Mike Mahaney, Modified Champion, Leads Honorees And Receives $5,200-Plus For Car Owner Jim Shear
MARATHON, NY – The curtain was closed on the 2015 Thunder Mountain Speedway season in a festive manner Saturday night.
With the Marathon Civic Center providing the backdrop, more than 230 race enthusiasts gathered for the speedway’s annual Awards Banquet. The event concluded owner and promoter Karl Spoonhower’s second season back at the helm of the three-eighths-mile clay oval located in Center Lisle, N.Y., a successful campaign that produced increased car counts and larger crowds for Saturday night racing and special events.
Leon Andrus and Brett Deyo worked the microphone for the awards presentation following a delicious catered meal.
More than $21,000 in point-fund money was distributed, with the lion’s share going to ’15 big-block/small-block Modified champion Mike Mahaney of King Ferry, N.Y., and team owner Jim Shear. Mahaney received $5,200 cash, two free American Racer tires, a custom trophy, jacket courtesy of American Racer and Trackside Products and a photo collage produced by Scott Seward.
The title was Mahaney’s first on the Mountain in his second full season as a regular competitor at the track.
“I can’t thank Jim (Shear) and Cheryl (Brady) enough,” Mahaney said. “As car owners, they got me the first two Modified championships of my career: at I-88 (Speedway in Afton, N.Y., during the 2013 season) and now at Thunder Mountain.”
Mahaney went on to extend appreciation to the speedway management team and employees for a “great place to race” on Saturday nights and his long list of supporters, product partners and crew members.
During the season, Mahaney accrued 851 points during the season, edging runner-up Chad Cook by just 19 markers in the final tally. Mahaney visited Victory Lane on four occasions during the year.
Cook, of Deposit, N.Y., made a late-season rally to place second in the standings (832). He was a division-leading five-time winner during the year and nearly stole the show from invader Stewart Friesen in the season-ending Wade Decker Memorial Race, finishing a close second.
Brian Malcolm of Lake Ariel, Pa., finished third in points with 816 markers. Malcolm achieved a career highlight in June when he won the Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP ‘Lightning on the Mountain’ taking home more than $5,000.
Two-time champion Brent Wilcox of Binghamton, N.Y., placed fourth with 766 points and sophomore driver Ryan Jordan of Dryden, N.Y., completed the front five. He earned 755 points.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Chris Stull of Virgil, N.Y. (686 points); Billy Spoonhower of Berkshire, N.Y. (667); Ken Titus of Kirkwood, N.Y. (644 points); Colton Wilson of Dryden, N.Y. (642 points); and Opening Night winner Nick Rochinski of Dickson City, Pa. (620 points).
Thunder Mountain competitors receiving recognition for their final finishing positions in the Lias Tire/American Racer Southern Tier Challenge Cup involving I-88 and Thunder Mountain speedways were Mahaney (fourth-place, $200 and two free tires), Cook (fifth-place, $150 and two free tires), Malcolm (sixth-place, two free tires), Jordan (eighth-place, one free tire) and Wilcox (ninth-place, $85 off a tire).
For the first time in his career, Eric Leet of Marathon, N.Y., was heralded as the Thunder Mountain Speedway Open Sportsman champion. Leet emerged from a spirited battle with veteran Kenny Hammond throughout the summer stretch. The ultra-consistent Leet took the title by a margin of 48 points over Hammond, with 897 markers.
Hammond was the runner-up with 849 points, followed by the brothers Jordan – Kevin (840) and Chris (750) – placing third and fourth, respectively. First-year Thunder Mountain regular Nick Mady, who made the tow from Milford, Pa., weekly, finished fifth with 741 points.
Larry Hillis (662 points), Geordie Decker (657), Dan Burman (641), Marc Goodwin (509) and Tommy Eiklor (393) completed the top-10 in the standings.
The Crate 602 Sportsman division was added to the Thunder Mountain lineup in ’15 and produced solid car counts and outstanding competition. Pat Jordan of Richford, N.Y., drove to the championship in his self-owned No. 25 car. Jordan, the former Afton Speedway promoter, returned to racing midway through the ’14 campaign after purchasing a car and crate engine. Jordan made the called Thunder Mountain “home” this season and edged Brian Mady in the race for the crown.
Jordan earned 883 points over Mady’s total of 837. Completing the top five were freshman driver Shayne Spoonhower, a first-time winner during the year, with 816 points, Street Stock graduate Daryl Krebs (753) and Four Cylinder transplant Isaiah Forward (667).
The remainder of the top-10 was as follows: rookie Dustin Jordan (652 points), Adam Hilton (624), Dan Pease (599), Joshua Underwood (378) and Randy Gates (375).
