By Justin Boyd
Killeen Daily Herald
Those who came to see cars crash into one another got more than they bargained for Saturday night at Texas Thunder Speedway.
With the always popular demolition derby slated to close out the card, the five regular racing classes did their best to get the season-best crowd of approximately 1,200 fans ready for the derby.
Crashes were the theme throughout Saturday night's event and nowhere were the wrecks more prevalent than in the IMCA Modified feature race.
The caution flag flew four times before even two laps were completed. Midway through the 20-lap event, only 14 of the 21 cars remained on the track. One of those, however, was P.J. Egbert's No. 707 car.
Egbert benefited from the high volume of cautions as he worked his way from the back of the field to another victory.
Greg Atwood finished second and Hardy Henderson took third, with Dan Roberts and Ken Old rounding at the top five.
For Egbert, the win was not only his third straight at TTS but his fifth straight overall as he has won the past two feature events at the Heart of Texas Speedway in Waco.
Earlier in the evening, Egbert, the Modified class points leader, also won his heat race. George Egbert and Trevor Egbert won the other two Modified heat races.
The Mini-Stock feature was also a caution-filled event. Gatesville racer Billy White saw his bid to win three straight features end early as he was collected in a wreck on lap one.
Two-time defending Mini-Stock champ Jason Hoffman, however, was able to avoid the wrecks as he battled Bill Siegman back and forth for the lead during the final five laps. Hoffman ended up scoring the win, his second of the season, as Shad Stevens took second,
Daniel Shipler finished third and Siegman took fourth.
After the victory, Hoffman said racing against a respected opponent like Siegman is always a treat.
"Bill runs me clean every night and I run him clean," Hoffman said.
Despite his 13th-place finish, White retained the points lead with 183 for the year.
I-Stock points leader Jason Batt notched his first TTS win of the season in dramatic fashion.
Batt, who trailed race leader Derrick Sears for 14 laps, passed Sears in turn four on the final lap, then held Sears off at the finish line for the win. David Dunn took third, Chris Ochoa garnered fourth-place and Aaron Hetherington finished in the fifth spot.
Batt credited his pit crew with the victory.
"I got in a wreck early in the race and they got me back out there," the crowd favorite said. "I'm not even sure what the right side of my car looks like."
After a one-week absence from Victory Lane, Andrew Simmerman returned to the winner's circle Saturday night. Simmerman led all 15 laps en route to his third Street Stock win of the season.
Albert Wininger Jr. took second place, Robert Simmerman brought home a third-place finish with points leader Danny Dunn and last week's feature winner Mike McLaughlin finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
The Simmerman brothers are tied for second in the Street Stock points standings with 183 apiece.
In the Thunder Stock feature, Jeff Medlock passed Justin Wierenga for the lead in turn four on lap 13 and then held off Wierenga for his first win of the season.
Class points leader Trevor Sparkman took third followed by last week's winner Tony Hamil and Robin Rasmussen.
As for the demolition derby, James Deane outlasted nine other competitors to take the event. Michael Crandall finished second and Brian Fuller took third place.
The next demolition derby at TTS is scheduled for July 30.
Contact Justin Boyd at email@example.com