STALLBAUMER TAKES WUNDERFEST FEATURE; RICHTER CHAMP BY ONE POINT
By Troy Harrison
On a night designed to memorialize Topeka area racing legend Tom Wunder, championships were determined in ways that would have had Tom Wunder himself on the edge of his seat. As Kyle Stallbaumer visited the Pit Stop Liquor Victory Lane in the BSB Manufacturing IMCA Modified Division, the championship was determined by a one-point margin in favor of Jesse Richter. Other winners included Lance Borgman (Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Cars), Eddie Schwope Jr. (Kansas National Guard IMCA Northern SportMods), Adam Armstrong (BuyRaceParts.com IMCA Hobby Stocks), and Scott Spellmeier (IMCA Sport Compacts).
The BSB IMCA Modified feature was a story of two very determined drivers. Second generation driver Kyle Stallbaumer was determined not to let 2012 pass without scoring his first Modified feature win at Thunder Hill, and Jesse Richter was determined to make the long haul from Great Bend pay off with a Track Championship. Both got their wish; neither found it easy. Stallbaumer started on the pole, but outside front row starter Derrick Brown beat him into turn one, and held the lead until there were four laps to go. With four laps to go, the persistent Stallbaumer found his way around Brown and held on for the feature win. Behind him, in the race-within-a-race to break the point tie between Richter and Jeff Herbers, Richter was finding the going tough. He held down third for a while behind Stallbaumer, but was passed in succession by Mike Petersilie and Kurt Johnston. Richter decided to hold the low line on the track. Meanwhile, Herbers had moved up to the top line and was running Richter down – but ran out of laps. At the finish, it was Richter fifth and Herbers sixth – and Richter the champ by a single point. Finishing second in the race behind Stallbaumer was Brown. Petersilie hung onto third, with Johnston fourth.
For nearly the entire feature, it appeared that Kyle Vanover would not only win the 2012 Track Championship in the Heinen Repair IMCA Stock Cars, he would put an exclamation point on it by taking the feature win as well. His closest point challenger, Jim Powell, needed to gain six points to upend Vanover for the title, but Powell had a short off-track excursion on the first lap which dropped him back in the pack. Powell was able to come back to finish seventh. Meanwhile, Vanover appeared to have things his way up front, but on the last lap, Lance Borgman found some speed on the bottom and passed Vanover exiting turn two for the win. Vanover finished second, followed by Travis Tenpenny, Greg Deters, and Marvin Griffith Jr.
Kyle Olberding’s chances at the 2012 Kansas National Guard IMCA Northern SportMod Track Championship had been mostly wrecked by a 23rdplace finish the week before, but Olberding was determined to pick up every point possible. When the green flag fell, he moved from his eighth place starting spot into the lead on lap two, and then simply motored away from the pack. Olberding’s speed was enough to win the feature, but not the championship. His rival, coolheaded Eddie Schwope Jr., had his usual drama-free run into fourth, handily racking up enough points to beat Olberding. Luke Stallbaumer made it a good night for the Stallbaumer family by finishing second to Olberding, with Clay Hale third, Schwope fourth, and Adam Patch fifth. Tom Wunder’s son, Chad, had a fine run, gaining eight spots to advance from his 23rd starting spot to finish 15th.
Adam Armstrong had been an early season contender in the BuyRaceParts.com IMCA Hobby Stocks before finding other pastures on Saturday night. The extra Wunderfest money on tap brought Armstrong back, and he scored a strong feature win over a charging Dominic Thyfault. Jacob Crowell only needed to start the feature to clinch his first Thunder Hill Track Championship, and he did so, finishing a close third to Thyfault. Fourth went to Waylon Banks, with Kelly Pihl fifth.
Scott Spellmeier has been the most frequent visitor to Victory Lane in the IMCA Sport Compact class, and he did so again on Saturday night. Second went to Wade Heller, with Rich Eacret third, Brandon Lobdell fourth, and Al Rice fifth. Kaylee Diekman had clinched the point title after last week’s action.
The Xtreme Motor Sports Clash on the Hill will end on Friday and Saturday Night, October 26 and 27, with the two-day Thunder on the Hill special event. Gates open at 5:00 PM, driver’s meeting at 6:30, hotlaps and races to follow. Adult General Admission is $15.00 per night, kids 6-12 are $5.00, 5 and under are free. Coolers are allowed (Canned beer only – no glass bottles) for a $10 charge. Pit passes are $30.00 per night/$55.00 for a 2 day.
Thunder Hill Speedway is located at 11995 NW 142ndRoad (2 miles West of US-75 on NW 142nd Road), in Mayetta, KS. For more information, please visit www.racethunderhillspeedway.com