This Friday and Saturday night, the 2019 Northeast ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series is ready to go out with a bang on the clay at Thunder Mountain Speedway. The two-night ThunderFest will see the final two points races of the season take place at the Brookville, Pennsylvania oval. It is one the last chances for Northeast SLM teams to get their last licks in for 2019.
One local wheelman, Gale Huey, has been itching to get in a big weekend of racing, while also staying close to home. The Western PA driver has not only become a familiar sight at Thunder Mountain on the weekends, but also during the week, using his acquired skills to help give his fellow racers a great racing surface.
“Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to this two day show for a while. It’s a pretty short trip for me, only about 45 minutes from the house. I do a lot of stuff there, I actually grade the track and stuff like that every week. They didn’t have a grater operator and I just happen to be one, so I go out during the week and just grade it. I like it smooth that’s for sure,” Huey told Speed51.
A self-made business man in the local transport business, Huey is no stranger to the sponsorship side of the sport, supporting drivers, tracks, and series, including ULTIMATE Northeast.
“I help out when I can, I tended to help Rose with sponsor for fast time qualifiers. I help some local racers around here, I give some parts away to guys and stuff like that. Just with some little things.”
But with so much on his plate, getting onboard his No. 11 has proven a challenge over the past year, at times choosing to play the role as a car owner. But when he has gotten behind the wheel, there has been a good deal of promise. With multiple runner-up finishes in 2019, Huey hopes that ThunderFest is his time to get to the top step of the podium.
“Not the most stellar of years. We run a chassis that’s built locally, we don’t have a lot of time to test, and do all that stuff. We’ve run second a bunch of times, the opening night at Clearfield we had a second place, and two or three times at Thunder Mountain we ran second. We haven’t traveled too far this year, maybe Clinton County next weekend. I’ve also done a little car ownership from time to time this year.”
At the same time, Huey knows that any chance of victory means digging way down on Friday and Saturday, with one of the sturdiest fields of the year in ULTIMATE Northeast expected to take to the track.
“It’s going to be a tough field of cars this weekend, that’s for sure. I was looking through the list of who’s coming and you got guys like Doug Drown, Jared Miley, Ryan Montgomery, Max Blair, and just a who’s who. You hate to say this, but honestly a top ten is a good night when you’re running against that kind of a field. But, can’t be too upset about having great competition.”
For those who cannot make the trip out to Western PA, Speed51 will be live at Thunder Mountain Speedway for all ULTIMATE Northeast heat and feature racing on both Friday and Saturday, September 27 and 28. To watch, all you need is a monthly or yearly membership for the Speed51 Network.
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-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: JMB Photography