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Copied from a notebook column written by Mike Haag - San Antonio Express-News (My SA.com)


The San Antonio-based Texas Pro Sedans will launch their 34th consecutive season of racing on Saturday night at Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle.


The race will mark the first of six races scheduled this season for the four-cylinder stock car series at the 3/8-mile track.


The Texas Pro Sedans will be part of a race card that also includes the Pro Trucks, Legends, Bandoleros, ASA A-Line Super Stocks, Grand Stocks, Thunder Stocks, Mini Stocks and NasKarts.


The action beings with time trials at 5:30p.m. and the features races follow.


The Texas Pro Sedans, under the direction of race director and administrator Neil Upchurch, are the oldest stock car series currently running in Texas.


"There is no other racing organization in Texas that has that level of seniority or has lasted that long," Upchurch said. "We are looking forward to starting our 34th consecutive season this weekend."


Upchurch said that in addition to the six races at Thunderhill Raceway, the TPS will also hold four races at Red River Speedway in Wichita Falls on May 23-24 and September 5-6.


"We scheduled the May and September races at Red River as back-to-back dates," Upchurch said. "We did this so we could make two trips and have four races." Upchurch said that back-to-back races were designed to cut down on the driver's expenses of having to make the long trip to North Texas.


"Last year we made three trips and had three separate races," Upchurch said. "The price of gasoline had gotten so high that we when we crafted this year's contract with Red River, we suggest that and they liked the idea."


For the season opener this Saturday, Upchurch said that more than 20 drivers have filed an entry for the 25-lap feature race. If all of the drivers show up for the event, the starting grid will be full of cars.


Headlining the entry list is Sergio Hexsel, a three-time series champion and the defending champion. Hexsel, who won two TPS races in 2008, including the final event of the season at Red River, has changed bodies from his familiar yellow #20 VW Rabbit and will drive a VW GTI this season.


Hexsel will be joined by Mike Merrell of Kingsland, who finished second in the points race in 2008 and Lalo Leal of Corpus Christi, who finished third in the 2008 final rankings. Merrell will be driving his rebuilt his #70 VW Scirocco on the circuit and Leal will return in his familiar #26 Ford Cobra.


In addition, six-time TPS champion Bill LaBarge of Bryan, has filed an entry in his #27 BMW. LaBarge, who finished seventh in points in 2008, won championships in 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2004 and will be aiming for his seventh championship this season.


Other notable drivers who will compete with the series in 2009 include Mike Knotts, Tom Johnson, Bob Sherland, Tory Christopher, Bobby Burrows, Lanny Young, Rick Dawdy, Ozzie Osburn, Bruce Mabrito, Josh Freeman, Doug Osburn, Johnny Guerra, Kevin Hallman and Bryant Dulin.


Knotts, who has been competing with the series since it began 34 years ago, will be driving a new tube-framed VW Scirocco, which he recently purchased in California. Last year he finished fifth in the final standings.


For more information on the Texas Pro Sedans, visit their Web site, TexasProSedans.com.


Mike Haag’s motor sports notebook appears every Friday during the racing season. Email Mike at MTH1234@aol.com. For more information on area motor sports visit Mike’s blog.





Hosted by Dawn Murphy and Mike Haag


Guest - Neil Upchurch, Race & Administrative Director - Texas Pro Sedans


Saturday - April 11 - 9:15am


760am - "The Ticket" in San Antonio

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