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Season Opener, $1,000 to win IMCA Modifieds/Fast Shafts Qualifier/Fan Appreciation Concert @ I-37 Speedway, 3/7/20

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Season Opener, $1,000 to win IMCA Modifieds/Fast Shafts Qualifier/Fan Appreciation Concert @ I-37 Speedway, 3/7/20

By JM Hallas

 

Pleasanton TX.,(March 7th, 2020) It was a full night of entertainment as I-37 Speedway kicked off its 2020 regular points season on the ¼ mile, semi-banked, dirt oval just south of San Antonio, Saturday night.

 

After a successful special Friday night USMTS show last week, it was time for the regular classes and points season to kick off. Classes include the Simpson Safety Products IMCA Modifieds, Swenson Racing Products USRA Limited Modifieds, Nogalitos Gear Late Models, All In Designs USRA Factory Stocks, Brown Chevrolet USRA Tuners and Russ Parker Construction Go-Karts.

 

The IMCA Modifieds vied for $1,000 to win plus the opportunity to be placed on the Fast Shafts, All-Star Invitational ballot as well as national, regional and state points.

 

The three USRA classes(Limited Modifieds, Factory Stocks, Tuners) would also be competing for their own national points.

 

As if a full night of racing wasn't already enough, it was a fan appreciation night with a post-race concert by Shawn Hart sponsored by Carroll Construction.

 

Carroll Claims Cash

Chris Carroll(Spring Branch) took home the $1,000 win in the IMCA Modified 20-lapper against some stiff competition. As green waved on the 15-car field it was three wide into turn 1 with Rick Green, Jamie Campbell and Nebraska's, Chad Anderson. Anderson, who makes occasion trips to Texas and I-37 Speedway from Fort Calhoun got the point. Behind Anderson Green, Dillon Tindall, Campbell and Don Banker sorted out.

 

Carroll, coming from row three, quickly moved up past Campbell and Banker for fourth bringing Cody Tidwell along to fifth. Green was starting to take peeks low on Anderson when a spin by Johnny Melancon slowed the pace. On the restart Carroll and Green were side by for second with Tidwell and Tindall wheel to wheel for fourth.

 

After clearing Green, Carroll ran down Anderson for the lead with the two side by side on lap 8 and Carroll getting the top spot a lap later. At the crossed flags it was Carroll, Anderson, Tidwell, Tindall and Green. After a couple quick yellows, Tidwell was along side Anderson for second while Jared Maupin was moving up getting by Tindall for fourth.

 

As Carroll inched ahead, Anderson was pressuring Tidwell for second while Green and Tindall scrapped for fifth. As the white flag waved Carroll had a five car length advantage on Tidwell and scored the win in his Carroll Construction, Green Construction, Shawn Hart Music, crate powered GRT by Carroll Chassis.

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I didn't think I was going to be able to get him(Chad Anderson),” commented Carroll. “He started getting a little tight in the middle and I saw where I could take advantage of that. I got lucky, really. They made a bad call on a restart putting me ahead of (Dillon) Tindall. That gave me a spot up to third. So I want to apologize to him, first and foremost.”

 

I watched Chad race a little bit and we raced with him last year. He's a pretty good guy and definitely gave me room. Once I got under him I got tight too and pushed both of us out to the wall. He gave me room, didn't cut back down on me and I had room to gather it back up. The rest is history. I got out front and thankfully it wasn't a longer race. I was tired, I'm getting too old.”

 

There was a little home track advantage in there. I kept it where I needed to keep it at, I could hear them back there. I just ran it as hard as I needed and kept a little in reserve knowing I had the line.”

 

I lost several spots at the start of that race. That definitely wasn't the plan. That was not the direction I wanted to go. I calmed down, told myself there's plenty of time and let the chips fall where they may. If I have the faster car tonight, I'm going to win, If they do, then they'll win.

 

Simpson Safety Products IMCA Modifieds

15 Chris Carroll, 17 Cody Tidwell, 8c Chad Anderson, bd1 Jared Maupin, 82 Rick Green, 86 Dillon Tindall, 29 Jamie Campbell, 377 Don Banker, 77 Robert Liese jr., 27 Justin Delgado, 419 Johnny Melancon, 53xx Chandler Fox, 8j Mike Trigg, 31m Marlin Samford, 5r Ryan Doyon---dntg

 

Modified heats

Heat 1; 17 Cody Tidwell, 8c Chad Anderson, 5 Ryan Doyon, 86 Dillon Tindall, 377 Don Banker, 77 Robert Liese, 53xx Chandler Fox, 27 Justin Delgado

 

Heat 2; 15 Chris Carroll, 82 Rick Green, bd1 Jared Maupin, 29 Jamie Campbell, 8j Mike Trigg, 419 Johnny Melancon, 31m Marlin Samford

 

Maupin Outmuscles Limited Modified Field

After being the bridesmaid twice last week, Jared Maupin(College Station) bettered the runner-up spots with a victory in the 20-lap USRA Limited Modified feature.

