By Justin Boyd
Killeen Daily Herald
Though there were 16 other cars vying for the same prize, the IMCA Modified Mid-Season Championship feature event was a two-car race.
Heading into the 20-lap event, defending 2003 co-champions Keith White and P.J. Egbert had combined to win 10 feature races this season. Saturday night at Texas Thunder Speedway Egbert pushed the total to 11.
Starting upfront due to his class points lead, White paced the field the first 15 laps.
On lap 16, however, Egbert, who was following close behind White, attempted a pass in turn three. Egbert dove hard inside while White attempted a block. The cars touched and the bump was enough to propel Egbert's No. 707 car side-by-side with White through the front stretch. The Copperas Cove driver took the lead for good in the backstretch, claiming his seventh victory of the season.
"I was trying to pass [White] on the bottom of the race track," Egbert said of his winning pass. "Me and Keith always race close and I hope he didn't think the bump was intentional."
Greg Atwood took third, Gregg Killingsworth finished fourth and Ken Old, who was involved in a first-lap crash that red-flagged the race, rounded out the top five.
With the second-place finish, White boosted his season point total to 391. The Academy driver has a 49-point advantage over nearest competitor Hardy Henderson. Ben Ketteman is third in the standings with 330 points, followed by Egbert (311) and Allen Waltermire (300).
Jason Hoffman seized the Mini-Stock Mid-Season Championship, holding off Kenny Ware for the second straight week.
Despite the finish, Ware holds a 10-point advantage over the Harker Heights driver in the Mini-Stock standings.
Rookie David Stewart is third with 346 points followed by Ricky Reid (332) and Daniel Shipler (300).
Trevor Sparkman has made it halfway in defending his 2003 Thunder Stock title as he won the Mid-Season Championship and, in the process, overtook Jessie James Cox Jr. for the class points lead. Danny Dunn ran second and Corey Stepan took third.
Cox, who returned to action for the first time since suffering a heart attack in April, brought home a ninth-place finish. Sparkman leads Cox by just two points with Gary Grant holding down the third spot.
Killeen driver Jason Batt turned back Derrick Sears and Shad Stevens, taking the I-Stock Mid-Season title, his first victory at TTS this season.
Anthony Otken, who finished fourth on the night, retained the class points lead with 337 points.
Richard Riley is second (333) and Sears is third.
Street Stocks points leader Andrew Simmerman flew around the -mile semi-banked oval dirt track seemingly unchallenged for 15 laps as he won the Mid-Season Championship, his second consecutive victory of the season.
"This track is fast tonight," the Evant driver said after the win.
Copperas Cove driver T.Y. Hawkey finished second followed by Scott Cooper, Robert Simmerman and Killeen driver Joe Fuller.
With the victory, Simmerman was able to stretch his points advantage to 20 over Fuller.
The Texas Dwarf Car Association cars made their 2004 TTS season debut with Benny Tufts of Waxahachie taking the checkered flag in the 23-car event.
The TDCA cars not only provided one of the more exciting races of the night, they also provided the biggest scare. On lap one, Fred Mailloux's No. 89 car flipped in turn three. It took track workers several minutes to get Mailloux out of the overturned vehicle. Once out, the Corpus Christi driver motioned to the crowd and was able to get into the track ambulance without assistance.
The TDCA cars return to TTS Aug. 7.
Contact Justin Boyd at email@example.com