Holt Wins Three Times To Snare Gas City I-69 Speedway’s 2018 Thunder Car Championshipadmin
GAS CITY, Ind., Jan. 8 — D.J. Holt of Marion, Ind. topped the list of 38 thunder car drivers to earn that championship over 13-year-old Bryce Krider of Garrett, Ind., who was also the division’s Rookie of the Year. Stevie Clark of Kokomo, Ind.; Ron Flaugh of Converse, Ind. and Greg Marlow of Granger, Ind. rounded out the top five.
Braxton Strait of Hartford City, Ind.; Ervin Turner of Marion, Ind.; James Headley of Marion, Ind.; Greg Long of Atlanta, Ind. and Randy Lines of Marion, Ind. rounded out the top 10 in the thunder car division.
Holt won three features with the No. 36 Holt Auto Body thunder car. Lines won twice in that division, while Headley, Jason Fritz of Winamac, Ind., Jimmy Watters of Montpelier, Ind., Turner and Flaugh also posted feature victories.
One of the highlights of the thunder car division was the July 13 “Thunder Car Rumble,” the brainchild of Turner, Holt and Flaugh. It offered a $6,000 purse, which was the largest purse ever posted for thunder cars in the Hoosier state. Watters ended up the big winner, as he took home $700 for winning the 20-lap feature in his Hoosier Pearl Company No. 2. The event wasn’t without controversy, however, as he and leader Headley had contact three laps from the finish.
One of the most spectacular features of the thunder car season occurred on Aug. 3 when Holt flipped in Turn 4 with seven laps down while battling for the lead, and then Braxton Strait’s car caught on fire and he flipped in about the same spot with only two laps to go. Luckily neither was hurt.
Gas City I-69 Speedway distributed nearly $250,000 in purse money to its five classes of weekly racers during the season.
Despite evenings that often featured around 100 race cars in the pits, almost all of the shows were finished by 11 p.m., which was a testament to the track officials, their staff, the push-truck drivers and the racers and crews themselves.
Promoter Jerry Gappens added all sorts of special events for the track’s family-friendly crowd. Intermission entertainment included games of knockerball, helmet tosses, a beachball game, coin scrambles, a “Soccer Moms Gone Mad” race, a school bus race and bubble ball competitions. One show featured fireworks, there was an exhibition by the Midwest Oldtimers Vintage Race Club, and drivers threw Frisbees with gift cards attached into the grandstands. Santa Claus showed up one hot summer night bearing gifts, and two James Dean look-alikes graced the James Dean Classic USAC AMSOIL sprint car season finale.
Track sponsors included Marion Tire, Miller’s American Auto Body, Indiana Oxygen, Brandt’s Harley-Davidson and Hoosier Racing Tire.
The top 10 in points in all five weekly divisions (non-wing sprint cars, UMP modifieds, super streets, thunder cars and FWD compacts), the Rookies of the Year, and others will be honored at the track’s awards banquet Saturday, Jan. 12 at Eventfully Yours Event Center in Marion, Ind.
For more information, see the track’s website at GasCityI69Speedway.com and follow it on Facebook at @GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas and on Twitter at @GasCitySpeedway.
The point rundown for the thunder car class follows:
Thunder Cars: 1. D.J. Holt, 1,199; 2. Bryce Krider, 889; 3. Stevie Clark, 824; 4. Ron Flaugh, 814; 5. Greg Marlow, 771; 6. Braxton Strait, 654; 7. Ervin Turner, 573; 8. James Headley, 474; 9. Greg Long, 471; 10. Randy Lines, 404; 11. Justin Wheeler, 401; 12. Mike Reitz, 392; 13. Mark Keith, 360; 14. Shane Richardson, 279; 15. Rick Paul, 268; 16. Wryan Collis, 265; 17. T.J. Larson and Kevin Kerlin tied with 240; 19. Kaleb Hinkley, 222; 20. Kaleb Nutter, 205; 21. Bob Byrley, 167; 22. Cody Devlin, 165; 23. Roy Mulkey Jr., 156; 24. James Watters, 135; 25. Jason Fritz, 130; 26. Lee Hall, 125; 27. Randy Brommer and Jeff Hinkley Jr. tied with 115; 29. Eric Hunter and Steve Tanner tied with 110; 31. Cale Ramey and Brad Keith tied with 106; 33. Mike Oler, 103; 34. Travis Bright, 98; 35. Gerald Owens, 94; 36. Joshua Hotsinpiller and Dalton Smith tied with 87; 38. Jason Fuller, 5.