 

At the start it was Marcus Mikulencak leading the way into turn 1, but it was Maupin powering off turn 2 with lead. Following Maupin were Mikulencak, Rowdy Flanagan, Ryan Doyon and Johnny Torres. Doyon was able to snag third as the top three pulled ahead by lap 5. Shawn Obannon spun in front of the leaders on lap 8 setting up a series of restarts that saw Maupin, Mikulencak and Doyon almost three wide at one point.

 

At halfway it was Maupin, Mikulencak, Doyon, Talon Minten and Torres in the top 5. After a stoppage for Austin Majek finding the front stretch wall it was three wide again up front with Maupin holding the spot. Mikulencak was giving Maupin a look low when Sterling Tausch looped it and had Cheryl Gray launch over the hood to bring out a yellow.

 

Once back to green, Mikulencak again was looking low on Maupin while T. Minten and Torres ran wheel to wheel for third. Mikulencak, Torres and T. Minten then began their own little battle giving Maupin some breathing room in the final laps. At the checkers it was Maupin in the Big Dog Racing, Grays Recycling, Swenson Racing Shocks, ASI powered, Express Chassis.

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I got a little tired of second place,” joked Maupin. “It was almost like repeat of last week running with Marcus(Mikulencak), you can't beat that. We've got this car rolling pretty good and I'm pretty confident each time we hit the track.”

 

It's kind of like which one of us gets out front first. He(Marcus) said if you get out there I don't know if I can get past you. He started trying to throw some sliders. The good thing is I know I can trust him. He's not going to be real dirty and door me. Once I got out front I knew it was going to be tough to pass me on the bottom. There was just nothing there.”

 

I had no idea it was three wide a couple times. I want to watch the video now. After the first green stretch I was looking to my guys in the stands and they said I had a big gap. I was just trying to hit my marks over and over again. I knew with all those yellows that someone would try to get me on a restart.”

 

We had this car at home in the valley all week. It was at our shop and we get it going, scale it and try to get it home any chance we can. Every time my dad and I get in a discussion on driving style, it's an argument. It never goes smooth. He's kind of stopped, loosened up a bit and lets me do my own thing.”

 

Switching cars absolutely was a challenge. Those first five laps in the Modified I didn't know what I was doing. Everything happens faster, the car is more sideways, the tires don't hook up as good and everyone is faster. It's a weird transition, but I think the more and more I do it, I'll get in a nice habit.”

 

Swenson Racing Products USRA Limited Modifieds

bd2 Jared Maupin, 104 Johnny Torres, 03 Marcus Mikulencak, 2 Talon Minten, 24r Robby Minten, 77 Cody Beddoe, bd3 Eddy Ross,94 Allen Torres, 5r Ryan Doyon, 31L Sherrill Lewis, 08 Alton Fambro, bd1 Cheryl Gray, 82 Cade Obannon, 11 Tom Grothues, 95s Sterling Tausch, 420 Shawn Obannon, 57 Rowdy Flanagan, 137 Austin Majek, 16 Chris Robeau---dntg, 30k Lawrence Mikulencak---dns

 

Limited Modified heats

Heat 1; 2 Talon Minten, 94 Allen Torres, 57 Rowdy Flanagan, 95s Sterling Tausch, 08 Alton Fambro, 24r Robby Minten, 82 Cade Obannon

 

Heat 2; bd2 Jared Maupin, 104 Johnny Torres, bd3 Eddy Ross, 31L Sherrill Lewis, 420 Shawn Obannon, 77 Cody Beddoe

 

Heat 3; 03 Marcus Mikulencak, 5r Ryan Doyon, 137 Austin Majek, 16Chris Robeau, bd1 Cheryl Gray, 30k Lawrence Mikulencak

 

Franko Flies to Limited Late Model Loot

Debuting a new car can usually have its ups and downs, but for Frank Okruhlik(San Antonio) it was no problem as he dominated the short field. Okruhlik powered out front on lap 1 chased by Trey Votion, Jacob Crow, Aaron Leddy and Landon Sowder. Multiple spins on each end brought out the only caution in the 15-lapper.

