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Boy, Do I Ever Miss...

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  • Boy, Do I Ever Miss...

    Thursday / Saturday Night Thunder. :cry-2:

    I'm back to converting some more of my VHS tapes of them to DVDs and do they ever bring back memories.

    Some good:
    Watching a goofy looking kid wheel a midget around the Ventura bullring in April of 1994 (Tony Stewart).
    Great announcers - Dave DeSpain, Gary Lee, Larry Rice and Larry Nuber.
    Exciting wheel to wheel battles at Winchester and IRP.

    Some sad:
    Watching Rich Vogler, Robbie Stanley, Kenny Irwin and others demonstrating their talents - and realizing that all too soon they would be taken away from us.

    I realize you can never go back so I'm glad I saved these tapes all these years.

  • #2
    And what ever happened to that teenage kid that ran midgets and sprints. Gordon was his name I think.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by roach View Post
      Thursday / Saturday Night Thunder. :cry-2:

      I'm back to converting some more of my VHS tapes of them to DVDs and do they ever bring back memories.

      Some good:
      Watching a goofy looking kid wheel a midget around the Ventura bullring in April of 1994 (Tony Stewart).
      Great announcers - Dave DeSpain, Gary Lee, Larry Rice and Larry Nuber.
      Exciting wheel to wheel battles at Winchester and IRP.

      Some sad:
      Watching Rich Vogler, Robbie Stanley, Kenny Irwin and others demonstrating their talents - and realizing that all too soon they would be taken away from us.

      I realize you can never go back so I'm glad I saved these tapes all these years.
      I don't understand why it all went away, great crowds, good ratings, excitement, good, close racing.
      "You just don't know what Indy Means", Al Unser Jr.

      "That's why to me it does feel more precious when an American wins it...", Michael Andretti

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      • #4
        It pays more money for the Nascar "lets take out the trash show" sponsored by home depot, than the Jolly Rancher candy series is why.
        "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved
        body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting
        "...holy $^!+...what a ride!"
        >

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        • #5
          I watched it every time...I watched it with some owners and insiders of insiders of Indy racing...I don't know the ratings, but it was was watched by more folks in the know, than folks realize. Talk about a feeder series, it was the feeder series of the time. I believe it was on strictly because of the sponsors buying the time, subsidized a bit by USAC. That is how the Jeff Gordon's and Steve Butler's and others were even considered for a shot.
          Remember Bull Durham, a shot at being in the show? That's what this was an audition for.

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          • #6
            Actually, I am wrong with Butler...that wasn't Sat Nite Thunder.
            I think that was maybe the latest...last gasp for midgets.
            The munchkin, driven by Mike Fedorchek, what a classic stroke of ingenuity.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cbreez99 View Post
              ...The munchkin, driven by Mike Fedorchek, what a classic stroke of ingenuity.
              IIRC, that's the same car that Smoke pulled out of mothballs about three years ago and won with at the Rumble in Fort Wayne indoor races.

              Upon review - it was.

              Mike Fedorcak gets fired up about his �Munchkin’ midget race cars

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              • #8
                "Great announcers - Dave DeSpain, Gary Lee, Larry Rice and Larry Nuber." (one for each)
                A book fell on my head, and I only have my shelf to blame.

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                • #9
                  Thunder was a good vehicle to fill a time slot for ESPN, as back then they were hard-up for anything to put on television. As ESPN became more mainstream and more popular with the stick and ball clan, Thunder was pushed to the back burner. Eventually it became a time-buy deal for USAC and they did not have the $$$ to ante up. I heard that it was a minimum of $100,000.00 in set-up/production costs just to get Thunder up-linked to a satellite .

                  I'll bet Terry Lingner could shed some light on that.

                  It was nice while it lasted. I was convinced back then that Despain actually liked USAC racing. Seems like he couldn't care less now since he's a NASCAR shill.
                  Gregg Sebald

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Seadog View Post
                    It was nice while it lasted. I was convinced back then that Despain actually liked USAC racing. Seems like he couldn't care less now since he's a NASCAR shill.
                    Oh oh. I sense an explosive Despain rant coming on.
                    Got to watch out for those Libertarians - they want to take over the government and leave everyone alone!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cbreez99 View Post
                      Actually, I am wrong with Butler...that wasn't Sat Nite Thunder.
                      I think that was maybe the latest...last gasp for midgets.
                      The munchkin, driven by Mike Fedorchek, what a classic stroke of ingenuity.
                      No kidding. I used to watch the Thunder series just to see the munchkin smoke the competition. As I recall the crowds loved it, but the competition hated it.

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                      • #12
                        Boy do I miss...

                        "And it's a newwww trackkkk reccccord"
                        Foyt pulling out whatever crap was on the trailer on bubble day
                        the sweet song of a turbo Offy heading into turn one
                        watching the sweet simplicity of Gordy J driving at Indy
                        Ditto Al Sr, Bobby and Rick Mears


                        Just damn glad I got to witness/experience all of this
                        Delta Force Theme... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQUeQOIlcDM You're Welcome

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                        • #13
                          to Coyote's sig line
                          Delta Force Theme... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQUeQOIlcDM You're Welcome

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                          • #14
                            Thursday nite Thunder....correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't THAT the origination of "digger?"
                            Please visit the tribute to my longtime friend Mel Kenyon

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tnindyman View Post
                              Thursday nite Thunder....correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't THAT the origination of "digger?"
                              Yes, sans the stupid character.
                              "George Bignotti's Sinmast Wildcat (Designed by Bob Riley); delicately built, carefully prepared and boldly driven by Gordon Johncock." -- Keith Jackson

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