By Justin Boyd
Killeen Daily Herald
Three straight weeks, three straight wins: Pat McGuire just kept rolling along Saturday night at Texas Thunder Speedway.
The Belton driver passed P.J. Egbert for the IMCA Modified race lead in turn four on lap three and never looked back as he won his third consecutive feature race at the quarter-mile, semi-banked oval dirt track.
"The track was a little rough tonight, but that was fun," McGuire said with a grin after climbing out of his No. 9 car.
McGuire has had plenty of fun lately.
In winning the last three Modified features, McGuire led 51 of a possible 60 laps, including 17 on Saturday night.
Allen Waltermire finished second, P.J. Egbert took third with track points leader Trevor Egbert finishing fourth and Andrew Simmerman rounding out the top five.
With the victory, McGuire became the first driver at TTS to win three feature races in a single class this season. A handful of other drivers appeared headed for that feat until mechanical problems ended their bids. In the Street Stock feature, a flat left rear tire cost defending track champion and race leader Robert Simmerman a shot at his third win of the year.
Albert Wininger Jr., who was running second, took the race lead on lap 12, when the flat tire took Simmerman out of contention, and cruised to his first win of the season.
"I lucked into that one," Wininger said of his win. "I tried to stay out of trouble and I looked up and (Simmerman) had a flat tire."
Danny Dunn finished second followed by class points leader Trevor Sparkman, Joe Fuller and Simmerman, who was able to salvage a top-five finish.
In the IMCA Southern SportMod feature, Mike McDougal's bid to win three straight races ended before it began as a mechanical problem kept McDougal's No. 424 car out of the feature. Cody Frank's car, however, ran just fine as Frank bested Shad Stevens and class points leader Trace Crawford for his first-ever win at TTS.
Defending Jr. Mini Stock track champion Colton Monroe was plagued with mechanical problems as well.
While leading the five-car, 12-lap event for drivers ages 13-15, Monroe's car broke down in the backstretch on lap 6.
As he rolled his car to the infield, Monroe, a two-time race winner this season, could only watch as Brad VanMarter picked up his second win.
Monroe's problems in-turn became older brother P.J. Egbert's problems, as Egbert drives Monroe's No. 712 car in the Mini Stock class.
Egbert was able to start the Mini Stock feature, a race he had won the previous two weeks, but dropped out of the 10-car, 15-lap event less than a lap in.
Ronnie Ellis Jr., who started in the last position, quickly worked his way through the field and passed Mike Autrey in turn three on lap five to win his first race of the season. Class points leader Travis Zwiefelhofer finished fourth.
In the I-Stock feature, defending track champion Cham Savage Jr. won his first race of the season at TTS leading all 15 laps, many of which with class points leader and two-time race winner Eric Jones nipping at his heels.
"Eric's pretty good," Savage said after the win. "The last person I want chasing me around this track is Eric Jones."
Jacob Dunn finished third, Bradley Sims took fourth and Ron Simpson rounded out the top five.
Driving Chris Ware's No. 00 car, Larry Tuerch won the Texas Twisters feature as he held off James Tanner, who drove several laps with the hood of his car up, which blocked the view out of his windshield.
Gary White finished third, track points leader "Nasty" Nate Cullifer took fourth and Ronald Tanner finished in the fifth spot.
Contact Justin Boyd at firstname.lastname@example.org