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Aramendia Sweeps at SAS, 9/9/06

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For Immediate Release – September 10, 2006

Contact: Nick Holt, USRA Media Director

(210) 690-8564 (office)

(210) 415-1251 (cell)



Aramendia Sweeps NASCAR Late Model “Twin 25s” at San Antonio Speedway


San Antonio, TX (September 10, 2006) - A good “Allstate Night at the Races” crowd was on hand at San Antonio Speedway Saturday night to watch NASCAR Late Model driver Joe Aramendia sweep both Late Model 25-lap “Twin 25” features at the half-mile, paved oval just south of San Antonio.


But Aramendia’s twin wins did not come without controversy.


Aramendia dominated the first half of the stock car racing season to the extent that the SAS track manager offered a “bounty” of several hundred dollars to anyone who could beat him “fair and square.” Defending NASCAR LM champion Robert Barker was the one who finally pocketed the bounty money and was off on a three-race win streak of his own.


Due to his recent successes, Barker only trailed points leader Aramendia by 38 markers (632 to 594) going into the night’s action.


The pair timed within one hundredth of a second of each other, with Aramendia clicking off a 19.01-second run while Barker timed in at 19.02 seconds. Due to the inversion draw, Barker would start third and Aramendia sixth and the stage was set for some on-track drama between the arch rivals.


A much improved Todd Farris and multi-time champion Larry Bendele started on the front row with Barker and former LM champion Donnie Horelka holding down row two.


At the green, Farris and Bendele raced side by side for a lap with Barker poised to make a move for the lead while Aramendia got by his teammate and Horelka for fourth. And it wasn’t long before Barker had worked his way past Bendele for second with Aramendia following him through.


A lap later Barker squeezed his nose under Farris and the pair raced door-to-door for a lap before Barker finally make the pass stick on the fourth circuit. A lap later Aramendia did the same and the two rivals found themselves nose-to-tail, fighting for the lead.


Over the next few laps Aramendia kept the race fans on the edge of their seats as he made repeated attempts to find a way by. Every time it looked like Aramendia might get his nose under the leader, the door would close.


The inevitable happened on the twelfth lap, but exactly what happened depends on who you talk to. The facts are that the pair made heavy contact between turns one and two with Barker spinning out and slamming the wall. Barker’s car was heavily damaged and unable to continue. Aramendia was able to drive to the pits where his crew checked for damage and sent him back to rejoin the race at the end of the lead lap. But who did what to whom is in dispute.


“I gave Joe room but I guess his car must have slipped up into me,” a frustrated Barker said after the race. “I’ve always raced Joe clean and all last year he raced me clean too. I thought I had given him room to race, but I guess he didn’t think so.”


Aramendia had a different take.


“I am not a dirty driver,” Aramendia said. “I know (the Barker team) is upset with me, but it was really a 50-50 deal. He had the lead and we both wanted it. It was just hard racing with neither one of us willing to give the other guy anything. The Barkers do a great job and, to tell you the truth, I would be pulling for those guys to win the championship if I wasn’t running for it.”


After the dust settled, Farris found himself on the point with Moczygemba, Bendele, Horelka, Henry Guerra, Donald Pogue and Aramendia all on the lead lap.


At the restart Farris got a good jump, but Moczygemba was able to get by a lap later to take the lead with Bendele assuming his position on Farris’s bumper as the pair diced for second. Unfortunately, Bendele and Farris made contact going into turn three with Farris spinning into the boiler-plate wall to end his night.


Bendele was able to continue.


“I’m not going to say anything bad about Larry,” Farris said looking at his wrecked car after the race. “Larry knows what he’s doing out here and proven it many times over. It was just a ‘racing thing’.”


“I was up to his door,” Bendele said. “I guess he didn’t get the word from his spotter.”


