May 22, 2023 5:33 PM

COLUMN: Dugan Thye Wins Sprint Car Feature

Posted May 22, 2023 5:33 PM
Joyce Kuntz-Hetrick can be reached at&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"></a>.
Joyce Kuntz-Hetrick can be reached at

By Joyce Kuntz-Hetrick

Burlington native Dugan Thye was all smiles when he pulled into his pit area right after taking the checkers at 34 Raceway on Saturday night, May 6.

(Victory Lane celebration was omitted in each class due to threatening skies promising rain).

The high fives were flying with his congratulatory pit crew beside his machine even before Thye exited his cockpit.

His father, Darin, was no exception sporting a proud smile from ear to ear.

The party was starting for Thye, his father, crew, and fans in their pit area of the number 11T.

It was evident when Thye took the lead on the fourth circuit keeping the second place at bay until the checkered flag flew, that a party in their pit area was brewing soon.

The 20-lap feature was nonstop from green to checkered.

Thye was thrilled about what he had just accomplished for the first time at 34 Raceway as a sprinter.

"The car felt really good. Had my whole crew here — my dad, step-dad, Ryan, Jhudd (Jordan), Spencer ... everybody was here to help. Got lucky enough to start towards the front and drove it to victory lane," voiced an elated Thye.

Thye pointing at his father stated, "That's the one who does all the helpin' ... right here, is Dad!"

Darin responded, "Yeah, I'm the crew chief. Dugan does all his own, but I help him out."

Darin has been an asset to his son by coaching him, as he has had his share of victory lane appearances earning him a 2001 Modifieds season championship at 34 Raceway.

Before that, the veteran raced Pro-Stocks before changing to the Modifieds. Also, to his credit, he won a special tour event.

He has witnessed the same adrenaline rush which his son is experiencing.

The younger Thye originally raced hobby stocks and then modifieds which he has won in both classes.

They explained, "Then, toward the end of 2018, I was asked by Nick Breuer of Gladstone if I'd be interested in driving his 305 sprint car. That is how I got into racing sprint cars. I had three feature wins in Jacksonville, Illinois since 2021."


305 WINGED SPRINTS: Top eight finishers

1) Thye 2) Nick Guernsey 3) Cody Wehrle 4) Tanner Gebhardt 5) Nathan Murders 6) McCain Richards 7) Noah Samuel (all from Burlington) 8) Cole Helmerson, New London

Heat winners: Gebhardt and Murders

MODIFIEDS: Top 10 finishers

1) Jed Freiburger 2) Jarrett Brown 3) Charlie Mohr 4) Dustin Wilwert 5) Jadin Fuller 6) Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington 7) Dustin Smith 8) Garrett Wilson 9) Adam Shelman 10) Jonathon Olmscheid

Heat winners: Mohr and Brown

SPORT MODS: Top eight finishers

1) Adam Birck 2) Sean Wyett, Danville 3) Quinton Shelton 4) John Oliver, Jr., West Burlington 5) Tom Bowling, Jr., Burlington 6) Trayton Buckallew 7) Bob Cowman 8) Matt Thomas, Danville

Heat winner: Wyett

STOCKS: Top six finishers

1) Kirk Kinsley, Wapello 2) Jim Redmann 3) Leo Blakley 4) Chad Kroegmeier, Burlington 5) Clay Hookaday 6) Jack Hookaday

Heat winner: John Oliver, Jr.

SPORT COMPACTS: Top eight finishers

1) Justin Stevenson 2) Noah Kayser 3) T.J. Weyls (all three Burlington) 4) Spencer Roggentien 5) Shane Vancil 6) Wesley Talley 7) Wayne Chamblee, Burlington 8) Myranda Weiss

Heat winner: Stevenson


1) Jeff Guengerich 2) Andy Nezworski 3) C.J. Horn 4) Matt Strassheim, Morning Sun 5) Jay Johnson, West Burlington 6) Ed Hollenbeck, Burlington 7) Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson 8) Nick Proehl 9) Dekota Job, Burlington 10) Ray Raker, Danville

Heat winner: Guengerich