Thing finishes top ten twice

Photo by Joe Naiman Michael Thing (right) in front of his race car

Barona Speedway held its Summer Shootout competition July 22-23, and Campo driver Michael Thing Jr. finished sixth in the July 22 IMCA Modified main event and third in the July 23 IMCA Modified feature.

Thing also won his July 23 heat race. “The racing weekend went pretty good actually,” Thing said. “We improved a lot.”

This year is the fourth IMCA Modified season for Thing, who is now 18. The heat races were eight laps, and Thing began his July 23 heat race on the outside of the second row. He dropped back during the first lap to avoid trouble but was able to take the lead during the sixth lap. The slower cars would once again become an impediment during the final lap as Thing had to hold up to avoid driving into lapped traffic, but he still won with second-place finisher Marvin Mueller coming off turn four when Thing reached the finish line.

The main events were 25 laps. Thing began the July 23 feature on the inside of the fifth row. He was ninth after three laps and moved into fifth place a couple of laps later.

Thing’s car and the turn two wall made contact with each other. The car had body damage but no function impairment. “No mechanical issues,” Thing said.

Although Thing lost positions due to the visit with the wall, a yellow flag caution caused a restart which reverted the order of cars to their positions at the start of the lap so Thing was placed back in fifth. He passed Tom Smith, who also won his heat race, in the eighth lap to take over fourth.

Thing moved into third on a 12th-lap restart. Matthew Hicks won the feature by 0.002 seconds with Troy Morris settling for second and Thing finishing third.