Thunder in the Hills
September 13-14, 2008
Mid-September always signals that it is time to race around Doc. Yinger's island at Rocky Fork Lake in Hillsboro, Ohio. This course has seen its share of records over the years. Thusly, some top speedsters always show up to take a shot at the rectangular shaped track. As a "backyard" regatta this is always a top notch event. Several years ago over a hundred entries filled the pits. While not that huge anymore, this race is still a good show.
Here are the J and Fae boat totals: (T-6) (Y-7) (S-10) (A-4) (E-6) (NM-5) (GNH-6) Total-44.
T boats saw a major upset this weekend. Brandon Kennedy (T-1) Shameless Say What came in as the boat to beat but seemed to suffer from the "tired engine" syndrome, settling for third place. Bobby Kennedy in Doug Hagitha's (T-5) Trophy Hunter took advantage taking the victory. Alexis Weber (T-10) Flirtin With Disaster came home second in her ever improving vessel. The T's were very entertaining.
Y boats saw the return of a top warrior as Joe Sovie (Y-44) Accelerant rolled into town to prove that their team is very formidable when Joe's bad back cooperates. Consider that mission accomplished as the (Y-44) was extremely impressive. Joe (Y-44) kept it wound up in the warm-up and ran like an absolute bomb. However, as great as Joe ran he still could not beat the "beast of the Y's". Let's see, who would that be? Hmmmmm, He is of average height, a great driver, and a noted web master. The boat is yaller and runs at ridiculous speed for some dude from Michigan. If you haven't figured it out yet quit reading and pick up your Newsweek or Field And Stream. Dan Kanfoush- Jim Sechler and their (Y-1) Fast Eddie win another one in a great duel. Sean Bowsher (Y-52) Casual Threat made another great start and ran a strong third. Sean and Dan always hit the start in unison as if they planned it. That is a talent in a modified boat. The Y's were cool.
S boats saw the renaissance of Doug Martin's (S-33) Keen's Sunday Money. This team has struggled lately but not this time. To beat Keith Anderson (S-17) Bad Habit in Region Six you have got to be stout and Doug (S-33) was. Alan Bush (S-711) One More Time held off a hard charging Bobby Kennedy in Jim Wilson's (S-20) Hot Flash to take third. If you have a 2.5 stocker Bobby can bring it to life. S boats were very competitive as usual.
A boats had a small but extremely fast group. Mike Monahan in Debbie Welte's (A-23) Jack's Geezerboat and Steve Kuhr Jr. in Tony Black's (A-41) Jamakin Me Crazy were ready to challenge the two mega blasters in town. Jim Aid (A-33) In Cahoots Again and Tommy Thompson in Randy English' (A-25) Fat Chance have hogged the records in this class for many years. This time Tommy (A-25) came up a little early on the clock and the engine bogged down. Jim (A-33) had her wound up for the entire one minute cycle and nailed the start in old school fashion. Game over? Mike Monahan (A-23) didn't think so as the Geezerboat came to life like someone on an energy drink. He ran a superb race even though the immaculate (A-33) prevailed. High speed drama, that was the theme in this class all year.
E boats had a wild qualifier as Thom English (E-75) Fat Chance blew over exiting turn two. Thom was ok and vowed to get a new engine into town for Sunday. Mark Burkhart (E-726) X-Ray repeated his excellent run like in Celina and finished the job holding off a very racy John Jenkins (E-32) Merco Marine. Stover Hire (E-37) Hire Voltage took third for his 7,667 trophy. (Just an estimate).
NM boats presented three big time favorites. Tommy Thompson driving Mike Weiner's (NM-81) Country Boy is a top contender although we wish we could see it more often. Tony Black in Ken Bowyer's (NM-928) Illusion and Mike Movinsky (NM-116) Rockstar Sports Drinks are very fast as well. Tony may turn his consistently excellent season into the NM-1 for 2008. Tommy (NM-81) took the qualifier at a fantastic speed but broke for the final. Tony (NM-928) held off Mike (NM-116) for a hard earned win. Steve Kuhr Jr. (A-41) Jamakin Me Crazy took third. The NM's make a pretty picture streaking around the course.
GNH boats belong to "Super Cal" Phipps (GNH-41) Happy Go Lucky. As he proved at Celina, Cal is running unbelievable in the hull he calls a Cadillac. It is going to take a bomb to catch this boat and no such bomb appeared this weekend. Super Cal reigns again! Patrick Sankuer (GNH-6) Showtime Racing and Mark Burkhart in Eli Whitney's (GNH-515) One Way ran strong to complete the podium. The big boys provided the thunder in the hills.
Well, that's about it. "Thunder in the Hills", although shortened by Hurricane Ike, was fun as always. The local people are as nice as you see at any race site. It is a beautiful park and a great venue for racing. The thunder has died down but the memories of great speed will live on until 2009 when we will reconvene to race around Doc's island once again. See ya next season! J and Fae