SPRIGGS CRUISES TO VICTORY IN XTREME MOTOR SPORTS CLASH ON THE HILL
By Troy Harrison
Thunder Hill Speedway has always been a track that rewarded smooth driving and momentum. From time to time, one of the experienced Hill shoes will give the rest of the drivers a tutorial on that. A demonstration happened on Saturday night, but this time the winner was a first-time winner at Thunder Hill Speedway; Richard Spriggs, of Savannah, MO took the cash in the BSB IMCA Modified feature. Kyle Vanover continued his domination of the Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Car feature, while Luke Stallbaumer found the Pit Stop Liquor Victory Lane for the first time this year in the Kansas National Guard IMCA Northern Sport Mods. Adam Armstrong grabbed the O’Reilly Automotive trophy in BuyRaceParts.com IMCA Hobby Stock action, and Dallas Dunn scored the win in the IMCA Sport Compacts.
For many years, Thunder Hill fans have been used to seeing the #81 parked in the Pit Stop Liquor Victory Lane after a tough BSB Manufacturing IMCA Modified feature. Veteran Tom Charles has done so numerous times over the years; however, this time it was the #81S of Richard Spriggs. Spriggs started inside second row, dispatched front row starters Paul Lanferman II and Allan Halderman, and from there set sail on a smooth, pure line that left the remainder of the cars overdriving the corners in the effort to catch the Savannah wheelman – to no avail, as with every slip by his pursuers, Spriggs eased out to a bigger lead, which he held to score a very popular win. It was a night for best runs of the season, as Corey Burch had the quietest run from tenth to second seen at the Hill this year. Justin Becker showed a strong turn of speed to finish third, with Jeff Herbers fourth and Halderman having a good run to fifth.
The Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Cars put on one of their better shows of the year. For the first few laps, it looked like a four-wide parade lap at racing speed, as the top eight cars ran in a tight group. After Kyle Vanover reached the lead, he moved out to a lead as he has all year– however, the rest of the field is catching up to him. Inparticular, Marvin Griffith Jr. ran a very determined race to chase Vanover to the finish. The young Holton driver appears to be on the verge of scoring the upset win over Vanover, but on Saturday night was still a few car lengths short for a hard fought second. Breathing down his neck was Matt Haid, finishing third, and Jim Powell Jr. in fourth. Brian Labonte rounded out the top five.
The Kansas National Guard IMCA Northern Sport Mod feature saw two very familiar names battling for the O’Reilly Automotive trophy. Brian Neiberger, a long time Thunder Hill racer in the Modified classes, showed his best run of speed this year by moving out to a quick lead. Early on, it appeared that Neiberger might take it all the way, but second generation driver Luke Stallbaumer was working his way forward. Showing the same smoothness and consistency of line that won the Modified feature for Spriggs, Stallbaumer reeled in Neiberger and made the pass before halfway. From that point forward, Stallbaumer was not to be denied. Kyle Olberding and Eddie Schwope Jr. made it past Neiberger to finish second and third, respectively, while Neiberger finished fourth. Rounding out the top five was another solid run by Aaron Hilderman.
The story of the BuyRaceParts.com IMCA Hobby Stock feature was written before the race was a half lap old. Starting outside fourth row, Adam Armstrong shot up to the high line in turn one, motored past the first three rows, and took the lead halfway down the backstretch. From that point forward, the rest of the field chased Armstrong. A caution midrace allowed the field to close to Armstrong’s bumper, but then the Nebraska driver motored away for an impressive win. Dominic Thyfault battled through the front pack to finish second, with Jacob Crowell third. Mallory Walters finished fourth, and Brock Alverson returned to Thunder Hill with a fifth place finish.
In the IMCA Sport Compact class, Dallas Dunn hauled all the way from – not Dallas, but Salina – to break Scott Spellmeier’s streak of wins. Spellmeier followed Dunn home for second, with Ronda Mewes third, Dani Ziegler fourth, and Kaylee Diekman fifth.
The Xtreme Motor Sports Clash on the Hill continues Saturday Night, June 30, with annual Independence Day Fireworks Display presented by 3-DFireworks. 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 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 142nd Road (2 miles West of US-75 on NW 142nd Road), in Mayetta, KS. For more information, please visit www.racethunderhillspeedway.com