Utilizing a single victory and consistent performances, Shawn Davis of Berkshire, N.Y., took the Rookie Sportsman title. Davis, driving the No. 219, finished the season with a 53-point edge over leading winner Coty Bishop (804-751). Receiving recognition for top-five finishes were Kinser Hill (731), Dayton Coney (570) and Tyler Keener (551).
In a dominant performance, Steven Deinhardt of Deposit, N.Y., recorded his second consecutive title in the Barrett’s Race Cars and Components Street Stock division. Deinhardt, earning 923 points, took top honors by a massive 145-point margin over a tie for second in the standings involving Donald Russell and veteran Rich Sharpsteen, both with 778 points.
Trevor Dudley, moving up from the Four Cylinder division, finished fourth (708 points) and Jonathan Carpenter completed the front five (664). Earl Zimmer (650), Matt Spencer (647), John Cooper Jr. (584), Shane Wolf Jr. (509) and Rick Sinsabaugh (470) rounded out the top-10.
Another first-year division on the Mountain – Doug Borger’s XCel 600 Modifieds – found its home on the wide and racy facility. Will Eastman of Oneonta, N.Y., etched his name as the champion driving for Jim Loux. Eastman edged Brian Mady by 136 points (866-730). Doug Windhausen (686 points), Joe McCabe (648) and Eric Boyd (604) completed the front five. Lauded for their sixth-10th-place efforts were Tom Shiner (559), Bailey Boyd (520), Kamdin Maby (491), A.J. Miller (481) and Dana Davis (479).
The XCel 600 Modified drivers will receive their point fund money at the division’s upcoming Awards Banquet on Dec. 5.
Dylan Robinson of Harpursville, N.Y., made the decision to call Thunder Mountain his Saturday night stomping grounds for ’15 and walked off with the FWD Four Cylinder championship. Robinson won by a healthy 72-point margin over Guy Raymond Jr. (719-647). Drivers rounding out the top-10 in the order of finish were Gabe Forward (586), Nick Kennedy (543), Chris Taylor (541), Keith Potter (536), Willy Turner (388), Brian Nornhold (352), Mike Robinson (344) and C.J. Wheeland (312).
A number of special awards were presented in addition to top performers in the point standings.
Modified driver Brian Malcolm was bestowed with the track’s Sportsmanship Award for his positive attitude and contributions to the speedway throughout the season.
The Car Owner of the Year Award went to Mike Costello, the owner of Chad Cook’s potent No. 222 Modified.
Receiving the Hard Luck Award was Sportsman campaigner Larry Hillis, who persevered through numerous misfortunes during the season.
Best Appearing Car Awards went to Ryan Jordan (Modified), Kenny Hammond (Open Sportsman), Brian Mady (Crate 602 Sportsman), Coty Bishop (Rookie Sportsman), Matt Spencer (Street Stock), Doug Windhausen (XCel 600 Modified) and Dylan Robinson (FWD Four Cylinder).
Those recognized as Rookie of the Year recipients were Colton Wilson (Modified), Nick Mady (Open Sportsman), Shayne Spoonhower (Crate 602 Sportsman), Trevor Dudley (Street Stock), Eric Boyd (XCel 600 Modified) and Willy Turner (FWD Four Cylinder).
B&G Tunes provided music for dancing following the presentation of awards.
For Thunder Mountain Speedway general information and a complete schedule, visit www.thundermtnspeedway.com. The speedway office number is 607.657.8202. On race day, call 607.849.7899. The speedway e-mail is email@example.com. “Like” Thunder Mountain Speedway on Facebook or follow @thundermtnspeed on Twitter.
Thunder Mountain Speedway is located at 91 Hunts Corners Road Center Lisle, NY 13797, approximately 25 miles north of Binghamton. The three-eighths-mile clay oval features hillside concrete seating, free parking and camping, a variety of concession items and novelties, a family environment and more.
THUNDER THOUGHTS: Karl Spoonhower thanked all those in attendance for their support and pledged bigger and better things for 2016. More than 100 loads of fresh clay have been distributed on the speedway with increased banking added to the corners to produce additional side-by-side racing….
It was announced that all divisions will return in ’16 with no rule changes planned. Opening Day is set for April 30, 2016 with a practice session planned a week prior on April 23….
Contributors to the speedway point fund included American Racer/Lias Tire, VP Racing Fuels and the weekly 50/50 raffles….
Champions received Trackside Products embroidered jackets, trophies and photo collages created by track photographer Scott Seward. Ron Hills of the Race Report filmed the night’s events….