March 18, 2012
Racing season kicked off at I-37 Raceway’s ¼-mile, semi-banked, clay oval Saturday night with familiar faces in familiar places, as well as some new or returning drivers. Friday night was one final test-n-tune for drivers/teams to get their cars dialed in for the first race of the year for many, while others with a few races already under their belts did some fine tuning.
Saturday night’s turnout saw an overflow in the pits with teams having to pit in the outer parking area and a good crowd of spectators filling the stands. Despite the Friday practice session and strong southerly winds, the track held up throughout the night with drivers finding bite on the high and low side during the features.
Looking to defend their 2011 championships are Greg Dinsmore(IMCA Modified), Johnny Torres(IMCA Southern Sportmod), Trey Votion(Limited Late Model) and Wade Jones(Street Stock). Pure Stock champion, Frank Okruhlik moves to a variety of classes for 2012, while Front Runner champ, Cody Earnhardt gets his introduction into the Pure Stocks.
Dinsmore, Votion and Jones all scored feature wins, Torres gave JJ Jennings a good run in the Sportmods but came up one position short, with Okruhlik falling out of both the Pure and Street Stock events. Cody Earnhardt’s Pure Stock debut was delayed after they were unable to complete the car in time.
Dinsmore un-Deniable in Modified Main
Kerrville’s Greg Dinsmore picked up in the 2012 season where he ended in the final points battle, first. Campaigning a new Harris Chassis this year Dinsmore worked his way from the third row to the front before halfway using a set-up from fellow Harris driver Jimmy Gustin, and the low side of the track. After picking up the lead from 2010 track champ, Bill Pittaway, Dinsmore was chased at the finish by last year’s points rival, Jamie Campbell.
Pittaway grabbed the early lead as the 20-lap IMCA Modified main fired off trailed by Chuck Chesler, Campbell and Dennis Taylor. Darin Leonard had immediate problems and pulled off, leaving Dinsmore fifth. Dinsmore began picking them off one by one when caution flew for a car stopped in the pit exit on lap 3.
Once back to green Dinsmore snagged second from Chesler and closed on Pittaway for the lead. Ducking low in turn 1, Dinsmore got alongside Pittaway and by in turns 3-4 to get the lead on lap 6. Campbell, using the top went around Chesler then Pittaway for second, but well behind Dinsmore.
At the crossed flags it was Dinsmore, Campbell, Pittaway, Jason Borlace and Chesler in the top five. Borlace was able to get third from Pittaway on lap 13 while Taylor and Chesler swapped fifth. Campbell was able to cut into Dinsmore’s lead at one point but gave the ground back trying to pass a lapped car running in his line.
As the white flag waved it was Dinsmore holding a ¾ straightaway margin over Campbell that he held to the checkers. It was the car’s second win of the season after Iowa’s, Jimmy Gustin grabbed the season opener at Mountain Creek Speedway in the racetechinfo.com, Custom Concrete, Guadalupe Electric, JB Hotshots, Wells Designs, Ryan Bard Safety Foundation, J&V NAPA, KS Engineering, Harris Chassis.
“The car was crazy fast,” replied Dinsmore. “It was great. The new car was set up just right, and the borrowed motor was really fast. It was awesome. I watched Jimmy Gustin run around the tires when he drove it. I tried to stick the left front near the infield tires and found some moisture there. The car had good bite coming off on the straightaway. I’d lose a bit in (turns 3-4), but gain it back in (turns)1-2.”
“The low line started going away near the end and I thought about trying the top. I didn’t hear anyone back there and I tried to look back in the corners but didn’t see anyone. I was just holding on to what I had and it worked out.”
“The car is set up the way Jimmy was going to run it; it even still has number on one side and seat in it. I had to change my driving style some to fit his set up. He drives it through the corner deeper than I normally do. Plus he runs a lot more rear brake than I do, and the car was a little tight. I think in talking with Jimmy and Bob(Harris) we can get it closer to my style.”
“I don’t know if I’m going run for a championship this year. I’m just looking to have some fun. I want to race, but don’t want to get so serious about it that I have to worry about breaking something.”
