Leland Waddell goes wire-to-wire to notch first Limited Late Model win at I-37
June 28, 2011
Leland Waddell was the first of the two new faces in I-37 Raceway’s Winners Circle as he posted a flag-to-flag win. Waddell jumped out front with Richard Bartosh and Andrew Hesler on his tail. Getting a good jump on a few restarts, Waddell became the fourth new Limited Late Model feature winner for the season.
Waddell took command coming off turn 2 as the 14-car Limited Late Model feature fired with Bartosh, Hesler, Robert Danielson and Trey Votion in pursuit. Votion got around Danielson on lap 3 for fourth. Last weeks winner, AJ Dancer saw his night end early as he went off turn 1 for a caution on lap 6.
As Waddell jumped out on green, Chris Jones went around off turn 4 bringing the yellow back out. Back to green, the top four were only separated by only a couple lengths as the race reached halfway. Hesler gave up third to Votion on lap 12. Jones got hung on the tires at the pit exit to bring out a yellow on lap 13.
On the restart, Waddell eased ahead, with Hesler looking to retake third from Votion. Votion held off Hesler and began pressuring Bartosh for second. This gave Hesler a run on Votion as they ran door to door on lap 17. As the white flag was shown, Waddell had a five car length margin on Bartosh going on to take his first ever I-37 Limited Late Model victory.
**Waddell left before I could get to the pits for an interview.
Limited Late Models
28 Leland Waddell, 7 Richard Bartosh, 99 Trey Votion, 1x Andrew Hesler, 49 Robert Danielson, 60 Harlin Covert, 08 Kevin Hayden, 14 Gary Hunter, 18 Shane Moore, 33 Shawn Kline, 42 Ron Sprayue, 69 Chris Jones, 32 AJ Dancer, 15 Doug Searcy
I-37 Raceway at Newsome Motor Park concluded their Military Appreciation month, dedicated to all our troops, with some great racing action. Two new drivers found the 1/4 mile, semi-banked, dirt track to their liking and made their way to the I-37 Winners Circle in the Limited Late Models and Pure Stock classes.
In other class action it was the usual suspects taking checkered flags in the IMCA Modifieds and Southern SportMods, Street Stocks and Front Runners, plus a return of the Dwarf Car Racing Seres of Texas.
I-37 Raceway takes the Independence Day weekend for families to celebrate and returns to action again on July 9th with a Tribute to the Troops spearheaded by Andrew Hesler. Hesler, along with many other donors will be racing for the Center for the Intrepid helping the Wounded Warriors program.
A bus load of soldiers is expected from BAMC(Brooke Army Medical Center) to be guests of the track. Hesler, in his Limited Late Model, Greg Dinsmore in his IMCA Modified and Jarrett Payton(Pure Stocks) have all opted to start at the back of their features and race their way to the front and put on a show for the troops in attendance.
Dinsmore Dialed-in Again
After seeing his 6-race winning streak broken due to an accident and a week of repairs and readjustments, Greg Dinsmore has found the handle again starting a new streak, now at two. Dinsmore patiently stalked early leader, Robert Liese jr., found an opening and slipped past for the top spot on lap 7. Dinsmore increased his advantage the last half of the race to nearly a half track, while Bill Pittaway took second from Liese.
It was Liese, Borlace and Billy Meyer running three wide into turn 1 as the IMCA Modified feature roared to life. Liese got the point coming off turn 2, while Dinsmore got by Jamie Campbell and Rick Green for fourth. Dinsmore had just gotten past Meyer for third when Meyer lost the hood for a lap 3 yellow. On the restart Dinsmore picked off Borlace for second and closed on Liese.
Dinsmore patiently waited for a slip by Liese and got his chance coming off turn 4 on lap 6. Dinsmore ducked inside Liese and out dragged him into turn 1 to lead lap 8. Behind the leaders, Borlace and Pittaway were swapping third, while Campbell and Green ran side by side for fifth. After giving up third to Pittaway, Borlace fell into a fight with Campbell for that spot.
At the crossed flags it was Dinsmore, increasing his lead, Liese, Pittaway, and Borlace along side Campbell for fourth with Darin Leonard getting sixth from Green. Pittaway was able to get by Liese for second on lap 12, but found himself a full straightaway behind Dinsmore. Liese and Campbell then ran wheel to wheel for third with Borlace and Leonard swapping fifth. Dinsmore easily cruised to his eighth win of the season in the racetechinfo.com, Sundowner RV Repair, Ryan Bard Safety Foundation, JB Hotshots, Wells Designs, Good Ol’ Days Garage, Centex Motorsports powered Harris Chassis.
