• August 26, 2016

Claims refused at Texas Thunder Speedway

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Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 12:00 pm

I give up ... I just give up. How many times do I have to quote chapter and verse from the track rule book? How many times do the officials have to bring this up in the drivers meeting, which I assume they do.

When a sportsman, and I would think that's how these racers want to be thought of, competes in the Texas Twister class at Texas Thunder Speedway, they know going in that their car can be claimed by a fan who puts up $500 cash. There's no cherry picking. It's all done by a random drawing presided over by the technical director and his staff.

Once Saturday's Budweiser Racing Twister feature wrapped up with Kempner driver Wyatt Engdahl going flag to flag and parking his car in Victory Lane, the cars eligible to be bought gathered in the infield for court to be in session.

It turned out there were three claims on this night - Larry Underwood and Billy Tharp likewise.

The third chip drawn corresponded with Engdahl's ride. He said Engdahl was immediately stripped of his win, all accrued points and informed he can't race again in this class until a $500 fine is paid.

These penalties could have been avoided with a simple "I accept." The sad finale is that it's like Engdahl, a talented driver, was never here.

Jason Miller, who had finished second, was declared race winner and told to park on the winner's circle for pictures and accolades.

Keep in mind I'm not accusing anybody of anything, but one has to wonder why all these claim refusals so suddenly?

After two laps of Street Stock main event, there were a few questions on who had the fastest car.

Copperas Cove driver Chris Florio snaked out of the pack to go ahead, but not by much, as the Killeen-based points leader Tristan Carman and Nolanville's Gary Norman's car stayed right with Florio.

After a late caution, it was Florio getting the jump and the win.

The IMCA Hobby Stock class, welcomed back Waco driver Andy Roller, who'd been on vacation. Roller, whose car is undergoing an engine rebuild, was driving his father-in-law Jack Jenkins' car from mid pack, patiently working his way forward.

Race leader and Killeen resident Bill Siegman, Jr. floated his car high in turn four on lap 8, opening the door for Roller to take his next vacation down Victory Lane in a caution-free 15-lap run.

No yellow flags waved in the IMCA Stock Car main event, which was led by Cove's Michael Crandall in the early going.

Crandall gave up the lead to Killeen driver Peter Delavan on circuit six, but, as usual, Harker Heights racer Jason Batt and Killeen-based Eric Jones were coming on strong.

Delavan put up a valiant effort to hold the two challengers at bay, but Jones pulled off an inside pass two laps from the checkers to put away another victory, which locked down the pole position for this week's mid-season championships, where each points leader gets the prime starting slot.

The Goode kids from Belton took early charge of the IMCA Southern SportMod main event, with sister Sarah leading for the first five go-rounds, but big brother David Jr. slid out front a lap later, trying to keep ahead of Gatesville driver Sid Kiphen and Trevor Egbert.

Kiphen and Egbert traded paint and rubbed pretty good in turn four of lap 15, with Sid powering ahead and going on to the winner's circle.

In the Outlaw Twisters, Harker Heights driver James Cochran duked it out with Killeen's Brian Bagent for five laps, then Bagent grabbed the lead and the win.

I've often said one of the most beautiful sights at TTS is a full field of 24 IMCA Modifieds lined up two-by-two, ready for battle.

We missed it by one, with 23 cars answering the green and it looked like we might have a replay of last week, when the yellow flag waved three times before one lap was in.

It turned out better this time, with only one caution early. Doug Lorenz of Harker Heights shot his car to the lead on lap four, while being pestered by Cove's Cham Savage, Jr.

Savage tried several low-side passes in the corners, which Lorenz was able to block, but he couldn't stop the 717 of points leader G.W. Egbert IV. The Salado racer got the top spot after a single-file restart on lap 10 and had to hold off the hard-charging Pflugerville-based Ben Ketteman for the win.

The night wrapped up with several Hobby Stock drivers competing for King of the Hill honors in a series of two-lap sprints.

It came down to Andy Roller and Charles "The Breeze" Cosper of Belton in the finals and it was Cosper in his collecting $100, plus a year's worth of bragging rights.

It was good to have my announcing partner Bill Masom back in the booth after his honeymoon. He and I have been together for a lot of years now, so I can't understand why he just smiled when asked what all he and Sherry did last week.

Of course, I have lived a very sheltered life. You believe that, right?

See ya at the track!

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