By Justin Boyd
Killeen Daily Herald
Unstoppable and unprecedented.
Those two words best describe Keith White and his recent run of success at Texas Thunder Speedway.
On Saturday night, White kept his incredible streak going as, for the third straight week, he won both the IMCA Modified and IMCA Southern SportMod feature races.
The occasion marked the seventh time this season that White has won two features in the same night. Throw in more than 20 SportMod victories, the national, region and track SportMod points leads and four consecutive Modified wins at TTS and it hasn't been too bad of a year for the Academy driver.
"I don't think I've ever had a run like this before," White said. "It's been an awesome year. But you've got to be lucky and we've been lucky. You've just got to ride that while it is."
While luck might be part of it, it doesn't fully explain White's increased level of dominance from week to week. On Saturday, White led 14 of 15 SportMod laps and then he paced the Modified field for 19 of the 20 laps.
"Sometimes you can't do anything wrong," he said.
"Every place you pick just opens up. Like tonight, the whole track opened up and I was there."
The only real challenge White faced the entire night came in the Modified feature. On lap 11, P.J. Egbert's 707 car died in the backstretch, which brought out the caution flag and bunched the field back up with White, who had established a sizeable lead.
Back with the pack, White had to hold off a hard-charging Danny Gribble the final nine laps to get the win.
"When the caution came out, my car wasn't running right and I didn't know if I was going to be able to pull them on the restart," White said. "Once you've got a good lead, you don't want the race to quit, period. You want to run until it ends. Danny's got a new car, he's worked on it and he's got it going pretty good right now. He's going to be tough the rest of the year."
With a sixth-place finish, Brian Killingsworth maintained his Modified track points lead.
Like White, Cham Savage Jr. also had to withstand a late caution, which set up a green-white checker finish, to score his fourth I-Stock win of the season.
"It's frustrating," said Savage, who held off I-Stock points leader Eric Jones for the victory. "It's the last lap and you feel like you've got it won and then the caution comes out. But it's been a while since I've been to the winner's circle. My dad was saying I better get back here soon or he might stop the funds for this program."
A strong contender in the I-Stock points chase all season, Savage, currently second in the standings, said a track championship would mean a lot to him.
"That's what we're shooting for," Savage said. "My dad wants me to win the championship. He won a lot of races here in the past and he wants me to try to do it also."
In the Thunder Stock feature, Justin Wierenga edged Trevor Sparkman by a bumper at the finish line to garner his first win of the season.
Class points leader Bobby Norton finished third followed by Danny Colburn and Robin Rasmussen.
Wierenga wasn't the only racer to score his first win of the season.
Kempner driver Daniel Shipler passed David Stewart on lap 13 and then held Stewart off the remaining two laps to win the Mini-Stock feature.
"That was a hell of a race," Shipler said after climbing out of his No. 38 truck. "Everybody ran a clean race."
Mini-Stock points leader Shad Stevens finished seventh.
In the Street Stock race, Mike McLaughlin took the race lead on the second lap and never relented as he won his third race of the year.
Albert Wininger Jr. took second place followed by Danny Dunn, track points leader Robert Simmerman and Joe Fuller.
During intermission, fans in attendance were treated to the daring exploits of Dr. Danger-Dare Devil FX.
For his first stunt, the Austin-based performer escaped unscathed from a burning car that was doused with 13 gallons of gasoline.
For his second and final act, Dr. Danger, piloting an old Lincoln Town Car, drove up a fiery ramp at 50 mph and propelled his car into three demolition derby cars that were stacked on top of each other 10-15 feet away from the ramp, resulting in a colossal crowd-pleasing crash.
Contact Justin Boyd at firstname.lastname@example.org