“The car is what makes it look so easy,” explained Dinsmore. “When it’s right, it’s magical. I let Robert (Liese) have his room and took my time. No one was challenging me so it gave me the time to play with it a bit an make sure I didn’t try the wrong spot to get by.”
After my last wreck, and the amount f money it cost, I just try to ease up a bit and wait for my spot instead of diving in. It’s just not worth it sometimes. You follow them a while and try to read them. Robert has gotten a lot better and I’ve got to give him props on that.”
“We’re still looking at the track championship here. There’s some hot days that I’d really like to stay at home, but I like coming here. It’s kind of tough sometimes with a new baby, or if Candace doesn’t want to go, but that’s what we’re looking at.”
“Next weekend Bob Harris has invited us to come up for the Harris Clash (Knoxville, Ia.), but we’re leaving the car at home. He’s got us our tickets, pit passes and suite. That’s a fabulous show up there. Traveling with a new baby is going to be different.”
8g Greg Dinsmore, 37 Bill Pittaway, 29 Jamie Campbell, 67 Robert Liese, Jr., 21 Jason Borlace, 26 Darin Leonard, 82 Rick Green, 99 Billy Meyer, 141 Rob Anderson, 3 Carlton Leverette, 31 Marlin Samford—DNS
Torres Tackles IMCA Sportmods
San Antonio’s Johnny Torres added to his I-37 Raceway season total grabbing another victory in the 20-lap IMCA Southern Sportmod feature. Torres didn’t look to be a contender at mid-race as he watched Anthony Gordon and Jason Stanley battle for the top spot. Torres’ car came to life in the final half reeling in and passing Gordon for the lead on lap 16. Torres took the checkers with a several car lengths on Gordon.
As green waved on the 14-car IMCA Southern Sportmod feature, Stanley jumped out front, but the outside backed up with JC Pilcher and Pat Lyon finding the front stretch wall. On the second start Stanley led into turn 1, but it was Gordon, on the top, getting by to lead lap 1. Torres quickly worked his way by Ray Doyon III and Michael Hernandez for third on lap 1.
Stanley tried get by Gordon for the lead on lap 2 and got along side, but Gordon held the spot. Doyon got by Hernandez on lap 3 and challenging Torres for third. As Doyon tried a move on Torres, Hernandez snuck back by for fourth. Doyon then gave up fifth to Micky Helms. Coming to halfway it was Gordon and Stanley easing away, Torres, Hernandez and Helms in the top five.
Stanley again put the heat on the young Gordon getting along side on lap 11. Stanley would half spin on lap 12, losing several pots, but continuing without caution. Torres then began to reel in Gordon catching the leader with five to go. Torres used the bottom get under Gordon and take the lead on lap 16. Gordon hung with Torres the final laps while Hernandez did a 360 giving up a top five spot. At the checkers it was Torres in 24/7 Towing, Tator Plumbing, Rising Star Race Car Bodies, Screen Pro Graphics, Spreen Racing Engines, Driveline Chassis, by 4-car lengths on Gordon.
“It must have been a little luck tonight,” said Torres. “Because my car sure wasn’t working that good. I got some breaks, the right place at the right time and was patient. I took me a while to work my way up since we’ve been struggling with the handling on it. It was a little different, but we got it figured out.”
“I was trying to be more patient with Anthony(Gordon). He’s a good racer and I wanted to make sure I didn’t get into him. I’d really like to see him win one, but I like winning myself more. He’s doing better every week. His time will come soon.”
IMCA Southern Sportmods
66 Johnny Torres, 118 Anthony Gordon, 204 Mickey Helms, 66y Randy Yount, 92 Jason Stanley, 99x Michael Hernandez, 11 Tom Grothues, 04 Jacob Burnett, 85 Jeff Nix, 4 Robby Minten, 9 Ray Doyon III, 94 Allen Torres, 15 JC Pilcher, 60 Pat Lyon, 21 Barry Codling—DNS, 51 Greg Rohmer—DNS
AJ Dancer added another win to his Street Stock total, after taking a Limited Late Model main event the previous week. Aided by slower traffic, Dancer got by early leader AJ Wernette in the latter stages of the 20-lapper, with Dennis Hilla and Wade Jones all racing under a blanket. Dancer inched away after a late caution, while Jones and AJ Wernette battled for the runner-up spot.
