CENTER LISLE, NY — official release — Kevin Lillie Photo — Mike Mahaney’s run of misfortune at Thunder Mountain Speedway is over: barely.
Capitalizing on a pole starting position via three-straight DNFs at the speedway, Mahaney rallied to his fourth 30-lap big-block/small-block Modified feature win of the season at the three-eighths-mile clay oval located just outside of Whitney Point. Mahaney’s green-to-checkered romp wasn’t entirely problem-free, however. The 25-year-old driver’s Olum’s-sponsored No. 21 flashed under the checkered flag with a deflating right-rear tire.
“We’ve had a fast car here,” Mahaney said following the $1,200 payday. “We haven’t had any luck. Anything that could go wrong for us has the last three weeks here. We couldn’t finish a race.”
The three-week record for Mahaney entering Saturday’s program included consecutive accident-sparked DNFS and a driveline failure.
Mahaney’s Charlie Davis-owned Troyer shot into the lead at the outset. Second-generation driver Byron Worthing chased Mahaney for much of the race’s first half.
Following the event’s only yellow flag on lap 12, point leader Brent Wilcox, who started 10th, began to move forward. Wilcox arrived in third on lap 14 and took over second from Worthing at the halfway mark.
The race’s complexion changed during the final five laps. Mahaney’s pace began to slow as his right-rear tire lost air. Wilcox, who was nearly a straightaway back when he assumed the runner-up position, finished just two car-lengths back in second spot. The Binghamton, N.Y., driver extended his lead in the standings with the result.
Mahaney, meanwhile, narrowly earned his seventh overall checkered of ’14: he has four wins at Thunder Mountain, two at Utica-Rome (N.Y.) and one at I-88 (N.Y.).
“We had seven wins last year,” he said. “We matched that tonight. Hopefully, we can keep adding on to that number.”
Worthing, of Owego, N.Y., placed a season-best third, followed by a steady Ken Titus of Kirkwood, N.Y., and rookie Chris Stull of Cortland, N.Y.
Returning from a weeklong vacation in Maine, Billy Spoonhower of Berkshire, N.Y., annexed the 20-lap Sportsman main event for a $700 payday, capitalizing on a rare front-row starting berth. Spoonhower, the current point leader, led from start-to-finish in the event.
“I was on vacation all week,” Spoonhower said. “I had a great time in Maine. I owe this to the crew guys. They worked all week to get the car ready for me.”
Eric Leet completed a lap-16 pass of Chance Spoonhower to finish second, one week after reaching Victory Lane on the Mountain. Kevin Jordan, rookie Geordie Decker and Chris Jordan completed the front five.
Cole Price of Berkshire, N.Y., registered his first-ever victory in the 12-lap Rookie Sportsman feature.
Steven Deinhardt of Deposit, N.Y., utilized a lap-11 restart to power around the outside of race-long leader Earl Zimmer to take command and never relinquished the spot over the remainder of the 20-lap Street Stock main event. Deinhardt collected $500 for his efforts thanks to Shadow Landd Auto Body. It was Deinhardt’s seventh win of the season.
Zimmer, after leading laps 1-11 from the outside pole, settled for second. Brenton Miller, Dan Force and Daryl Krebs trailed.
Eddie Sites of Monroeton, Pa., executed a final-lap pass of Jason Tuttle to score the 15-lap IMCA-style Modified triumph. A caution two circuits from the finish of the main erased a full straightaway lead Tuttle had accrued. Tuttle settled for a disappointing second-place finish.
Michael Morse of Newark Valley, N.Y., scored the win in the Pure Stock 12-lap event after an early skirmish. Morse outdistanced Kevin Garland for the triumph.
Brandon Clapperton of Sidney, N.Y., won a bizarre four-lap Empire Sport Truck main event. Clapperton was left as the only truck running when rival Bob Crandall hit an implement tire and flipped entering turn three on the second lap. Clapperton was then declared the victor.
Gabe Forward won the 15-lap Four Cylinder main event, his first-ever, narrowly over Isaiah Forward’s dominant No. 77. Gabe Forward took the lead moments before the halfway mark from Mark Wheeler in his strongest outing of the season. Isaiah Forward crossed the line on the back bumper of Gabe’s No. 7. Wheeler placed third, ahead of Chris Taylor and Rick Sinsabaugh.
