Troy Underwood Records Initial Series Victory at Auto City

By Duane Turner

FLINT, Mich. (August 14, 2004) –
Troy Underwood from Jackson, MI grabbed his first career AVSS checkers at Auto City Speedway. Underwood took the lead at the start of the race, and never looked back leading all 30 laps to score the win. “I always like coming here (Auto City). Just for some reason I have never been able to win.” Stated Underwood in Victory Lane. “This is my first win in a sprint car. We had the car right tonight, and I need to thank Butch Dowker for such a good engine. Mike Shellenberger for all the help, Jason Blonde, my dad, and the rest of my family here. Also need to thank Parma Machine, Hamilton Trucking, BMC, and Capitol Cash Register.”

Troy Underwood and Kevin Feeney would lead the field to the start of the 30-lap affair, with the front row making contact as the green flag waved. The contact allowed Underwood to surge ahead while Feeney would lose a couple spots falling back to fourth as the field drove into turn one. Feeney would keep to the highside regaining the third position from Jason Blonde entering turn three. At the completion of the first lap, Underwood led followed by Brian Lay, Feeney, Blonde and Jimmy McCune. Trouble struck on the second lap, as Ryan Katz had a left front tire go flat, sending him spinning in turn two ending his evening. Jeff Bloom would also exit on the second lap with steering problems. On the lap two restart, Underwood led Lay, Feeney, Blonde and McCune.

As the front five settled into position, a battle erupted for the sixth position between Dave Baumgartner, Hank Lower, and Bill Tyler and Curt Shumaker. The fight for sixth continued until lap seven when McCune closed in on the back bumper of Blonde for the fourth position, when McCune made contact with Blonde, sending Blonde for a spin in turn two. The lap seven restart had Underwood, Lay, Feeney, McCune and now Tyler who moved up to fifth from his ninth starting position.

Once again, the top five seemed to settle into position when sixth place on back produced two and three wide racing for nearly every position. Mike Ling got by Hank Lower on lap eight for the seventh position, then one lap later Lower began to slow as something had gone wrong with the car. A few laps later, Lower would retire from the event. Disaster struck the sixth place car of Curt Shumaker on lap 15 as the Premium Truck and Auto Body sprinter would lose an engine heading into turn one. Shumaker would go spinning off of turn one, but would emerge unhurt.

The halfway point restart would continue to have Underwood leading the field with Lay, Feeney, McCune, and Tyler close in tow. Now, the race was on from the rear of the field. Blonde, who restarted 18th on lap seven, had worked his way back up to ninth by lap 16. Gary Fedewa had started 19th, and on lap 21 passed Tom Fedorczyk for the tenth position. With five laps remaining, Underwood entered lapped traffic, but the Thunder Chassis with Dowker Engines power continued to increase his advantage over second place Lay. As third place Feeney found the lapped cars, McCune and Tyler closed in on the back bumper of Feeney setting up a three car battle for the third position with only a couple of laps remaining.

On the white flag lap, Underwood and Lay maintained their distance, but Feeney, McCune and Tyler drove into turn three with lapped cars in the mix as well. At the finish, Underwood claimed his first ever sprint car win with Lay grabbing second. Feeney held on for second with McCune and Tyler rounding out the top five. Line, Blonde, Shane Butler, Fedewa, and Mike Astrauskas rounded out the top 10. Dave Baumgartner set the mark in Hamilton Trucking qualifications with a time of 12.980, or 121.341 miles per hour average speed around the 7/16-mile facility. Troy Underwood, Jimmy McCune, and Ryan Katz took the three heat race events while Brian Lay scored the Lane Automotive B-main.

Up next for the fastest short track cars in the world is a trip to the very fast 3/8-mile oval of Kalamazoo Speedway in Kalamazoo, MI. With lap times in the 10 second range, and speeds over 123 miles per hour, Kalamazoo is known as one of the fastest 3/8th- mile tracks in the world. For more information on the Auto Value/ Bumper to Bumper Super Sprints, log on to the official AVSS web site at

Hamilton Trucking Time Trials: 1) 40 Dave Baumgartner 12.980, 121.341 mph 2) 19 Jimmy McCune 12.990 3) 61 Jason Blonde 13.070 4) 20 Brian Lay 13.090 5) 26 Jeff Bloom 13.100 6) 33 Kevin Feeney 13.120 7) 4 Troy Underwood 13.190 8) 37 Hank Lower 13.200 9) 71 Curt Shumaker 13.210 10) 24 Bill Tyler 13.260 11) 61f Tom Fedorczyk 13.320 12) 99 Mike Ling 13.380 13) 70 Dennis Craft 13.390 14) 3a Mike Astrauskas 13.410 15) 6 Sondi Eden 13.430 16) 34 John Scherer 13.460 17) 10 Shane Butler 13.470 18) 35 Ryan Katz 13.550 19) 8 Ryan Davis 13.560 20) Z George Gustafson 13.570 21) 81 Johnboy Hotchkiss 13.610 22) 69 Davey Brown 13.610 23) 42 Gary Fedewa 13.620 24) 7 Tyler Underwood 13.750 25) 11v Dennis Venia 13.750 26) 11 Marv Carman 13.910 27) 14d Dave Lawrence 14.140

United Trailers Heat #1 Top five to A-main (No Time): 1) 4 Troy Underwood 2) 40 Dave Baumgartner 3) 70 Dennis Craft 4) 24 Bill Tyler 5) 69 Davey Brown 6) 20 Brian Lay 7) 8 Ryan Davis 8) 11v Dennis Venia 9) 34 John Scherer

Dowker Engines Heat #2 (1:49.480): 1) 19 Jimmy McCune 2) 3a Mike Astrauskas 3) 10 Shane Butler 4) 37 Hank Lower 5) 42 Gary Fedewa 6) 61f Tom Fedorczyk 7) 11 E.J. Calloway 8) Z George Gustafson 9) 26 Jeff Bloom

Hoosier Racing Tire Heat #3 (No Time): 1) 35 Ryan Katz 2) 6 Sondi Eden 3) 71 Curt Shumaker 4) 33 Kevin Feeney 5) 61 Jason Blonde 6) 99 Mike Ling 7) 81 Johnboy Hotchkiss 8) 7 Tyler Underwood 9) 14d Dave Lawrence

Lane Automotive B-main (No Time): 1) 20 Brian Lay 2) 99 Mike Ling 3) 61f Tom Fedorczyk 4) 26 Jeff Bloom 5) 81 Johnboy Hotchkiss 6) 11v Dennis Venia 7) 11 E. J. Calloway 8) Tyler Underwood 9) Z George Gustafson 10) 8 Ryan Davis 11) 34 John Scherer 12) 14d Dave Lawrence

Auto Value/ Bumper to Bumper Super Sprints A-Main, 30 Laps (No Time): 1) 4 Troy Underwood 2) 20 Brian Lay 3) 33 Kevin Feeney 4) 19 Jimmy McCune 5) 24 Bill Tyler 6) 99 Mike Ling 7) 61 Jason Blonde 8) 10 Shane Butler 9) 42 Gary Fedewa 10) 3a Mike Astrauskas 11) 6 Sondi Eden 12) 40 Dave Baumgartner 13) 61f Tom Fedorczyk 14) 91 Johnboy Hotchkiss 15) 69 Davey Brown 16) 71 Curt Shumaker 17) 37 Hank Lower 18) 35 Ryan Katz 19) 26 Jeff Bloom 20) 70 Dennis Craft

Lap Leaders: Troy Underwood 1-30

Hard Charger: Gary Fedewa +10

Hamilton Trucking Fast Time: 40 Dave Baumgartner 12.980