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Live updates from Houston Motorsports Park, 11/3/07


NickHolt

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A beautiful evening for racing at beautiful Houston Motorsports Park. Not too hot. Not too cool. Just right.

 

ASA Pro LM qualifying up first for the 12 Pro LMs that showed up for the "MDA Race for a Cure" night.

 

Jason Young set fast time (14.511) followed by Kyle Sirizzotti (14.538) and Ralph Burris Jr. (14.785).

 

Looks like a barnburner in store for the Pro LMs tonight.

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Ten Pro Modifieds went under the clock.

 

Tuffy Hudson set fast time with a 14.716 followed by Joe Aramendia (driving a Ray DeLaHousaye machine) at 14.859 and Jerry Schild at 14.894. Schild was driving a brand new modified - first time out.

 

Only three Pro Trucks showed up. No time trials for them.

 

 

 

The trucks ran a 20-lap "Exhibition." Bubba Shelton jumped out early leaving T.J. Hull and Brent Bell to fight for second early.

 

Bell made the pass on lap three and soon was on Hull's rear bumper. The three trucks stayed pretty much together for the first half with Bell looking inside and outside almost every lap.

 

On lap 11 Bell made a big charge down the front straight and got his nose under Hull going into the first turn. Bell got way loose and almost lost it in turn two, but all made it through OK.

 

They all stayed nose to tail for the rest of the race with Bell easily able to fend off Hull and Shelton.

 

Not a bad exhibition at all. Actually kind of exciting when Bell almost lost it going for the lead.

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Six Legacys made up the grid for their 50-lapper.

 

Jack Murray on the pole with Jack Kelly on the outside pole. Kelly jumped out early, but Sammy May took him on the inside on the second lap. Shawn Cannon was easily able to keep up with the leaders as was Charles Evans, Jr.

 

Kelly retook the lead on lap six with a good inside move coming through turn 3-4.

 

The top four pulled away in a tight pack and it was Kelly, Cannon, May and Evans nose to tail with 10 laps in the books.

 

On lap 13 Cannon made a strong move on Kelly and took over the lead. A lap or two later, Evans passed Kelly to take over second. The top four still nose to tail in a tight little pack.

 

On the 24th lap, Cody Kelly spun coming off turn four to bring out the first caution of the night.

 

At the restart it was Cannon, Evans, Jack Kelly, May, Jack Murray and Cody Kelly. A few laps later May started to fade a bit as the top three slowly pulled away.

 

On lap 31 Cody Kelly spun again coming off the fourth turn - almost a twin to his earlier spin - to bring out yellow number two. Cody Kelly DQ'd for bringing out two yellows.

 

No change up front as the race resumed.

 

With 13 to go, Evans got to the inside of Cannon and the pair made solid contact going down the front straight which continued as the pair raced into the first turn with Evans spinning in turn 2. Cannon sent to the rear for the contact by race officials.

 

At the restart Evans and Kelly squared off but Evans was able to stem the challenge. Meanwhile Cannon had worked his way to third and set sail for the leaders.

 

With four to go, May spun solo down the back stretch to bring out the yellow setting up a four-lap dash for the checkered.

 

With one to go, Cannon got by Kelly for second as Evans took the Checkered. With his third place finish Jack Kelly won the Legacy track championship over Sammy May who finished fourth.

 

May not have been too many cars, but it was a pretty good show anyway.

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Eleven Pro Stocks took the green for their 50-lap feature.

 

Carl Valentine started on the pole with Richard Wayne Smith outside.

 

Jody Wayne Stuart started 10th.

 

Valentine was out first with Arthur Hermiz making huge ground on the outside. passin several cars on the first lap. By lap three, Hermiz took the lead from Valentine still using the outside line. Meanwhile Del Harris was picking off cars and by lap 6 was in second, about half a straight behind Hermiz. Back in the pack, Janette Huff and James Huff we teamed up and gunning for Valentine who was in third, but fading.

 

Up front, Harris made up time on Hermiz with every lap and by lap 15 had the leader in his sights. But about the time it looked like Hermiz might be in for a battle, Hermiz got back on the gas and was able to maintain a several car-length lead.

 

Jody Wayne, obviously out-horsepowered, was battling for 8th with Ron Walters.

