Tom Warren and Chad Walter both won the biggest race wins of their careers Saturday night as Thunder Valley brought down the curtain on the 2011 racing season. Warren capped a fine Semi Late rookie season with the win in the 76 lap event, the longest and richest Semi Late event in track history, while Walter took the similar length Pure Stock event. In between those events, Rance Garlock scored the 25 lap Limited event and Dan Jackson was the surprised winner of the 4 Cylinder finale.
Danny Atherton was the pole sitter and early leader of the Semi Late marathon. He led the first few laps as Tom Warren closed in. Warren got by on lap 8 and managed to be the uncontested leader for the duration of the 76 lapper. But as Warren led, Atherton fell into a tremendous battle with Dave Whetstone and Zane Weicht, a knot which was soon joined by Greg Cornell and Jim Sayler.
Whetstone secured second on lap 25 leaving the others top go at it, but it all changed on lap 37 as Atherton and Weicht tangled with both spinning. That broke up the second pack but not the intensity as Jason Vangilder moved in to keep it a 4 way tussle for second. Lap after lap the gang traded spots as Warren was safely ahead until John Shaffer halted the action with a wild flip on the front stretch.
After that break Warren again got away as the battle for second continued. Saylor, managed to secure that spot on lap 74 but was far back of Warren as he ran off to the big win. Saylor was second, followed by Whetstone, Jason Vangilder from tenth, Cornell, Weicht, Billy McClellan, Jesse Snyder, Bill Pluta and Dennis Collins, the first car a lap down in the well run event. Warren and Snyder won the qualifiers held as part of the Friday racing action.
Rance Garlock started on the Limited pole and led easily throughout the 25 lap event, but had to survive a late threat. Friday’s winner Rick Singleton had to climb from the field and ran Garlock down late thrilling the crowd as the pair entered lapped traffic in the closing laps. Altho he was all over Garlock at the finish, Singleton was denied the weekend sweep and finished second. They were followed by Ron Bottenfield, Sam Grindlesberger, Cory Weaver, Matt Emerick, Jeff Shoemaker, Eric Irvin, Mike Laughard and Ryan Krause. George Dixon, Garlock and Curtis Heath won the heats.
Travis Group was the Pure Stock pole sitter but it was Barry Weyandt who led at the start. Weyandt led as Mike Duck gave chase through the early laps. Charlie Walter, who started 8th in the field slowly climbed forward in the marathon event. By lap 37, Walter passed Duck for second, and althought Duck took it back, Walter was back in second on lap 51. From that point on, Walter ran down Weyandt and battled for the lead.
Walter finally got by for the lead on lap 64. Weyandt fell back but rallied late to rechallenge for the lead. A late yellow for oil all over the track extended the event to get a green flag finish. On the last lap Weyandt tried a desperation move on the leader, getting sideways and allowing Mike Duck to get back into second, but Walter romped to the win in what ended as an 82 lap race.
Duck came home second and Chad Gambol third as Weyandt recovered for fourth at the line. Mike Ott started and finished fifth, followed by Jarrod Brown, Group, Brian Shaw, Greg Cornell Sr and Justin Milburn. Gambol. Dave Lee, Walter and Duck won the Friday qualifiers while Tom Warren, attempting to do the double, won the B event
Dan Jackson was the surprise 4 Cylinder winner as the Finale weekend ended. Ray Edwards was the pole sitter and easy early leader, But on a lap 13 restart, the field all bottled up as Edwards Andrew and Robert Pluta all got together and mayhem ensued. Jackson emerged as the leader and ran off the last two laps to win. Tyler Beckett ran second ahead of Patrick Breahm, Ron Valentine and Phil Best. Edwards and Andrew Pluta won the heats.
SEMI LATE 76 LAPS 1 Tom Warren, 2 Jim Sayler, 3 Dave Whetstone, 4 Jason Vangilder, 5 Greg Cornell, 6 Zane Weicht, 7 Billy McClellan, 8 Jesse Snyder, 9 Bill Pluta, 10 Dennis Collins, 11 Cody Butterbaugh, 12 Dan Atherton, 13 Shawn Ringler 14 John Shaffer, 15 Vigi Zuccollotto, 16 Jamie Kohan.
LIMITED 25 LAP 1Rance Garlock, 2 Rick Singleton, 3 Ron Bottenfield, 4 Sam Grindlesberger, 5 Cory Weaver, 6 Matt Emerick, 7 Jeff Shoemaker, 8 Eric Irvin, 9 Mike Laughard, 10 Ryan Krause, 11 Curt Heath, 12 John Mazey, 13 Larry Foor, 14 Yvette Hahn, 15 Tom Christoff 16 Bill Burns, 17George Dixon, 18 Tom Decker Jr, 19 Dale Claycomb, Chris Rhodes, 21 Nynick
PURE STOCK 76 (82) LAPS 1 Charlie Walter, 2 Mike Duck, 3 Chad Gambol, 4 Barry Weyandy, 5 Mike Ott, 6 Jarrod Brown, 7 Travis Group, 8 Brian Shaw, 9 Greg Cornell Sr, 10 Justin Milburn, 11 Chad Mcginnis, 12 Terry Norris, 13 Jeff Brown 14 Jake Gangloff, 15 Mike Isett, 16 Ryan Bender, 17 Terry Mitchell, 18 Ryan Beckett, 19 Rick Potter, 20 Wannyn, 21 Jesse Hunt, 22 Russ Hartman 23 Tom Warren, 24 Bill Replogle, 25 Dave Lee, 26 Jim Saccon,, DNS Ed Vogel, Mike Shaffer, Mike Goss, Bailey, Tim Brown
4 CYLINDER 1 Dan Jackson, 2 Tyler Beckett, 3 Patrick Breahm, 4 Ron Valentine, 5 Phil Best, 6 Andrew Pluta, 7 Robert Pluta, 8 Skip Bryner, 9 Doug Hostetter, 10 Jon Gephart, 11 Leroy Booher, 12 Ray Edwards, 13 Jack Theys, 14 Nick Zborovancik, 15 Mike Meck