Kirby Repeats as ThunderCar King

In capturing his second consecutive Noble Wine & Spirit ThunderCar title, Jimmy Kirby recognized his fellow competitors.

Ronnie Rose set fast time during qualifying chased by Kirby. Rose took the lead at the start with Kirby and Ron Phipps in pursuit. The lone caution flag waved on lap nine when Caleb Southerland and David McConnell tangled in turn four with the cars of Randy Owen and Mike Crisp involved. All four drove away, but the only driver to compete until the end was McConnell. Two laps after the restart Kirby got inside of Rose for the lead coming off the second corner and a lap later Rose was done for the night. Kirby went on to win by 3.9-seconds over Ron Phipps and Ricky Craig.

“The competition has gotten better this year,” Kirby said in the Riley & Sons Victory Lane. “I knew Ronnie (Rose) would be tough to beat, until he had a problem.” It was Kirby’s second consecutive title after dominating the division in 2021.