By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
The crowd at Saturday night's Texas Thunder Speedway races was humbled and silenced as emergency rescue services tended to race car accident victims.
"I hate to see this kind of stuff in the headlines," J.D. Hardcastle said in a hurry after finishing the Texas Twisters class race.
His passenger, Frank McDonald, was transported to Metroplex Hospital after complaining of neck and back pain.
After being removed from the car, McDonald was placed on an EMS backboard, given a neckbrace, then transported gingerly by four-wheeler to a nearby ambulance while other emergency personnel tended to Tony Medlock below an embankment opposite the stands.
Reports coming from the announcer's booth said his 88X car was turned on its side and rescue personnel were trying to free him from the car.
Medlock was experiencing hip pains, the announcer said. But that is all that was being said.
Moments later, Medlock was transported by ambulance to Scott & White Hospital. A tow-truck dragging his wrecked car followed and the crowd could see the damage and only applauded the exiting ambulance louder.
"It happened all so fast, it was scary," Hardcastle said.
Medlock's car rolled over and Hardcastle had to brake and was then hit from behind, Hardcastle said.
Neither Medlock nor Hardcastle was admitted into hospital care.
After the injured were safely away, the race continued and Jesse Call went on to win with Mike Sadler and Chris Florio coming in afterward.
Hardcastle finished the race in ninth place.
Call (second place, 583 points) gained three points on the division points leader, Gary White, (586) who finished seventh.
There's a new leader in the closely contested Street Stocks class and it was the new leader, Robert Simmerman, who finished under the checkered flag first.
Former points-leader Albert Wininger Jr. made an early exit in the race and finished 13th. Wininger now fills the third-place slot with 706 points, two points behind second-place holder Trevor Sparkman (708) and is 11 points behind the new man-to-beat.
Simmerman drove patiently behind race leader Dave Meadows until Meadows collided with Brian Fuller in lap 14 of the 15-lap race.
The accident forced a caution flag and advanced Simmerman to the head of the pack, and then Simmerman closed the deal.
"With the points race, I hate to see that happen to Meadows but I'll take the win," Simmerman said.
"I was relaxed the whole race, I was OK settling for second place because it was a good points night."
Now leading the Street Stocks class, Simmerman knows it is not going to be easy to hold it.
"It's going to be tough. Wininger's a good racer, if he can off the bad-luck bug, he'll be there. And Trevor Sparkman is itching. He wants it.
"The win tonight was good, now I'm in the points race. I'd like to win a few more, but I mainly just want to finish ahead of those other guys. I just want to back up what I did last year."
P.J. Egbert also reclaimed his perch on the winner's circle in the IMCA Modifieds after being ousted the last two weeks by veteran Allen Waltermire.
"The last two weeks I've had a lot of bad luck. A lot of cautions. I knew if I stayed out of trouble – not getting tangled with other cars – I'd be there at the end," Egbert said.
"Racing like this, patience pays off."
Waltermire finished third Saturday night behind Ken Old.
Egbert still leads the division points race with 746 and Danny Gribble, who finished 11th, still sits in second place with 681.
Egbert also finished first in the Mini-Stocks class ahead of Julie Kelly Zwiefelhofer and Joseph Gregoire.
Travis Zwiefelhofer still leads the division with 750 points, 45 ahead of Mike Autrey. Egbert sits in third with 697.
In the IMCA Stock division, Benji Kirkpatrick continues his quest further into the leaders points race with another first-place finish after finishing second last week.
Kirkpatrick moved up a rank from ninth to eighth with the Saturday night win. Eric Jones still sits atop the leaderboard with 731 points.
Sid Kiphen earned his place in the IMCA Sothern SportsMods division points race with a 40-point, first-place finish Saturday night.
He finished ahead of Shad Stevens (third-place, 675 points) and points leader Billy White (698).
In the Junior Minis, it, again, came down to just two cars – points leader Colton Monroe and challenger Joseph Charnock – in the race for the checkered flag and it was Monroe getting the best of Charnock this weekend.
Monroe still leads Charnock by just seven points, 693-686.
In a special feature, Dewayne Berger, from Bryan, finished first in the motorcycle-engined, Brazos Mini Sprint race followed by David DeLeon, also of Bryan, and Troy Wren.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org