By Justin Boyd
Killeen Daily Herald
It doesn't get much closer than the finish of the IMCA Modified feature race Saturday night at Texas Thunder Speedway.
Greg Atwood picked up his second win of the season in dramatic fashion, edging teammate and Modified class points leader Keith White at the start/finish line on the final lap.
"I guess I beat him by about 3 feet," Atwood said. "It was real close. It was a great race."
Starting in the middle of the pack, Atwood and White quickly moved to the front of the 21-car field. On lap 8, White hedged in front with Atwood not far behind. Eight laps later, Atwood seemingly took the lead, going by White on the bottom of the track. However, just before the pass was made, the caution flag came out, negating the move altogether.
Following the restart, Atwood trailed White closely. On the final lap, Atwood pulled side-by-side with White in the backstretch. Coming off turn four, White dived hard inside while Atwood went to the outside, just nosing his No. 23 car past White to take the checkered flag.
"I was kind of disappointed to see the caution come out late in the race," Atwood said. "I figured (White) thought the place to be on the track was at the top and I'd been making the bottom work for me and I was afraid that with the pass, I showed him that the bottom worked, too.
"But he did what I thought he was going to do. He moved down a little bit so I had to move to the top and I didn't know if I could get it done up there. But we got it done."
Since Atwood's first win of the season back on July 31, the Leander driver has consistently finished in the top five in feature events and has moved into fourth place in the standings with 529 points.
"That first win was a real confidence booster," Atwood said. "It gave me the confidence that I could run with (White). Everybody kind of gets psyched out because he's so hard to outrun and that race just made me want to drive harder. We've got the same equipment so there's no reason I shouldn't be right there with him."
With the second-place finish, White extends his points lead to 67 over Hardy Henderson. Ben Ketteman, who finished third in the race, is also third in the standings with 575 points.
Gatesville racer Billy White notched his fifth win of the season, leading all 15 laps of the Mini-Stock feature. Ron Simpson finished second with Mike Deroon taking third.
In the Mini-Stock standings, defending track champion Jason Hoffman holds a slight four-point edge (612-608) over Kenny Ware.
In the Thunder Stock feature, Killeen driver Bobby Norton scored his third win of 2004, holding off Danny Colburn and Jeff Medlock in the process.
Points leader Jessie James Cox. Jr. took fourth in the race and, with the finish, maintains a three-point lead (598-595) over Trevor Sparkman in the standings. Norton is third with 575 points.
For a remarkable ninth straight week a member of the Simmerman family finished in the top spot in the Street Stock feature. Robert Simmerman led flag-to-flag to tally his fourth win of the season.
Points leader Andrew Simmerman, who has won seven features, including the previous three, finished second while Mike McLaughlin took the third spot.
The I-Stock class ran two feature races Saturday night.
Billy Lorenz led all 15 laps en route to his first ever win in the I-Stock class.
The second I-Stock feature event of the night was a make-up race for the rain-shortened Aug. 28 TTS date.
Jason Batt of Killeen rolled to his second win of the year, turning back Jason Bogard and Ed Keiner.
Ty Cobb, driver of the OU1 car, originally finished second in the race but was disqualified after refusing a claim on his engine following the event.
Anthony Otken sits in the top spot in the I-Stock standings, (598-591) seven points ahead of Chris Moore.
The Street Stock, Mini-Stock and Thunder Stock classes will run two feature races Saturday while the Modified class will make up the missed Aug. 28 race with two events Sept. 18.
An eight-car demolition derby concluded the night's action with Bo Oleson outlasting James Hagar and Kevin Myers. The win gives Oleson a sweep of demolition derby contests at TTS this season as he won the first derby on July 3.
Contact Justin Boyd at firstname.lastname@example.org