Sistersville’s Wilson wins TSMA feature
Nostalgia night at ‘the Bullring’ provided fans a look back at the “good old days” of area auto racing and a glimpse into the sport’s future.
There were 129 competitiors who joined nearly 100 former racers, track officials and family members as BDS Promotions hosted their annual ‘Old Timers’ night, reacquainting old friendships and proving to be prophetic in regards to the on track action.
West Union’s Butch McGill, the elder statesman of the ‘Midcap Land & Timber’ Late Model division, took the lead from Richard Frazier early in the 25 lap main event, then turned back Steve Wilmoth and Greg Baumberger to score his third win of the season.
Slowed by only a pair of cautions, McGill’s win was convincing, as his ‘Jenkins Ford/ KFC’ sponsored 1Mc cruised to 15 car length win at the checkers.
“That was a really good track!” said McGill afterwards. “We found some things that we had been missing on our set-up last night. We didn’t get much sleep after getting home from Beckley (Speedway) at 4:30 this morning, but the win makes it all worth it.”
Wilmoth and Baumberger followed with Steve Weigle and Frazier rounding out the top five finishers. Frazier and Weigle were the heat race winners.
The ‘WXCR Classic Rock’ Pure Stock division headlined with their running of the ‘Throwback 30.’ Complete with a midrace mandatory tire change pit stop, the race turned into “survival of the fittest” as only four cars were able to complete all 30 circuits. Danny Talbott led early, and when quick pit work allowed him to retain his lead, headed into the races 2nd half looking to cash the winner’s $800 paycheck.
Brad Thomas, who had trailed Talbott since breaking into second on the third circuit, began to work the bottom groove and showed the race leader his nose piece on the 19th circuit.
In action worthy of ‘the good old days,’ Talbott and Thomas started a wheel to wheel race that would see Thomas appear to take the lead only to have Talbott use to high side momentum to narrowly hold the spot at the scoring stripe. Thomas’s determined drive finally saw the Alma ace grab the lead with just three laps remaining.
Talbott glided to the pits just two laps later, allowing Danny Thomas to take up the chase, but time and laps quickly ran out providing Brad Thomas his class leading fourth feature win of the season. Thomas’s No.1 was chased to the pay window by a fast closing Danny Thomas, Jeff Fornash and Dave Kile. Danny Thomas and Talbott were the prelim winners.
Even Nostradamus couldn’t have predicted the nostalgic significance of the thrilling finish in the ‘Litman Excavating’ FASTRAK Late Model feature.
The racing action and close competition easily justifies the growth and popularity of the FASTRAK sanctioned Late Models, as Saturday night’s main event proved.
Second generation racer Dusty Hamrick bolted off the front row bringing Daniel Hill and Joel Prosser along. Hamrick was able to enjoy a two-car length advantage because of the Hill/Prosser tussle that highlighted 2- and 3-wide positional battles raging back through the field.
With nearly the entire field remaining on the same straightaway during the race, scorers burnt up pencils and fans heads were on a swivel in this 20 lap contest.
Hill finally worked past Prosser for good on the 14th circuit and immediately went to work on the smooth Hamrick.
Finding nothing on the bottom, Hill swung to the extreme top of the smooth high banks and found a narrow lane open above Hamrick as the lead duo blasted off turn 4 toward the white flag. As the opening was going shut, Hill squeezed through, with he and Hamrick swapping paint and position. Hill was out the gate on the final circuit, and Prosser also seized the moment by vaulting past Hamrick. The third generation driver was greeted by thunderous applause as he exited his ‘Larry’s Western Shop/Perkins Supply No. 8,’ as many in attendance this night fondly remembered his grandfather (Earl) and father (Bobby), and enjoyed witnessing the possible start of a new Hill legacy with his career first feature win.
“I knew that highline would work. Sonny (Conley) showed that to me when he beat me a couple weeks back,” Hill said in reference to a late race pass that deprived him of his first feature win a couple weeks back.
When noted that he is the third generation of Hill’s to grace ‘the Bullring’s’ victory lane, the Greenwood, W.Va. youngster said “Just to be mentioned with my father and grandfather is an honor. I have a long way to go to even hope to be as good as they were.”
Hill becomes the season’s 8th different feature winner in the FASTRAK Late Models.
Prosser and Hamrick led Kyle Thomas and Arthur Payne to complete the top 5.
Hill and Hamrick garnered prelim wins.
Sistersville’s Mike ‘Bird’ Wilson led flag to flag in a nearly caution free ‘Sistersville Center Genesis Health Care’ TSMA sanctioned feature. Wilson turned back Brian Probst in the first half of the race, then stretched his advantage out in winning his second main event of the year. Probst finished second ahead of Mark Dickson, with Shawn Davis and Darren Glover rounding out the top 5. Probst and Wilson scored heat wins.
The Sigler Fabrication Hot Mod division has been impressively competitive as Saturday’s action introduced the 6th different winner of the season.
