The 2012 NASA-SE Turkey Trot at Carolina Motorsports Park CMP brought together drivers and families for driving, racing, and barbecue in what had to be some of the finest weather ever in November in South Carolina. The races were intense and records were broken. In AI, Will Stukas paced off a 1:44.094. In STR-2 Jesper Sahlberg raced to a 1:45.002, and in Spec Z, Michael Birchfield blistered the track with 1:53.187.

The Thunder Roadsters dominated the Lightning Races at CMP. We had our best car count of the year, with 13 signed up for the event and another that went through comp school. Congratulations to Ralph Nolan, who completed comp school and raced with us in Atlanta. We had two new roadster drivers join us at CMP. We welcome Jim Fluharty and John Davison to our madness. John got the hard luck award for the weekend for losing an engine in practice Saturday morning.

Jordan Anderson was off running stock cars on Saturday and gave the rest of us a chance at a win. Jim Pantas ended up on the top step of the podium with Hunter Bledsoe and Carl Eckert close behind. The racing was hard and close as always.


On Sunday, Anderson blitzed through to field to finish first in class and for the overall race win. Jim Pantas managed to sneak home second in class and third overall with Eckert again in third in class. Brandon Pantas in his first full weekend in the Thunder Chicken finished fourth both days.

The weekend was highlighted with the Sixth Annual “IFU” race where the racers start inverted and the on-track shenanigans begin. The IFU is known as pure fun for the participants and entertainment for the spectators. This year, the pace car came out randomly within the pack while workers changed the track to the short course. When the race was restarted the drivers were faced with a much shorter and unfamiliar course and new challenges. The party Saturday evening was highlighted with some of the best barbecue chicken and pulled pork you can get in the Southeast.

Image courtesy of Rob Bodle

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