Thunder Road RC Speedway celebrated nine years of life; and the owner, Ernie Padgette celebrated approximately a half century more; on February 4th, with the running of the annual Birthday Bash. A good field of racers turned out; including some faces not seen in a few years.
Thunder Road thanks McAllister, JACO and SMC for the door prizes; which were well received by the racers in attendance. Your support is, as always, appreciated. A special note: One volunteer turn marshal, who filled in as needed all night, received a McAllister ’06 Monte Carlo body for his display of sportsmanship. That kind of effort is always appreciated; and should be rewarded.
After the customary three heats, which featured some pretty good racing in their own right, the racers took to the track for the Mains. Lin Vaughan continued his night-long domination of the 19-turn Class with an A Main win; but Harold Ruckle managed to jump McLin right at the start. Harold had been doing some tweaking on his car all night long, and it showed; as McLin had to chase hard for half the race, just to get in a position to challenge. After several failed attempts, McLin managed to duck inside Harold going into turn one. He completed the pass as the cars exited two; but Harold came with a whisker of returning the favor as the cars rocketed into turn three. There was a brief bobble as the cars touched, but both drivers kept their mounts pointed straight and McLin held on as the cars ripped down the main straight. Harold stayed right on McLin’s bumper for several laps; even making a stab at a pass a couple of times. A gentle brush with the outside wall eventually dropped Harold a second back; and, with the immediate pressure off, McLin was able to go back to his racing line without worrying about defending his line against a sudden pass. After that, McLin started stretching his lead. A tenth of a second here and there; and suddenly the challenge was over. McLin won by nearly a lap over Harold, setting a 19-turn record 57 laps in the process; as Steve Herndon trailed in third place.
Steve Herndon got his revenge in the Spec Class; cruising to an easy victory over second finisher Robbie Bingler. Robbie had looked strong in the heats, as had Steve Walker; but the A Main was all Herndon’s. The best racing of the night was between third place finisher Steve Walker and Charlie Johnson. The two were so close at the line that it wasn’t until the computer printout came out, that we knew Steve and beaten Charlie.
Stock Class belonged to Clayton Anderson all night long. In every heat, Harold Ruckle took advantage of the torque of his EA motor to jump into a quick lead. Clayton would gradually pull in on Harold; and (sometimes with the aid of the chrome horn) slip by, going into turn one or three. After that, Clayton would gently ease away. The A Main followed the same scenario; and, once past Harold, Clayton cruised to an easy win. John Birmele seemed to take a minute or so to get into sync with the track; but ran strong after that; earning a solid third place over Tim Thoner.
Special note should be taken of the Stock B Main. Jimmy Zirk had bested Jeff Duck in all three heats. But, when the B Main was run, Jimmy got tangled with another car on the second lap. That put him a half lap back right at the outset; and Jeff ran and hid. Jimmy chased hard, right to the finish; but Jeff Duck walked away with the B Main win; and his ear to ear grin said it all.
Novice Class was interesting; but rumor has it that some old fart was dropped in as a ringer; just to make up the numbers. Modesty forbids further discussion of the results. Suffice it to say that the racing was… interesting; and the wall to wall (literally) on track action sufficient to keep the turn marshals and spectators alternately wincing and laughing.
Two second place finishes were sufficient to give Harold Ruckle a big start toward funding his upcoming Snowbirds trip; and Lin Vaughan and Steve Herndon picked up a good bit of change as well, from the $500.00 in race awards. A good night of racing; some old faces making a reappearance; and some good, close racing. What else is needed for a great night of RC action? Come join us at Thunder Road RC Speedway; and you’ll see what we mean.
Next week: Road Course. Thanks; Ernie P.