Casey Madsen races the Bulldog Bug around the track at Thunder Ridge Motorsports Park Saturday night. Madsen won the sport stock race Saturday.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Casey Madsen races the Bulldog Bug around the track at Thunder Ridge Motorsports Park Saturday night. Madsen won the sport stock race Saturday.

Thunder Ridge starts summer racing season in Craig

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Jason Anderson navigates the turn at Thunder Ridge Motorsports Park Saturday while trying to stay ahead of racing opponent Bill Seris in the modified race.

Another season of racing began at Thunder Ridge Motorsports Park in Craig on Friday and Saturday, and while the dirt track is running smoothly, it’s still not getting the car turnout its owner would like.

The track, which races stock cars on an oval dirt track, began its third summer of operation in Craig with hobby stock, sport stock and modified cars racing Saturday.

Eight cars took the track Saturday night, a low amount of cars that makes a night of racing less exciting than track owner Gregg Kolbaba would prefer. It’s especially frustrating, he said, because everything else at Thunder Ridge is top notch.

“I’ve worked out just about all the bugs here,” Kolbaba said of the track’s condition. “We had some bumps before, and I’m not seeing that problem this year. Sometimes letting it sit over the winter will do that for you.”

The track is in much better condition this year from a moisture standpoint, Kolbaba said. Last year it was dry from the start. Less bumps and more moisture hopefully will bring more cars out as this summer, he said.

But it wasn’t all gloom and doom at the track Saturday night. Three races were held, with four cars racing in the hobby stock category and a unique newcomer to the track in the sport stock class.

Casey Madsen took the checkered flag in the sport stock class, racing in a modified Volkswagen Beetle and wearing the name the Bulldog Bug. The VW proved to be more than just an eye-catcher on the track. With Madsen at the helm, the car tore around the oval track with ease.

It was a great night for racing, Madsen said.

“That’s the first time I’ve taken (the bug) out on the track, so I’m pretty excited about the rest of the season,” she said. “The track was great tonight too.”

She also hopes that Thunder Ridge is able to attract more drivers for the rest of the summer.

“We’re used to having a little bit more cars,” she said. “It will be great if we get more cars because it’s better for the spectators, and I enjoy racing with more people. It’s fun and I get to meet more people who love racing.”

The next round of races will be Friday and Saturday, June 21 through 22.

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com

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