• November 27, 2014

Backseat Driver: Batt destroys car, but still wins at TTS

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Posted: Monday, April 9, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 11:43 am, Mon Nov 5, 2012.

You're probably wondering how something like that could happen.

Let's backtrack to Friday night at Boyd Raceway, where Harker Heights driver Jason Batt was racing to try and gather a few points, since the IMCA Stock Car class has been dropped by Heart O'Texas Speedway in Waco.

I-Stocker Trevor Sparkman had a video on his phone from elbowsup.com of a horrific crash in which Batt's 9J car clipped the front retaining wall's final edge, sending it and him into a four-twist pirouette up and over the turn-one banking and into the wide open spaces beyond.

Jason, living up to his nickname of "The Acro-Batt," walked away, battered and bruised, but there was no way that car would run on Easter eve, or any Saturday, until extensive repairs could be made.

So, needing a ride to try and defend his Texas Thunder Speedway I-Stock crown, Batt sought out a champion and found one in TTS promoter David

Goode, who just happened to have a spare car in his garage. A 1:30 a.m. phone call sealed the deal.

After a spinout issue in an early heat race, Batt found his groove in the feature, which started off with three- and four-wide racing over the first two laps. After clearing that hurdle, Batt jacked up the 83 (being scored as the 9J, since points stay with the driver, not the car) and won the race going away.

I guess that's pretty much like falling off a horse. You have to get right back on and keep riding, or in this case, racing. All concerned were relieved that one of the track's most colorful personalities was able to spend Easter with his family and not in a hospital bed.

Saturday night's feature runs began with an unusual occurrence ... a caution-free Street Stock main event. It was all Gary Norman, with the old pro from Nolanville taking the lead immediately and leaving the other 18 drivers in his wake, notching a flag-to-flag victory.

A few minutes later, the "Original" Texas Twisters hit the track and it was a repeat win for Belton driver Larry Underwood, who took his 8 car around Killeen's Thomas Vigrass seven laps in and held off the field to wind up in Victory Lane.

Underwood will have to come up with a new car this week since his ride was claimed by a fan for $500 and he accepted.

Gage Fuller was there in his 91F. You may remember he refused to sell his car last week and was fined $500, which the Nolanville driver paid, and was cleared to race again. He'll have to start all over to accumulate points, though, since they were stripped on the refusal.

We've talked about this before and I don't know why the issue keeps coming up. Every driver knows the rules when they enter the class, that they could have their Twister bought out from under them.

I like the rule myself. It's designed to inject new blood into the sport and it isn't going away. Let's make the best of it.

The Outlaw Twisters was no contest, with Lampasas driver Austin Smith making it a weekend sweep. Smith had the 313 in Victory Lane after a runaway, coupled with his Friday win at Waco.

In the IMCA Southern SportMod feature, Gatesville driver and national points leader Sid Kiphen was going for his fifth win in a row spread over Texas Thunder and Heart O' Texas, but this one would belong to Lorena's Ricky Rodriguez. The "Rocket," as he's known, was in control all the way. He did have one goosebump moment when a late caution bunched up the field, putting Kiphen and Waco driver Kevin Green on his rear bumper for the restart. Rodriguez was able to hold off the challengers and pick up his first win of the season.

When the IMCA Hobby Stock main event went green, it didn't take long for a couple of Waco drivers to get tangled up.

Coming out of turn four, Robert Scrivner got under the left side of Anthony Simcik's No. 44x and lifted it up onto its right wheels. Scrivner's car came back out, air conditioned, after losing the passenger side sheet metal.

While all this was going on, Bellmead driver Andy Roller was plotting his next move, and whatever he came up with worked, since he was able to fend off challenges from Belton's Charles Cosper and Chilton's Jeremy Oliver and cruise to the Winner's Circle.

By the way, I love B-Mains.

Why? Mainly because it adds an extra 15-lap race to the program. That's what happened when more than 20 IMCA Modifieds checked in Saturday. Four heat races qualified 12 cars for the feature, with all the others vying to be one of the top eight in the LCQ, or Last Chance Qualifier.

With a 20-car field set for the A-Main, things got off to a rip-roaring start with Belton's Pat McGuire and Killeen driver Doug Lorenz racing doorhandle to doorhandle, while everybody else played catchup.

A red flag came out on lap seven when flames showed beneath McGregor driver Justin Redmond's car, which the safety crew made quick work of. On the restart, McGuire went on cruise control and headed for Victory Lane, his second straight at Texas Thunder and second win of the weekend, after finishing first at Waco on Friday.

It was a good night all the way around, with a huge crowd, high car count and many of the race teams bringing Easter basket giveaways for our younger fans.

See ya at the track!

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