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Boerne's Swenson Makes It Four Wins in 2009


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PRESS RELEASE - July 12, 2009


Boerne's Swenson Makes It Four Wins in '09; Pleasanton's Bartosh Gets First of '09; Jourdanton's Jones Tops Street Stocks


Pleasanton, TX (July 15, 2009) – Despite the cool breeze that always blows at I-37 Raceway here, the heat has obviously kept some racers and fans from moving from in front of their easy chairs in the last few weeks. But that means both have missed some of the hottest action of the year.


Boerne's Chris Swenson is on a roll and racked up his fourth I-37 win of 2009 on Friday, July 10, but not without an argument from Lakehills driver Johnny Torres, who is back with a vengeance as he chased Swenson to the flag and took second ahead of San Antonio racer Mark McGahey.


Swenson now has four wins and three second-place finishes in nine races, missing one race while acting as crew chief for one of his customers at a race in Las Vegas. Despite that, he came into last Friday's action only five points behind McGahey in the track championship standings.


Kerrville's Moe VanKirk started the Limited Late Model feature last week with a pocketful of wins and the points lead over Pleasanton's Richard Bartosh, but tangled with another car and cut a tire, putting him two laps down. Howie Marcx also had bad luck as the third-place points driver from Somerset finished just behind VanKirk in sixth, but the season isn't half over and there is a lot of racing to go.


Three of last year's super rookies are battling for the Street Stock title with veterans Eric Knudtson of Boerne and San Antonio hot shoe Tommy Casey, with Jourdanton's Wade Jones holding the points lead nearing the halfway point of his second season. Floresville/Hondo driver A. J. "Country" Wernette was second coming into the July 10 races with Justin Henley of Leming third and Casey fourth. Jones got the win, with the bad news that Pleasanton's Chico Cox, who won his first race June 26, had another good run and took second place points away from the rest of the contenders, though Casey finished third and Knudtson fourth. Wernette took the worst hit, coming in in eighth place, which won't help his chances at a title in his second year.


Dennis Jasik, the Pure Stock points leader, missed the race and left second place William "Heat" Saunders, Sean Terry of Three Rivers and Pleasanton's Janel Hilla (second, third and fourth in points) to take what they could. Terry got the lead at about the halfway point and pulled away to win over Jason Kelly and Frederick Giersch. Hilla has been fighting an engine problem (apparently solved by a rebuilt mill from Mission Engines) but for the last two races has been fighting a car that wants to lead with the trunk lid. Despite her car being a real handful, she fought off two half spins and one full loop to bring her 7X car home ahead of James Watson, Rick Snyder and Marc "Flash" Roy.


The points leaders in the new Front Runner class, fast becoming a fan favorite, are James Samford, Les Bettis, Jarrett Payton and 13-year-old Alec Jasik. But the car the fans are watching is the number 88 driven by Brandy Ramzinski, wife of flagman Steve Ramzinski and sister to Payton. In her first race, brother Jarrett gave her a little tap, moving her over (and around). While he ran on to take the win, Brandy was coming through the pack trying to catch up to him, presumably to offer congratulations on his win. Brandy got too late a start and may not figure in the final points tally. But she got her first win Friday night, finishing ahead of Samford as well as brother Payton and earning a kiss from the flagman. Steve Ramzinski used to race at San Antonio Speedway and was naturally known as "Rambo," a nickname I-37 Raceway announcer Milton Hope decided to bestow on Brandy after her hard-charging performances of the last few weeks.


Ten-year-old Noah Finkel, a veteran quarter-midget racer, ran his first race in a full-sized car, driving his Honda Civic CRX to a very clean sixth place finish in the Front Runner race. Jasik had problems with his car and brought the number 8 home in eighth place, just one of those nights.


They're back in action at I-37 Raceway again this Friday, July 17. That cool breeze will likely be blowing and it's very pleasant after sundown. The gates will open at 4:00 pm with hot laps at 8:00 pm and racing starting at 8:30 pm.

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