GRABOUSKI, VANOVER, OLBERDING, BANKS, AND ZIEGLER SCORE WINS AT THUNDER HILL
By Troy Harrison
After a long heat wave this summer, the weather was perfect for Saturdaynight’s Xtreme Motor Sports Clash on the Hill, and fans and racers alike appreciated the more spring-like evening for the final Ladies Night of the season. When the night was over, visiting the Pit Stop Liquor Victory Lane were Jordan Grabouski (BSB Manufacturing IMCA Modifieds), Kyle Vanover (Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Cars), Kyle Olberding (Kansas National Guard IMCA Northern SportMods), Waylon Banks (BuyRaceParts.com IMCA Hobby Stocks), and Danie Ziegler (IMCA Sport Compacts).
Jordan Grabouski returned to Thunder Hill Speedway, and he returned to Victory Lane in the BSB Manufacturing IMCA Modifieds, but it was over a very strong effort by Jarrod Johnston. Grabouski made his way through the pack quickly until he caught early leader Johnston. Johnston, whose father Kurt has won several features in the past at Thunder Hill, demonstrated that he had learned well. Grabouski made several runs on the bottom and was unable to get by the young Concordia driver, then moved to the top side of the track and dove to the bottom in the turn to pass Johnston. After Grabouski had the lead, he was able to pull free of the pack to the win. Johnston finished second, with Shane Hiatt third. Derrick Brown crossed the line fourth, but came up a bit light at the scales. This moved Brent Alverson into fourth, and last week’s winner Mike Petersilie fifth.
The new winner’s bonus in the Heinen Repair Service IMCA Stock Cars went uncollected yet again, as Kyle Vanover snared the feature win. In the first half of the race, Marvin Griffith Jr. was determined to keep Vanover behind him – and did just that for about five laps. Eventually, however, Vanover made it past and pulled away to the feature win. Griffith would lose another spot when he slipped too high and Bob Arnold managed to duck underneath him for second. Griffith finished third, with Mike Taylor fourth and Travis Tenpenny fifth.
Kyle Olberding had what appeared to be his fastest car of the year on Saturday night, as he simply outdistanced the Kansas National Guard IMCA Northern SportMod field for the win. Dusty Leonard, who started beside Olberding in the third row, chased Olberding’s #75 machine through the field but was unable to catch him and had to settle for second. Eddie Schwope Jr. had a very quiet but fast run into third, while Shawn Harker charged from 12th to fourth. Rounding out the top five was Kurtis Pihl.
Waylon Banks has struggled with mechanical issues much of the year in theBuyRaceParts.com IMCA Hobby Stock division, and it has all started to come right in the last two weeks. Last week, he finished second. This week, he improved one spot to take the win after Dominic Thyfault lost an apparent win in the tech lane. Thyfault had damaged his car on Friday night at another track, rushed to put the car back together with parts in the shop, and unfortunately the parts included unapproved rear suspension bushings. Thyfault was a very disappointed but understanding driver, and vowed to return next week and take another checkered. Banks was a very happy winner, followed by Jamie Benskin, Kelly Pihl, Travis Burger, and MalloryWalters.
Also losing a win in the tech lane was apparent IMCA Sport Compact winner Scott Spellmeier. Spellmeier was also DQ’d for unapproved suspension parts. This gave the win to Danie Ziegler. Wade Heller finished second, with Jarret Beach third, Kaylee Diekman fourth, and Morgan Ziegler fifth.
Next week, Saturday August 18th will be Bumper to Bumper/Wix Filter Night at the races. Gates open at 5:00 pm.