When 18 IMCA Southern SportMods took the green flag Saturday night, it looked like their feature race would turn into another Davey runaway.
David Goode Jr. wasted no time getting his Belton-based 7G car into passing gear, getting by Cove’s Shelley Sakhnini two laps in.
Goode was cruising carefree, like one of those Royal Caribbean ships on its way
to St. Thomas, when he was bumped from behind and went spinning into the infield with seven to go, virtually sinking his chances at a checkered flag.
Goode’s mishap opened the door for Gatesville driver Sid Kiphen, ranked No. 2 nationally and running second in the race, to surge forward and grab the lead. Kiphen was able to hold off points leader Trevor Egbert, who was trying everything he knew to pass, but it was Sid “The Kid” in Victory Lane, where he capped off an 80-point weekend, having won Friday at Heart O’Texas Speedway in Elm Mott.
Three lead changes in the first five laps got the IMCA Stock Car main event rolling in high style, with Mansfield’s Michael Walters, Hutto’s Mike McCarthy and Harker Heights’ Jason Batt all taking a turn up front, when the action came to a screeching halt.
A four-car crash in turn one involving Peter Delavan, Tony Hamil, Tony McPherson Sr. and Anthony Otken brought out the yellow flag. Only Otken was unable to continue, since his front end was crushed, spewing coolant on the track surface.
After fresh dirt was applied, Batt restarted in the lead with 12 to go, then had to watch as the field was reset again, single file this time, due to a lap-10 smashup with McCarthy, Pat Wilson, Austin Smith and others getting together.
Then, it must have felt like old times to Batt, when he saw Killeen driver and points leader Eric Jones in line right behind him, setting things up for another of the pair’s epic, spine-tingler finishes.
It didn’t turn out that way, with Batt opening a big lead en route to Victory Lane.
I’ve often said that one of the most beautiful sights in racing, no offense, Bud Girls, is to watch a full field of IMCA Modifieds take one last parade lap before the avalanche of sound and speed is unleashed. There were 23 of them set to go, and on the green flag, it turned into a battle of teammates.
Nobody was going to catch Gatesville’s Andrew Simmerman, who was out front quickly. But wait ... don’t count out Kempner’s P.J. Egbert, a former national champion.
Egbert stayed on Simmerman’s rear bumper for 18 laps, as the two had little pressure, weathering cautions and a few schnozzles.
(Schnozzle — a dustup not serious enough to be called a wreck.)
It didn’t look like Egbert had the oomph to get by his teammate, but with two to go, P.J. either tapped into the Force, or just tromped harder on the gas. Whichever, it was enough to take over and score his first win at TTS in a long while.
Disturbingly, only seven IMCA Hobby Stocks signed in, but as usual, they put on a good show. Temple driver Damian Snyder in his 44 car and the 110 of Killeen’s Zach Riley traded leads over the first five laps, then the caution bug bit.
Snyder led on the restart, but points leader Charles Cosper of Belton came roaring out of a three-wide and took over the top spot, surviving a bump by Riley on the final turn and picked up the victory.
Riley had it much easier in the Street Stock feature race, dodging two caution flags in the first four circuits, retaking the lead on each restart and making it look easy, winning the race going away. It was his fourth straight trip to Victory Lane.
Another driver who had a seemingly effortless run to paydirt was Kempner’s Chris Bruner in his No. 10 Outlaw Twister. Bruner had built a straightaway advantage before the race was halfway over and was in charge all the way.
Right off the green, Kempner’s Wyatt Engdahl jumped out front to kick off the original Texas Twister main event. A few circuits later, it was Killeen driver William Sale’s turn to lead. Sale, who may have had something to say to his pit crew later, suffered an issue on turn four of lap 10, when his right rear tire came off and went rolling away into the night.
That moved Taylor racer Stephanie Henderson up front, where she stayed for the win.
Henderson’s euphoria was fleeting, because when Claim Court convened, her number was drawn, she agreed to sell and had to watch her car leave with a new owner.
We were also treated to an I-Stock/Street Stock Powder Puff Derby won by Robin Batt’s daughter, Brittany Rasmussen. She chose to compete in stepdad Jason’s 9J I-Stock, instead of mom’s car.
I asked Brittany why she didn’t race her mother’s car and her reply was succinct.
“It’s too slow,” she said.
See ya at the track!