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Texas Dirt Truck Series @ I-37 Speedway 5-16-20

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Texas Dirt Truck Series @ I-37 Speedway 5-16-20

By JM Hallas


So most track owner/promoters would have woken up on race day, after 2+ inches of rain overnight, and thrown in the towel(see what I did there). Not I-37 Speedway. The track crew, and even a few drivers, stepped up and began pumping water and scraping mud to give drivers and fans a place to race.


Everyone did yeoman's work to get the place in shape. My hat's off the all those that worked their butts off. Was it perfect, no, but it was super fast and tacky, with a little character added in for good measure.


Added to the nights regular racing card of IMCA Modifieds, Late Models, USRA Limited Modifieds, Factory Stocks and Tuners, the Go -Karts made their first appearance along with the Texas Dirt Truck Series.


Green Given Gold after Checkers

It was another tough night for the IMCA Modified feature on a tacky, fast track that took four tries to get rolling. On the initial start, coming to green, Dillon Tindall tried to squeeze in the middle of three wide, careened off Bill Pittaway who tagged the front stretch wall and got rear-ended by Johnny Melancon, collecting Chris Carroll, Mike Morris and DJ Schroat.


The next try saw Rick Green get turned sending Cody Leonard, Tindall, Morris and Jamie Campbell spinning/scrambling through the infield. Take three. Green and Ryan Doyon make contact coming to green with Doyon spinning to a stop in turn 1.


Finally the survivors took the green with Green beating Doyon into turn 1 for the lead while Tindall, Leonard and Robert Liese sorted out. The green was short-lived as Carroll and Liese hooked bumpers and found the front stretch wall on lap 2. The restart was called off when the leader, Green, getting sent to the back for jumping the start.


This put Doyon out front as the race resumed with Leonard trying to go low on Doyon for the lead. Lap after lap Leonard would try a mid-bottom run in the corners on Doyon who stuck to the top. Making a little ground each lap Leonard was able to get along side Doyon and by coming to halfway showing Leonard, Doyon, Green, Campbell and Liese in the top five.


Once clear, Leonard was able to set sail and pull out to a full straightaway lead as the white flag waved going on to take the checkers. Under IMCA rules the top four are required to stop in the “claim area.” Leonard and Doyon went straight to tech, Green and Campbell stopped on the front stretch. After some discussion Leonard and Doyon were disqualified for not stopping, thus giving the victory to Green.(Liberty Hill)


“I hate it for those guys,” said Green. “They're all stand up guys and told the truth. That's what I'm happy about. I actually didn't change a single thing from the heat to the feature. I just tried to stay up in the smoother part of the track. I wasn't always able to do that.”


“Getting sent to the back kind of lit my fire. You could probably see it on the restart. I was splitting cars and coming to the front. I want to thank the track for doing the right thing and all the effort they put in to get the track ready to race.”


Sponsors; Greens Construction, Carroll Construction, Nate Mare Graphics, GM Crate, BMS by Carroll



Simpson Safety Products IMCA Modifieds

82 Rick Green, 129 Jamie Campbell, 77 Robert Liese jr., 15 Chris Carroll, 86 Dillon Tindall, 419 Johnny Melancon, 137 Bill Pittaway, 5 DJ Schroat, 55 Mike Morris, 12 Cody Leonard---dq(did not stop at claim area), 5r Ryan Doyon---dq(did not stop at claim area)


Modified heats

Heat 1; 5 Ryan Doyon, 15 Chris Carroll, 129 Jamie Campbell, 37 Bill Pittaway, 77 Robert Liese jr., 55 Mike Morris


Heat 2; 82 Rick Green, 86 Dillon Tindall, 12 Cody Leonard, 419 Johnny Melancon, 5 DJ Schroat


Rye Gets it Right for Limited Modified Money

As green waved on the USRA Limited Modified feature it was Ryan Doyon, Allen Torres and Talon Minten almost three wide for the lead. A. Torres got the advantage coming off turn 2 to lead lap 1 chased by Doyon, Talon Minten, Steve Whiteaker and Brian Rye. Doyon tried low on A. Torres for the lead while Whiteaker got side by side with Minten for third.