 

As the leaders encountered lapped traffic, Hermiz picked up a bit more distance over Harris. At halfway it was Hermiz, Harris, James Huff, Valentine and Janette Huff.

 

On lap 30 the engine on Smith's machine let go down the front straight to bring out a yellow to check the track for oil.

 

On the restart it was Hermiz, Harris, James Huff, Valentine and Janette Huff. But before a lap was completed, Janette Huff spun in turn 3-4 to bring out another caution.

 

Stuart, despite his lack of HP, was in sixth with 20 to go.

 

Hermiz, Harris and Huff took off at the drop of the green and separated themselves from the pack.

 

Another caution few with 16 to go for a spin by Ron Walters in turn 1-2. As near as I can tell, the front four were the only cars on the lead lap as the green waved.

 

Hermiz and Harris, with Huff back a few car lengths, took off once again and with 10 to go the top three were in a tight little group. Stuart pulleds in with smoke coming from the car and his passenger door almost completely off after an altercation with the front straight wall.

 

With four to go, Richard Clark spun in turn 3-4 to bring out the caution once again. Should be a good shootout for the win.

 

Harris took a look on the inside with three to go, but Hermiz shut the door. On the white flag lap, Hermiz almost spun out coming off turn four allowing Harris to get beside him down the front straight. The pair raced side by side for the last lap with Hermiz winning by a nose over Harris. James Huff almost took them both, but had to settle for third. Ty Daniel finished fourth with Valentine coming home in fifth.

 

[on edit] I understand that with his second place finish, Del Harris earned the 2007 Pro Stock championship.

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It's intermission with the Pro LMs on the front straight signing autograpahs. Lots of kids running around looking for autographs.

 

This 75-lap ASA Pro Late Model event will feature a "heads up" start for the 12-car grid with fast qualifier, Jason Young, on the pole and Kyle Sirizzotti to his outside. Ralph Burris and Brandon Kelley in row two, T.Wade Welch and Thad Felton in row three, Carl Smith and Bernie Warriner, Jr. in row four, Larry Schild, III and Kristen Bumbera in row five, Johnny Walker and Kent Baltzel in row six.

 

After five "hot laps" under green and yellow, the field took the green as fireworks exploded overhead.

 

Young got the jump from the pole with Sirizzotti and Burris falling into line as Kelley dropped back a few car lengths.

 

Sirizzotti gave Young a good tap in turn 2 on the sixth lap and clearly had the faster car - at least at this point.

The rest of the field started to string out by lap 10 while the two leaders raced nose to tail. Burris was still in third, but a quarter-lap behind at lap 15. Kelley, Felton Bumbera and Smith were about a half lap back.

 

No real passing so far as the race stayed green at Lap 20. Kelley starting to get loose coming off the turns and Smith slows dramatically and pulls off.

 

At lap 25 it's still the same story with Young and Sirizzotti starting to lap the field. Young has trouble getting around T. Wade but gets by after Welch gets loose coming off turn 2. Sirizotti followed him through.

 

Warrnier was the next to go a lap down along with Kent Baltzel with 43 remaining. All green so far.

 

Young and Sirizzotti now have half a lap on Burris who in turn as half a straight on Bumbera.

 

It was pretty obvious that Sirizzotti had the faster car and he tried to squeeze by Young with 34 laps remaining. But Sirizzotti spun down the front straight solo after making some contact with Young exiting turn 4. Sirizzotti sent to the rear for bringing out the yellow.

 

So, up front with 34 remaining it was Young, separated from the second place car of Ralph Burris Jr by five lapped cars. I thought yellow laps counted, but the scoreboard did not click down during cautions... Maybe they'll fix this before the race is over.

 

Young got a good restart and took off. Bumbera slipped under Burris in turn 1-2 after Burris slid up high in one and two trying to avoid cars in front of him. So it was Young, Bumbera, Burris, Felton Kelley and Sirizzotti with 17 to go.. And it appears that the missing laps have been removed - all in a bunch.

 

With 15 to go, Felton ended up in the turn 2 wall after a smokey spin to bring out the caution yet again.

 

Young and Bumbera were now nose to tail as the green flew with 10 to go with Burris in third followed by Sirizzotti.

 

Sirizzotti tried the outside going into turn one as the green came out, but Burris was having none of that and the pair made solid contact going into turn 3 with Sirizzotti spinning up the track. Caution flew once again with 9 to go.