8g Greg Dinsmore, 29 Jamie Campbell, 21 Jason Borlace, 37 Bill Pittaway, 49 Chuck Chesler, 38 Dennis Taylor, 16 Carson Bednarz, 24 Tracy Fink, 26 Darin Leonard
IMCA Modified heats
Heat 1; 8g Greg Dinsmore, 21 Jason Borlace, 26 Darin Leonard, 16 Carson Bednarz, 24 Tracey Fink—DNS
Heat 2; 37 Bill Pittaway, 49 Chuck Chesler, 38 Dennis Taylor, 29 Jamie Campbell
Jennings Jammin’ in Sportmod Scramble
JJ Jennings(Corpus Christi) parlayed a front row starting position into a Sportmod victory leading nearly every lap. Jennings got passed on the start by Talon Minten on lap 1, but retook the top spot on lap 2. Multi-time track champ, Johnny Torres closed in on the tail of Jennings during the mid-stages of the 20-lapper, but Jennings was able to pull away at the end leaving Torres battling with newcomer, John Heil.
As the 18-car IMCA Southern Sportmod main took the green, Jennings was first into turn 1. Talon Minten went around on the high side to lead lap 1, but Jennings got the lead back on lap 2. Defending champ, J. Torres took second from T. Minten with Heil trying to follow. Heil had just made the pass when yellow waved for a tangle between Gene Hyde, Greg Rohmer and Patrick Kelly.
On the restart Heil used the top to get past T. Minten, but did a half spin and fell back to sixth. J. Torres was on Jennings tail as they came to halfway with T. Minten, Bruce Barber and Robby Minten holding the top five spots. As Barber worked on T. Minten, Heil got back by R. Minten for fifth, then under Barber for fourth.
Heil was again just making a pass on T. Minten only to have caution come out for a spin by Mickey Helms after contact by Cody Leonard, who was sent to the tail. Jennings got a good jump on J. Torres as the race resumed, but R. Minten spun off turn 4, with Craig Lepore spinning behind. It wasn’t long after the restart when Alan Torres and Randy Bennett got together for the races final slow down.
Once back to green, Jennings eased out from J. Torres with Heil and T. Minten side by side for third. Heil got the spot on lap 17, while Jennings continued to add to his margin. Heil caught J. Torres on the final lap, but it was Jennings in the G&M Services, Bud Light, P&K, WFI Waste Management, CB’s Race Engines, Western Flyer Race Car taking the win.
“My brother’s wife drew a one on the redraw, that helped me a lot,” stated Jennings. “That’s the second time she’s done that, and starting up front always helps. It’s always fun to come up here. A week and a half ago this car was bare. The guys up at Western Flyer hooked us up. We stayed up late Thursday and all day Friday getting it ready. It’s been a long three days, but it was worth it.”
“There’s something messed up in the steering box, quickener or power steering, it kept getting stuck. I wasn’t going to pull off unless it stuck all the way. It lasted long enough to finish, but we’ll be taking it all off and checking it out.”
“I thought I was done when Talon(Minten) went around me. He went by me on the outside like I was standing still. That kid is going to be good, just give him some time. He and his brother will be winning some races. I’m glad he raced me clean and we didn’t tear up anything. We went over to Ray(Doyons) shop and put the wrap on it today. They’re good people.”
“I’ve got to thank my brother for putting all the money into getting this car to get it done and my wife for putting up with all this. It’s all his car. I just show up, pay my pit pass and get to drive it. My whole family is involved. My grandpa is going to be 82 and he comes to watch. That’s what it’s all about.”
IMCA Southern Sportmods
26g JJ Jennings, 66 Johnny Torres, D30 John Heil, 14t Talon Minten, 174 Mickey Helms, 17b Bruce Barber, 02 Robert Williams, 4r Robbie Minten, 85 Jeff Nix, 18 Larry Jernigan, 22 Randy Bennett, 2 Craig Lapore, 60 Pat Lyon, 37 Cody Leonard, 94 Alan Torres, 44h Gene Hyde, 84k Patrick Kelly, 51 Greg Rohmer, 17 Jim Blevins—DNS, 9 Ray Doyon III—DNS, 12 Roly Rodriguez—DNS
IMCA SSM heats
Heat 1; 22 Randy Bennett, 66 Johnny Torres, 174 Mickey Helms, 26g JJ Jennings, 94 Alan Torres, 51 Greg Rohmer, 60 Pat Lyon
Heat 2; D30 John Heil, 84k Patrick Kelly, 18 Larry Jernigan, 37 Cody Leonard, 44h Gene Hyde, 2 Craig Lepore, 12 Roly Rodriguez—DNS
4r Robbie Minten, 14t Talon Minten, 17b Bruce Barber, 02 Robert Williams, 85 Jeff Nix, 17 Jim Blevins, 9 Ray Doyon III—DNS
Victory for Votion in Limited Late Models
Defending track champ, Trey Votion showed why he won last year’s championship taking home the hardware in the 15-lap feature. Craig Crawley took over the point from Howie Marcx, making his return, but Crawley failed to go on a restart giving up the lead to Votion. As Votion eased away, Bo Beckner and 2010 champ, Richard Bartosh battled it out for second leaving Votion unchallenged at the checkers.
