By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
William "Pat" McGuire had a cushy 10-point lead over P.J. Egbert and Keith White when he lined up for the final points race of the 2007 Texas Thunder Speedway season Saturday night. McGuire and White, battling for first position coming around turn No. 3 spun each other around and when the field was settled and lap No. 6 restarted, McGuire was in 14th, White was 13th and Egbert led them all.
"I was trying to finish," McGuire said about his strategy before the race. But, after the collision, he said his focus had to be changed or else Egbert would claim his second-straight IMCA Modifieds track championship.
"I know if I finished in the top nine, I would be pretty much all right. That's all I was going for."
McGuire slipped into the ninth position on lap eight, eighth on lap 10 and seventh on lap 12 of the 20-lap race.
On lap 17, Egbert dropped his drive shaft around turn No. 1 and McGuire rested easy.
McGuire finished sixth and with the track title. White finished second overall with 859 points, 11 behind McGuire, and Egbert finished third with 851 points after his 15th-place finish.
Ken Old eventually finished out front for his 81st feature win. Anthony Otken place second and Ben Ketterman finished third.
McGuire would race to the winner's circle later in the evening after winning the Modified race of champions, edging out Hardy Henderson and White for that title.
White didn't walk away empty-handed as he easily raced his way to another win in the IMCA Southern SportsMods feature. He beat Shad Stevens by a straightaway into the checkered flag and 127 points for the SportsMods track title.
Kenny Ware finished third in the overall track standings, just seven points behind Stevens, 785-778.
T.J. Yagalla won the only anticipated hotly contested race. Yagall aand Keith Desmarais entered the final night tied with 855 points. Yagalla finished first and Desmarais finished 11th on the track and Yagalla claimed the title with an 11-point edge, 894-883.
Robert Simmerman won his third consecutive track championship in the Street Stocks class with a third-place finish in Saturday night's feature race.
Chris Florio won the event and Danny Dunn finished second, but more importantly to Simmerman, Trevor Sparkman finished fourth.
Coming into the race, Sparkman trailed Simmerman by only 10 points.
"Three in a row, that's nice," Simmerman said. "All I had to do was stay in front of No. 20 (Sparkman) and that's what I did. I wasn't worried about getting the win. I just wanted to finish the race."
After the race, Simmerman said he wouldn't seek track championship No. 4.
"It's time to let someone else go for it," Simmerman said.
Simmerman added that he still plans to race his No. 1 Street Stock car part-time next season and said he was hopeful, but doubtful, that he might join the IMCA Modified ranks.
Sparkman finished second in the overall standings with 845 points and Joe Fuller finished third with 778.
Benji Kirkpatrick finished first on the track and on top for the season as well in the IMCA Stock class. Stevens finished second in the standings with 860 points, 64 behind Kirkpatrick, and Jason Bogard finished third with 843. Jason Batt finished between Kirkpatrick and Stevens on Saturday night at the races.
Brandon Colburn won his first feature race in the Teen Mini-Stocks class with Joseph Charnock placing second and Jacob Wininger finishing third, but Colton Monroe, despite finishing the race fifth, won his second-consecutive Mini-Stocks titles, edging out Charnock by four points when everything was tallied. Colburn finished third overall with 782 points, 77 behind Monroe.
TTS will hold its season-ending banquet at the Harker Heights VFW on Nov. 17. Next year's race season begins March 8.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.