Back On Top: Chad Cook Returns To Modified Victory Lane At Thunder Mountain Speedway For Second Time In 2015
CENTER LISLE, NY – Chad Cook returned to championship form on Saturday night at Thunder Mountain Speedway.
Cook, who has ridden out an up-and-down season in the Mike Costello-owned No. 222, won his second big-block/small-block Modified 30-lap feature of 2015 at the Center Lisle three-eighths-mile oval, picking up a $1,200 payday on Barrett Paving Materials Inc. Night.
“We made some changes this week,” bottom-lined Cook following the triumph. “They definitely paid off. The track was great this week. You could race all over it and there was bite everywhere. Our car was a lot better.”
Cook credited his race team for their efforts leading up to Saturday’s program.
“My guys worked on this car all week,” Cook said of his Gabriel Race Engines-powered Bicknell. “I was on vacation this week. I’ve got to give them credit for all they did.”
A jam-packed pit area saw 120 race cars take part in Saturday’s program on the Mountain.
Cook started fourth in the 19-car field but it was Modified freshman Tom Collins Jr. who used the extreme outside line to put his No. 713 into the lead on lap three, passing pole starter Chance Spoonhower. Collins led through a fifth-lap restart, with Spoonhower retaking command on lap six.
Cook, meanwhile, was lurking. He whipped past both Collins and Spoonhower to assume command on the eighth lap. Unfortunately for Collins, his car slowed amidst a plume of smoke on lap 11, ending his effort.
Despite a quartet of caution flags, Cook was never headed once out front. Berkshire, N.Y.’s Spoonhower finished second, his best-career effort in a Modified utilizing Ford power in his No. 34X Bicknell.
Kirkwood, N.Y., driver Ken Titus utilized his own No. 9 car and ran inside the top-four for the entire distance, placing third at the checkered. Mike Nagel Jr. of Susquehanna, Pa., righted his poor luck with a fourth-place finish and last week’s winner Byron Worthing of Owego, N.Y., drove from 11th to complete the front five.
Nick Mady of Milford, Pa., will never forget his first career Open Sportsman triumph on the Mountain. Mady, using a heads-up maneuver on the 15th of 20 laps, raced into the lead going inside of both Geordie Decker and Kevin Jordan. Mady went on to earn the $700 payday.
“Moving up from the XCel cars to the Crate and now running with these guys, it’s been tough on me,” Mady said. “To get a win against these guys, it’s pretty emotional. I consider the Sportsman drivers here the best in this area.”
Kenny Hammond passed a pair of cars in the final two laps to finish second. Eric Leet, Kevin Jordan and Chris Jordan completed the front five.
Last year’s Rookie Sportsman champion Shayne Spoonhower of Berkshire, N.Y., wired the Crate 602 Sportsman 20-lap headliner. For the 17-year-old Spoonhower, the victory was the first of his career since graduating to the Crate ranks. Officials inspected the top-five cars for the mandated gear ratio and the adjusted order of finish was as follows: Adam Hilton, T.J. Frost, Todd Titus and Pat Jordan, recovering from a pair of skirmishes.
Coty Bishop of Binghamton, N.Y., continued his dominance of the Rookie Sportsman division. Bishop took the lead on the sixth lap and was never headed in the 15-lap main. In Victory Lane, he announced plans to move into the Open Sportsman division next week. Following post-race technical inspection, Kinser Hill, Kailee Dimorier, Dayton Coney and Shawn Davis made up the front five.
Following an extensive post-race teardown, Steven Deinhardt of Deposit, N.Y., was officially declared the Barrett’s Race Cars & Components Street Stock 20-lap winner. A protest was issued of Deinhardt’s No. 73 and the car’s crankshaft was removed and weighed. The crank, at 50 lbs. exceeded the minimum of 48 lbs. required for the division.
The inspection was completed minutes before 4 a.m. Sunday with witnesses looking on.
In the event itself, Deinhardt drove from eighth to pass rookie Trevor Dudley on lap seven. Dudley, moving up from the Four Cylinder ranks, placed second, with Matt Spencer, Earl Zimmer and a returning Brett Barrett in tow.
With a huge field of 28 cars on hand, Will Eastman of Oneonta, N.Y., earned $1,000 in the 20-lap tour event for the XCel 600 Modifieds. Eastman, picking the pole via the post-qualifying redraw, took the lead at the outset and never looked back, defending his Saturday night home turf against the invaders.
Dakota Andersen finished second after starting 10th, followed by Dave Baldwin Sr., Aaron Bowes and Eric Boyd.
Moscow, Pa., driver Larry Mekic earned the 15-lap SRP 600cc Sprint triumph, slipping past Bill Nichols in lapped traffic less than five laps from the finish. Nichols chased Mekic across the line.
With just two circuits remaining in the 15-lap main, Dylan Robinson of Harpursville, N.Y., cleared Nick Kennedy for the lead and drove on to win the Four Cylinder main. Kennedy and Robinson had battled wheel-to-wheel for much of the event. Kennedy, Mike Robinson, Frank Kennedy and Guy Raymond Jr. completed the front five.