Marcx jumped out front as green waved on the Limited Late Model feature with Crawley looking low. Marcx led lap 1, but gave up the lead to Crawley with Ron Sprayue and Bartosh getting past Gary Hunter. Sprayue and Bartosh then got around Marcx for second and third, with Votion following to fourth. Sprayue’s run up front ended when he spun from second in turn 4.
As green waved again, Crawley’s car failed to go with Votion squirting through a hole to grab the lead on lap 6. Bo Beckner came out the stack up with third as Crawley fell back. As Votion eased away, Beckner got second from Bartosh. Votion in the Northside Ford, BG Products, Mission Racing, ZDT Amusement Park, Kelly Automotive, Northside Collision, Kelly Chassis, held his advantage over Beckner at the finish.
“Definitely feels pretty good,” commented Votion. “It was kind of scary after that crash in the heat race. I thought for we tore out the whole rear end. I was just hoping it wouldn’t vibrate or something. It was a lot freer than it normally is, but it still worked pretty well. I was happy to be able to finish the race and run well.”
“I just went out to see what the car was going to be able to do. The track was a bit slicker, so I was just taking my time to get anything and it worked out.”
“With John Heil running, and Greg Dinsmore getting a car ready, that’s going to be some stiff competition. That’s what this class needs, more good cars and more good drivers. Hopefully we can keep the fenders on them, have fun and go at it.”
“We’re looking at this year like the last one. I want to come out here and be able run without tearing anything up all year. If it works out, I’m going to try to back up my championship, but we’ll see what happens.”
Limited Late Models
99 Trey Votion, 75 Bo Beckner, 7 Richard Bartosh, 6 Craig Crawley, 1x Andrew Hesler, 42 Ron Sprayue, 13 Howie Marcx, 14 Gary Hunter, 13s Jason Smith, D30 John Heil—DNS
Limited Late Model heat winners; 6 Craig Crawley, 7 Richard Bartosh
Jourdanton’s Jones Sweeps Street Stock
Despite being sick, Wade Jones was still able to stick it out and sweep the Street Stock feature and heat race wins. Jones, who went wire to wire in the 15-lap feature, was chased throughout the race by AJ Wernette. Wernette closed the gap in traffic, but once clear Jones held his margin to the finish line.
The 13-car Street Stock feature saw Jones leading into turn 1 followed by Brian Becka, Wernette, Dennis Hilla and Frank Okruhlik. Wernette and Hilla both got past Becka for second and third as the top three separated out. This left Becka, Okruhlik and Mike Lyon battling for fourth until Okruhlik pulled off early.
Wernette was able to shorten the gap some after Jones hit traffic, but once clear; Jones still had a good margin. The only battle left for Jones the final laps was a 100 degree temperature and flu-like symptoms. At the checkers it was Jones in the Opiela Mechanical, Horelka Racing, Mission Auto Parts, SABFI, Mobil 1, Jeff’s Auto Rebuilders, 74 Ranch & Resort, Camaro with the win.
“The track was great,” said Jones. “I was worried about being a little rusty from the off-season going into the first race. I think the set up on the car helped carry me through. I was running a 100 degree fever, but once we got going I forgot all about being sick. I really have to thank my G’ma and G’pa, plus all my family and sponsors.”
41 Wade Jones, 37 AJ Wernette, 2x Dennis Hilla, 40 Mike Lyon, 52 AJ Dancer, 53 Brian Becka, 15 Tommy Casey, 19 Jarrett Barber, 22 Patricia Lucas, 141 Curtis Opiela, 37w(99) Frank Okruhlik, 82 Richard Wells, 31 Jeff Hendricks, 00 Mikey Faulkner—DNS
Street Stock heat winners; 2x Dennis Hilla, 41 Wade Jones
Pure Stock Honors to Hilla After Tech
Robert Danielson looked to be the easy winner in the 20-lap Pure Stock feature going flag to flag with nearly a full straightaway advantage at the end. Unfortunately Danielson’s car failed post-race tech inspection giving the victory to 2007 Pure Stock titlist, Janel Hilla.