Before the wreck Aramendia had worked his way up to third and was ready for a ten-lap dash to the checkered flag once the race resumed. Aramendia made quick work of Horelka and was soon knocking on Moczygemba’s bumper for the lead. The teammates gave the crowd a good show as they raced side-by-side for a couple of laps, but with seven laps remaining Moczygemba slip up a bit and Aramendia motored by.


Aramendia then stretched out a comfortable lead and won by a 2.25-second margin.


Moczygemba held on for second, Horelka finished third, followed by Bendele and Pogue who rounded out the top five.


The second 25-lapper was no contest as Aramendia assumed command early and led all but the first two laps. Barker gave it his best shot in his backup car, but didn’t have the muscle to give Aramendia a decent run for the money.


The caution-free race saw Barker finish second, Horelka third, Moczygemba fourth and Bendele fifth, the only cars on the lead lap.


In one of the most competitive races of the evening, rookie Chad Menard took his Sportsman Camaro to victory circle in the SAS Sportsman 25-lap main event after a race-long battle with Mark Mathias, Keith Garrett, Craig Crawley, Tator Mason and Eric Knudtson.


Knudtson, who battled a loose race car all evening, ended up in the wall on lap 22 after he and another car made contact going into turn three. Tom Casey was unable to avoid the wreck and piled into Knudtson up against the wall. Both drivers were OK, but their cars did not fare so well.


Menard took the checkered flag less than a car length in front of Mathias. Garrett, Mason and Crowley rounded out the top five.


The Allison Legacy series 30-lap event was competitive for most of the race, but in the end Jeff Weir out-horsepowered the field to win going away.


USRA Modified regular Trey Mitchell, driving the John Riley car, got a good jump at the start and led the first lap, but Weir easily motored by and looked like a sure winner until he got caught up in lapped traffic just before the half-way point. Mitchell and James Lee took advantage of the situation and gunned by Weir who was hung out on the outside behind a couple of slower cars.


Mitchell’s lead didn’t last long, however, as Lee had more momentum built up and edged past for the lead.


Weir, having recovered from his momentary hang up, was steadily closing back in on Lee and Mitchell when Mitchell suddenly spun in turn four to bring out the only caution of the 30-lap event.


On the restart, Lee got a good jump but Weir quickly caught up and a lap later was positioned under Lee at the pair sped into turn three. They were side-by-side coming off turn four with Weir on the inside and Lee on the outside trying to close the door. There was some contact between the two as they sped down the front straight, but once again Weir’s superior horsepower prevailed.


Some of the most entertaining racing of the evening took place behind Weir as Lee, 12 year-old Dillon Spreen and teenager Levi Krauss battled for position in a tight little group for the last 10 laps.


At the finish it was Weir by five or six car-lengths over Lee, Spreen, and teenagers Jake Kruger, Krauss and Trey Mitchell.


In the supporting events, Paul Lipp made it look easy in the 20-lap Road Runner event while Thunder Hill Raceway Grand Stock champion Bryon Reed passed his father, Floyd Reed, with just a few laps remaining for the win in the 15-lap Grand Stock race.


San Antonio Speedway “Allstate Night at the Races” Results, 9/9/06


NASCAR Late Model 1st 25-lap Feature


Position, Car Number, Name, Hometown, Qualifying Time, Laps Completed


1. (79) Joe Aramendia, San Antonio, 19.01, 25 laps

2. (50) Brian Moczygemba, San Antonio, 19.34, 25

3. (41) Donnie Horelka, Jourdanton, 19.56, 25

4. (23) Larry Bendele, Adkins, 19.65, 25

5. (16) Donald Pogue, Jourdanton, 20.27, 25

6. (55) Henry Guerra, San Antonio, DNT, 17

7. (96) Todd Farris, College Station, 19.56, 14

8. (17) Robert Barker, Boerne, 19.02, 11

9. (117) Eric Knudtson, Boerne, DNT, 3

10. (15) Randy Lee, Corpus Christi, DNT, DNS

11. (3) Mike Reininger, San Antonio, DNT, DNS


Lap Leaders: Farris led 1-3; Barker led 4-11; Farris led 12; Moczygemba led 13-18; Aramendia led 19-25



