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Race Report for Thunderhill Raceway for June 19th

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This was our 3rd of 6 races at Thunderhill Raceway for the 2010 Season and the day started off Hot and the action got even hotter!!! For practice everyone was running in the heat of the day and just making simple adjustments since the race was going to be after dark. But you still had to get your setup somewhat dialed in for the Qualifying session. And we all knew it was going to be hot!! The qulaifying order was set by the season points inverted. This meant that the #18 M&M's kart being driven by Kelli Garrett was going to be the first of the 9 karts to show up for the race to qualify. Kelli went out and set the first time for everyone to shoot for. But she was dropped to 2nd as soon as the #20 Orange Crush went out with Lyndon Kirk Driving and took the pole early. Next out was the #88 Rockhard Racing's Kaleb Kreis who had been fast all day and set pole for the last Thunderhill race. Well it didn't take long for kaleb to pick up where he left off setting the pole at a 18.085. Next out was the #07 of Megan Smith and she was fast...just not fast enuff to set pole but she was fast enough to hold 2nd in qualifying. Until the #24 Rockhard Racing's Chris Terry went out and just missed the pole by .142 seconds to his Teammate Kaleb. This put Chris in 2nd with Megan now 3rd in qualifying. Next up was Rockhard Racing's Team owner Marty Kreis in the #29. And he knocked Megan out of the top 3 Qualifyers and had Rockhard Racing sitting pretty with the top 3 Qualifyers. The #14 Pearland Car Care of Andy Taylor was the next to last one to qualify but having some jetting issues just wasn't up to snuff to crack the top 3. Last up was points leader Mike Steinman in his #16 3M kart and went out and broke up the Rockhard Racing trio by just barely missing out on qualifying 2nd by .079 to Chris Terry but Dropped Marty back to the 4th qualifyer. So Kaleb Kreis being top qualifyer picked up the bonus point!! Great job Kaleb!!



The Feature race was later in the evening just after the TSRS Late models had finished and the sun was going down. A coin flip earlier saw the qualifying order would be inverted. So the pole setter was now starting in the back and the slow qualifyers were on the pole.Also joining the Feature was Chris Birmingham sub driving in the Rockhard Racing's #48. Chris has raced with the NASKARTS before but since he didn't qualify, he was starting in the back. So the starting order was: On pole was the #18 Kelli Garrett and outside was #20 Lyndon Kirk, 2nd Row inside was #14 Andy Taylor and outside was #07 Megan Smith, 3rd row inside was #29 Marty Kreis and outside was #16 Mike Steinman. 4th row inside was #24 Chris Terry and outside was #88 kaleb Kreis. 5th Row was the #48 Chris Birmingham.



As the NASKARTS came through 3 and 4 the green flag was dropped and it was on early. The inside row lead by #18 Kelli Garrett got a slow start as the kart just would not pick up speed and allowed the outside row to start to move ahead. coming to the start finish line a hole opened up for the #07 of Megan Smith and without hesitation she shot thru it to the inside line to move into the lead with the #16 Mike Steinman right on her bumper and passing the #20 Lyndon Kirk for 2nd. By the time the field got around for the first lap, Rockhard Racing's Kaleb Kreis had already moved into 3rd from the last row followed by