Doyon was able to get by A. Torres for the top spot on lap 3 with Whiteaker getting third from Minten bringing Rye along to fourth. At halfway it was Doyon, by a half straightaway over A. Torres, Whiteaker, Rye and Minten. Whiteaker then began to challenge A. Torres for second going side by side on lap 11.


Up front Doyon was beginning to push out some fluid bringing out a caution on lap 14. A leaking radiator hose sent Doyon from the lead, to the pits. This handed A. Torres the point for the restart with Rye and Whiteaker staying side by side for second and Johnny Torres, from the back, getting past Minten for fourth.


A. Torres would loop it on lap 16 from the lead with everyone avoiding contact. This put Rye out front with Whiteaker and J. Torres on his tail. With Whiteaker and J. Torres battling, Rye got a little breathing room. Coming to two to go Whiteaker got clear of J. Torres and got a run on Rye on the final lap. Whiteaker got to his bumper in turn 3, but Rye(Corpus Christi) was able to hang on to capture the victory.


“I got lucky,” replied Rye. “That 5 car(Doyon) was gone. I don't know what happened him, he broke and left the track. After that I just had to get around two other guys and hang on.”


“Stevie(Whiteaker) is always good everywhere he goes. I didn't think I'd be able to get around him. The track was unpredictable after all the rain and some of the ruts. I could feel him right there on the last lap. I kind of slowed down the last laps to make sure I kept my car under control. I'm sure that let him get closer.”


“I just got this new IRP car over the winter and only run it a couple times. I really have to thank Blake and Nick from K&H Shocks. They built some shocks for me this week. I talked to both after the heat race and they gave me some advise for changes I needed.


Sponsors; Ace Automotive Machine Shop, SBG Racing, Penny Fab, Prestons Auto Clinic, RPM, IRP Chassis


Swenson Racing Products USRA Limited Modifieds

184 Brian Rye, 89c Steve Whiteaker jr., 66 Johnny Torres, 2 Talon Minten, 30 Chris Swenson, 14 Heath Stewart, 95 Sterling Tausch, 08 Alton Fambro, 16 Chris Robeau, 94 Allen Torres, 5r Ryan Doyon, 55 Rusty Head, 11 Tom Grothues


Limited Modified heats

Heat 1; 5r Ryan Doyon, 89c Steve Whiteaker jr., 30 Chris Swenson, 55 Rusty Head, 95 Sterling Tausch, 11 Tom Grothues, 66 Johnny Torres


Heat 2; 94 Allen Torres, 2 Talon Minten, 184 Brian Rye, 08 Alton Fambro, 14 Heath Stewart, 16 Chris Robeau


Big O for the Win

The 10-lap Late Model feature was the Frank Okruhlik show as he the lead and ran away from the short field. By halfway Okruhlik had a half lap lead over Landon Sowder and Howie Marcx. Okruhlik(San Antonio) went on to the uncontested win.


“After last week I was bound and determined to win,” joked Okruhlik. “We did change a bunch of stuff on the car thinking those other guys would be racing tonight. It was faster than it was last week.”


“My original plan was not to go out a lap the field, but make it close. I had the car so tight that if I slowed down it wouldn't turn. I had to keep it going to keep from hitting the wall.


Sponsors; Billy Bobs Tire & Repair, United Rentals, Rising Star Bodies, All in Designs, 3-D Landscaping, MB Custom Shocks, Swenson Racing Components, GM Crate, Warrior Chassis.


Nogalitos Gear Limited Late Models

99 Frank Okruhlik, 08 Landon Sowder, 13 Howie Marcx, 007 Aaron Driscoll


Limited Late Model heat

Heat 1; 99 Frank Okruhlik, 08 Landon Sowder, 13 Howie Marcx, 007 Aaron Driscoll


Truck Tally to Doyon

As the Texas Dirt Truck Series 10-lap feature fired off it was Russell Rust off turn 2 with the lead ahead of Ryan Doyon, Tony Bernal, Daniel Gaudette and Russ Parker. Bernal gave Doyon a look high as the top three quickly crept away. Doyon held off Bernal and started to pressure Rust for the lead. Doyon was able to get under Rust for the point on lap 5.


