I-37 Speedway, 4-24-21
By JM Hallas
Pleasanton, TX.,(April 24th, 2021)
After rain dampened the spirits of racers on Friday for the opening night of a two-day scheduled event, Saturday was a picture perfect day for a huge night of racing.
Along with the regular classes(IMCA Modifieds, Late Models, Limited Modifieds, Factory Stocks, Sport Compacts and Go-Karts), the 600cc Mini Sprints made their I-37 Speedway appearance with the Non-Winged and Winged 600s.
Three classes had $1000 to win on the line, Nogalitos Gear Late Models, Swenson Racing Products Limited Modifieds and All in Designs Factory Stocks. Around 140 cars filled the pits for their chance at taking home the money and trophy, plus a big group of Go-Karts pushing the total to over 150 entrants.
Accolades to Allen in Late Models
It was a bumpy start(s) for the 20-lap Late Model feature. On the first try it was Steve Whiteaker off turn 2 on the top getting out front followed by Bo Day, Chase Allen, Brandon Brzozowski and Landon Sowder, Kody Hardage, Robbie Starnes three wide. But a spin by Jarrod Stepanski brought out the yellow.
On the next attempt Day got a better line off turn 4 to lead into turn 1, but Alton Fambro found the front stretch wall for another complete restart. Third time was the charm with Whiteaker taking the fight for the lead into turn 1 trailed by Day, Allen, Brzozowski and Sowder.
Robbie Starnes made an early charge towards the front getting by Sowder and Brzozowski for fourth before another spin by Stepanski and one by Andrew Hesler on opposite ends of the track brought out a lap 6 yellow. On the restart Allen got past Day, but Jason Kelly and Ryan Doyon tangled in turn 1.
Back under green Whiteaker got out again with Allen, using the top, getting second from Day. At halfway it was Whiteaker building a lead, Allen, Day, Starnes and Brzozowski in the top five. As the last half wound down, Allen began reeling in Whiteaker for the lead.
Allen caught Whiteaker with five to go and battle was on. Allen showed Whiteaker the nose in turn 3 and a lap later got alongside Whiteaker. A little slip by Allen gave the edge back to Whiteaker who held Allen at bay to the checkers, but a tech infraction(rpm chip) gave Allen(Midlothian) the victory in his David Leech Construction, Brandon McKenzie Motorsports, S&S Fishing & Rental, Bobcat of North Texas, Smileys, Mo Bags Suspension, Best Tank Rental, Klein Race Engines, Black Diamond Chassis.
Nogalitos Gear Late Models
130 Chase Allen, 4 Bo Day, 25 Robbie Starnes, 104 Brandon Brzozowski, 12 Kody Hardage, 10 Landon Sowder, 99 Frank Okruhlik,57 Jason Kelly, 29 Jamie Campbell, 32 Beau Begnaud, 88 Bobby Jack, 82 Jarrod Stepnaski, 5r Ryan Doyon, 1x Andrew Hesler, 08 Alton Fambro, 89c Steve Whiteaker jr---dq(tech-chip), 19 Barry Quade---dns, 25s Robert Starnes---dns
Late Model heats
Heat 1; 4 Bo Day, 130 Chase Allen, 32 Beau Begnaud, 88 Bobby Jack, 08 Alton Fambro, 57 Jason Kelly
Heat 2; 89c Steve Whiteaker jr., 25 Robbie Starnes, 12 Kody Hardage, 29 Jamie Campbell, 99 Frank Okruhlik, 25s Robert Starnes
Heat 3; 104 Brandon Brzozowski, 10 Landon Sowder, 5r Ryan Doyon, 82 Jarrod Stepanski, 19 Barry Quade, 1x Andrew Hesler
Whiteaker Wins a Wild One
Seventeen cars took the green for the 20-lap IMCA Modified feature with Raymond McSpadden from the outside row first into turn 1 to lead chased by Ryan Doyon, Steve Whiteaker, Cody Tidwell and Dillon Tindall. Whiteaker got second from Doyon and was trying the high side when he made a rare mistake, looping it in turn 4.
While a bad break for Whiteaker, it was a good break for fans watching him charge his way back through the field. On the restart it was Tindall getting too high in turn 4 falling back in the pack while Doyon was looking low on McSpadden for the lead. Doyon got past to lead lap 5 with Trevor Egbert taking third from Jared Maupin.
