By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
Albert Wininger Jr. regained his Street Stock class form Saturday night at Texas Thunder Speedway. Absent from the winner's circle for about six weeks, he said, Wininger's bad racing luck may have just ended with only three races left in the season.
"(The last three races) will be exciting. I guarantee that," Simmerman said after Wininger posted his eighth Street Stock win of the year.
Simmerman, last year's division champion, leads Wininger, the former points leader, 908-876 in the standings.
"I thought I forgot how to do this, I've had such bad luck lately," Wininger said in the winner's circle.
Afterward, Wininger said he's had to replace two motors and a transmission in his No. 40 car in the last three weeks alone. Finally, he hopes he has got his bad luck turned around.
"I'm going to run it wide-open," he said of the next three weeks.
"I just hope (Simmerman) breaks something," Wininger said jokingly to Simmerman, a longtime friend and competitor.
Trevor Sparkman still holds third-place with 860 points and finished eighth Saturday night.
Cris Florio finished third, Tom Monroe finished fourth and Simmerman finished fifth after Wininger.
The IMCA national divisions – Modifieds, Stock Cars and Southern SportsMods – did not race for points Saturday night, but all three races were still highly contested through the checkered flag.
Elias Anderson finished first in the Modifieds class with Chuck Bish and Allen Waltermire finishing second and third. Rookie Andrew Simmerman finished fourth, Ken Old finished sixth and P.J. Egbert finished 13th after leading the race for six laps before pulling off in a caution lap and not returning.
In the Stock Cars class, Shad Stevens won his third feature race of the year with Bish finished second. Jessie James Cox Jr. finished third.
Ron Simpson finished eighth.
Kenny Ware sent the Southern SportsMods class under caution in the ninth lap when he hit turn three too hard and high and went over the backside bank.
When he came back out, just before the yellow light went out, he was at the back of the eight-car pack. Less than two laps later, he held the second-place spot and took the lead from Robert Carr in the 12th lap and never surrendered it.
"I made my mind up before the race that I was going to win," Ware said.
After making it back out onto the track, Ware was even more determined to win.
"When your adrenaline gets racing like that, you get angry. You can either stay in the back or try and get back into first," he added.
Carr finished second and Kevin West finished third in that class.
For the second straight week, the Junior Mini's class was lumped in with the Mini-Stocks for a single feature race and for the second straight week, 14-year-old Colton Monroe navigated the track and the 'big-boy' competition without fear.
He almost won the race Saturday night, but coming out of turn four in the final lap with a head full of steam and the lead all but in his grasp, his 712 car spun him around and he had to settle for second behind veteran Mike Autrey.
"I've done it before, I thought I could do it again," Monroe said.
"I like racing with (the Minis) better than racing with kids my own age because the compitition is a lot better," he added.
"I don't want to get too cocky, but it feels great."
The second-place overall finish was also the Junior Minis' first-place finish and Monroe's 13th win of the year.
He has an 877-866 points lead over Joseph Charnock, who finished third against other Junior Minis.
Travis Zwiefelhofer finished in 10th, but still holds a 927-888 lead over Autrey in the Mini-Stocks points.
Egbert did walk away from the Speedway with a first-place trophy in the Texas Twisters class. That finish marks the fourth different class win for Egbert this season.
Aaron White finished second and Scott Crossley finished third.
Points leader Gary White (753) finished seventh.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org