At the mid-point it was Doyon, Rust, Bernal, Gaudette and Parker. Rust would spin on lap 6 falling to the back of the field. The only caution came on lap 9 for debris. This set up a green-checker finish that saw Doyon(LaCoste) get away while Gaudette and defending champ, Larry Baggett ran door to door for third. Doyon gave himself a birthday present with the win and trophy.


“It took some patience tonight,” said Doyon. “With all the rain the track was a little rutty. Just patience, hitting my marks and running my own race. I didn't really have a game plan going in. I usually just like to feel what the track has and see where the faster groove is. Everyone raced me clean, it was fun.”


“I felt good about the line I was running. I stayed pretty much on the bottom and knew if someone would have to try to drive around. It was was pretty tough up there with the ruts. I figured I was in the preferred line.”


“Running different classes doesn't transfer much since theyre so different, but helps me find the lines to run. After running the Modified everything seems to slow down in the other cars.”


Sponsors; Longs Racing Engines, 3-D Landscaping, Brown Chevrolet, Alamo Truck Accessories, ARTS Chassis


Texas Dirt Truck Series

43 Ryan Doyon, 28 Russ Parker, 05 Daniel Gaudette, 3 Larry Baggett, 81 Tony Bernal, 5 Russell Rust


TDTS heat; 43 Ryan Doyon, 5 Russell Rust, 81 Tony Bernal, 05 Daniel Gaudette, 3 Larry Baggett, 28 Russ Parker


Hessong Hot in Factory Stock

The scheduled 20-lap USRA Factory Stock feature was as tough as the Modifieds with multiple starts before finally getting under way. As racing began it was GW Hessong, Johnny Westfall and Josh Sewell three wide for the lead with Hessong getting the position. Westfall, Sewell, Shannon Maurer and Michael Keylich sorted out in line.


Lap 3 saw Ryan Carlucci, Robert Lyon and Johnny Johnson tangle in turn 2 for a yellow. Hessong and Westfall got away on green with M. Keylich taking fourth from Maurer leaving him side by side with Aaron Leddy for sixth. Sewell closed back up on the lead duo getting along side Westfall for second before caution on lap 8 for Cameron Starry and Mike Lyon getting together in turn 2.


Officials cut the race to 12-laps on time. Hessong had Sewell looking low on the restart as Cody Leonard got around M. Keylich for fourth. Jennifer Kidd brought out a red when her car erupted in flames after blowing a motor. On the green, white, checker restart Hessong inched ahead while Sewell, Westfall and Leonard tried three wide for second. Hessong(Edna) would back up last weeks win without a challenge.


“It's rolling pretty good,” exclaimed Hessong. “I can't imagine winning two in a row here because I haven't won a race my entire career here. It feels pretty good. It was a lot of off season work. We redid the whole car. We picked up a few things running the USMTS show, then got these new club20 Shocks for last race. They made the car come alive.”


“Josh(Sewell) and I have raced together before. We've had our moments of brilliance and have had it out here and there. We've got it together now. We race well together. Sitting up front you're basically a sitting duck and don't know where they're at. I was pretty nervous when I saw him on the inside. I moved down a little and was pacing myself better. I don't know how close he was at the end, but we pulled it off.”


“All those cautions concerned me. It bunches the field back up and if you make one slip, anything can happen. It kills my momentum.”


Sponsors; Magnum Services LP/ Cord Beard out of Edna, Tx. Tony’s Mobile Home Service/ Tony Blankenship of Inez, Tx. Edna Auto Supply/ Bill Hessong of Edna, Tx. B&D Motorsports/ Bruce Tesch of Columbus, Tx., and Lick My Stack Cooking Team!


