem.
Not only is this the fans’ first chance to see the 410 Sprints this season, it will be the last event on the schedule until the July 9 Mid Season Championship races. Drivers have a great chance to work their way to the season championship with double points both nights.
Gates open at 5:00 with Sprint hot laps at approximately 7:00. The first heat race will get underway at 7:30. Adult general admission is $15 with a family pass, which admits 2 adults and up to 3 kids for $30. Pit passes are $25.