MAYETTA, Kan. (Sept. 13) – Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts and Wix Filters Championship Night at Thunder Hill Speedway brought an end to the 2014 point season. At the end of the night, champions were crowned in each of the IMCA divisions.
In the BSB Manufacturing IMCA Modifieds, Mat Stallbaumer took the lead and a 29-point cushion. All he had to do was compete in this heat race to win the championship. Stallbaumer locked up the championship and moved on to the main event where there was a dominating performance by a former track and national champion.
Jordan Grabouski brought a new car to Thunder Hill Speedway. As a matter of fact he didn’t even have any numbers on it, only a plain black car rolled out onto the track. By the time his heat race rolled around he put a no. 30 on with duct tape.
After starting 10th, it took Grabouski one lap and a turn before taking the top spot. He rode the high side on the opening lap and roared by the competition. His new GRT Chassis was on a rail. The only time the competition would close on him was during the yellow flag situations in the feature.
Clay Hale came home with a solid runner-up finish. Danny Holt started ninth and finished a close third, Justin Becker outlasted several battles to finish fourth and Stallbaumer put on an impressive run going from 15th to fifth.
Mike Nichols is a driver who has tallied some experience over the years in the Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Car Division. Rookie Brandon Conkwright got the drop on the competition and hung on to the lead for a few laps before a battle would ensue with Nichols.
Conkwright gave him everything he had but Nichols powered by and drove to his third local win of the season. The track championship went to Marvin Griffith Jr. He held a seven-point lead over Matt Haid and finished third in the main event.
The Belleville Motor Sports IMCA Northern SportMods saw Jeremy Pittsenbarger come into the night with a 17-point lead over Luke Stallbaumer. The nearly unthinkable happened for Pittsenbarger as he suffered mechanical difficulties and finished 17th in the feature.
Pittsenbarger still locked up the championship as Stallbaumer mustered a sixth place finish in the feature.
During the feature Bryan Rigsby took the early lead and was looking to close out the season with a win. Unfortunately, Chad Shaw had an alternate version of how he would like to end the point season.
After a succession of yellow flags, Shaw went from third to first, just as a wild crash involved Tracy Schaefer on the front stretch. A red flag situation would be the only thing that would hold Shaw up on the night. Shaw won his heat race from dead last and now he would take the feature going away after starting 11th.
Rigsby, who had one of his best runs of the season, finished second. Max Harder started 12th and finished third, fourth was Kurtis Pihl and Austin Charles was fifth.
A three-way battle for the championship shaped up in the Bad Boyz Bail Bonds IMCA Hobby Stocks. Travis Burger held a 14-point lead over Tyler Garst and a 16-point lead over Tyler Hinrichs. The formula for a championship would be simple, stay close to them and lock up the title.
That’s exactly what Burger would do by finishing eighth in the main event. The respectable finish would give him the 2014 title.
On the track the feature event belonged to Brian Stich.
The only champion to celebrate heading into the night was Austin Umscheid in the Casey’s General Store IMCA Sport Compacts. By virtue of a big lead Umscheid was able to enjoy the night in style.
Kiowa Hogdon was the big winner during the feature.
Brandon Lobdell and Art Herzog got into a bumping match at the front of the field and this allowed Hogdon to take the top spot and run away with the victory.
The capper to Thunder Hill Speedway’s 2014 season is Friday and Saturday, Sept. 19 and 20, as the Thunder On The Hill will take place.