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Texana season Opener and Aaron Hudgeons Benefit


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Texana Raceway Park Sets Sights on Opening Night, March 28th

by: Monty Chamberlain

 

To most people, the generally cooler months between October to February mean a little hibernation and staying indoors more than usual. But, for dirt track racers across the country, that same five month period is a short window of opportunity to perform all of the off season maintenance on their cars or build new cars to be debuted at one of the tracks across the country.

 

While the racers are working on their cars for the 2009 season, the work is being wrapped up for another year of enjoyment of America’s largest spectator sport (automobile racing) at Texana Raceway Park in Edna. Texana Raceway Park is Jackson County’s largest regularly attended event, drawing in racers and fans from across the gulf coast and central region of Texas. On Saturday nights from March – September when it is race night, the little town of Edna comes alive and gets a shot of stimulus money from the more than 1,500 total visitors to the city (racers, teams and fans) who make purchases from stores and restaurants enroute to or departing from the well know dirt jewel of Texana Raceway Park.

 

This year’s opening night at Texana Raceway Park on March 28th will be one for the history books. While the first night of racing is always an exciting night, this year’s first racing event will also serve as a benefit event for a dirt track living legend, Aaron Hudgeons. Hudgeons who was track champion at Texana Raceway Park in 2006 and 2008, as well as a fan voted Favorite Driver in 2006, was recently diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing treatments in his battle against the disease. Hudgeons has numerous victories to his credit, not only at Texana Raceway Park, but at several other tracks as well. According to track owner Bruce Tesch, “When you have a driver that has done as much for our track as Aaron and his family has as well as what he’s done to help many other drivers, it was a given that we’d want to do this benefit for him during this difficult time in his life. Basically, we wanted to give a little to someone who has given a lot of his time and talent to so many others in dirt track racing”.

 

The combined season opener and Aaron Hudgeons Benefit will kick off at 7pm as opposed to normal start time of 7:30. The night will start with opening ceremonies including the Parade of Champions / Salute to the Fans. This has become a tradition at Texana Raceway Park where all of the nights racers bring their cars on the track to salute the fans. Additionally, during the opening ceremonies all of the 2008 class champions, favorite drivers, most improved award winners, and 2008 Rookie of the Year award winner will be recognized. And, then the night rolls into the racing program anticipated to get underway near 7:30.

 

For the Aaron Hudgeon’s Benefit, the track has a number of items planned. First off, the track will make a donation to Hudgeon’s to help offset his medical expenses. Second, the track will be cooking up and selling delicious shrimp plates while they last, thanks to the generous donation by Mr. Bill Pittaway of CD Electric. Every cent of the proceeds from those plates will be donated to the cause. Third, racers will have the opportunity to donate any winnings they receive for the night if the desire. Finally, the track will ask a few interested drivers to head into the general admission stands during intermission to “pass the helmet”, and receive donations from any fans who would like to donate to this cause. “We’re hoping that with all of the things we have planned, we’ll be able to end the night with a notable contribution to Aaron and his family towards his medical expenses” said Tesch.

 

A night that will be somewhat bitter sweet with a dose of reality for everyone as we recognize that cancer doesn’t discriminate against anyone; not even Track Champions. But, at the same time spirits will be high as the teams rally together to help one of their own and everyone will be on queue to provide the dirt track performance that the fans in Edna have come to expect.

 

Don’t miss it, March 28th, 2009. The Texana Raceway Park 2009 Season Opener / Aaron Hudgeons Benefit.

Below is a photo of Aaron's 2008 track champion limited modified which he recently sold to one lucky purchaser. Photo courtesy of Dancer Motorsports Photos / Brenda Dancer

 

Aaron.jpg

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Sounds good... cant wait...still wish the super stocks were allowed to run though...dont get to be a part of the benifit, parade, or any of the festivities for last years awards...dang black sheep...lol At least we get to bring the jr mini...

 

Hey, you can help me throw out some t-shirts and other stuff if you want when we kick off with the "Boys (and girls) are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy over the PA when everyone enters the track .... ;)

 

also, anxious to see the new paint on Tricia's mini......

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The one week countdown to opening night has now officially begun!!!

 

On Saturday the 21st, Texana held it's only playday event having been washed out the previous weekend. And, on this night, one driver took a little money won at the practice and is donating it straight towards the Aaron Hudgeons Benefit a week early. Keep reading.....

 

 

36 teams came through the pit gates ready to dial their rides in. Also, about 75 general admission fans took the opportunity for free entry and watched what turned out to be one of the best ever practice nights from my view point. The teams tested the new raceceivers, which will be used for the Texana Classic Dwarfs, Bombers, Limiteds and Mods. As a driver, it saved my bacon during one of the practice sessions being warned of a spun car in the turn I was heading into... During the early evening drivers meeting, owner Bruce Tesch announced that he woud put up $50 for the Dwarf class, $50 for the Bombers, $20 for the minis, and $50 for the trucks to run a mini 10 lap feature for each class, at about 9pm. The four classes were chosen due to the car counts in their groups. Any car could enter, but each driver entered the track could pay $5 as they entered to make them eligible. So,,,,,, it was Bruce's money added with the $5 from each driver entering and it would be a winner take all for each group. Turned out to be real fun.

