CHARLES RETURNS TOTHE ROOST AT THUNDER HILL
By Troy Harrison
You can’t keep a good rooster down; at leastt hat’s how a saying probably goes. For Tom “The Rooster” Charles, the start of the 2012 season hadn’t yet produced the kind of results that the veteran driver is used to. That changed in Saturday night’s Xtreme Motorsports Clash on the Hill, as Charles ended the evening in a very familiar place – Victory Lane at Thunder Hill Speedway in the BSB Manufacturing IMCA Modified feature. He was joined by Kyle Vanover (Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Cars), Bryan LaRiviere (Kansas National Guard IMCA Northern Sport Mods), Brandon Johnson (BuyRaceParts.com IMCA Hobby Stocks),and Kaylee Diekman (IMCA Sport Compacts).
Charles started the BSB Manufacturing IMCA Modified feature with a clear track in the outside front row position. At the green, Charles moved out to the lead as polesitter Kevin Hoeme faded back through the top five. Behind Charles, it was a free for all as several drivers put on great charges through the pack. Jeff Herbers advanced from his 10th starting position to second, Bryan Rigsby came from 11th to fourth,and Mike Petersilie came all the way from tailback to finish fifth. At the checkered, it was Charles, Herbers, Great Bend’s Jesse Richter, Rigsby,and Petersilie.
Kyle Vanover has made his intention clear – to successfully defend his Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Car track championship from last year. He put another win in the record books Saturday night to aid his effort. Vanover started the feature in 10th, and passed numerous strong competitors on the way to the win. He was followed to the flag by fellow Beatrice resident Kevin Vanlaningham, Jim Powell Jr., Mike Taylor, and Matt Haid.
Bryan LaRiviere showed why he was the 2011 Kansas National Guard IMCA Northern Sport Mod National Champion, defeating a strong field of Northern Sport Mods. LaRiviere started his machine 9th, and had to fight his way to the front. His toughest opponent was last year’s track champion, Kyle Oberding, who made his best effort but eventually settled for second. Rounding out the top five were Kurtis Pihl, Brenden Damon, and Darin Nelson.
With only one Nebraska driver in the field, the odds were in favor of a Kansas win in the BuyRaceParts.com IMCA Hobby Stocks. However, Brandon Johnson defeated the odds despite a 10th-place starting spot in the feature. Working his way forward past a determined Dominic Thyfault and polesitter Levi Austion, Johnson was able to capture his first Thunder Hill win. For the second week in a row, Thyfault ended up second with Austin third, Josh Haid fourth, and Mallory Walters fifth.
With neither Ronda Mewes or Scott Spellmeier on hand, there was bound to be a new winner in the track’s newest division, the IMCASport Compacts. Kaylee Diekman of Blue Springs, NE, took advantage of the opportunity by capturing the flag. Danie Ziegler finished in second, KellyJohnson third, Jarret Beach fourth, and Morgan Ziegler fifth.
In their respective features, John Bass, Morgan Ziegler, Eddie Schwope Jr., Brian Labonte, and P.J. Conger won $100 bonuses from Xtreme Motorsports, and Don and Kathleen Damon. Petro Deli gas cards were won by Scott Brown, Aaron Hilderman,and Lance Lincoln.
The Xtreme Motorsports Clash on the Hill continues Saturday Night, May 12. Gates open at 5:00 PM, driver’s meeting at 6:30, hotlaps and races to follow. Adult General Admission is $10.00, kids 6-12 are $5.00,kids 5 and under are free. Coolers are allowed (Canned beer only – no glass bottles) for a $10 charge. Pit passes are $25.00.
Thunder Hill Speedway is located at 11995 NW 142ndRoad (2 miles West of US-75 on NW 142nd Road), in Mayetta, KS. Formore information, please visit www.racethunderhillspeedway.com.