Biggest summer racing event coming to Thunder Ridge
August 20, 2012
Results from Thunder Ridge Motorsports Park Aug. 18
Hobby Stock Race
Winner: Bill Barker #32
Runner-up: Gary Hurd #11
Modified Stock Race
Winner: HD Craig #3HD
Runner-up: Dan Paul #58
Gregg Kolbaba said he is hosting a race this weekend full of cars that haven't been run in the Yampa Valley for 17 years.
The Thunder Ridge Motorsports Park owner is saving the biggest event of the summer for Saturday, when the track will host the AMSOIL Great American Circle Track Tour Late Model Show.
Circle Track Magazine Editor Bob Bolles will be visiting the track Saturday night for the races as part of a summer-long tour of racing tracks across the country. Bolles drives around in a large motorhome and writes about some of the tracks he visits.
Kolbaba is excited about the opportunity hosting Circle Track will offer to Thunder Ridge.
"That's national attention for the track," Kolbaba. "He likes to visit some of the smaller, grassroots type tracks in some places, so this will be in that category."
Kolbaba has dealt with rainouts, a dusty track and low car counts this summer, a frustrating reality, which he says is a product of 2012 being a difficult summer for racing.
"I've spoken with the owner at (the track in) Olathe," Kolbaba said. "He's having trouble getting a lot of drivers too. I was more discouraged about that before, but now I know it's more of a regional thing."
Last weekend Thunder Ridge hosted races with hobby and modified stock cars, and had four cars in each race. Eight to 10 cars would be a more ideal number for a more entertaining show, Kolbaba said.
In a more positive turn, Saturday was the first motocross race at Thunder Ridge this summer. Kolbaba wanted to schedule more throughout the summer, but wasn't getting enough interest.
Otherwise, Kolbaba says the track racing has gone well.
"The only thing that's wrong right now is the low car count," he said.
"Saturday's was very impromptu," he said. "I had a guy ask me if they could do it. I told him if he got enough people gathered up, sure.
"We only ended up with five, and you would want more like 20, but I'll tell you, those five guys had a blast."
This coming weekend, though, Kolbaba anticipates being able to put on a major show for Craig and the Yampa Valley.
The late model and super late model cars on display are the most powerful class on dirt tracks, he said, and there hasn't been a late model show in the area since 1995.
"This late model show, there should be more cars coming in than anything else I've done," he said. "These late models can approach 900 horsepower, it's impressive. It's going to be a hell of a show. This will be the best of the year."