NASCAR Late Model 2nd 25-lap Feature


1. (79) Joe Aramendia, San Antonio, 25 laps

2. (17) Robert Barker, Boerne, 25

3. (41) Donnie Horelka, Jourdanton, 25

4. (50) Brian Moczygemba, San Antonio, 25

5. (23) Larry Bendele, Adkins, 25

6. (16) Donald Pogue, Jourdanton, 24

7. (55) Henry Guerra, San Antonio, 2

8. (96) Todd Farris, College Station, DNS

9. (15) Randy Lee, Corpus Christi, DNS

10. (3) Mike Reininger, San Antonio, DNS

11. (117) Eric Knudtson, Boerne, DNS


Lap Leaders: Bendele led 1-2; Aramendia led 3-25



NASCAR Sportsman 25-lap Feature


1. (5) Chad Menard, Castroville, 25 laps

2. (20) Mark Mathias, San Antonio, 25

3. (31) Keith Garrett, New Braunfels, 25

4. (12) Tater Mason, San Antonio, 25

5. (6) Craig Crawley, San Antonio, 25

6. (93) Aaron Leddy, Von Ormy, 25

7. (4) Billy Burkett, San Antonio, 25

8. (82) Dwayne Markgraf, Adkins, 25

9. (27) Eric Knudtson, Boerne, 21

10. (15) Tom Casey, San Antonio, 21

11. (80) Allen Alexander, San Antonio, 18

12. (29) Jamie Evans, Cuero, 13


Lap Leaders: Crawley led 1-10; Menard led 11-25



Road Runner 20-lap Feature


1. (83) Paul Lipp, San Antonio, 20 laps

2. (18) Richard Curtis, Devine, 20

3. (19) Mona Turner, San Antonio, 20

4. (42) J.R. Eichelberger III, San Antonio, 20

5. (12) Jody Wayne Stuart, San Antonio, 20

6. (81) Jay Mzarek, San Antonio, 20

7. (3) Mark Shear, San Antonio, 19

8. (58) Larry Reeves, San Antonio, 18

9. (92) Steven Stanley, San Antonio, 18

10. (05) Chris Foster, San Antonio, 15

11. (5) Gary May, Natalia, DNS


Lap Leaders: Eichelberger led 1; Curtis led 2-7; Lipp led 8-20



Grand Stock 15-lap Feature


1. (83) Bryon Reed, Kyle, 15 laps

2. (65) Floyd Reed, Kyle, 15

3. (48) Steve Dalrymple, San Antonio, 15

4. (11) Missy Jones, San Antonio, 15

5. (4) Shane O'Leary, San Antonio, 15

6. (7) Michael Fitch, Buda, 14

7. (1) Bobby Evans, Moore, 10


Lap Leaders: Dalrymple led 1-5; Floyd Reed led 6-9; Bryon Reed led 10-15



Allison Legacy 30-lap Feature


Position, Car Number, Hometown, Qualifying Time, Laps Completed


1. (11) Jeff Weir, Katy, 22.16, 30 laps

2. (44) James Lee, Corpus Christi, 23.05, 30

3. (81) Dillon Spreen, 22.46, Boerne, 30

4. (32) Levi Krauss, Seguin, 22.77, 20

5. (71) Jake Kruger, Bastrop, 23.63, 20

6. (69) Trey Mitchell, Wimberley, 22.65, 30

7. (14) Tom Harwell, San Antonio, 23.43, 30

8. (72) Adren Vikre, San Marcos, 23.28, 30

9. (24) Kris Kerr, San Antonio, 23.85, 29

10. (17) Troy Cotroll, Corpus Christi, DNT, 28

11. (6) Jason Hollander, Cedar Park, 25.09, 28

12. (3) Danny Howie, San Antonio, 25.41, 14


Lap Leaders: Mitchell led 1; Weir led 2-11; Lee led 12-19; Weir led 20-30



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