By Edward Anschutz
Editorial Contributor Mike Kelsey
(Sturgeon Bay, WI) March 23, 2013- One of Thunderhill Raceway’s most decorated racers looks to enter new role as car owner. Aaron “The Hammer” Thornton looks to help an old time racer cross a wish off his bucket list. With his very busy seasonal business Seal-Tec Seal Coating, Thornton’s time in the shop has been limited over the years and last season he only raced a few times. At 69 years young “Wild” Bill Krueger has seen it and just about done it all in racing. He and his wife Mary are now retired and living in Sturgeon Bay. Kruger is a published author and was a paid crew member on an open wheel Indy Car team in the late 1960’s. Kruger will add another chapter to his storied career driving for Thornton in 2013.
“Wild” Bill’s first race came to be at Jefferson Speedway when a friend bet him he was to scared too strap in the car and race it. This took place in 1960 barely 18 years old Krueger, had to duck track officials as he wasn’t old enough to race! He ended up an impressive ninth out of 23 cars driving a 1949 Buick 4 door Sedan that featured a straight 8 engine. Krueger has wins on the dirt capturing a feature win at Chilton in the Sportsman division which paid a grand total of two dollars and a case of beer. He’s raced in several different states, numerous tracks that include Indianapolis Raceway Park, Elkhart Lake, Hales Corners, Slinger Super Speedway and the Milwaukee Mile. Next on the list, Thunderhill Raceway.
If you’ve been racing for a long time you’re considered a veteran. This makes Thornton’s race car a veteran and then some. “The car started out racing an Enduro Series then progressed into a early 90’s IMCA Stock Car finally finding its home as a Street Stock a few years later.” “I bought it from local racer Troy Muench in 1999 and won the 2004 Street Stock title at Thunderhill.” “This will be the 26th season on the car.” In fact Thornton has never finished outside the top three in points in all the years he ran full time with that car.
Thornton has competed the Bomber, Street Stock, IMCA Stock Car and IMCA Modified divisions, finding victory lane in all of them. He holds two track championships at Thunderhill and a Street Stock title at Luxemburg Speedway. When you see the black and gold #95 remember “Wild” Bill is behind the wheel. As for Thornton’s racing future; “As the years go by I’ve raced less and less, it maybe time for me to hang up my drivers suit, time will tell.” “For now I’m looking forward to helping Krueger drive that old tank of mine.”
Five divisions do battle every Saturday night through the summer. IMCA Modified, IMCA Stock Car, IMCA Northern Sport Mod, IMCA Hobby Stock and Street Stocks will compete on the 1/3rd mile clay oval.
For more information, please visit the track’s website at www.racethunderhill.com Thunderhill is located at the John Miles Fair Park on Sturgeon Bay’s east side. Pit gates open at 3:30 P.M. racing starts at 6:00 P.M. For your social media outlet like Thunderhill Raceway on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.