Egbert then took second from McSpadden, while Whiteaker was already back to sixth taking the spot from Talon Minten. Egbert caught Doyon with the two side by side and Egbert snagging the point on lap 8 as Whiteaker passed Tidwell for fifth, then McSpadden for fourth. At halfway it was Egbert, Doyon, Maupin, Whiteaker and McSpadden in the top five.
On lap 12, turn 4 got Maupin as he went around from third for a yellow. On green Whiteaker went around Doyon for second while Tindall, Swenson and McSpadden were three wide for sixth. Whiteaker, still running the top, was able to catch and pass Egbert for the top spot on lap 13. That's from last to the lead, in twelve laps!
McSpadden and Swenson were in another three wide fight, this time with Maupin, as he made his way back to the front. Tindall slid too high again in turn 4 and jumped back on track clipping Swenson sending him hard into the front stretch wall on lap 17.
Once back to green, Whiteaker quickly began easing away from Egbert while Maupin took fourth from Tidwell and was side by side with Doyon for third, taking the spot a lap later. Whiteaker(Robstown) had increased his margin on Egbert as the white waved going on to win in his First Class Towing, D&SS Construction, Cottrell Racing, WW Bodies, Supreme Vinyl Works, G&M Oilfield Services, raceXR.com, Dark Horse Shocks, 3D Landscaping, IRP OS1 Chassis.
Price Chevrolet IMCA Modifieds
89c Steve Whiteaker jr., 78 Trevor Egbert, 96 Jared Maupin, 5r Ryan Doyon, 17 Cody Tidwell, 48r Raymond McSpadden, 86 Dillon Tindall, 14t Talon Minten, 377 Donald Banker, 8gII Logan Dinsmore, 77 Robert Liese jr., 53x Chandler Fox, 5 Cody Clark, 7 Stephen Boubel, 83 Chris Swenson, 44x Brandon Welker, 8g Greg Dinsmore, 56 Gilbert Amezquita---dntg
IMCA Modified heats
Heat 1; 89c Steve Whiteaker jr., 8g Greg Dinsmore, 86 Dillon Tindall, 48r Raymond McSpadden, 96 Jared Maupin, 53x Chandler Fox, 14t Talon Minten, 377 Donald Banker, 56 Gilbert Amezquita
Heat 2; 78 Trevor Egbert, 83 Chris Swenson, 5r Ryan Doyon, 44x Brandon Welker, 117 Cody Tidwell, 7 Stephen Boubel, 5 Cody Clark, 77 Robert Liese, 8gII Logan Dinsmore
Big Pay Day for JJ
As the 19-car Limited Modified field took the green it was Craig Oakes winning the battle to turn 1 pursued by Jared Maupin, JJ Jennings, Ryan Doyon, and Marcus Mikulencak. Anthony Gordon had an early spin on lap 1 to quickly slow the pace.
There was some “disagreement” in line up between Mikulencak and Doyon on lane choice that continued until both were forced to pit with damage. I understand a “free used wheel” was delivered post race to one pit.
Back to racing, Maupin was closing the gap on C. Oakes and Jennings, who was pressuring C. Oakes for the lead showing him the nose. That gave Maupin the chance to run them both down. Jennings threw a turn 3 slide job on C. Oakes, who crossed him over and held the lead. At the crossed flags it was C. Oakes, Jennings, Maupin, Talon Minten and Cody Beddoe.
Steve Whiteaker, in Johnny Torres' car, took fifth from Beddoe just before a caution for Nathan Oakes, who spun in front of the lead trio in turn 4. On the restart Jennings took a look low and got alongside C. Oakes in turn 3 with Whiteaker getting fourth from Maupin. Behind them Beddoe, Gordon and Kyle Carter were three wide for sixth. Carter got the worst of that going over the turn 3 hill.
Back under green, Jennings again took a look low in turn 1 and tried a slider in turn 3. This time C. Oakes was able to cross him back over with Jennings now on point for lap 14. Jennings then began to pull ahead with C. Oakes now trying to hold off Maupin for second. At the checkers it was Jennings(Corpus Christi) in the G&M Oilfield Services, 89 Motorsports, Swenson Racing Products, VanBlarcum Services, 1st Class Towing, WW Bodies, Best Race Engines, Express Chassis with the victory.
“He let have the slide job finally,” exclaimed Jennings. “Since the first one didn't hold. I couldn't stay with him off of turn 4, but once it started to rubber up I figured if I could stay with him off (turn)4 and get the run off (turn) 2. I figured one of the times I'd slide him and stay in the middle and not give the chance to cross me back over.”
