By Roger Holtsclaw
Thompson, CT- Jan 11, 2014
Bootleg Racing League (BRL) Crooked Still Legends Series’ second stop of the season was at Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, CT. Thompson is a 5/8 mile oval with twenty-six degrees of banking in northeastern Connecticut.
Twelve cars posted qualifying times in the event with Chris Halliday backing up his quick practice laps by scoring the pole, with a fast lap of 23.067 seconds in his unsponsored No. 86 ’34 Coupe. Driver of the No. 21, Matt Hoose started outside on the front row followed by the No. 23 Army sponsored entry driven by Michael Holloway. No. 87, Keith Haney, rounded out the top four.
It didn’t take long for trouble to rear its head at Thompson. As the field took the green, driver of the No. 55, James Haney, who started ninth, took the field three wide into turn one. Haney made contact with the left rear of Brian Young sending him up the race track into the No. 56 of David Schaeffer. Young and Schaeffer both received severe damage with Schaeffer flipping multiple times.
As the caution came out, outside pole-sitter, Hoose, had gotten around Halliday to take the lead. The field restarted on lap seven with Hoose and Halliday leading the way and Haney, Holloway, and Roger Holtsclaw rounding out the top five.
For the next eighteen laps the race stayed relatively calm with Hoose and Halliday opening up a three quarter straightaway lead while waging a fierce battle for the lead. On lap twenty-five, while working hard to find his way around Hoose, Halliday got loose in turn two and over-corrected, sending him into the outside wall. Halliday was then forced to make a green flag pit stop to repair the damage.
With Halliday dropping from the lead lap, Haney and the No. 77 of Huston Hamer were locked in a tight battle for second. Haney eventually relinquished the position to Hammer on lap twenty-nine.
There was plenty of fantastic racing throughout the field. Though not for position, the No. 62 of Lowell Jewell and Brian Young, who was damaged on the lap one incident, battled hard for track position at the half-way point of the race.
The second caution of the day came out on lap thirty-three when Hammer spun in turn four collecting Holloway, who was running fourth at the time.
The final caution of the day came out on lap fifty-three when Schaeffer spun in turn two while locked in a tight battle with Jewell and Young. The field had one more shot at knocking Hoose from the top spot when the green was displayed for the final time with one lap to go. Haney closed up to Hoose’s back bumper in turns one and two, but that is as close as he could get.
Hoose took the victory leading every lap of the event. Haney, Hamer, Jewell, and Susan Rarick rounded out the top five. Pole-sitter, Halliday, who was Hoose’s only competition, worked his way on the lead lap finishing sixth.
After the event, Hoose commented about his victory, “I’m glad to finally get the Thompson monkey off my back.” Hoose now leads the points standings by three points over Huston Hamer and nine points over third place Lowell Jewell. Brian Young and Roger Holtsclaw round out the top five.
The tour’s next stop is Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut on January 18, 2014.