As of 2 p.m. Saturday, Texas Thunder track promoter David Goode was optimistic, but Mother Nature just wouldn’t let up.
No doubt my wife got good and sick of hearing me sing “rain, rain, go away, come again next Saturday,” but she didn’t complain, knowing how much it means to all us gearheads that head for the track each week to watch grass-roots racing at its best.
But, when it became apparent the rain window wasn’t going to close long enough for the track surface to remain raceable, that dreaded call had to be made.
Not only did the cancellation mean we wouldn’t get to laugh at the Employee’s Race or be able to enjoy the Race of Champions in each class, where feature winners from all season could square off, but now one division would be settled on paper instead of the dirt.
Only 18 points separated Texas Twister points leader Vavette Blevins from second-place John Femrite. Both of these Killeen drivers were consistent finishers and both deserving. Blevins takes the cake, though, especially in light of how, under the class’ claim rule, she had more cars bought out from under her than anybody else. Good show, girl!
Six drivers unofficially clinched class titles a week ago, having accumulated enough points on what turned out to be the track’s final race night.
It’s set in stone now. Killeen’s Eric Jones took the IMCA Stock Car division. Jones is a multi-time champion who goes by the nickname of “Easy E,” but we may have to change that in 2013 to “Energizer Bunny,” since he keeps winning ... and winning ... you get the picture.
Charles Cosper of Belton, who wrapped up the IMCA Hobby Stock class, has already said he’ll compete in I-Stocks next season. Then there’s Killeen racer Tristan Carman in the Street Stocks, a third-generation champ in the class. Killeen’s Brian Bagent, who’s top gun in the Outlaw Twisters, is rumored to be getting set for a Hobby Stock campaign. Blevins is also said to be eyeing a move up to Hobbys.
Salado racer G.W. Egbert IV, part of the legendary Egbert racing clan of Central Texas and a former IMCA Modified Rookie of the Year, takes home the modified class title, and Gatesville driver Sid Kiphen won the IMCA Southern SportMod championship. “Sid the Kid” as he’s known, is a two-track champion, after clinching the Heart of Texas Speedway sportmod title Friday night in Elm Mott.
So now, the track goes dark ... but only for a month.
Big Show season is under way now, where a number of Texas tracks put on two- and three-day extravaganzas, with bigger purses and another chance for drivers to hit the dirt before winter sets in.
Texas Thunder is no different. The annual Spooky Sprint Car Finale, starring the Sprint Series of Texas and plenty of your local favorites, is set for Nov. 2-3 with Nov. 1 set aside for practice. There’ll be a costume contest, trick or treating and two full nights of racing.
Before you ask, I’m not coming as my mother-in-law. However, my announcing partner, Sarge Masom, has told me he’s dressing up as a race car driver.
Now, that’s scary.
See ya at the track!