 

They lined up with Young, Bumbera, Sirizzotti, Kelley with Burris to the rear of the lead lap in sixth.

 

Young jumped out again while Sirizzotti gave Bumbera all she could handle for the next couple of laps. Sirizzotti and Bumbera spun simultaneously in turn 1-2 after Sirizzotti tried to squeeze underneath Bumbera with five to go to bring out another yellow.

 

On the restart it was Young, Sirizzotti, Felton and Kelley with Bumbera sent to the rear of the lead lap for bringing out the latest caution.

 

Young and Sirizzotti jumped out and opened a gap over the field. Sirizzotti seemed to be having handling problems and dropped back a few car lengths. Young cruised on to take the win just as Bumbera crashed hard into the back straight wall. Not too sure how she ended up there, but she was able to walk away from the wreck despite significant damage to her ride.

 

Sirizzotti was in the middle of all the action all night and clearly had the fastest car until the last few laps.

 

Felton was third, Kelley fourth and Burris unofficially fifth.

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10 modifieds lined up for their 60-lap feature.

 

This was a heads up start with Tuffy Hudson on the pole and Joe Aramendia outside. 2nd row was Jerry Schild and Ralph Burris, Jr. Tryan Stutes and Randy Anderson in row 3. Shane Richard and Hanna Baker made up row 4. Larry Hughes and Graham Baker brought up the rear.

 

Hudson was out front first with Aramendia and Schild and Burris falling into line. The leaders strung out a bit early on with the top five cars evenly spaced about four or five car lengths apart. By lap 10 Burris had dropped back a bit with Stutes closing in on him. Then a big gap back to the rest of the field.

 

By lap 12 the leaders encountered lapped traffic, but lots of room given to the leaders.

 

Somewhere over the last lap or two Aramendia lost a spot to Schild. Missed that one...

 

Debris in turn one brought out the first yellow on lap 15.

 

Hudson, Schild, Aramendia, Burris and Stutes take the green with 39 to go. Hudson was able to get a few car lengths on Schild who had Aramendia on his bumper - Burris back a car length and a growing gap to Stutes.

 

On lap 29 Schild waved Aramendia by as he started to loose the handle. Aramendia then set off to chase down Hudson who looked to be on rails out there. In fact, Hudson increased his lead as the laps click down. Back in the pack it was pretty much single file.

 

With 20 to go, Graham Baker spun solo down the front straight to bring out the second yellow. A short cleanup with the blower followed.

 

This, of course, bunched up the field with Hudson, Aramendia, Schild, Burris and Stutes nose-to-tail as the green waved with 11 laps to go.

 

Hudson once again got a good jump and put a couple of car lengths on Aramendia and Schild who was continuing to battle handling problems but was fast enough to hold off Burris.

 

With seven to go Randy Anderson and Hannah Baker got into the back straight wall after something broke on Anderson's Modified. Baker was able to drive back to the pits, but Anderson ended up on the hook. Lots of clean up took place at the entrance of turn four.

 

Only six cars remained for the restart. Hudson, Aramendia, Schild, Burris, Stutes, and Shane Richard. All on the lead lap.

 

Hudson was able to hold off a very determined Aramendia who found his ride a bit loose coming off the turns as the laps dwindled down.

 

With two to go Hudson had a good two-car length lead over Aramendia who, in turn, had a 6 car length lead over Schild and Burris. Stutes and Richard rounded out the field.

 

Hudson had them all covered tonight, but Aramendia and Schild made it a show for sure...

 

Races all done by 10:01...

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thanx for the updates

who else from thr made the trip

The only THR Thunder Stock to make the trip was Jody Wayne I believe.

 

Nick

Jason Stanely was also there. He blowed up his motor on Friday though. James and Janette "get in the wall or I'll put you there" Huff, were so awesome to take Jason's car to their shop and try to get one of their motors in it. Apparently it didn't work but for them to even attempt that shows you just what kind of people are racing up in the Houston area. Congrats to Arthur on the win and Del on the Championship. Hope I didn't get in the way too much and I'll be waiting on that appearance fee money. ;)

 

I'd like to thank everyone for their help and tips. Picked up a whole second. Awesome track. Nice people. Very unforgiving wall on the front straight.

