Gural Take Operation Interdependence 100 Victory When it comes to racing at Thunder Hill Raceway, Tommy Gural is the dominate driver. Saturday night, Gural captured his sixth victory with the Texas Super Racing Series and broke his tie with...
Gural Take Operation Interdependence 100 Victory
When it comes to racing at Thunder Hill Raceway, Tommy Gural is the dominate driver. Saturday night, Gural captured his sixth victory with the Texas Super Racing Series and broke his tie with Jeff (JP) Pollard for most wins. As usual, Gural did it with his trademark cool, waiting for his opportunity and then making the best of it when it happened.
Gural, who qualified forth on the night, caught a big break when the top six cars were inverted. This moved his starting position from outside to inside of row two. When the green flag waved over the field of twenty one cars, Ian Webster drove in to turn one aggressively to grab the lead. Gural rolled up beside outside pole sitter Ronny New and the two were door to door for the first two laps before New was finally able to fall in line behind Webster and Gural.
On lap nineteen James Reeder and Lloyd Alexander touched coming out of turn four. Both drivers saved their machines but David Snokhous and Alvin Stewart we not as fortunate. Stewart went airborne after hitting the wall and collected Snokhous and brought out the red flag. "To be honest I really don't know exactly what happened," said Snokhous. "We were about to go under caution and everybody was slowing down and the next thing I knew there was a car coming across the top of me. I could see the bottom of this car, oil pan, drive shaft, rear end all go by." Once everyone and everything quit moving, both drivers quickly dropped their window nets and told the safety crews they were fine.
When things got restarted Webster continued to lead Gural, New and Pollard. However, on lap thirty one Gural was starting to peep inside Webster, especially in turns one and two looking for an opening. On lap forty four Gural got a great run coming out of turn one and pulled alongside Webster as they left turn two. "I was setting Ian up," recalled Gural about the pass for the lead. "He kept washing up and washing up and I knew I had a little more than he did the whole time. As the night went on he just got a little worse and we finally got under him."
That shuffled the field with Gural out front followed by Webster, New, Pollard and L. Alexander rounding out the top of the pack. On lap sixty one it looked like Webster might get his spot back when he was looking inside but had to back out to avoid touching Gural. Meanwhile, Pollard and New were changing places for the third and forth spots when Pollard got a good run coming out of turn two.
Lap seventy two brought out the final caution of the night when fast qualifier, Chris Schild had a bracket that the spring and shock bolt to sheered off. That caused the rear end to move out of place when Schild lifted and the car got loose. "The car was still quick. I was able to handle it for a while," said Schild. "But it was unsafe and eventually the tire started rubbing and popped it."
As the cars were about ready to take the green for the restart, series point leader Pollard suddenly pulled out of line due to a problem with his distributor and sending him to the trailer for the night. This is two DNF's in the last three races for the series point leader.
On lap eight three Webster had a right rear tire start to go down and giving New the chance he needed to get by and make a run at Gural. Three laps later, New got a strong run on Gural and made it to the rear tire, but had to pull back out. "I almost had him one time. I just couldn't get the traction I needed," said New about trying to get by Gural. "You got to be on your toes to get around Tommy. He's got too many miles on the track and he's going to be smooth weather he's handling good or not. Going in I wasn't quite where I thought I should be and I didn't want to risk getting into Tommy and taking him out of the race. I'm not going to do that to somebody."
The race had several long green flag runs, but during those runs Gural saw the handling of his car start to slip away from him. "It loosened up a lot toward the end of the race," explained Gural. "I started think I might have a right rear flat. We were definitely slowing down in the corners but we had enough motor to pull him down the straight-a-ways."
Chasing Gural to the finish line was New, Lloyd Alexander, Mike Williams who was making his first series start, Allen Alexander, Ian Webster, David White, Deed DuPont who grabbed his first ten finish with the series, Blake Harris and James Reeder. The Hard Charger of the night was Allen Alexander who picked up eleven places from his starting spot of sixteenth and finished fifth.
The next stop for the Texas Super Racing Series will be the first of three races this season at Houston Motorsports Park on July 9th. It will also mark the midway point of the season for the drivers and force everyone to step up their game a little more as they start the push for the championship. To keep up with all the series news please visit their web site at www.manracingpromotions.com