GRABOUSKI SCORES AT THUNDER HILL
By Troy Harrison
After missing last week’s edition of the Xtreme Motorsports Clash on the Hill, reigning BSB IMCA Modified National Champion Jordan Grabouski made the trip down Highway 75 from Nebraska to take the victory in the IMCA Modified feature on Saturday, May 12. He was joined in the Pit Stop Liquor Victory Lane by fellow reigning IMCA National Champion Bryan LaRiviere (Kansas National Guard IMCA Northern Sport Mods), Kyle Vanover (Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Cars), Adam Armstrong (BuyRaceParts.com IMCA Hobby Stocks), and Scott Spellmeier (IMCA Sport Compacts).
In Grabouski’s absence last week, veteran Tom Charles added to his 300+ career feature wins by taking the flag. Grabouski was back this week, but Charles was intent on making it back to Victory Lane, which he nearly did. As Steve Withee brought the field to the green, Charles began charging to the front from his 5th starting spot, with Grabouski a bit behind in 11th. Both drivers made it to the point and battled for the lead, a battle that Grabouski would eventually win despite strong pushes from Charles. At the flag, it was Grabouski, Charles, Bryan Rigsby,with Steven Glenn in fourth. Long time Topeka area street stock standout Shane Wettengel had his best run at the Hill in a Modified, taking a fine fifth place finish.
The Kansas National Guard Northern Sport Mod feature became the“Bryan and Kyle show,” as two drivers with titles to defend – Bryan LaRiviere with his National title and Kyle Olberding with his Track title – squared off for the second week in a row. For the second week in a row, LaRiviere prevailed, but Olberding’s strong run showed that he is intent on taking the track title back home again. Behind Olberding, LukeStallbaumer was third, Brenden Damon fourth, and Eddie Schwope Jr. recovered from his mechanical issues of the past couple of weeks to finish fifth.
So far this year, Kyle Vanover has run the table in the Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Cars, and despite the best efforts of Lance Borgman and Marvin Griffith Jr., Vanover continues to sweep Victory Lane in the class. Vanover eased past Borgman and Griffith from his eighth place starting spot to take the victory. Borgman chased hard but could not retake the lead and settled for second, with Griffith third, Nick Tubbs fourth, and Jim Powell Jr. in fifth.
In BuyRaceParts.com IMCA Hobby Stock action, the big story was the return of Brian Stich to the field. Stich, the track champion in 2010 and 2011, has been racing on the road, taking a big win in Hays and running well elsewhere. On Saturday night, he returned to the high banks to find tough competition at home. Adam Armstrong, the opening night winner, returned after a week’s absence and, after a tough contest with Stich and Jacob Crowell, took the feature win. Crowell was second, and Stich finished third. Adam Fleagle ended up fourth, with last year’s Rookie of the Year Mallory Walters in fifth.
Scott Spellmeier had won the first-ever IMCA Sport Compact feature on the high banks at the Fool’s Day Meltdown, but had been shutout of Victory Lane since the point season started. He changed that on Saturday night, taking a win over a four-car field with Brandon Lobdell second, Blake Davis third, and Kelly Johnson fourth.
Other winners for the night were Jon Graham and Kenneth Boorne winning Petro Deli gas cards. In honor of Mother’s Day, Kelli Olberding (mother of Kyle) was crowned “Mother of the Year” for 2012.
The Xtreme Motorsports Clash on the Hill continues Saturday Night, May 19 with the Don Garst Memorial, paying $1000 to win in the BSB IMCA Modified feature and extra money in BuyRaceParts.com IMCA Hobby Stocks and Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Cars. The IMCA Sport Compacts will have the week off. Gates open at 5:00 PM, driver’s meeting at 6:30, hotlaps and races to follow. Adult General Admission is $10.00, kids 12 and under FREE. Current military ID - 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.