 

 

Special thanks as always to My crew chief: B Rocket and my crew : Harley "where the hell's the hotel" Helton, Melinda "MissMindy29" Helton, Greg "There aint nothing we can do about it now, just watch the road" Rohmer and Charles "I'll come at you like a spider monkey" Earnhardt. Also to my adopted crew: David "the grinder" and Jason "the bounce" Stanley and Anthony"the whispy mustache" Gordon. Also to Olivia's Mexican Restaraunt in La Vernia, Texas. Mr. Gus Deleon. You rock.

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Jody just had to make an appearance up in the scoring tower after his "I'll show you guys how to take the entire right side of a race car off" encounter with the wall. He was looking for the TV cameras not doubt....

 

Actually, the HMP Pro Stocks had a LOT more horsepower than Jody's THR Thunder Stock, but Jody had worked his way up to sixth before he "moved over to let Janette Huff pass" and tried to take the front straight wall down single-handedly.

 

After hitting the wall, Jody pitted and the crew tried to get him back out there. You know, usually you see crew guys trying to rip off a fender or part of a door or something. But these guys were attempting to remove the entire right side which was basically hanging on the ground except for a few well-welded spots....

 

Nick

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Nick,on the results page you say "UNOFFICAL RESULTS",what part of UNOFFICAL did the Irate email writer not understand?

I don't think the writer was particularly upset with me, but rather the track. Apparently the writer believes that HMP DQ'd his/her favorite driver(s) as part of some sort of conspiracy to make sure the track's "guy" came out ahead...

 

I'm not too sure why the track would be favoring Brandon Kelley or anybody else for that matter. Tracks just don't go around DQ'ing folks for no good reason.

 

Nick

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HMP officials wanted the top three PLMs to pull their motors so they could be put on a dyno.They made it clear that if the teams failed to do so that they would loose their points and be DQed.The 1st and 2nd place car decided not to do it,The 3rd place car driven by Brandon Kelly pulled his and got the win.The 4th and 5th place car was told to pull theirs because that would put them finishing 2nd and 3rd.

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Kyle lives about four hours from Houston. I do not think I would want to drive back to Houston to get my engine. I would also be pretty nervous about having my engine out of my sight four hours away with who knows what being done with or to it. Does anybody know what they are trying to accomplish by taking the engines to the dyno?

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If the engines are certified and sealed, why do you need to dyno? Seems a little unnecessary to me.

 

I thought the ASA certified builder was required to dyno the engine after a rebuild and submit the results to ASA. Are the Houston technical inspectors questioning the engine certifications? Who was running tech at HMP, Randy or Jack?

 

I don't know, seems very unreasonable to me to be pulling engines for a $300 purse. Add a zero or two and I can understand but not for a whopping 300 bucks. And it’s not like there is any championship money either so what’s the point.

 

Did anyone consider using Bumberas chassis dyno?

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I am neither pro or con on the motor pulling issue. But when you race in a series, you are subject to the rules just like everyone else. The rules are in place for those who find a way around the "seals". There could be many diferent reasons they chose not to pull their engines...another race in a week, a long drive home, don't trust the people not to mess with something, or they might get caught cheating. Both are great drivers. I hope it was one of the first reasons and they weren't cheating. If they were cheating, they got what they deserve, no money. Either way, the season is over. Good luck next year.

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Everyone knows you can cheat a sealed motor. I am not saying that they did, but the decision was made the morning of the race to pull them. As for a Chassis Dyno, Bumbera doesn't have one anymore, I don't think. And a chassis dyno can vary depending on the rest of the drive train. At least they waited for the end of the season. I am one who believes that harder tech makes for better racing. I have been teched 9 out of 10 times where I had to pull something off my car, but most of the time it was Carbs or rocker arms, or checking seat pressure. Pull my engine for the $150 I win, well, I won alot more than that all season. Jason and Jerry friends of mine and I am not saying they were wrong or right. But I look at tech this way, if you tech hard, you piss one or 2 people off, if you don't, you pissed off the rest of the field and others in other classes for sliding on things.

 

On another note, Jason Young drove an awsome race, Kyle, whom I like also, was way agressive and I think caused more than his share of cautions. That was not like him to drive that way. Anyways, that is my 2 cents worth, and I do expect change back.

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