Get a good look at the rear quarter panels of Keith White’s IMCA Modified and you’ll see a likeness of an American comic book icon.
Only trouble is it’s not much of a laughing matter for the drivers he races against.
Racing out of Little River, White, who carries a picture of Captain America on his car, is the defending national champion of IMCA’s signature class, and he left no doubt Saturday at chilly, wind-blown Texas Thunder Speedway that another crown is in his plans.
As the first eight laps of modified feature action were unspooling, White sat in the top five, watching cousins P.J. Egbert and J.P. Dowell jockey for the lead, along with Jake Henderson and Joe Spillman. As the lap counter hit nine, the Captain unleashed what some would say was a supernatural burst of speed, getting his car around leader Egbert on a left-side pass and holding point until the checkered flag waved.
As White was doing his just-past-midnight post-race interview, one of the coldest north wind blasts I can recall, mixed in with a few raindrops, sent fans scurrying for the exits, but Keith’s smile outshone any monkey wrench Mother Nature could have thrown.
That win, coupled with a Friday night victory at Heart O’ Texas Speedway in Elm Mott, gave White, currently 12th nationally, the weekend double, and even though the uphill climb is steep, don’t count this kid out.
Even though P.J. Egbert settled for second in the modifieds, another of his cousins went to Victory Lane in the IMCA Southern SportMod main event.
Early on, Dennis Purrington and Jarrett Roberts were hard at it up front, with Mike McDougal and G.W. Egbert IV breathing down their necks. G.W. took over the lead on lap nine and held off all challengers on his way to the Winner’s Circle.
There wasn’t a great deal of drama in those races, but things got a little hairy for a split second when the Outlaw Twisters were under green.
Nolanville driver Jerry Kipp was leading when, all of a sudden, two cars slammed into each other just north of the flagstand. The impact sent Shad Stevens’ into the 10 car driven by Chris Bruner, which climbed the retaining wall, sent a shower of sparks flying and brought both cars to rest wheels down. Both drivers walked away from the monster truck-like scene and when the race restarted, Kipp continued his flag-to-flag win.
Next out were the original Texas Twisters. No problems there for anyone, as James Enyeart of Harker Heights in ran first all the way through and picked up his first-ever win.
After the Twister race, it was time for the IMCA Hobby Stocks to crank it up and Chilton driver Jeremy Oliver did just that, but he didn’t go flag-to-flag. Oliver had to wait until lap two before he got his No. 82 out front, where he stayed until the end, giving himself a pretty nice birthday present in the form of a win.
Meanwhile, back at the IMCA Stock Car staging area, what can you say about former track promoter Pat Wilson? He’s known as El Cheapo for his frugal ways and he hadn’t won a feature race in two years. Half of that changed Saturday night, when he pushed his car to the lead after one circuit. Wilson then had to weather restarts and challenges from several drivers, but was able to bring it home and get that elusive trip to Victory Lane.
When he opened his pay envelope, you’d think Wilson would have invested a couple of dollars to buy his buddies Big Joe and Ken Essenburg, the genial track announcers, a cup of joe to ward off that chill. Did he? I’ll bet you know the answer to that.
Street Stock feature action saw an early battle between Jacob Sakhnini and Terry Schoerner, but after lap three, the show belonged to Cove driver Chris Florio. Right as he took the lead, a five-car schnozzle bunched up the field, but on the restart, Florio started running away, opening a full-straightaway lead by the halfway point. The win was his second in a row.
I sure hope we get some of that real spring weather this week, not just for Saturday, but for hard-working track promoter David Goode. He’ll have to put in some quality time straightening out a sponsor sign that was crunched during the Hobby Stock heats, when one of our rookie drivers had her steering wheel come off the column, sending the car into a left turn, right at the sign.
She was unhurt, but the sign will need intensive care.
You notice I didn’t use a name or car number. I’m not stupid, you know.
See ya at the track!