his dad #29 Marty Kreis and #24 Chris Terry. Andy Taylor #14 got in line behind them with Chris Birmingham #48 right on his bumper. The order stayed this way til lap 4 when Chris Birmingham made his way around Andy Taylor and put himself in position with the rest of the Rockhard Racing team. Up Front Megan Smith and Steinman were pulling away in a 2 kart draft. But once the Rockhard Racing team got in line, they were soon running them down. By lap 8 they had caught the front 2 and Mike Steinman #16 pulled out of the draft from Megan Smith #07 and took the lead hoping to change things around and maybe get megan in behind him to see if they were faster that way. But the Train called Rockhard Racing was coming to fast and dropped Megan all the way back to 6th place in 1 lap! By lap 11 Chris Birmingham #48 realized he had a fast kart and went passed his teammate #88 Kaleb Kreis thru 1 and 2 and then drafted Steinman down the back straight and stuck it in on turn 3 to take the lead from Steinman. When he did thought this left the other Rockhard Racing teammates shuffling around for position and dropping Kaleb back to 5th with Chris Terry moving up to 3rd to start his move to the front. Steinman on the next lap re-took the lead from Birmingham and held onto the lead just until the competition yellow came out. Birmingham had just passed Steinman after the yellow was thrown but was delegated to 2nd for the restart. On the restart Steinman held on to the lead for 2 more laps until Birmingham was able to shoot in under Steinman into turn 3 pushing Steinman up the hill and taking 2 of the Rockhard Racing guys Chris terry and Kaleb Kreis to the front with him. But bad luck struck the #48 of Chris Birmingham and the kart threw the chain off killing his drive and sending the next places behind him scrambling to avoid hitting him. Chris Terry went low followed by Kaleb and Steinman in 4th jumped up high to go arund the outside, but Chris moved up and the 2 got together sending Steinman sideways and losing all his drive and allowing the field to go by and dropping him back to last place. This put Rockhard Racing Teammates in 1st #24 Chris Terry, 2nd #88 Kaleb Kreis and 3rd #29 Marty Kreis. They might of had this race wrapped up except that the #48 came to a stop on the front striaght bringing out the 2nd yellow flag of the night. This allowed everyone to bunch up as the kart was towed off the track. On the inside for the restart, up front was Terry followed by MArty Kreis Megan Smith and last on the inside was Mike Steinman. On the outside was Kaleb Kreis followed by Andy Taylor and the #20 of Lyndon Kirk. As the green flew again, everyone was nose to tail and side by side from the middle of turn 3 to turn 1. Going thru 1 and 2 #29 Marty Kreis either got loose or being the meat in the sandwiche, got loose from pushing the leader and being pushed at the same time from behind by Megan who was being pushed by Steinman. But Marty got loose and went up in turn 2 to get control of his kart but hit kaleb kreis in the process and spun the #88. With only a fraction of a second to decide what to do...Megan went low thru the whole under Marty thru turn 2 followed by Steinman and moved herself back up to 2nd behind Chris Terry. with the melee in turn 2 getting itslef straightened out...it allowed the top 3 to pull out a small lead over the rest of the field. On the next lap though Steinman went under Megan down the back straight and drafted Chris terry thru turns 3 and 4 and got the drive around the outside of Terry to take the lead back into turn 1 on lap 19. The order stayed this way until lap 22 when Marty Kreis and Megan Smith got into each other going into 3 and Megan got spun around backwards coming to a stop between turns 3 and 4. Before the yellow came out though it allowed the #88 Kaleb Kreis to move back into 2nd with the #14 Andy Taylor able to draft with him into 3rd. The green again flew with only 4 laps to go and Kaleb was on Steinman's bumper looking for a way to pass. Steinman hugged the low line tight so that no one could get under him...and when Kaleb got a drive off of turn 2 he was able to get beside Steinman but could not make the pass and Taylor then slipped into 2nd behind Steinman and held off Kaleb to the finish line for 2nd while pushing Steinman to the win!

So the finishing order was Steinman #16 & #14 Taylor 1st & 2nd. Team Rockhard Racings #88 Kaleb Kreis, #24 Chris Terry and #29 Marty Kreis 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively and Megan Smith 07 and the #20 of Lyndon Kirk 6th and 7th of the karts that were still running. There was lots of action...lots of banging and some good hard driving for the fans to enjoy. This was also the 1st time this season we had a repeat winner. But the points are still very very close and we are at our month long summer break for the season.


We'll see what happens at the next race as we go back the road course in Katy on July 18th.

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