At the start of the 21-car Pure Stock feature Danielson quickly got out front but in the pack Bill McCall and Trey Heald got together with Heald pounding the front stretch wall. On the second start, Danielson again eased out front of Jerry Jones, with Janel Hilla and Brandy Ramzinski in pursuit. Jay Dancer brought out another early caution when he tagged an infield tire and spun.
On the restart Jones and Hilla made contact fighting for second with Hilla getting the spot. Ramzinski followed to third, but yielded that spot for Charles Earnhardt III. Coming to lap Dancer, the three made contact with Dancer finding the wall. Earnhardt and Ramzinski both made pit stops, but would retire later from damages.
Back under green, Hilla took a peek under Danielson for the lead when Okruhlik and Kary Scott tangled in turn 2. Danielson and Hilla broke away on green from Devin Adler, Ryan Doyon and Phillip Haywood. Haywood and Adam Torres made contact scraping for fifth with Torres going for a spin, but Haywood was deemed responsible and sent to the tail. Again Danielson and Hilla eased ahead, with Doyon trying Adler high for third.
Torres found a hole low and snuck past both for the spot on lap 13. Danielson was able to pull out to a full straight lead over on his way to the checkers, but would fail on the tech pad. This handed the win to Hilla in the NAPA, Riley Welding, Alamo Bolt & Screw, Q-Hauling, Paloma Cattle Co., Johnny’s Paint & Body, Premium Water Well Service, Alpha Machine, Mission Racing, Chevy.
7x Janel Hilla, 66 Adam Torres, 117 Devin Adler, 6p Jeremy Hernandez, 1 Tim Watson, 15 William Cavender, 4 James Watson, 10c Karoline Campbell, 43 Eric Watson, 33 Nerida Major, 9 Phillip Haywood, 5 Ryan Doyon, 88 Brandy Ramzinski, 83 Kary Scott, 33c Charles Earnhardt III, 44 Frank Okruhlik, 49 Jay Dancer, 95 Jerry Jones, 14 Trey Heald, 3½ Bill McCall, 186 Robert Danielson—DQ(Tech)
Pure Stock heat winners; 7x Janel Hilla, 88 Brandy Ramzinski, 117 Devin Adler
Snider Swipes First Front Runner Win
After over two years of trying, Cindy Snider(Orange Grove) picked up her first ever Front Runner feature win. Snider, who had been plagued with mechanical issues in the past, battled with Hailee Marcx and Roy Easler jr. in the waning laps. Coming out of a three wide fight for the lead, Snider got the spot with two to go and held on for the victory.
At the start of the 15-lap Front Runner feature Dillon Gaither jumped out front with Easler and Marcx on his tail. Gaither and Easler eased ahead with Marcx, Landon Sowder and Snider battling for third. Lindy Schroat got sideways while being lapped and tagged by Easler for a lap 5 caution. Gaither and Sowder pulled away on green as Easler worked back up. Gaither saw his lead end when it appeared the car broke and he spun in turn 2.
This gave the top spot to Sowder, but he was unable to get going as green waved with Marcx assuming the lead on lap 9. Marcx was challenged by Easler and Snider. They were three wide on lap 11, but Marcx held the spot with Snider on her side. Snider finally secured the spot on lap 13 and held off Easler in the Sandoval Motorsports, Snider Racing, Stannard Photography, Twisted Motors, Ford Probe to grab win number one.
“I’m on cloud nine,” replied Snider on her first ever feature win. “I’ve been trying for two and a half years. I picked up this new car from the Sandoval’s over the off season. They ran it last year at CC Speedway. Prior to that it was run here by Brandy Ramzinski, so it’s back home. I’ve got a good car now. I knew it was good when I got it.”
“I was surprised when I was able to get by (Roy) Easler and Hailee(Marcx) there at the end. When I took the white flag and realized I was in the lead I was yelling all the way down the back stretch. I couldn’t believe it, I was so excited.”
66c Cindy Snider, 12 Roy Easler jr., 113 Hailee Marcx, D3 Kirsten Blevins, 01 Lindy Schroat, 08 Landon Sowder, 5 Dillon Gaither, 33 N/A—DNS
Front Runner heat winner; 12 Roy Easler jr.
By J M Hallas
Photos by JBHotShots
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