Is it time we gave TTS promoter David Goode a promotion?
Since I hung the “mad scientist” moniker on him, he continues to come up with new ways to excite fans and keep the drivers coming back for more. If my arithmetic is correct, Saturday night 112 race teams showed up, five better than a week ago. For several weeks now, the car count has been right at 100, which proves the track is doing something right.
So, David, you are hereby promoted to “The Mad Doctor of dirt-track racing.”
Doctor Dave didn’t disappoint, not when he put together a demo car trailer race for the night’s final event. There were cars and trucks pulling trailers, boats and even Santa’s sleigh for 20 laps, knocking each other around. Trouble was, some of the guys forgot you have to hit something each lap, so we had to run it twice.
After all the crashing and banging was done, Santa’s sleigh had been reduced to kindling and the elf pulling it. David Goode Jr. was declared the winner of race one, while Justin Corbin got the race two win.
When I asked the boss what he’d do to top it, he said “Back to the lab.”
The more serious side of racing was on display in spades. Leander-based Street Stock racer Gene Burnett had a tough time, crashing into the pit gate during practice, then getting a bump as the feature race began, which sent him careening into the infield, destroying a sign and causing serious injury to his car.
After the cleanup was finished, Killeen’s Zach Riley raced to the lead and built a full-straightaway lead by halfway. Riley weathered a caution with three laps left and drove to Victory Lane for his sixth straight win.
The IMCA Modified main event also had a rough beginning. Right off the bat, a four-car wreck in turn one wadded up the 707 of P.J. Egbert, the 717 of his cousin and points leader G.W. Egbert IV, Doyle Massa’s 31 car and the 27G of Dwayne Grantham.
Once restarted, the race belonged to Fredericksburg’s Matt Fox for the first four laps. Two circuits later, Killeen’s Doug Lorenz took his No. 97 around on the right side. He was then passed on the right by Belton racer Kenny Stone, but a caution reset things back to the last green-flagged lap. It was Lorenz’s show after that, as he pulled away and scored his first win of the season.
Early in the IMCA Southern SportMod feature, points leader Trevor Egbert and Randy Doyle were jockeying for the lead, with Egbert taking point on lap eight.
All of a sudden, while trying to get a song ready, I heard my partner Sarge Masom announce that the leader had been black-flagged for “illegal use of the front bumper,” which is Masom-ese for rough driving.
I couldn’t tell you what happened, even if it meant enduring my mother-in-law’s cooking for a year, but I do know the incident sent Goode Jr. to the front. His lead evaporated when Gatesville’s Sid Kiphen went by with seven to go. Kiphen had to hold off Killeen racer Mike McDougal on his way to the Winner’s Circle and a second straight triumph.
It was Jason Batt all the way in the IMCA Stock Car feature race. The Harker Heights driver brought his 9J out of a four-wide car herd on lap three and cruised to the win.
The real story of that race was Eric Jones. The Killeen driver competed at Heart of Texas Speedway in Elm Mott on Friday night and, from what I was told, virtually destroyed the 84x’s rear end when he slammed hard into a concrete retaining wall. Nobody I talked to figured the points leader could get his car ready that quick, but there he was, starting 10th and finishing third. That’s determination.
Seven cars came out for the IMCA Hobby Stock main, with Charles Cosper, Damian Snyder and Riley battling hard for the top spot early. As he had nine times before in 2012, Cosper won the battle and the war. It was the Belton driver’s third in a row.
Killeen driver Jesse Johnson scored his first-ever Texas Twister win after outlasting Robert Gray and Jordan King.
The Outlaw Twister feature saw Ricky Hardcastle get his car out front in a hurry and lead from flag to flag.
Now, a sad note.
Due to IMCA’s longtime policy where local tracks can’t award points the week of Super Nationals in Boone, Iowa, Texas Thunder will be dark Saturday. I totally disagree with this ruling and always have. It’s not fair to those drivers that can’t or don’t want to make the trip, but I’m just one voice in the wilderness.
So, this weekend, Doctor Dave will probably be working in his lab on new ways to thrill fans and on ideas to make drivers enjoy their runs at Texas Thunder Speedway even more.
I’ll be at home, with my wife, watching reruns of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”
See ya at the track!