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THR recap, 7/10/04

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By Jon Sagester


KYLE--Most people involved in sports’ activities are dedicated to their sport since it takes concentration and focus to succeed. It is no less so with the stock car drivers at Thunder Hill Raceway. To compete it takes an extraordinary amount of time, effort, and money.


A case in point is Colt James, formerly of Austin and Buda, who has been racing in the ROMCO Super Late Model series for three years. The 21-year-old redhead currently lives in Mooresville, N.C., and works in the engine shop for Robert Yates Racing. He flies back to Texas about once a month to compete with the ROMCO Series Texas Tornado Tour.


The ROMCO tour was scheduled to race at Thunder Hill two weeks ago, when James qualified for the pole position, but the race was rained out before the feature race could begin.


This past Saturday (July 10), James got up at 3 a.m., caught a plane to Austin at 6 a.m., prepped his #15 Chevy Monte Carlo, and was at the track in time to race the 125-lap ROMCO feature on Saturday evening.

Starting on the pole, James was passed by Brandon Bendele on the restart, after a caution on the first lap. Bendele led some 25 laps before he was caught up in a six-car entanglement in Turn One and couldn’t continue the race, giving the lead back to James.


Halfway through the race, Bradley Riethmeyer moved up from his fifth place starting position and got into James’ rear bumper. Although he maintained control of the car, James slowed, giving Riethmeyer the opportunity to take over the lead.


Two laps later, James went inside of Riethmeyer to regain the lead. With more bumping and scraping going on, Riethmeyer got back in front of James on lap 123 but spun out in Turn One, allowing Tom Grothues to slip past him and giving the lead back to James.


Coming down the front straight on the last lap, James went inside of Grothues, causing him to spin into the infield and allowing James to sprint over the finish line. Doug Hooks (Dripping Springs) finished second after starting 11th; Kent Baltzell came in third.


The win gave James his second victory in the ROMCO series, with both occurring at Thunder Hill Raceway this season.


Another indication of the dedication and effort put into their sport was Capital City Trade & Technical School (CCTTS) Hobby Stock driver Joe Tschoerner (Bartlett). Arriving at the track Saturday afternoon, Tschoerner couldn’t get his car ready for the CCTTS Hobby Stock feature. He drove back home, loaded up his backup car, and got back to Kyle in time for the race.


And what a race it was.


Jay Simon (Lakeway) started on the pole in an attempt to overcome several weeks of misfortune and not finishing a race. Everything seemed to be working for Simon in the 10-car, 20-lap feature as he led the first half of the race. Then Gary Chancellor (Bastrop) and David Hassinger, (Kyle) caught up with him. Hassinger followed close behind as Chancellor pulled alongside Simon for several laps. On the white-flag lap, Hassinger dropped inside and raced Simon side-by-side for the checkered flag, bringing the crowd of 1,500 to its feet. Hassinger’s bumper crossed the line before Simon, giving him one of the best finishes ever in the CCTTS Hobby Stock class.


Chancellor finished third. David Hassinger, with four wins this season, is in first place in the Hobby Stock points race with 1,088, followed by Joe Tschoerner with 981 and Tracy Tschoerner with 919.

In the THR Late Model feature it was James Reeder, (Buda), who racked up his third win of the year. Saturday was the first chance he had to race his 2001 Ford Taurus after wrecking it at San Antonio Speedway three weeks ago.


Reeder started third, but immediately moved to second behind pole-sitter Marc Currey, who led the 14-car field until he had a problem with the car on lap 31. Currey went to the pit area as Reeder finished the 35 laps in front of Leland Waddell (Austin), who was second, and Tommy Gural (Elgin), who came in third.

Reeder continues to lead the Late Models in points, with 637, followed by Michael Cullen with 543, and Waddell with 542.


Twenty cars started the 30 lap A-Line Auto Parts (AAP) Street Stock feature with Bruce Hinson in the pole position. He led five laps, but had to leave the track after three cars got together in Turn Three, bringing out a caution flag. Gary Dean took over, leading four laps before Chris Birmingham (Leander) came up from his seventh-place start to take the lead on lap 10. Birmingham kept his position until lap 18, when Shawn Paul Lehman went outside and passed him on the back straight. Lehman built up a five car-length lead before he lost a wheel coming out of Turn Two on lap 25. That gave Birmingham the opportunity to move to the front.

However, Bobby Teer, Jr. (Comfort) and Duane Toyne (Leander) came up on Birmingham and created a three-car race for the final five laps. Teer and Birmingham ran side-by-side to the finish, while Toyne dipped inside coming off of Turn Four on the final lap. Again, the crowd came to its feet for yet another exciting finish! Birmingham hung on to claim his first-ever feature win; Teer and Toyne finished second and third, respectively.


Running a tight second in the AAP Street Stocks points, behind Teer with 983, is Doug Ayers (Pflugerville) with 896 points, followed by Bobby LaFont (Volente) with 876 points.


After setting a new track record for the Texas Asphalt Modified Series at Thunder Hill, with a time of 15.071 seconds in qualifying, Chris Swenson (48) took the pole and led over half of the 75 lap feature race.

On lap 27, Matt Brune (75) cut inside of Swenson to take the lead and the win. Bruce Beddoe (18) was second and Joey Heinaman third. Swenson ended up fourth.


In the ever popular THR Grand Stock race, Mike Davis was the winner after four lead changes in the 10 lap feature. Walt Judkins was second, and Lynn Hardy finished third.

Points leader for the Grand Stocks include Judkins with 670 points, Marcia Moore 640, and Jim “Cooter” Lynch has 530 points.


The entertainment factor during intermission was high as Jesse Knowlton (29 ½) won the three car Mini-Cup race, and the team of Forrest Stallings and Conan Huarte won the potato sack race in Round 2 of the THR Games.


The THR Games promise to be interesting Saturday night. Teams will be drawn from the fans to participate in a “Blind” Grand Stock race. The driver will be blindfolded while his/her partner sits in the passenger seat and guides them around the track.


Before the races at THR on Saturday morning, racing fans will be able to meet some of their favorite San Marcos drivers and have a chance for a close up look at their cars. AAP Street Stock drivers Cary Stapp, (99), Robert Lizotte (52) and Jody Swenson (19), along with CCTTS Hobby Stock racer Jay Gordon (25) will display their cars from 9 a.m. to 12-noon at E-Z Credit Autos, located at 777 East Hopkins St. (exit 205 off IH-35) in San Marcos. E-Z Credit Autos is located on the southbound interstate service road, next to McDonalds.

More fast action will be on hand Saturday night as the Texas Pro Sedans join the AAP Street Stocks, the CCTTS Hobby Stocks and Grand Stocks at Thunder Hill Raceway.


Saturday will also be San Marcos Daily Record Night at the races, with Sports Editor Randy Stevens serving as Grand Marshall.


Gates open at 5:30 p.m., with racing following the opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. For information call (512) 262-1352 or go to thuderhillraceway.com.

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Here's the bumper-to-bumper finish in the CCTTS Hobby Stock race from Saturday at THR...Jay Simon (74) is on the inside, and winner David Hassinger (83) is on the outside, closest to the stands..Thanks to Jon Sagester for the great photo..


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Man I am just straight up pissed off. I thought it was closer than that...lol JOKING. You guys/gals made the right call and I would like a copy of that...Just make sure the border says a race that should of but didnt.. Address it to the 1st loser...lol



Joking just trying to have fun


See you guys/gals Saturday..



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