Hannibal, Ohio’s Kenny ‘Radar’ Isner finally overcame the mechanical gremlins that had plagued him, guiding the ‘Mike’s Auto Body/ Discount Signs & Awnings No. 7’ to a career first feature win. Fellow front row starter Devin Verardi gave chase, but was busied defending his position in a turf war with Greg Conger. Isner used this to his advantage, stretching his lead in the 15 lap main slowed only once for a debris caution. Isner led Verardi, Conger, Glenn Underwood and Travis Dickson to Todd Gorrell’s checkered flag. Verardi scored the win in the Australin Pursuit race, and he and Isner took the heat race wins.
Butler, Pa.’s Levi ‘Spiderman’ Spinneweber zipped past early leader Jacob Lash, then held off Lash and eventual runner-up finisher Tony Tatgenhorst to record his third feature win of the season in the ‘Wayside Furniture’ Mod-Lite main. Spinneweber led Tatgenhorst, Lash, Sonny Conley and Brett Irvin to the stripe. Lash and Tracy Fritter were the heat winners.
Clarksburg’s Donnie Wamsley tallied his class leading third feature win in the ‘Custom Engraving and Award’ Junkyard Warrior main. Wamsley led David Bunnell, Jonathon Sheets, Billy Bunnell and Scott Myer.
Tony Cochran and Steven West won the twin Bridgeport Equipment and Tool Mini-wedge feature events.
The legends race was won by Ed Probst, finishing ahead of Gary Knollinger Sr., Roy Gorrell, Steve Thomas and Norman Jackson.
The next event slated for ‘the Bullring’ will be the much anticipated ‘WV/PA Border State Bullring Battle’ scheduled for Saturday, July 25. It’s a Pennsylvania invasion as the Keystone State’s bravest come to the hills of West Virginia to wage war, featuring the return of BRP Big Block Modified Tour, the lone appearance of the big blocks in West Virginia. Additionally, there will beHillbilly qualifiers for super late models and the rescheduled autograph night. Race fans can bring their cameras and meet the 2009 drivers and teams.
On Sunday, Aug. 22, the speedway will honor the legendary Earl Hill in a $3,000 to win UFo Race Championship Super Late Model Invitational.
It will be high drama and wild action as the big block mods make their one and only 2009 Mountain State appearance.
Midcap Land and Timber Late Models: Butch McGill, Steve Wilmoth, Greg Baumberger, Steve Weigle, Richard Frazier, Mike Eaton, Danny Mitchell, Donnie Dotson, Kris Southern, Ricky Conley, Josh Coffman, Robbie Thomas, Michael Griffin, Billy Brown, Danny Ruza.
Litman Excavating FASTRAK Late Models: Daniel Hill, Joel Prosser, Dusty Hamrick, Kyle Thomas, Arthur Payne, Dave Gorrell, Derek Doll, Shawn Jett, Shane Hitt, Sonny Conley, Chad Green, Gary Knollinger Jr., Derek Rogers, Brian Rush, Jim Quaigg, Jim Cochran, Mel Ferguson.
Sistersville Center Genesis Health Care TSMA Modifieds: Mike Wilson, Brian Probst, Mark Dickson, Shawn Davis, Darren Glover, Del Cunningham, Lou Ennis, Jim Tatgenhorst, Steve Higgins, Brian Blake, Thomas Sigler, Donnie Nething, Gerald Deitch, (DNS) Tommy Hawk, Jay Foster.
Sigler Fabrication Hot Mods: Kenny Isner, Devin Verardi, Greg Conger, Glenn Underwood, Travis Dickson, Rod Nething, Luke Fairburn, Mike Lauer, Travis Thomas, Lyndsay Smarr.
WXCR Classic Rock Pure Stocks: Brad Thomas, Danny Thomas, Jeff Fornash, Dave Kile, Mike Mason, Danny Talbott, Dan Shuman, Chad Dotson, Curt Reck, Al Wagner, Randy Bohan, DJ Hores, Justin Hart, Matt Smith, Cody Henthorn, Justin Sinnett, Brian Shaffer, (DNS) Kevn Dotson.
Wayside Furniture Mod-Lites: Levi Spinneweber, Tony Tatgenhorst, Jacob Lash, Sonny Conley, Brett Irvin, Brandon Fluharty, Mitch Herrick, Tracy Fritter, Bobby Kimball, Kyle Gist, Jamie Watson, Steve Weekly, Robbie Archer, Lynn Bartlett, Zack Watson.
Custom Engraving Junkyard Warriors: Donnie Wamsley, David Bunnell, Jonathon Sheets, Billy Bunnell, Jay Siglinger, Ivan Wamsley, Jessica Savage, Alex Mosser, Glenn Stout, Patrick Cochran, Shayne Brown, Josh Fulks, Joshua Golden, Fly Highley, Gary Frazier.
Bridgeport Equipment and Tool Mini-wedges:
Feature No. 1: Tony Cochran, Jordan Doty, Anastasia Jones, Brandon Weigle, Stevie Maygar, Scott Perrine, Tim Sheppard, Shayla Griffey, MacKenzie Perrine, Tiffany Jackson, Breanna Wade.
Feature No. 2: Steven West, Kaitlynn Frazier, Hunter Partridge, Chris Thomas, Gunnar Travis, Shane Wright, George Tennant, Kylee Cross, Brandon Bertrand, (dns) Alec Frazier.