1992, YEAR THREE OF THUNDER ON THE HILL, KIRBY, MACKISON, KAUFFMAN & PAUCH CLAIM THUNDER WINS
BECHTELSVILLE, PA . . . . . . In just the third season of Thunder on the Hill, Bruce Rogers and Bob Miller started the 1992 season working on something new that would spice up an already thrilling mid-week Series at Grandview Speedway. The duo reached out to CRA (California Racing Association) kingpin Frank Lewis to start discussions on bringing the California based non-wing sprints to the East.
Non-wing sprint car racing in Berks County saw its last event in April of 1979 when Paul Pitzer took the win at the Reading Fairgrounds Speedway. It was time for this form of sprint car racing to return East, and it would take place at Grandview Speedway on Tuesday night, May 5, 1992.
Miller flew to Arizona where he met with Frank Lewis and well know driver Jack Hewitt. Together then attended an event at the Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, AZ. After meeting with all the drivers, a decision was made to head East.
For Rogers and Miller, their efforts paved the road for what would later become the USAC Eastern Storm and the reintroduction and return of non-wing racing in the Pennsylvania Area.
The May 5,1992 CRA event was greeted (almost like clockwork) with a 70% chance of rain. With dark skies all around, a big crowd turned out for the history making event of the California Racing Association introduction to Grandview, and the Thunder Show went on.
Thirty cars were on hand with Mike English setting fast time. Heat winners were Bruce Thompson, Lenny Krautheim, Richard “The Gas Man” Griffin and Frankie Kerr. Mike Kirby won the “B” and went on to win the 30 lap feature event. Lealand McSpadden, Verne Sweeny, Frankie Kerr and Billy Ellis followed in the top five.
Event 6 would take place on Tuesday night, June 16 and it was a popular but not an easy win for Johnny Mackison. In the closing stages Keith Kauffman was in the hunt and in victory lane, Mackison said he could hear Kauffman was there. Kauffman ran out of laps and finished second, Mackison ran out of gas and was towed to victory lane. Following Mackison and Kauffman was Don Kreitz Jr., Todd Shaffer and Fred Rahmer. Heats were won by Kauffman, Joey Kuhn, Cris Eash and Jesse Wentz as Kenny Adams won the “B” Main.
Thunder Event 7 at Grandview was Tuesday night, July 28. Heats were won by Billy Ellis, Joey Kuhn, Todd Gracey and Keith Kauffman as Bobby Strawser won the “B” Main.
Dave Kelly was the early race leader but contact with Glen Clarke opened the door for Kuhn, Fred Rahmer and Kauffman to make their move. By mid-race, Kauffman had about a backstretch lead over Billy Pauch. Pauch reeled in Kauffman but was not close enough to challenge for the lead. Kauffman took the win over Pauch, Kelly, Gracey and Johnny Mackison. Following in the top ten were Bobby Weaver, Joey Borich, Alan Cole, Todd Shaffer and Glenn Fitzcharles.
Event 8 of Thunder on the Hill was set for Tuesday night, August 25 with the 50 lap King of the Hill. A field of 31 sprints were on hand with heat wins going to Billy Pauch, Steve Smith, Todd Gracey and Todd Shaffer with Johnny Mackison winning the “B” Main.
Pauch earned his second “King of the Hill” title, this night driving the John Zemaitis #1. For Zemaitis, it was his second “King of the Hill” as car owner, winning the prior year with Bobby Weaver at the wheel. Pauch had the field covered in the 50 lap main event, lapping all cars up to the fourth place runner. Pauch took the win over Cris Eash, Fred Rahmer, Bill Brian, and Jeff Shepard. Making up the top ten were Johnny Mackison, Steve Smith, Billy Ellis, Dave Kelly and Glenn Fitzcharles..
2024 THUNDER ON THE HILL RACING SERIES
Date TBA BALLS TO THE 50 FOR MODS & 30 LAP 602 SPORTSMAN BOTH INVERT RACES 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, JUNE 11 USAC EASTERN STORM/ JESSE HOCKETT CLASSIC & 358 MODIFIEDS 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 2 410 SPRINT PA SPEED WEEK $10,000 TO WIN HODNETT CUP & 358 MODIFIEDS 7:30 PM
Date TBA HIGH LIMIT 410 SPRINTS 7:30 PM
Additional dates may be in the planning Check out our website and visit Facebook to stay up to date on all coming Thunder on the Hill Racing Series news.
We extend our appreciation to the many sponsors who helped present this popular series. We salute our long time Series Sponsor NAPA Auto Parts as well as Associate Sponsors Levan Machine & Truck Equipment, HVAC Distributors, Pioneer Pole Buildings, Rich Mar Florist and GT Radiator Repairs. We’re looking to their return in 2024.
Grandview Speedway Contact Information Track Phone: 610-754-7688
GPS USERS: 43 Passmore Road, Bechtelsville, PA 19505
Located less than a mile off Route 100, 10 miles north of Pottstown, PA
Thunder on the Hill Racing Series Phone: 443-513-4456
Series Website: http://www.thunderonthehillracingseries.com
Track Website: http://www.grandviewspeedway.com