Racing resumes at the speedway on Saturday, July 18 when Maines Driver Training Institute presents a full program of Modifieds, Sportsman, Crate 602 Sportsman ($500 to win), Rookie Sportsman, Street Stocks, XCel 600 Modifieds and Four Cylinders.
Gates open at 4 p.m., with hot laps at 6:20 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m. Adult grandstand admission is $12. Seniors (ages 65 and up) and Students (ages 10-17) pay $10. Kids 9 and under are FREE. Pit admission is $30, with no license required.
For Thunder Mountain Speedway general information and a complete schedule, visitwww.thundermtnspeedway.com. The speedway office number is 607.657.8202. On race day, call 607.849.7899. The speedway e-mail is 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.
THUNDER THOUGHTS: With picture perfect weather conditions for Saturday’sprogram, one of the season’s largest crowds turned out to watch the 120 race cars in competition on the Mountain. All racing was completed shortly after 11 p.m. during the swiftly run program….
Track conditions were smooth and wide throughout the night with two- and three-wide racing prevalent throughout the program….
Both Nick Rochinski and Mike Mahaney saw top-five efforts go sour in the Modified main event. Rochinski, emitting heavy smoke, pulled to the infield on the 26th lap while Mahaney’s slowly deflating right-rear tire exploded on the final lap, ripping off the rear quarter-panel of the Jim Shear-owned No. 77X mount….
On leave from the United States Air Force, Corey Kennedy was a spectator at Thunder Mountain Saturday to watch his family members compete in the Four Cylinder ranks….
Randy Brokaw was a new edition to the Modified field, shaking down his new No. B17. Brokaw will be a regular at the track this season….
Qualifying heat winners included Chance Spoonhower, Chad Cook and Mike Mahaney (Modified); Eric Leet and Dan Burman (Sportsman); Isaiah Forward and Joshua Underwood (Crate 602 Sportsman); Kinser Hill and Zach Balzer (Rookie Sportsman); Rich Sharpsteen and Matt Spencer (Street Stock); Billy Koch, A.J. Miller and Joe McCabe (XCel 600 Modified); Larry Mekic (SRP Sprint); and Keith Potter and Dylan Robinson (Four Cylinder).
JULY 11, 2015 RACE SUMMARY: BARRETT PAVING MATERIALS INC. NIGHT
Modified Feature Finish (30 Laps): CHAD COOK, Chance Spoonhower, Ken Titus, Mike Nagel Jr., Byron Worthing, Brian Malcolm, Butch Green, Chris Stull, Colton Wilson, Mike Mahaney, Mike Wilbur Jr., Billy Spoonhower, Brent Wilcox, Nick Rochinski, Ryan Jordan, Randy Brokaw, Dale Welty, Tom Collins Jr., Steve Wren Jr.
Open Sportsman Feature Finish (20 Laps): NICK MADY, Kenny Hammond, Eric Leet, Kevin Jordan, Chris Jordan, Larry Hillis, Geordie Decker, Dan Burman, Jake Fowlston, Marc Goodwin.
Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (20 Laps): SHAYNE SPOONHOWER, Adam Hilton, T.J. Frost, Todd Titus, Pat Jordan, Dustin Jordan, Brian Mady, Dan Pease, Millard Jon, Hilary Ward, Eric Boynton, Dusty Barton, Josh Underwood, Isaiah Forward, Daryl Krebs.
Disqualified: David Doig Jr.
Rookie Sportsman Feature Finish (15 Laps): COTY BISHOP, Kinser Hill, Kailee DiMorier, Dayton Coney, Shawn Davis, Tyler Keener, Tony Amato, Kerri Cook, Thomas Ferguson.
Disqualified: Zach Balzer, Cole Price.
Did Not Start: Mark Andrus.
Street Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): STEVEN DEINHARDT, Trevor Dudley, Matt Spencer, Earl Zimmer, Brett Barrett, Rich Sharpsteen, Don Russell, Doug Stack, John Cooper Jr., Jason Beebe, Levis Davis, Robert Nober, Derrick Peters, Paul Harrington, Jonathan Carpenter, Shane Wolf Jr., K.J. Yager, Rick Sinsabaugh.
XCel 600 Modified Feature Finish (20 Laps): WILL EASTMAN, Dakota Andersen, Richie Hitzler, Dave Baldwin Sr., Aaron Bowes, Eric Boyd, Logan Diehl, Michael Burrows, Mike Mahaney, Dana Davis, Chris Kithcart, Doug Windhausen, Shawna Schibilia, Jamie Frantz, Grant Schibilia, Travis Rigante, Wyatt Harrar, Damon Henry, Jonathan Josko, Joe McCabe, Brian Mady, A.J. Miller, Nick Chase, Billie Koch, Korey Inglin, Bailey Boyd, Kamdin Maby, Bryce Higgs.
SRP Sprint Feature Finish (15 Laps): LARRY MEKIC, Bill Nichols, Bob Johnson, Chad Tibbals, Lisa Kratzer.
Did Not Start: Gary Kratzer.
Four Cylinder Feature Finish (15 Laps): DYLAN ROBINSON, Nick Kennedy, Mike Robinson, Frank Kennedy, Guy Raymond Jr., Willy Turner, Wayne VanDusen Jr., C.J. Wheeland, Trevor Hurlburt, Doug O’Hara, Keith Potter.