THUNDER THOUGHTS: Brian Malcolm recovered from a flat right-rear tire on lap 12 to finish sixth. Central New York driver Bob Henry Jr. went off on the hook from the same turn-three collision and didn’t return….
Mahaney hopes his Saturday momentum carries over to Tuesday at N.Y.’s Accord Speedway, where he will be competing in the New York Truck Parts Inc. ‘Battle of the Bullring 2’ Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP event….
Street Stock victor Deinhardt swept his Southern Tier weekend, visiting Victory Lane on Friday night at Penn Can (Pa.) Speedway, as well….
Heat winners were Mike Mahaney and Byron Worthing (Modified); Billy Spoonhower (Sportsman); Cole Price (Rookie Sportsman); Daryl Krebs and Earl Zimmer (Street Stock); Jason Tuttle (IMCA-style Modified); Michael Morse (Pure Stock); Bob Crandall (Empire Sport Truck); and Gabe Forward and Isaiah Forward (Four Cylinder).
Racing resumes on Saturday, Aug. 9 with Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks, Rookie Sportsman, Pure Stocks and Four Cylinders, plus the first visits of the season by the Xcel 600 Modifieds and Midstate Vintage Stock Car Club. The IMCA-style Modifieds and Empire Sport Trucks will have the night off.
Berkshire residents receive reduced $5 grandstand admission with photo ID as part of the Community Night program.
Gates open at 4 p.m. with hot laps at 6:30 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m. Adult grandstand admission is $10. Seniors (65 and over) and students (ages 10-17) pay $8. Kids nine and under are FREE. Pit admission is $30, with no license required.
For rules, general information and a complete schedule, visitwww.thundermtnspeedway.com. The speedway office number is607.657.8202. On race day, call 607.849.7899. The speedway e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. “Like” Thunder Mountain Speedway on Facebook or follow @thundermtnspeed on Twitter.
Thunder Mountain Speedway is located at 91 Hunts Corners Road Center Lisle, NY 13797, approximately 25 miles north of Binghamton. The three-eighths-mile clay oval features hillside concrete seating, free parking and camping, a variety of concession items and novelties, a family environment and more.
AUGUST 2, 2014 RESULTS SUMMARY
Modified Feature Finish (30 Laps): MIKE MAHANEY, Brent Wilcox, Byron Worthing, Ken Titus, Chris Stull, Brian Malcolm, Mike Clapperton, Billy Spoonhower, Roy Shields, Steve Cummings, Chad Cook, Bob Henry Jr.
American Racer/Lias Tire Certificate (FREE Tire): Byron Worthing
Sportsman Feature Finish (20 Laps): BILLY SPOONHOWER, Eric Leet, Kevin Jordan, Geordie Decker, Chris Jordan, Chance Spoonhower, Shayne Spoonhower, Larry Hillis.
American Racer/Lias Tire Certificate ($85 Credit): Larry Hillis
Street Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): STEVEN DEINHARDT, Earl Zimmer, Brenton Miller, Dan Force, Daryl Krebs, Jason Beebe, John Hoover, Bob Maynard, Dan Babcock, Rich Sharpsteen, Ricky Davis Sr.
Rookie Sportsman Feature Finish (12 Laps): COLE PRICE, Josh Underwood, Tyler Keener.
IMCA-Style Modified Feature Finish (15 Laps): EDDIE SITES, Jason Tuttle, Brad Sites, Mike Wilbur Jr., Craig Ward, Matt Jones.
Pure Stock Feature Finish (12 Laps): MICHAEL MORSE, Kevin Garland, Levi Davis, Chris Bennett, David Ackley, Bubba Peters.
Empire Sport Truck Feature Finish (4 Laps): BRANDON Clapperton, Bob Crandall.
Four Cylinder Feature Finish (15 Laps): GABE FORWARD, Isaiah Forward, Mark Wheeler, Chris Taylor, Rick Sinsabaugh, Mike Taylor, Jason O’Neill, Leon Brockway, Guy Raymond Jr., Mackenzie Gibson, Thomas Ferguson, Ray Oakley Sr., Tony DeForest.