Veteran Texas Super Racing Series (TSRS) driver Robert Barker made it look easy Saturday night at Thunderhill Raceway (THR). Barker had the fastest car in qualifying, started from the pole position after the draw and led all 30 laps of the shortened event that was originally set for 75 laps.
“We had a really good combination of handling and power,” Barker said after the race. “The car stayed under me all night. Bobby (Teer) had a good car too and he stayed close, but our Ford was just hooked up all night.”
The race, which was scheduled for last Saturday but was postponed due to adverse weather conditions, was shortened due to the low car count after a vote by the seven drivers who actually made the show.
“A lot of the TSRS teams that were originally scheduled to be here last weekend had already made plans for this weekend,” explained Mary Ann Naumann, TSRS founder and THR owner and promoter. “Racing is such a family sport and since we don’t race every weekend, families make plans for the off weekends which are hard to reschedule. And, of course, the postponement had us running on the same night as Houston Motorsports Park and I-37 Raceway so that played a part too.”
Barker’s only real competition was Bobby Teer, another veteran driver who was ready to pounce if the winner had slowed even a little.
“We had a great car,” Teer said, “but we picked up a little push going into the turns which made us a little free on the exits. We were able to stay with Robert anyway, but couldn’t quite get close enough to make a run on him. We hate to finish second, but we’re real happy with the car and Greg (Spreen) has given us a really strong engine. I think we’ll have something for Robert this season.”
Another veteran campaigner, Larry Bendele finished third, the only other car on the lead lap at the checkered.
Except for a yellow on the first lap which called for a complete restart, the race was caution free.
Official Feature Race Results:
- 17 Robert Barker Boerne, TX 30 laps QT 15.267
- 2 Bobby Teer Jr. Comfort, TX 30 laps QT 15.301
- 23 Larry Bendele Adkins, TX 30 laps QT 15.708
- 04 Cory Roper Baytown, TX 29 laps DNQ
- 11 Cody IItis 29 laps QT 16.271
- 3 Mike Reininger San Antonio, TX 29 laps QT 15.963
- 28 Jeff O’Neill Round Rock, TX 28 laps QT 15.964
#17 received 5 bonus points for Fast Time
#2 received 5 bonus points for Hard Charger
DNQ – Did Not Qualify
QT – Qualifying Time
Special Report by Nick Holt with Lone Star Speedzone
Jeff O’Neill Racing and Bumbera’s Performance will be working together on a limited schedule during the 2010 Texas Super Racing Series (TSRS) Late Model season.
Starting the season off with a test session on Saturday, March 13, at Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle, TX, the two teams have worked together to get the car dialed in for driver Jeff O’Neill.
“The car was better right off the truck than it ever was last year.” said O’Neill. “Kenny Bumbera and his entire organization have worked very hard over the past six weeks to give me a car that not only can run up front but I really believe I can win with. Last year was a learning year for me. It was my first year in a Late Model, and our goal was to just finish every race and learn as much as possible. We far exceeded that goal by finishing 10th in the points and finishing in the Top 10 in all but one of our races. By teaming up with Bumbera’s Performance, I believe we can not only run up front but I think we can be a real contender for the championship.”
The 2010 racing season will be Jeff’s second full year in the Texas Super Racing Series, and it looks to be his best season so far. Bumbera says, “We always like to see the underdog do well, and Jeff has the determination to be a champion. He just needs a chance in better equipment to showcase his talents.”
O’Neill will be competing in his TSRS Late Model this Saturday night, March 27, at Thunderhill Raceway. He will be qualifying with all of the other TSRS Late Models at 4:30 p.m. All of the drivers – including O’Neill – will interact with the fans at a Drivers’ Autograph Session that’s scheduled for 5:15 p.m. Heat races will start at 6:00 p.m., and the TSRS Late Models will top off the night with a 75-lap feature race.
The season opener for stock car racing at Thunderhill Raceway (Kyle, TX) is only a few days away, and everything is moving forward at full speed to make 2010 the best racing season ever in the 13-year history of this 3/8-mile asphalt track.
This Saturday (March 27) will be the rescheduled season opener. During the winter months, the Thunderhill Raceway (THR) staff and racing teams have been working hard to get ready for this big day.
Open Test-n-Tune practice sessions began the first Saturday in February, and drivers have continuously worked to fine-tune their race cars each weekend as the first race date approaches.
During the off-season, the staff has been coming up with innovative ways to create excitement and entertainment value for the fans.
Changes for the upcoming season include an expanded Midway area near the front entrance to the grandstands. Various food booths will be available, and fans will be given the opportunity to interact with the drivers at the new Drivers’ Autograph Booth. Kids can also expect to have lots of fun this year with inflatable bouncers, bike races and rides in the race cars on the track.
“We went through a few rough spots at the end of last year, and we weren’t sure if we’d even be able to keep the track open in 2010,” said Mary Ann Naumann, THR’s Owner and Promoter. “Fortunately, we were able to work out an agreement with the landowner, and we plan to make this year the best one ever – and hopefully for many more years to come!”
Naumann added, “Stock car racing is my life, and we’re so lucky to have a great car count and lots of dedicated drivers at Thunderhill Raceway. It’s our goal to showcase our drivers and make them more available to the fans. We also feel that we have the best entertainment value in the area – with 4-5 hours of jam-packed, up-close racing action on a Saturday night.”
The full racing agenda for Saturday night will include the fan-favorite TSRS (Texas Super Racing Series) Late Models, along with the TSRS Allison Legacys, Texas Pro Sedans, SportMods, ASA A-Line Super Stocks, Thunder Stocks, Grand Stocks and Mini Stocks.
Kids’ bicycle races are on Saturday’s list of activities, and kiddie rides (in the race cars) will also be offered at the end of the night.
Grandstand gates will open on Saturday a little earlier than usual – at 4 p.m. Qualifying will start at 4:30 p.m., followed by a Driver Autograph Session at 5:15 p.m. The racing action will begin with heat races at 6 p.m. and opening ceremony and feature races immediately afterwards.
Admission for the grandstands is $12 for adults (including tax), with a $2 discount for seniors, military and police and EMS personnel (with ID). Children 12 and under are free.
Thunderhill Raceway is a 3/8-mile, D-shaped asphalt oval track that’s located at 24801 IH-35, on the access road just north of San Marcos (TX) near Yarrington Road (Exit #210). Information on Thunderhill Raceway may be found on the track website at www.thunderhillraceway.com.
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The first TSRS race of the 2010 racing season is scheduled for Saturday, March 20, at Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle, TX.
Nine classes of racing are on the agenda – including the TSRS Late Models and Allison Legacys, Texas Pro Sedans, Dwarf Cars, SportMods, ASA A-Line Super Stocks, Thunder Stocks, Grand Stock and Mini Stocks.
Other activities planed for the season opener are a Driver Autograph session, voting for the Best Appearing Car contest, Kids’ Bike Races and Kiddie Rides.
Stay tuned for further updates.
For more information on Thunderhill Raceway, visit the track’s website at www.thunderhillraceway.com.