 

Once back to green, Okruhlik got out with Votion and Leddy battling for second. From there, no one saw anything but the spoiler of Okruhlik's car as he pulled out to half track lead and easily cruised to the checkers in the Billy Bobs Tire & Repair, United Rentals, Rising Star Bodies, All in Designs, 3-D Landscaping, MB Custom Shocks, Swenson Racing Components, crate powered Warrior Chassis.

 

It was good for the first time out in the car,” explained Okruhlik. “Could be some improvement. It felt good. It doesn't mean it can't go faster. We just finished this car today. The first time I sat in it was the heat race. I just got lucky, I guess. I guess we're getting good at fast cars out of the shop.”

 

I really didn't know how big of a lead I had. I can usually look and see cars, but I couldn't see any so I thought they were pretty close. With the crate motor, to me, it's slow. The Limited Late Models still have some big motors and I figured they'd be right there. I was probably running harder than I needed to.”

 

We're trying to evolve this class a little. This is a step towards it. Somebody has to take the reins and be that guy to make the leap. I guess I'm that guy. This is full blown Late Model with a 602 crate. There's a lot of suspension compared to a Limited Late Model. I pretty much have a baseline with all the cars and classes I've run here. It can get better. That was just right out of the shop. It seemed to go in circles pretty good.”

 

Nogalitos Gear Late Models

990 Frank Okruhlik, 99 Trey Votion, 08 Landon Sowder, 93 Aaron Leddy, 8 Jacob Crow, 007 Aaron Driscoll, 32c Kody Hardage

 

Limited Late Model heat

Heat 1; 990 Frank Okruhlik, 99 Trey Votion, 93 Aaron Leddy, 8 Jacob Crow, 08 Landon Sowder, 007 Aaron Driscoll, 32c Kody Hardage

 

Keylich Kaptures First Factory Stock Feature Win

Michael Keylich(LaVernia) worked his way from the fourth row to make a late race pass and snag his first ever USRA Factory Stock feature win. As green flew on the 21-car field it was Jesse Sandoval first to turn 1 trailed by Tryton Temple, Allen Torres, Josh Sewell, Dakota Hurley with Aaron Leddy and Kyle Kirkland side by side for sixth.

 

Temple quickly began challenging Sandoval getting by in turns 1-2 to lead lead lap 3. Sewell, using the high side, got by Sandoval, but got hung in traffic giving up spots to Sandoval, Torres and Hurley. Hurleys top run ended on lap 8 when he looped it battling with Torres. His luck got even worse when he was caught up as Johnny Johnson found the front stretch wall.

 

As racing resumed coming to halfway it was Temple, Torres, Sandoval, Sewell and M. Keylich. After a spin by Zylar Bryant, M. Keylich took fourth from Sandoval and caught Sewell for third. Sewell and M. Keylich both got past Torres. With Temple easing ahead, M. Keylich, Sewell and Torres had good scrap going until Torres pulled off.

 

A late caution changed the complexion with the field rebunched on lap 17, for a three lap shootout. As green waved M. Keylich tried the topside on Temple for the lead in turns 1-2. M. Keylich led lap 18 with Temple trying to fight back on the bottom. M. Keylich held his ground in the Keylich Electric, CPU Computer Repair, Double K Landscaping, Keylich Auto Repair, Jenn's Liquor, Differentials by Dale, All in Designs, Mission Race Engine powered Destroyer Chassis.

 

It feels real good(to get the first win),” replied Keylich. “When I came to this track four years ago I never thought I'd get this far. I do this to have fun. If I win, I win, if I lose, I lose. Winning was a bonus tonight. I usually don't drive that good. It was awesome battling with Tryton(Temple) for the lead. Luckily I edged him out. The kid is good. I wish I was as good as he is.”

 

This class is easier for me to drive just because I had never raced on dirt before. The Sport Mod was a lot lighter, a lot harder to drive. With these cars you can drive them in there, get a little out of shape and come out alright.”

 

We're going to try to do some big shows with this car, the Factory 50, the TMS Championship deal and hit some others, do some traveling. We'll run here and South Texas Speedway for the USRA points.

