Rain out equals success at Wartburg Speedway

By Joe Dunn joe@onpitroad.com

When the rain starting falling on Saturday September 1, it spelled disappointment for everyone that was at Wartburg Speedway for the $3,000 Advance Auto Parts Thunder Series, Rogers Group 50. Being late in the season a decision on a make up date was a tough choice, but finally the Track management decided on Friday September 21. Three weeks away, and the end of September left many wondering if the weather would favor the date.
Fast forward to Friday September 21st and the weather could not be better, clear skies and a bit cooler temps proved the magic numbers. But what nobody was really expecting was the HUGE turnout for this late season race. As the track activities began, the haulers just kept rolling in, and along with them were the carloads of fans. By Race Time, 36 Super Late Models were trackside representing five states. Up in the grandstands and the Tier parking areas looked to be the biggest crowd to ever attend a race at the storied East Tennessee track.
Anthony White turned the quick time for the Rogers Group 50 and started on the pole with Matt Henderson beside him. White jumped out front quick, but Ricky Arms, Rick Rogers and Matt Henderson kept the pressure on with White and Arms swapping the lead midway through the race. But in his normal Wartburg fashion, the Dirty White Boy powered past Arms to retake the lead and stay there. When the checkered flag finally came out it was Anthony White for the win followed by Ricky Arms, Rick Rogers, Matt Henderson and Stacy Boles rounding out the top five. The rest of the top ten included Tommy Bailey, Steve Smith, Tommy Kerr, Kayne Hickman and Brad Coffey.
Big winners for the night included Mark Rosner who powered to win the 21 car $2,000 Sportsman Late Model feature, Jason Manley fighting to hold off the competition in the $500 Pure Mini feature and Jonathan Sims taking the win in the $500 Pure Street feature. In the final race of the night, the Front wheel Drives took to the track for their $300 race. Although the fans had thinned out by then, they missed a real action packed race that ended abruptly when Jeff Bean hit the wall in turn three and went airborne. The car finally came to a rest high in turn four, turned on the driver’s side. Track workers were quick to respond and tensions were high as the wreckers and ambulance were summoned to the track. Unable to free Bean from the car, track personnel carefully rolled the car over on it’s wheels. About a minute later, Bean emerged from the car waving to the crowd to acknowledge that he was OK. The race having been halted, JD Rector was declared the winner.
Top Ten finishers in all classes;
Sportsman – 1. Mark Rosner, 2. Derrick York, 3. Mark Leach, 4. Jeff Atkisson, 5. Charles Hurst — Pure Mini – 1. Jason Manley, 2. David Christmas, 3. John Cobb, 4. Jack Courtney, 5. Brad Hamilton — Pure Street – 1. Jonathan Sims, 2. Raymond Shepard, 3. Jason Capps, 4. Nick Nelson, 5. Reagan Williams — Front Wheel Drive – 1. J.D. Rector, 2. Chris Morrison, 3. Andrew Green, 4. Joe Freels, 5. Justin Scott