Wayne Wernette led the 14-car Street Stock feature into turn 1, but was passed by his son AJ who led lap 1. Behind W. Wernette, AJ Dancer and Dennis Hilla fell in line. Dancer got by W. Wernette on lap 2, but had already lost ground to AJ Wernette. Hilla and Wade Jones took third and fourth on lap 4, followed by Aaron Leddy to fifth.
As Dancer, Hilla and Jones battled for second nose to tail, AJ Wernette edged away to a larger margin. Dancer and Hilla were door to door on lap 12 giving Jone an opening to grab third when Hilla drifted too high in turn 1. AJ Wernette caught slower traffic and had trouble getting by allowing Dancer to close the gap. Dancer was on AJ Wernette’s bumper as they encountered heavy traffic.
Dancer and AJ Wernette ran side by side on lap 17 with top four now under a proverbial blanket. Dancer snuck to the lead while Hilla made contact with AJ Wernette, sending him around for races only caution. AJ Wernette got his spot back, while Hilla got sent to the tail. The top three broke away on green with Jones getting second from AJ Wernette as the white flag waved. At the checkers it was Dancer in the A Plus Auto Parts, SAS Graphics, Dancer Motorsports, El Camino holding off Jones for the win.
“It was a lot of luck and few lapped cars that helped me tonight,” replied Dancer. “I figured Wade (Jones) was coming. You know he’s going to be there eventually. We moved some weight around between the heat and feature, but it still wasn’t enough. We’re still having a hard time with this car. I’m trying to keep it from three wheeling. It’s the only way the car wants to go. It’s got a mind of its own”
“Driving in two classes, the Street Stocks and Late Models, is like apples and oranges. In the Late Model it will stick and go where you want it to go. In the Street Stock it’s more like a suggestion, I’d like to go this way.”
52 AJ Dancer, 41 Wade Jones, 37 AJ Wernette, 40 Mike Lyon, 93 Aaron Leddy, 2x Dennis Hilla, 88j Bobby Jack, 04 Nathan Robbins, 37w Wayne Wernette, 44 Danny Preslar, 7 Danny Schroat, 5 Rick Schroat, 53 Ben Blanford, 2 Scott Stubbs
Not wanting to be outdone by his brother Robby the week before, Talon Minten was the second first-time winner of the evening in the Pure Stock feature. Minten and Hunter Flanagan raced side by side for several laps until Flanagan found the tire wall and rolled. Minten was then chased by Brandy Ramzinski, who led earlier in the race but spun. Minten used a lapped car as “a pick” to hold Ramzinski off on the final lap.
Eric Watson took the lead of the 18-car, 20-lap Pure Stock feature on lap 1, but gave way to Jarrett Payton on lap 2. Ramzinski got along side E. Watson and by for second on lap 2 when Payton slowed. Ramzinski got the lead on lap 3 with E. Watson, Flanagan and Cody Leonard following past a fading Payton. Minten split Karoline Campbell and Adam Torres to move into fifth on lap 5.
Minten got by Leonard in traffic on lap 6 as Leonard slowed with a flat. Ramzinski spun on her own from the lead giving up the spot to Flanagan and narrowly missing Minten before falling to fourth. T. Watson brought out yellow on lap 8 when he stopped in the pit exit. When green waved again, the top four broke ahead and Minten was pressuring Flanagan for the lead.
The two young guns, who are good friends, ran side by side for four laps before Flanagan drifted too high in turn 4, clipped the tire barrier and rolled over bringing out a red flag. Flanagan was a little shaken, but checked out alright by the EMS crew. Once back to green, Minten and Ramzinski got away from Janel Hilla, Devin Adler and Jerry Jones. Ramzinski tried tried low as the white flag waved, but got hung up behind a lapped car in turn 4 giving Minten in the 3-D Landscaping, Cavender Toyota, Clays Auto Parts, Shepherds Race Engines, a clear run to his first ever race win.
“It feels good to get that first win,” commented Minten. “I saw Brandy(Ramzinski) back there at the end and just put it to the floor. I was thankful for that lapped car being when she got under me and got her hung up. Robby wining his first race last week didn’t really put any pressure on me(to win). We’re not that competitive, at least until I get a Sportmod too.”