“I've raced with Craig(Oakes) for years and he's always raced me nothing but clean. I really enjoyed racing with him tonight. I was waiting to see Steve(Whiteaker) and the white nose with the green fins show up. He struggled a little in Johnnys car. It's different than what he's used to. I'm surprised he didn't figure it out. Tonight he put on a clinic in the Modifieds and Late Models, like he does every week. I just hope he doesn't get a Limited Mod anytime soon. I kinda like winning.”
“This is basically the same thing I ran at Cotton Bowl last race. I changed the left front shock for the heat. I struggled, but as soon as it blackened off and slicked off I put it back on and I was second guessing myself. I'm glad we put it back, it turned out good.”
“I have to thank all my family and my brother who makes sure we have the best.
Swenson Racing Products Limited Modifieds
26g JJ Jennings, 96 Jared Maupin, 91 Craig Oakes, 66 Steve Whiteaker jr., 779 Cody Beddoe, 24r Talon Minten, 22m Anthony Gordon, h14 Heath Stewart, bd2 Daniel Preston,, 11 Tom Grothues, 7k Kevin Parker, 15 Chase Laven, 7 Lupe Gomez, 95 Sterling Tausch, 21 Nathan Oakes, 17 Casey Lowe, 000 Kyle Carter, 79 Marcus Mikulencak, 5r Ryan Doyon, 107 Kody Parker---dns
Limited Modified heats
Heat 1; 91 Craig Oakes, 26g JJ Jennings, 779 Cody Beddoe, h14 Heath Stewart, 7k Kevin Parker, 17 Casey Lowe, bd2 Daniel Preston
Heat 2; 96 Jared Maupin, 66 Steve Whiteaker jr., 22m Anthony Gordon, 11t Tom Grothues, 95 Sterling Tausch, 000 Kyle Carter, 107 Kody Parker
Heat 3; 79 Marcus Mikulencak, 5r Ryan Doyon, 24r Talon Minten, 21 Nathan Oakes, 15 Chase Laven, 7 Lupe Gomez
In the 15-lap Winged 600 Mini Sprint Sprint feature it was Brannon Lucas going flag to flag for the unchallenged victory. Lucas(Alvin) grabbed the early lead over Trevor Twardeski, Deagen Lelsz, Dalton Maust and Dalton Wayne. Connor Chamberlain was able to get past Wayne for fifth. After a restart Lucas again pulled out to a good lead easily taking the win.
Mini Sprints Winged Restrictors
61 Brannon Lucas, 27t Trevor Twardeski, 9d Deagen Lelsz, 84 Dalton Maust, 55c Connor Chamberlain, 21 Dalton Wayne, 4 Jude Allgayer, 71 Anthony Rea, 39m Taytum Moeller, 29k Kinsley Cook, 77t Hailey Taylor---dns
Mini Sprint Winged Restrictors heats
Heat 1; 61 Brannon Lucas, 21 Dalton Wayne, 4 Jude Allgayer, 71 Anthony Rea, 39m Taytum Moeller, 77t Hailey Taylor
Heat 2; 90 Deegan Lelsz, 27t Trevor Twardeski, 55c Connor Chamberlain, 84 Dalton Maust, 29k Kinsley Cook
As green waved on the 15-lap Non Wing 600 Mini Sprints it was Isaiah Garcia getting the lead over Jayton Brown, Raliegh Shepard, Blake Moeller and Brandon Schmautz. Garcia and Brown had a good battle for the lead, but after a couple cautions for spins, Moeller found the high side and shot by both for the top spot. Garcia and Brown continued their fight until Garcia had problems and pitted. Up front it was Moeller(Garden Ridge) cruising to the victory.
Mini Sprints Non-Wing
88 Blake Moeller, 11a Jayton Brown, 72 Alex Karpowicz, 20 Brandon Schmautz, 93 Raliegh Shepard, 10 Patrick Lundy, 17 Isaiah Garcia, 77t Hailey Taylor, 12e Caiden Mitchell, 15p Andrew Van Blarcum---dns
Heat 1; 11a Jayton Brown, 77t Hailey Taylor, 20 Brandon Schmautz, 10 Patrick Lundy, 12e Caiden Mitchell
Heat 2; 17g Isaiah Garcia, 93 Raliegh Sheppard, 88 Blake Moeller, 72 Alex Kapowicz, 15p Andrew Van Blarcum
Johnson Joins First Time Winners Club
The always wild 20-lap Factory Stock feature didn't disappoint. As green waved on the 22-car field it was Dakota Hurley to turn 1 first, but all hell broke loose on the back stretch. Allen Alexander took a ride going up on his side, pirouetting, then landing back on all fours. Several others were caught up in the melee, but only Cameron Starry was unable to continue.
