Jump to content

THR race recap, 7/31/04

Recommended Posts



By Jon Sagester


KYLE--Whether you believe in the supernatural or the unnatural, there was something for everyone under a full moon at Thunder Hilll Raceway Saturday night.


San Marcos native Cary Stapp took top honors in the A-Line Auto Parts Street Stock feature for his second win of the season. After capturing the Street Stock Championship last year he opened this season with another first, before he ran into engine problems. Two blown engines in the middle of the season slowed him down, but he’s never missed a race and has finished in the top five positions eight times in 13 races.


In the Street Stock feature Bruce Hinson (Marble Falls) took over the lead after passing pole sitter Jerry Barnett (Lockhart) on the second lap. Hinson led for three laps until a flat tire caused him to pit, putting Chris Birmingham (Leander) in front. Two laps later Birmingham moved up the track and Duane Toyne, also from Leander, slipped under him for the lead. Following Toyne, Terry Tschoerner (Taylor) and Stapp got by Birmingham and took the second and third spots respectively.


On lap 13 the full moon seemed to take affect when Doug Ripple (Granite Shoals) and Bobby Teer, Jr. (Comfort) got together in turn three, bringing out the caution flag.


While Teer was talking to a track official on the back straight-away Ripple drove around the track and ran into the back of Teer, causing the official to sprint to the infield. Teer started driving down the track and Ripple hit him two more times. Ripple was ejected from the race, and track officials suspended and banned him from the track for the rest of the year.


On lap 17 Stapp moved inside of Tschoerner for second place before Birmingham lost a wheel on turn four. Bobby LaFont (Volente) ran over it, causing the wheel to lodge in LaFont’s undercarriage. During the caution he entered the pits to remove Birmingham’s wheel.


Cary Stapp moved past Toyne on lap 19 and Teer took over second place on lap 22. The finish line had Stapp winning, with Teer second and Tschoerner third. His win moved Stapp up two places in the points race, putting him second with 1,182 points, behind Teer, who has 1,225, and in front of LaFont with 1,168.


Points are taking on more importance as there are just seven races left in the regular season, with only 57 points separating the top three places in the Street Stock class.


The Capital City Trade and Technical School Hobby Stock feature highlighted another San Marcos resident when Jay Gordon gathered in his first feature win of the year. Finishing in the top five in three out of the four races he’s entered, Gordon started on the pole and led the 11 other cars through the full 20 laps.


There was only one caution in the Hobby Stock race and it was a costly one. The yellow flag flew on lap 15 when second place starter Tommy Darrity (Austin) went to the outside lane, trying to pass Gordon. Last week’s winner Jay Simon (Lakeway) pulled under Darity and they raced side-by-side through turn four. On the front straight Darity and Simon banged together, forcing Simon into the infield.


Unable to stop on the grass, Simon went back onto the track between turns one and two, just as the pack was passing through turn one. Kyle’s David Hassinger couldn’t stop, along with Tracy Tschoerner (Taylor). Jay Simon and Tracy Tschoerner had to be towed to the pits and Darity was sent to the pits when it was discovered he had fluid leaking onto the track.


It was a race to the finish after the restart with Gordon taking the win, and Kevin Bowen (Hutto) and Hassinger both moving up from the back to place second and third.


David Hassinger leads the Hobby Stock points race with 1,392, followed by Joe Tschoerner 1,236, and Bowen 1,229.


Another front runner was Ryan Engelhard (Lake Travis) in the THR Late Model feature. In just his second appearance at Thunder Hill Raceway this year, he started from the pole and led through the 35 laps for his first win of the season. Riding hard on his bumper were Leland Waddell, (Austin) James Reeder, (Buda) and Marc Currey (Driftwood) who did a fair amount of jockeying and bumping, but weren’t able to catch Englehardt. They ended in that order with Waddell second and Reeder third.


Defending champion James Reeder is leading in points with 828. Second place is held by Waddell 762, and Currey is third with 731 points.


The moon affect hit the Late Models in the heat race when Robert Stewart (Austin) got too close to David Sevilla, Jr. (San Antonio) in turn three of the final lap. Stewart’s wheel ran up the left side of Sevilla’s car, tearing the sheet metal loose on the driver’s door panel. It must be a frightening thing to look out your side window and see the underside of another car. Neither driver was hurt and both finished the race. Stewart got a flat tire on the second lap of the feature race, but Sevilla was able to complete the feature, coming in sixth place.


The Allison Lone Star Legacys didn’t escape the moonbeams after 13-year-old Kyle Sirizzotti posted the fastest qualifying time of 17.263 seconds and gaining the pole position. Winning his first feature in the Legacy’s last appearance at Thunder Hill, July 3rd, the young man pulled off the starting line and led the pack through 24 ½ laps. Near the end James Lee caught up to him and on the last lap Lee got into Sirizzotti’s quarter panel causing them both to spin out in turn three.


With Lee and Sirizzotti being sent to the rear of the pack by the contentious all involved rule, Bill Boeker took the lead on the green and white flag restart, and the checkered flag at the end of the lap. Mel Krause finished second and Greg Spreen third.


The young Sirizzotti exhibited questionable judgment when he didn’t want to go to the rear, and pulled to the first position. A track official stepped onto the track to explain why he had to fall back when Sirizzotti coasted to a stop and bumped the official. He reportedly told the official his brakes failed, although he was able to complete the final lap of the race.


Apparently deferring to Sirizzotti’s youth and inexperience the official accepted the excuse and didn’t penalize the driver. Hopefully, Kyle Sirizzotti understands just how close he came to damaging his young career.


Justin Knowlton (San Antonio) continued his dominance of the Mini-Cup series with another win. Starting third, Knowlton passed Kristopher Kerr (San Antonio) on the 7th lap for the lead and win. Second place was secured by Kerr and Buda’s Nick Ison was third.


For the THR Grand Stock race, which seems to race under a full moon every night, Don Chrudimsky took the win, with Jim Lynch and Jim Bell coming in second and third.


Walt Carpenter leads the Grand Stock points race with 920, and Marcia Moore is second with 850. Jim Bell sits in third place with 740 points, followed by Eddie Siegmund 730, and Jim Lynch 720.


Next week Thunder Hill Raceway will feature the Texas Pro Sedans and Lone Star Legends, along with the Late Models, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, and Grand Stocks.


Thunder Hill Media/Marketing Director Chuck Licata announced Sunday that NASCAR Craftsman Truck series driver David Starr, will appear as Grand Marshall at Thunder Hill Raceway, Saturday, August 21. Also racing that same night will be the AllStar Race Truck series, led by Austin’s Bryan Meredith, who leads the nation in points for the truck series, followed by Jon Garrett (Tyler) who is fifth in the nation.


Gates open at Thunder Hill Raceway every Saturday night at 5:30 p.m., with racing following opening ceremonies at 7 p.m.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...