The three weekly classes were joined by the Wingless Auto Racing (WAR) Series Sunday night at the Double-X Speedway, which resulted in yet another great racing event for fans who attended Sunday Night Thunder. The evening began with the WAR drivers taking to the track for their time trial qualifications. First on the track was Mitchell Moore, Edgerton Kansas, who claimed quick time for the 19 cars signed in for the event. Next was Taylor Walton, a weekly competitor in the Winged Sprint division at the XX-Speedway.
After time trials, it was down to business for the Street Stock drivers. Derek Henson continued his winning streak by claiming the heat race over Dale Berry, Ted Welschmeyer and Curt Turpin. This set the stage for the feature event, with Henson and Berry on the front row. Henson took the lead at the drop of the green and opened a comfortable lead over the field, only to see it erased as the caution flew on Lap 7 when Berry spun in turn 1. On the re-start, Ted Welschmeyer pressured Henson on the low side until a flat tire brought him to a stop and he retired to the pit area. The re-start on Lap 12 found Henson leading all the way to the checkered flag. Berry, who recovered from his earlier trouble, finished in second place. Turpin placed third, followed by Jerry Unger and Andrew Roark, who finished fourth and fifth respectively.
A strong field of Hobby Stocks took to the track with the first heat claimed by Seth Jacobs. The second qualifying heat was won by Chuck Coffey. For the feature event, Jacobs and Coffey would pace the field to the green. Jacobs took the lead on the start and was pressured the entire race by Gage Wineland, who would follow Jacobs the entire 12 laps of the feature, though he was never able to make the pass. Following the top two under the checkered flag was Will Register in third place, AJ Wirts in fourth, and Coffey fifth.
Next up were the WAR Sprints. Two qualifying heats would help to set the field for the feature event. In the first heat, Adam Jones took a comfortable lead until mechanical misfortune befell him on Lap 9. Cody Baker, filling in for his sister Casey, inherited the lead but the victory ultimately went to Mitchell Moore who started sixth in the heat. Following Moore and Baker under the checkered were Chad Goff, Chris Parkinson, and Chad Shields in the top five respectively.
The second heat saw rookie PJ Grimes and seasoned veteran John Helm leading the field to the green. Helm led early, however, contact with Austin Alumbaugh in turn one resulted in Alumbaugh turning over and left Helm at the rear of the field on the re-start. Chris Morgan, returning to the driver's seat for the first time since a season-ending crash in 2012, inherited the lead and claimed a strong victory in the event. Following Morgan to the finish were Brad Ryun, Taylor Walton, Chad Tye and Helm in the top five spots respectively.
Feature time for the WAR field saw Brad Ryun and Chad Goff on the front row. Ryun led the opening laps but Goff would move to the lead with Walton in tow on Lap 3. Goff continued at the point, but Chad Shields was methodically sizing up Walton and took second on Lap 10 and then passed Goff for the lead on the next lap. A Lap 12 caution bunched the field and would see Shields continue to lead until Lap 17 when Walton made the pass and took the top spot until Lap 23 when Parkinson made the pass and led the remainder of the 25 laps to claim the victory. Following Parkinson under the checkered were Walton, Shields, Ryun and Morgan in the top five.
The Winged Sprints were next. The first heat saw California's Tyler Blank claim the victory over Adam Jones, Bryan Grimes, Evan Martin and Randy Martin, respectively. The second heat was won by Taylor Walton. Cody Baker, Mitchell Moore, Curtis Evans and Andrew Turley followed in the top five.
The 25-lap feature event hit the track with Blank and Walton on the front row. Blank led from the outset in what looked like cruise control mode, however, after a Lap 11 re-start, Blank slowed as he entered turn three, the victim of engine woes. Blank's misfortune put Walton at the front with Randy Martin in second, Baker in third, Evan Martin in fourth and Tyler Elliott in fifth. Walton was able to run the low groove consistently and led the remaining laps to claim the victory. Randy Martin finished in second place, Jones third, Baker fourth and Evan Martin fifth.
Sunday Night Thunder will continue Sunday, June 16, Father's Day, with the ULMA Late Models joining the three weekly classes. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with hot laps to begin at 7 p.m. and racing to follow at 7:30 p.m.
ULMA admission is $12, while pit passes are $25. For more information, call 573-796-4694.