 

 

All In Design USRA Factory Stocks

49k Michael Keylich, 1 Tryton Temple, 38 Josh Sewell, 7 Jesse Sandoval, 93 Aaron Leddy, 36 George Quintanilla, 09 Clint Mongtanio, 23 Kyle Kirkland, 741 Cameron Starry, 74z Zylar Bryant, 20z Mike Lyon, 75 Jerry Miller, 10 Scott Jerkins, 19 Jennifer Kidd, 92r Robert Keylich, 15 William Cavender, 94 Allen Torres, 98 William Saunders, 44k Katherine Keylich, 43 Johnny Johnson, 40 Dakota Hurley

 

Factory Stock heats

Heat 1, 49 Michael Keylich, 7 Jesse Sandoval, 94 Allen Torres, 75 Jerry Miller, 98 William Saunders, 15 William Cavender, 10 Scott Jerkins

 

Heat 2; 40 Dakota Hurley, 93 Aaron Leddy, 36 George Quintanilla, 09 Clint Montanio, 44k Katherine Keylich, 92r Robert Keylich, 19 Jennifer Kidd

 

Heat 3; 1 Tryton Temple, 38 Josh Sewell, 23 Kyle Kirkland, 74z Zylar Bryant, 741 Cameron Starry, 20z Mike Lyon, 43 Johnny Johnson

 

Schoenbaum Showin' the Way

San Antonio's Brian Schoenbaum showed he was in prime form early in the season taking the 20-lap USRA Tuner class victory over the 14-car field. Adam Tracy jumped out front early trailed by defending champ Jamie Garner, Schoenbaum, Brandon McCall and Michael Burris sr. After a brief battle with Garner for second, Schoenbaum got inside A. Tracy for the lead on lap 7.

 

At halfway it was Schoenbaum, Garner, A. Tracy, McCall and Burris sr. in the top five. Garner was applying the pressure on Schoenbaum for the lead as the top three edged away with Michael Burris jr. getting by his dad for fifth. Garner and Schoenbaum were side by side at the line for the lead on lap 15.

 

Behind the lead battle A. Tracy slapped the turn 4 wall, ricocheted back across the track and got submarined by Burris jr. sending the car on its side before landing back upright. Burris sr. also got caught up with others squeezing through the near totally blocked track. Luckily everyone was alright.

 

After the red flag, it was Schoenbaum getting away while Garner and McCall ran door to door. Garner cleared McCall and tried to close, but never got back close enough as Schoenbaum in the Big A's BBQ, Bonham Recovery, Tracys Oil & Gas, Central Cedar, KR Promotions, Rabid Motorsports, five1seven Designs, Twisted iPhones, Superior Steering Wheels, IHFP Clothing, Chevy Cavalier took the checkers.

 

The competition has really stepped up since last year,” said Schoenbaum. “Not only down here, but all over Texas. These guys are getting quicker and quicker. I could hear him(Jamie Garner) back there. I was protecting the bottom and he got a good run off turn 4 and we made a little contact. I wanted to push him up a bit, but went too high. So, it was an apology in tech thing and he was cool with it.”

 

It was a fun race. Coming up from the outside of the second row you probably could have thrown a blanket over the top four of us at one point. It was a good battle. I had a blast. It's been a while since the last time I won. The end of last season I had some issues with the car. It's good to taste victory again.”

 

Brown Chevrolet USRA Tuners

19 Brian Schoenbaum, 33 Jamie Garner, 14 Brandon McCall, 18 Michael Burris sr., 95 Daniel Lopez, 14t Shaun Tracy, 98 Ronnie Schoenfeldt, 01t Adolph Tracy, 88 Justin Sitterle, 4 Stephanie Green, 34 Adam Tracy, 81 Michael Burris jr., 29 Dylan Kowalik, 46 Jonathon Cervantes

 

Tuner heats

Heat 1; 33 Jamie Garner, 14 Brandon McCall, 81 Michael Burris jr., 29k Dylan Kowalik, 95 Daniel Lopez, 88 Justin Sitterle, 46 Jonathon Cervantes

 

Heat 2; 34 Adam Tracy, 719 Brian Schoenbaum, 18 Michael Burris sr. 01 Adolph Tracy,14t Shaun Tracy, 98 Ronnie Schoenfeldt, 4 Stephanie Green

 

 

Russ Parker Construction Go-Kart features

Senior Division; Peyton Jones, Charles Flanagan, Cody Clegg, Zoey Flores

 

Junior Division; Blaine Markgraf, Gabriel Solis, Beau Payton

 

Youth Division; Cheston Markgraf, Tucker Kempe, Addisyn Leddy

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