By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
Saturday afternoon's 1 3/8 inches of rain coupled with Friday's thunderstorms filled Texas Thunder Speedway's infield with shallow pools and forced drivers in all divisions to stay away from the track's inside and outside borders all night long.
The track conditions allowed few passes, but each was full of anxious excitement.
"The only reason I won was because of the track conditions," IMCA Stock feature winner Jason Bogard said. "It was a one-lane track. I had to bump doors with Robin (Rasmussen) a little bit to get around."
Bogard started the race in fourth position behind pole-sitter Jessie James Cox Jr, Rasmussen and Jason Batt. Rasmussen got the early jump and led for the opening three laps when Bogard made his move and then held Rasmussen at bay for the next 12 laps to take his first feature win of the season.
"It's been a long year. We finally got one," Bogard said, receiving the trophy after the race.
Benji Kirkpatrick (611 points, third-place Saturday night), Eric Jones (591, sixth-place), and Shad Stevens (571, seventh) still the lead the I-Stock division. Batt finished second and Rasmussen finished fourth.
Tim Carman Jr. prefered racing in the slick conditions he said after his second feature win of the season in the IMCA SportMod class.
"It's the way I wanted it," Carman said. "It's a one-route track."
Carman lined up behind pole-sitter Mike Autrey to start the race, but took an early lead and distanced himself from the rest of the field until a sixth-lap caution. While most drivers hate cautions while holding that sort of lead, Carman said he always felt their pressure and kept racing hard until the checkered flag dropped after 15 laps.
"I thought they were right behind me the entire time, so I ran it," Carman said.
Albert Winninger Jr. and points leader Keith White finished behind Carman.
White extended his total points lead to 55 ahead of Eric Tomlinson (546 points) in search of his third-consecutive SportMod title.
After his share of bad nights to start the season, IMCA Modifieds reigning champion P.J. Egbert closed the points gap to just 19 behind White in that division with his third straight feature win.
"We had a bunch of bad nights early," Egbert said. "It feels good to be back in Victory Lane."
Egbert said it was much easier to keep a lead than to get out front in the wet conditions.
"It was fairly difficult to pass because of how narrow the racing lane was," Egbert said. "Mostly, you wait for people to make mistakes."
Ben Ketteman and Kenny Stone finished behind Egbert; White finished fifth.
Danny Dunn collected the street stocks feature win in a race that saw five caution laps. Dunn jumped out on Dean Silva after the second in the seventh lap and held Brian Fuller and Chris Florio away long enough for the checkered win.
Robert Simmerman – the current and two-time street stocks track champions – and Trevor Sparkman came into the Saturday night feature tied atop the points list, but Simmerman bowed out at turn No. 1 in the 19th lap and Sparkman finished fourth to give him the points lead, 567-558. Florio and Joe Fuller are now tied in the third-place slot with 539 points apiece.
David Holtz and T.J. Yagalla each took home a share of the Texas Twisters first-place prize money because of the class's two feature races Saturday night. Yagalla held off both points-leader Keith Desmarais (599 points) and J.D. Hardcastle (589) for the win. Holtz edged out Matthew Fitzgerald and Michael Hilliard earlier.
Colton Monroe picked up his ninth feature win of the season, edging Joseph Charnock and Travis Zwiefelhofer across the finish. Monroe now holds a 578-565 advantage over Charnock in the points standings while Zwiefelhofer is currently third with 534 points.
And, finally, Amber Hall, racing in Sparkman's No. 20 street stock car, won the street stock/I-Stock Powder Puff race.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.