CENTER LISLE, N.Y. – Chad Cook’s late-season surge continued on Saturday at Thunder Mountain Speedway.
Cook, of Deposit, N.Y., drove the Mike Costello-owned No. 222 to victory in the Season Championship Night 30-lap big-block/small-block Modified main, earning $1,500 for his second consecutive triumph at the three-eighths-mile oval. The win for Cook was his division-leading fifth of the season.
A 30-car field of Modifieds signed in on a weather-threatened evening, setting a new Saturday night record since the track reopened in April 2014.
The entire program was spun off in rapid fashion with the final checkered flying at 9:21 p.m. Just minutes later, rain moved over the speedway.
Cook – who started 10th – found the outside lane to his liking in the second half of the event. From the outset pole starter Bob Henry Jr. launched into the lead, searching for the first Modified triumph of his career on the Mountain. Cook, meanwhile, was slowly moving through the field.
When the race’s final caution flew on lap 20, Cook sat fourth, trailing Henry, Brent Wilcox and Ryan Jordan.
On lap 23, Cook powered three-wide past both Wilcox and Jordan to sweep into the runner-up spot. One lap later, he cleared Henry using the topside of turn two and was never headed.
Cook now sets his sights on the $5,000-to-win MjH Oilfield Wade Decker Memorial to be run at the speedway next Sunday (Sept. 27).
“We’re coming for it,” Cook said of the big event. “We definitely found something here late in the season.”
Jordan, of Speedsville, N.Y., settled for runner-up pay, followed by Henry, of Clay, N.Y., a rim-riding Chris Stull of Virgil, N.Y., and Lake Ariel, Pa., driver Brian Malcolm.
Mike Mahaney of King Ferry, N.Y., finished sixth and earned his first-career Thunder Mountain Speedway track championship driving for car owner Jim Shear.
In a down-to-the-wire finish, Kevin Jordan of Speedsville, N.Y., drove to a $700 victory over a stout 18-car Open Sportsman field. Geordie Decker, a Rookie Sportsman graduate in search of his breakthrough Open Sportsman win, led 16 of the race’s 20 laps. However, Jordan was able to cut to his inside racing to the line for the 17th circuit and drove on to the win.
Eric Leet of Marathon, N.Y., also slipped by Decker. His second-place finish secured the Open Sportsman title for 2015. Decker, invader Jim Britt and Chris Jordan placed third through fifth, respectively.
Pat Jordan of Richford, N.Y., won the Crate 602 Sportsman title in convincing fashion by also winning the division’s 20-lap feature. Jordan was able to clear open-wheel rookie Isaiah Forward on the 11th lap and was never headed. Brian Mady drove up to second and chased Jordan to the finish, followed by Shayne Spoonhower (recovering from an opening lap spin), Forward and recent first-time winner Daryl Krebs.
Coty Bishop of Binghamton, N.Y., romped to another Rookie Sportsman score in the 15-lap main. Bishop took a lead he would never relinquish on the sixth lap. He won over eventual runner-up finisher Kinser Hill.
Shawn Davis of Berkshire, N.Y., placed third and clinched the 2015 Rookie Sportsman title.
Steven Deinhardt put an exclamation point on his outstanding season in the Barrett’s Race Cars & Components Street Stock division. Deinhardt, of Deposit, N.Y., earned Saturday night’s $500 payday and clinched the crown for the second straight year.
Will Eastman became the XCel 600 Modified track champion with a win in the 20-lap feature event. The Oneonta, N.Y., driver put his Loux Motorsports into the top spot on the opening lap and was never seriously challenged during the main.
Nick Kennedy of Windsor, N.Y., topped the 15-lap Four Cylinder feature. Harpursville, N.Y., driver Dylan Robinson, meanwhile, finished second to lock of the division’s track championship.
Chad Cook, Ryan Jordan, Bob Henry Jr., Chris Stull, Brian Malcolm, Mike Mahaney, Brent Wilcox, Mike Clapperton, Ken Titus, Byron Worthing, Brandon Walters, Colton Wilson, Rusty Smith, Chance Spoonhower, Chris Ostrowsky, Jeff Sheely, Dan Humes, John Morse, Lee DeWitt, Jim Walsh, Randy Brokaw, Mike Ward, Billy Spoonhower, Anthony Perrego, Mike Nagel Jr., Butch Green