“I wasn’t really nervous running out front. I was just trying to hit my marks.”
“I had a good race with Hunter(Flanagan) earlier and thought I might have taken him out. He’s my friend and I was nervous when I saw the ambulance come out. I didn’t think we made any contact and he said I didn’t touch him, so we’re good.”
89 Talon Minten, 88 Brandy Ramzinski, 7x Janel Hilla, 117 Devin Adler, 95 Jerry Jones, 44 James Watson, 15 William Cavender, 14 Trey Heald, 22 Patricia Lucas, 8 Dustin Robin, 581 Hunter Flanagan, 24 Adam Torres, 99 Frank Okruhlik, 43 Eric Watson, 1 Tim Watson, 26c Cody Leonard, 9s Jarrett Payton
Old age and experience once again outran youth and exuberance as Jimmy Carroll took the victory in the Front Runner feature. Carroll battled throughout the race with Charles Earnhardt III as they traded the lead several times in the 15-lap event. Carroll, whose age is probably greater than the combined total of second through fifth, held off both Earnhardt boys at the finish.
A lucky 13 cars took the green for the Front Runner feature that went green to checkers, a vast improvement over last weeks crash fest. Ch. Earnhardt jumped into the early lead trailed by Dillon Gaither, Carroll, Cody Smith and Landon Sowder. Carroll quickly began to challenge Gaither for second as the top three pulled away from Sowder and Smith.
The top three were nearly 3-wide for the lead on lap 7, with Carroll getting the spot on lap 8. Carroll and Ch. Earnhardt continued to run side by side for lead while Sowder got by Smith for fourth followed by Cody Earnhardt to fifth. Ch. Earnhardt regained the lead on lap 9 as his brother worked his way past Sowder for fourth.
Carroll snuck back into the lead on lap 12 as the two swapped the top spot corner for corner on lap 13. Carroll secured the point on the final lap, while Co. Earnhardt got third from Gaither. At the checkers it was 68-year old Carroll in Car Craft Auto Service, Mitsubishi Mirage holding off his young competitors for the win, increasing his points lead over Hailee Marcx, who finished eighth.
“It was a little bit of good luck, a little good driving and a good motor by my sponsor Pat Lyon at Car Craft Auto Service.” said Carroll. “I feel very fortunate to still be able to race at 68 and still out run all those younger drivers.”
“This will help me in the points against Hailee(Marcx). She’s a good young racer and drives a good, clean race all the time.”
67 Jimmy Carroll, 33 Charlie Earnhardt III, 33c Cody Earnhardt, 9 Dillon Gaither, 08 Landon Sowder, 13 Cody Smith, 17 Kirsten Blevins, 113 Hailee Marcx, 27 Hayden Anderson, 66c Cindy Snider, 98E Will Holder, 12 Roy Easler sr., 57 Trevor Bettis–BF
In the Dwarf Car feature Chuck McCormick found his way to the Winners Circle getting by early leader Michael Dion near halfway. McCormick held off a late charge by veteran Arden Vikre in the final circuits to grab the victory.
Dion jumped out front at the start of the 2-lap DCRST feature with Dwain Groff spinning from second leaving Richard Smith, McCormick and Jim Mokry trailing Dion. McCormick got past Smith for second as Mokry spun from fourth and fell back. McCormick began to put the heat on Dion for lead and snagged the spot on lap 9. Chris Silvas jr. spun on lap 9 for the races only caution.
On the restart, McCormick eased away with Brian Wells getting by Dion for second as Arden Vikre shot by both Dion and Smith for third. D. Groff made his way back to the top five, while Wells and Vikre battled for second. Vikre got the position with two to go and tried to close on McCormick. Vikre got close but at the checkers it was McCormick hanging on for the win.
Dwarf Car Racing Series of Texas
8 Chuck McCormick, 72 Arden Vikre, 69 Brian Wells, 2 Jim Mokry, 60 Richard Smith, 07 Michael Dion, 86 Chris Silvas jr., 15 Dwain Groff, 30 Billy Groff, 96 Tyler Wells, 61 John Flake—DNS, 27 Butch Havelka–DNS, 85 Chris Silvas sr.–DNS
by J.M. Hallas
Photos by JBHotshots