• November 27, 2014

Goode sends race car end over end at Texas Thunder

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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 11:42 am, Mon Nov 5, 2012.

Before you ask, the kids are all right. It wasn't Sarah or Davey that mashed a modified, it was Pop the Promoter and the mishap didn't even occur on a race night.

Maybe I won't lose my announcing job at Texas Thunder Speedway for telling you this tale, but it seems that David Goode, Sr. wanted to go race his IMCA Modified at Heart O'Texas Speedway in Elm Mott on Friday.

Tuesday, the mad scientist got to thinking maybe he should do a little tuning, since the car hadn't raced in a while, so it was off to TTS, where Goode doesn't have to buy a pit pass.

Coming down the back straightaway at a high rate of speed, something happened that sent car and driver over the berm in a four-roll tumble that ended with the car upside down and Goode, using techniques learned from a Ryan Bard Safety Foundation rollover simulator, got out quickly, surveying the damage and several arm bruises.

When asked how long until his car would be repaired and ready, Goode was succinct.

"It'll be awhile."

And that's how the week started at the oval. Saturday night, in one of the quickest and well-driven heat-race segments I've ever seen, feature racing action got going before 9 p.m. with the street stocks and it went fast too.

Copperas Cove driver Chris Florio passed Leander driver Gene Burnett on lap two and went to town, opening up a full straightaway lead by circuit nine, plenty enough to win his fourth straight in a caution-free runaway.

Next out were the IMCA Stock Cars, which resulted in one of the most dramatic endings in track history and yes, Jason Batt and Eric Jones were both involved.

In the beginning, before even one lap was in, a three-car wreck in turn one slowed things down when Tony Hamil, Anthony Otken and Pat Wilson got bottled up.

Once that was sorted out, it was a battle between Salado's Tony McPherson Sr. and Killeen driver and former Shoemaker footballer Peter Delavan, who took the lead on lap five.

By lap 10, Batt's Harker Heights-based 9j had taken over, but, in the words of an old rock and roll song, "Along Came Jones."

Coming out of the final turn, a carpenter's level couldn't have told the difference as both drivers hammered down to the checkered flag.

Thank goodness for the transponder each car carries, because there was no way the human eye could tell who crossed the line first. On our screen, the race was registered as a dead heat, but the computer had spoken.

It was the first since TTS went to electronic scoring two years ago.

My announcing partner Sarge Masom recalled a past modified race when P.J. Egbert and Keith White were awarded a tie, but that was with manual scoring.

Promoter Dave, who was in the tower all night handling the receiver communications, joined us on mike and announced that both drivers would be paid first-place money.

A question then arose over who would get the winner's 40 points. Sarge seemed to think both winners would, but the boss said only one driver can get top points. I never heard the final call on that one. Maybe the IMCA headshed will have to decide.

After three tries and three wrecks trying to get the IMCA Modified main event started, officials went to a single-file start and it was just what Marble Falls driver Joe Spillman needed.

Spillman had started from the pole and was placed first in the long line to restart. He had to weather one more yellow flag with five to go, but was able to hold on and score his first feature win in four years of trying.

"I didn't know if this would ever come after four years," Spillman said.

Like I tell every driver after their first win, if you live to be 109, you'll never forget this night.

Kempner driver Chris Bruner drove flag-to-flag and won the Texas Twister main event. We knew there was a claim in the class when all top-five finishers pulled up into the infield.

A fan had paid the $500 fee and the car drawn was the No. 24, owned by one of the track's most popular drivers, Vavette "Cupcake" Blevins, who agreed to the sale.

A few minutes later, the Outlaw Twisters appeared and an old familiar face wound up in Victory Lane.

Troy racer Shad Stevens, a former Mini Stock champion who had also competed in SportMods before taking a break from racing, overtook Harker Heights driver James Cochran on lap nine and picked up his first win at TTS in several years.

In the IMCA Southern SportMod feature, the first 10 laps were a battle between the Salado-based George Egbert and Sid Kiphen of Gatesville with the rest of the field playing catchup.

Egbert slid off turn two, giving Kiphen the lead and an eventual win.

More or less the same thing happened in the IMCA Hobby Stock main, which started off with Waco's Robert Scrivner leading after the field was sorted out in lap two. Seven laps later, with Belton driver Charles Cosper nipping at his rear bumper, Scrivner bobbled to his right, opening the door for Cosper to streak by and win going away.

That was it for the points-paying races, but one more item of business remained and that was the IMCA Modified King of the Hill. After a series of two-lap dashes, the finals pitted points leader G.W. Egbert IV of Salado and Taylor driver Hardy Henderson. Egbert outlasted Henderson for top money and a years worth of bragging rights.

This week, the track will observe Memorial Day with its annual Willie Palmer Memorial Race.

If you haven't heard the story, Cpl. Willie Palmer, a Fort Hood military policeman, was a fixture at Texas Thunder, helping any way he could, pitting for drivers and assisting with tech.

When the first Gulf War broke out in 1991, Cpl. Palmer went to the desert with thousands of his brothers and sisters in arms. He was one of the nine Fort Hood troops who lost his life in the cause of freedom.

Since then, drivers who display Cpl. Palmer's name on their car during the Memorial Day races are eligible for added money from Dan Corbin and Associates.

God bless our troops, every last one of them. Thank you for your service.

Welcome home and see ya at the track.

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