After a the red flag and clean up, it was Da. Hurley again with the lead on green with Johnny Johnson, Eric Ramos, GW Hessong(with his hood up) and George Egbert on his tail. Johnson began to take looks low on Da. Hurley when Alexanders night got worse, as if it that was possible, ending up in the front stretch wall.
As green waved again it was Da. Hurley, Johnson and Hessong pulling away from Ramos and Cameron Dinsmore. Johnson then put the heat on Da. Hurley again going around the outside to grab the top spot on lap 7. A lap later Dustin Hurley spun and collected Steven Doty in turn 2 for a caution that had officials cut the race 15-lap on time limit.
So the restart, at halfway, showed Johnson, Hessong, Da. Hurley, Ramos and Dinsmore in the top five. Johnson and Hessong got a good jump on green with Hessong looking low in turns 2 and 4. Egbert was able to get fifth from Dinsmore and pick up two more spots getting by Ramos while Da. Hurley pulled off with two to go.
Up front Hessong was still looking for an opening on Johnson as the white flag was shown. Hessong gave it the ol' college try on the final circuit but came up short as the veteran Johnson(McAllen) in his Valley Grass Farms, Bobby Maupin powered “unknown” Chassis took his first ever I-37 victory.
“It was a whole lot of work,” commented Johnson. “We've been working on this car that originally started out to be my sons car. I wanted to get him into racing. We started the project in August(2020) and the first race was in December and it's just been work, work, work, and here we are.”
“To be honest I'm not really that familiar with the guys racing here so that's probably a good thing. So whomever I'm racing around doesn't make me anymore nervous than I already am. I never saw GW(Hessong) but I felt him pushing me down the straightaway several times.”
“I raced in McAllen at Rio Grande Speedway, starting out in Hobby Stocks then moving up to a Modified. I started when I was 18 then got out of racing for over ten years, now I'm back. I have to thank my son for all the hard work he puts in helping me get this car built and my wife Jamie.”
All in Design Factory Stocks
13 Johnny Johnson, 747 GW Hessong, 717 George Egbert, 21r Eric Ramos, 8c Cameron Dinsmore, 30 Memphis Villareal, 25 Nathan Rachui, 38 Josh Sewell, 28 Collin Hodges, 29 Jose Lopez jr., 20 Mike Lyon, 48 Mike Land, 27t Curtis Twardeski, 56 Kenny Hurley, 98 William Saunders, 4d Dustin Hurley, 44k Michael Keylich, 40 Dakota Hurley, 999 Steven Doty, 99d Dillon Gaither, 99 Allen Alexander, 741 Cameron Starry
Factory Stock B-main(Top 5 to A)
B-main 1; 29 Jose Lopez jr., 38 Josh Sewell, 48 Mike Land, 56 Kenny Hurley, 98 William Saunders, 34h Hunter Peterson, 36 George Quintanilla, 10 Scott Jerkins, 18 Kyle Kirland
B-main 2; 30 Memphis Villareal, 28 Collin Hodges, 44k Michael Keylich, 999 Steven Doty, 27t Curtis Twardeski, 23k Kasey Krauss, 93 Aaron Leddy, 20r Ricky Long---bf(rough driving)
Factory Stock heats
Heat 1; 21r Eric Ramos, 717 George Egbert, 99d Dillon Gaither, 29 Jose Lopez, 98 William Saunders, 10 Scott Jerkins, 36 George Quintanilla, 34h Hunter Peterson
Heat 2; 40 Dakota Hurley, 25r Nathan Rachui, 8c Cameron Dinsmore, 93 Aaron Leddy, 20 Ricky Long jr, 999 Steven Doty, 30 Memphis Villareal—bf(rough driving)
Heat 3; 747 GW Hessong, 99 Allen Alexander, 741 Cameron Starry, 38 Josh Sewell, 48 Mike Land, 56 Kenny Hurley, 189 Kyle Kirkland
Heat 4; 13 Johnny Johnson, 4d Dustin Hurley, 20 Mike Lyon, 23k Kasey Krauss, 28 Colin Hodges, 44k Michael Keylich, 27t Curtis Twardeski
Schneider Snatches First “B” Factory Stock Feature
The start of the “B” Factory stock feature saw a guy more adept on asphalt(circle and drag), Brian Schneider grab the early lead followed by Robert Keylich, Ronnie Sparks, Kenny Wright and John Hernandez. Joe Johnson made an early move getting by Hernandez for fifth bringing Brian Harbison along, as Schneider crept ahead.
