Amy Ross saw it coming but couldn’t do anything about it.
During Saturday night’s third Street Stock heat race at Texas Thunder Speedway, Ross, who later said her throttle was stuck and wouldn’t come loose, came barreling out of turn four and slammed hard into the concrete retaining wall.
The rookie driver, who races out of Temple, went from approximately 50 mph to zero in the blink of an eye.
Observers said the impact was so vicious, it cracked the concrete and left Ross’ car virtually destroyed. The good part ... she walked away with a woozy smile and after a checkout by paramedics, she was okay, but her race night was done.
Ross did say she’d be back this week in a different car.
Let me tell you, these athletes who compete in grass-roots, dirt-track stock car racing are double tough.
Another example came in the Outlaw Twister feature, when Copperas Cove racer Wendy Martel went flying off the track out of turn three, spinning twice like a top.
Martel made a miraculous save, which earned her a standing ovation from the fans, but Mrs. Martel didn’t hear it, since she had punched her car back into the traffic flow and went on like nothing ever happened.
She didn’t win, even after her show of courage. That honor went to the Kempner-based 10 car of Chris Bruner, who led from flag to flag and had a full straightaway lead at the end. It was Bruner’s second win in three days, after taking the checkers during Thursday’s special race night.
Back to the Street Stocks, which saw just two lead changes in 20 laps. The first came when front-runner David Dunn spun out, handing the top spot to Chris Birmingham. After a caution flag slowed things down, Nolanville’s Gary Norman, who’s leading the class’ points, pulled off a right-side pass on Birmingham during lap 5 and had to hold off hard pressure from Chris Florio to post the win.
We have to give the long-haul award to Clayton Weatherman, who brought his No. 18 IMCA Southern SportMod down from Wentzville, Mo., and took off to lead the feature’s first seven laps. Johnny Torres, up from San Antonio, passed Weatherman on the inside and hammered down, building his lead to a full straightaway en route to Victory Lane.
The IMCA Stock Car A-main started off with Hutto’s Mike McCarthy in command, and that’s how it stayed until the checkered flag waved. McCarthy had his hands full, fending off repeated takeover attempts by Jason Batt and Tristan Carman, but neither could quite reel him in.
It was a different story in the Texas Twister main event, which saw Harker Heights driver James Enyeart off to an early lead. Enyeart proceeded to outrun everybody, leading the parade to Victory Lane with no problems.
The IMCA Hobby Stock race was almost the same, with Waco driver Paul Scrivner jumping on his gas pedal hard on the opening green flag. After a caution, Scrivner went right back to work, leading from green to checkers and scoring his second win of 2013 at TTS.
IMCA Modified action started with Trevor Egbert in the early lead, but after a caution, Killeen driver J.P. Dowell slid inside the leader on lap eight and forged ahead.
Moments later, several cars were heading into turn four and another yellow flag waved when P.J. Egbert got underneath the back end of national champion and current points leader Keith White’s 1 car, lifting it off the ground and stopping the show in its tracks.
Egbert was black-flagged for rough driving and on the restart, with White in the rear of the pack, Dowell continued his run and finished off the win, just ahead of teammate Kenny Stone.
Hats off to White, one of the true gentlemen in our sport, for his hard charge from the back to claim fourth spot.
Other than that, I’ll keep my thoughts and opinions to myself ... for now.
See ya at the track!