 

First out were the mini stocks. Five teenagers took the green for their mini-mini feature with Lauren Chamberlain moving to the #1 position coming out of turn 1&2. Throughout the mini-mini feature Zach Tesch and Jason Bloom gave chase to Lauren. She drove a consistent line throughout the race and the gentlemen stayed close, but could never pull off a pass. Lauren was first to the checkers and collected $45.

 

Next up were the Texana Classic Dwarf Cars. I didn't get to watch the race, but did note that Frank Fruia won and collected the cash on hand.

 

The Bombers were next. 10 cars decided to enter the bomber mini feature. A good looking group of cars with some good fast ones in the front. After some passing and sorting out, the top four cars were nose to tail (literally, it felt like we were bumper to bumper) for the last 3 or four laps. Coming across the checkers first it was Adam Perks, Nick Moore, Chris Shafer, and Monty Chamberlain, with the remainder of the field not too far behind. Adam's wife Janet collected the $100 cash and decided it would be donated directly towards the Aaron Hudgeon's Benefit. Now, that is impressive!!!!! Thank you Perks family for thinking of this. The competition in this class is going to be good this year. Looks to be some close running.

 

I also missed the Hot Stock Trucks, but noted that Justin Bloom took the win and the $.

Jeff Nix had his modified as did Frank Fruia doing double duty. Both of the mods were looking fast. Doug Schmidt and Mike Christians along with several other Classic Dwarf drivers were on hand, and a host of others.

 

The track was really fast tonight. Opening night should be one for the history books.

 

Now, let's start sounding off on here.....Who all will be there for Aaron next Saturday the 28th for the season opener?

 

 

-Monty

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I forgot to remind everyone...... Staff from Lone Star Speedzone is planning to be at Texana Raceway Park on the 28th for this one. They'll be capturing footage, and doing some interviews. Could be your chance for fame!

 

-Monty

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THAT WOULD BE GOOD I SEE NICK IS OUT AND ABOUT NOW MAYBE U COULD GET A HECK OF A STORY WITH HIM AND REB

 

Hey, good idea! How about a write-off between Nick and Reb. Whatta you say Reb. Can you make it down for this one? Maybe sweet talk Greg (or Candace) into letting you ride in the trailer...

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I hope TRP and Aaron can have a good showing for this race....if all the people the Hudgens family has helped out show up the place will be packed...i plan on going

 

Hey, that's great to hear Johnny. Anxious to see that new mod. See you Saturday!

 

-Monty

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Calls started rolling in today for this weekend's event. Should be a good weekend for some dirt track racing at Texana Raceway Park

 

We did want to post one thing for clarity based on a couple questions we've received. There is no requirement or expectation on the part of Texana Raceway Park that drivers contribute what they win to the benefit. It is entirely up to each individual person as to whether they donate some, all, or none of their race earnings. Each persons situation is different, times are hard right now, and it is a personal choice. We will have a box to receive any funds donated back, and we will run a total at the end of the night to count up all of the sources (driver contributions, shrimp plate sales, pass the helmet proceeds, and the track's donation) so that we can share that information with everyone. Quite frankly, one thing that cannot be meausured in monetary value (but is very valuable in the overall scheme of life) is the support Aaron will feel from his fellow racrers simply from attending.

 

Also, for those who purchase the Victoria Advocate, watch for an article on Thursday in the sports section. Also, the Jackson County Herald should have an article that was published in Wednesday's run.

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Monty, I was planning on coming down from day one of the pre-season announcement....

 

There's usually enough room in Greg's truck......fortunately I don't mind a dog on my lap for three 3 hours. :lol:

 

I'll tell ya more later :angry:

REB U KNOW MY DOGS THINK OF U AS FAMILY { "THERES"{ AND REB IF UR RIDING WITH US WE MIGHT SPEND PART OF SUNDAY AROUND EDNA BUT UR MORE THAN WELCOME ;)

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Ok race fans of all ages.... We are ready to get things going for the opener / benefit.

 

We received 1/2" of rain on Thursday afternoon with the stoms that built up. So, we don't need any more rain, but we are ok to go as of this writing. The bulk of Thursday's storms ramped up in intensity just east of Edna with some areas east of Edna all the way to Houston getting up to 4" of much needed rain on Thursday.

 

If anything should go haywire with weather this evening or overnight, we will post on this site and the Texana homepage by 10 am in the morning. No post means no problems, and all systems are go

 

According to forecasts it will be cool and clear on Saturday heading into the evening. Bring a jacket. Should be some fast running with the cool weather on hand.

 

Draw ends at 6pm. Drivers meeting at 6pm. Opening ceremonies scheduled at 7pm, with racing to follow immediately after. Hope to see a lot of racers out in support Aaron. The Victoria Advocate did a great job with an article on the front page of their sports section on Thursday, which had a huge picture of Aaron's car from last year. Here's a link if you want to view what was published in the paper. http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/topsports/story/438902.html

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