Keylich spun from second leaving Schneider, Sparks, Wright, Harbison and Johnson in the top five at halfway. As Schneider built a big lead Harbison used lapped traffic as a pick to get by Wright and Sparks for second. Schneider, in a different zip code, easily took the checkers in the Schneider Solar Screens, Kenny Hurley Race Car.
B Factory Stocks
56 Brian Schneider, 92 Brian Harbison, 68 Kenny Wright, 22 Ronnie Sparks, 63j Joe Johnson, 6p John Hernandez, 95 Charles Oebel, 55c George Clark, 92 Robert Keylich, 18r Chris Vincent, 75 Jerry Miller, 13 Jett Johnson---dns
B Factory Stock heats
Heat 1; 56 Brian Schnieder, 22 Ronnie Sparks, 68 Kenny Wright, 6p John Hernandez, 75 Jerry Miller, 13 Jett Johnson, 55c George Clark
Heat 2; 92r Robert Keylich, 15 Daniel Lopez, 63j Joe Johnson, 92 Brian Harbison, 18r Chris Vincent, 95 Charles Oebel
As the Sport Compact 20-lap feature took the green it was Dylan Kowalik off turn 2 first for the lead with Ryan McDonald, Brandon McCall, Roy Easler and Jamie Garner in pursuit. It was three wide for the lead with McDonald getting the point on lap 2. Ronnie Schoenfeldt got by Garner and Easler for fourth.
McCall and Kowalik ran door to door for second giving Schoenfeldt the opportunity to close in on lap 8. At the midway point McDonald had a big lead over McCall, Kowalik, Schoenfeldt and Easler in the top five. Kowalik and McCall sandwiched John Thomas as they kept the fight for second going.
Kowalik's top 3 run ended when he coasted to a stop on lap 13 for a caution. McDonald got ahead on green as McCall and Easler stayed side by side for second. Garner snuck up on both and went three wide to take second, but McDonald had checked out on his way to the checkers in his PRG Realty, Texas Task Force, 181 Paving, Buggy Warehouse, 2004 Chevy Cavalier.
“I just went to the bottom and it felt good,” said McDonald. “So I went for it and it worked out. This is the same set up since the last race, I haven't touched a thing. Don't mess with it if it isn't broken.”
“I wasn't too concerned with that caution. I just stuck to the bottom and it's hard to get around anyone. I think the heat race the track was better than the feature. It was tacky in the heat and got way rougher in the feature.”
816 Ryan McDonald, 33 Jamie Garner, 14 Brandon McCall, 12 Roy Easler jr., 88 Justin Sitterle, 11j Josh Jones, 55 Ryker Hernandez, 14t Shaun Tracy, 007 Aaron Driscoll, 9t John Thomas, 35 Darrel Jones, 28 Levi Hernandez, 29k Dylan Kowalik, 8 Ronnie Schoefeldt, 81 Michael Burris jr., 43 Jennifer Kidd, 32 Joshua Garcia
Sport Compact heats
Heat 1; 29k Dylan Kowalik, 816 Ryan McDonald, 33 Jamie Garner, 81 Michael Burris, 11j Josh Jones, 55 Ryker Hernandez, 14t Shaun Tracy, 9t John Thomas, 35 Darrel Jones
Heat 2; 14 Brandon McCall, 12 Roy Easler jr., 32 Joshua Garcia, 88 Justin Sitterle, 8 Ronnie Schoenfeldt, 007 Aaron Driscoll, 43 Jennifer Kidd, 28 Levi Hernandez
Russ Parker Construction Go-Karts
Senior Division; Peyton Jones, Maddox Jennings, Cody Clegg, Connor Holt, Rebecca Van Blarcum, Zoey Flores
Junior Division; Sargisson Easton, James Howze, Blaine Markgraf, Jude Allgayer, Beau Payton, Gabriel Solis
Youth Division; Kaden Pacheco, Cannon Groth, Cheston Markgraf, Tucker Kempe, Wesley Howze, Ryder Welker