All In Design USRA Factory Stocks

747 GW Hessong, 32 Cody Leonard, 49k Michael Keylich, 55x Monty Chamberlain, 02 Shannon Maurer, 36 George Quintanilla, 7 Jesse Sandoval, 23k Kasey Krauss, 75 Jerry Miller, 3 Travis Slavik, 20 Mike Lyon, 92r Robert Keylich, 19 Jennifer Kidd, 93 Aaron Leddy, 94 Allen Torres, 98 William Saunders, 20r Chris Carroll, 741 Cameron Starry, 48 Robert Lyon,43 Johnny Johnson, 34 Ryan Carlucci, 44k Katherine Keylich, 38 Josh Sewell---dq(tech), 9 Johnny Westfall---dq(tech), 4d Dustin Hurley---dns, 4 David Westfall---dns


Factory Stock heats

Heat 1; 38 Josh Sewell, 9 Johnny Westfall, 94 Allen Torres, 32 Cody Leonard, 98 William Saunders, 48 Robert Lyon, 92r Robert Keylich, 19 Jennifer Kidd, 20r Chris Carroll


Heat 2; 747 GW Hessong, 49k Michael Keylich, 43 Johnny Johnson, 36 George Quintanilla, 75 Jerry Miller, 741 Cameron Starry, 44k Katherine Keylich, 4d Dustin Hurley, 4 David Westfall


Heat 3; 02 Shannon Maurer, 93 Aaron Leddy, 3 Travis Slavik, 55x Monty Chamberlain, 7 Jesse Sandoval, 34 Ryan Carlucci, 20 Mike Lyon, 23 Kasey Krauss


Schoenbaum Survives Tuner Terror

The 20-lap USRA Tuner feature started off innocently enough with Brian Schoenbaum getting out from followed by Brandon McCall, Derek Cates, Adam Tracy and Colton Borlace. As the top three broke away, Johnny Ervin took fifth from Borlace. Just past halfway McCall caught Schoenbaum in traffic and was putting some pressure on him.


Dylan Kowalik had trouble in turn 3 bringing out the only caution. Back to green and McCall got side by side with Schoenbaum while Cates, Ada. Tracy and Ervin were three wide for third. McCall took over the lead on lap 16, but Scheonbaum stayed hot on his heels. With two to go, Ervin, Borlace and Ada. Tracy were swapping spots nearly turn for turn.


As the white flag waved Schoenbaum made a last charge at McCall for the win. In between turns 3-4 the two made a little contact, then again coming off turn 4. Schoenbaum, on the inside, had the run coming towards the checkers. Again they made contact turning Schoenbaum sideways at the line. After the checkers Schoenbaum(San Antonio) made contact with the front stretch but emerged uninjured to a cheering crowd.


Sponsors; 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


Brown Chevrolet USRA Tuners

19 Brian Schoenbaum, 14 Brandon McCall, 34 Adam Tracy, 44 Johnny Ervin, 33 Jamie Garner, 81 Ronnie Schoenfeldt, 580 Derek Cates, 93 Colton Borlace, 28L Levi Hernandez, 01t Adolph Tracy, 14t Shaun Tracy, 55r Ryker Hernandez, 29k Dylan Kowalik, 13 Hanna Miller,46 Jonathon Cervantes---dns


Tuner heats

Heat 1; 14 Brandon McCall, 93 Colton Borlace, 34 Adam Tracy, 29k Dylan Kowalik, 55r Ryker Hernandez, 01t Adolph Tracy, 14t Shaun Tracy, 13 Hanna Miller


Heat 2; 19 Brian Schoenbaum, 580 Derek Cates, 44 Johnny Ervin, 33 Jamie Garner, 81 Ronnie Schoenfeldt, 28L Levi Hernandez, 46 Jonathan Cervantes



Russ Parker Construction Go-Kart features

Senior Division; Peyton Jones, Cody Clegg, Makayla Trimble, Zoey Flores


Junior Division; Makenzie Pesek, Blaine Markgraf, Connor Pesek, Beau Peyton, Zayden Fee


Youth Division; Cheston Markgraf, Addison Leddy

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