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Dinsmore Doubles again, Gilpin takes 1st I-37 checkers in IMCA classes

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I-37 Raceway, 3/27/10

By J M Hallas


Pleasanton, Tx.,(March 27th, 2010) After a scheduled week off racing resumed at Pleasanton's I-37 Raceway just south of San Antonio. The regular IMCA Modifieds IMCA Southern Sportmods, Tater Plumbing Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks and Front Runner classes were all in action on the semi-banked, ¼ mile dirt oval. Making their first visit to the track this season, the Brazos Mini Sprints added to the nights festivities, as well as the kids Go-Karts.


Two drivers repeated as feature winners while another pair scored their first ever I-37 Raceway wins, and one youngster grabbed his first ever victory.


Dinsmore Double Dips, Part Deaux


After a sub-par 2009 race season, Kerrville's Greg Dinsmore seems to be back on track, literally and figuratively. The 2008 IMCA Modified track champion once again bested the field in both the heat and main event. The main saw Dinsmore chase early leader Bill Pittaway waiting for an opening on the tricky dry slick track. Just past halfway Dinsmore got his chance and capitalized on it then pulled away for the victory.


Adding to the Dinsmore winning tradition at I-37 Raceway, son Logan took the checkers in the Go-Kart feature during intermission.


Coming to green for the 20-lap IMCA Modified main event Robert Liese jr. got loose with drivers scrambling to avoid contact. Pittaway was into turn 1 firat with the lead with Rick Green and Dinsmore second and third. Green slowed on lap 3 and pulled off moving Dinsmore to second, Doug Cameron third and Matt Fox fourth.


Dinsmore ran down Pittaway for the lead on lap 5 and the battle was on. Cameron's night ended early when he pitted from third on lap 6. Dinsmore would try Pittaway low, but found no bite on the bottom and fell back a few car lengths, then close again. Marlin Sanford brought out the yellow on lap 9 with a spin in turn 4.



Dinsmore (8G) working the low side under Robert Liese, Jr (67) and Rick Green. Jamie Brabson photo


On the restart Pittaway and Dinsmore got away clean with Dinsmore again taking a look low. Coming to the crossed flags it was Pittaway, Dinsmore, Liese, Sanford and Fox. Dinsmore was able to sneak along side Pittaway down the back stretch. The two went into turn 3 side by side and Dinsmore was able to sneak by for the lead on lap 11.


Lap 12 saw caution wave for a second spin by Sanford, this time in turn 3. Once back to green, Pittaway tried to hang on to Dinsmore's bumper and took a peek low in turn 1. Pittaway gave Dinsmore one more shot on lap 15, but pushed high and lost ground. From there Dinsmore in the Racetechinfo.com, Big Worm Motorsports, Lowery Plumbing, Afco Shocks, Fast Shafts, Cen-Tex Motorsports powered Harris Chassis eased away for his second win of the season.


“It was a good race,” commented Dinsmore, “Bill's got a new car and that 2010 chassis is fast and he's got a good bullet in it. I followed him for quite a while until he made a mistake. I was thinking about how I was going to get by. A lot of things go through your mind. You just have to be patient enough to ride and wait without making a mistake yourself.”


“I tried going to the bottom like last race thinking there would be something, but there was nothing. I played around down there for several laps because he(Pittaway) had the preferred line that I wanted. I could get up on him but didn't want to hit him and knew he didn't want to hit me.”


“I'm still thinking about running for another points championship here. I really want to but we usually take a couple weeks to go up to Boone for the Super Nationals and visit family up there. It just depends on how the season goes. If it's in the cards it could be.”


“With Cen-Tex doing my motors they're staying together and being able to finish races is key. Their motors put out good horsepower and aren't giving me any problems so far. Right out of the box the guys at Cen-Tex have been awesome. I've got the right combination of chassis and engine right now. That's important to get your total program right. Bob Harris, racetechinfo and Cen-Tex are behind me 100%.”


IMCA Modifieds

8g Greg Dinsmore

37 Bill Pittaway

c31 Marlin Sanford

67 Robert Liese jr.

53 Matt Fox

721 Doug Cameron

82 Rick Green

29 Jamie Campbell---DNS


IMCA Modified heat

8g Greg Dinsmore

82 Rick Green

37 Bill Pittaway

67 Robert Liese jr.

c31 Marlin Sanford

29 Jamie Campbell

53 Matt Fox



Gilpin Grabs First I-37 Gold


There's an old racing adage, “in order to finish first, you must first finish.” So it was during the 20-lap IMCA Southern Sportmod feature. Corpus Christi's EJ Gilpin looked like he'd be battling with Johnny Torres, Jason Stanley and Bill Pittaway for second as they all watched Steve Whiteaker jr. run away.


Racing luck can be your friend or be fickle sometimes. Whiteaker got the bad end this time when he broke a motor on lap 11 giving th lead to Gilpin. Gilpin held off Torres after several restarts, then stretched out his lead at the end, to take his first ever I-37 Raceway win.


It took several tries to get the 16-car Sportmod main under way. On the initial start Larry Jernigan got the jump but hooked bumpers with Dennis Hilla in turn 2. The second try saw Hilla get too big of a jump, with Leland Frautschi and Travis Penny tangling in turn 2. Finally under green with Jernigan again beating the pack into turn 1. Jernigan and Hilla were side by side on lap 1 with a three wide battle for third.


Hilla slipped high giving up second to Doug Livingston when David Routen and Clark Warren tangled in turn 2. Once back to green Stanley was looking low on Livingston for second, while Whiteaker marched forward and got by Stanley. Jernigan and Livingston hooked bumpers on lap 2 sending both around and bringing out the caution.


This handed the point over to Whiteaker on the restart followed by Stanley, Mark McGahey, Gilpin and Torres. Whiteaker got good jump on green while McGahey slowed giving third and fourth to Gilpin and Torres. As Whiteaker began checking out, Gilpin and Torres were wheel to wheel for third on lap 5. At the halfway point it was Whiteaker, Stanley, Gilpin, Torres and Pittaway in the top 5 while JJ Jennings worked his way up from starting last.


Stanley slipped on lap 10 giving second to Gilpin who was nearly a full straightaway behind Whiteaker. Whiteaker's lead came to an end on lap 11 when he blew up and rolled to a stop at pit out to bring out yellow on lap 12. As Gilpin took off back under green, Torres got by Stanley for second, with Pittaway trying to follow to third. Routen brought out the caution on lap 12 when he looped it in turn 4.


On the restart Pittaway continued to pressure Stanley for third finally getting by on lap 13 leaving Stanley side by side with Jennings for fourth. Jernigan brought the yellow back out on lap 14 with a spin on the back stretch. Once back to racing Pittaway was now looking under Torres for second when Routen Spun again on lap 15 to bring out the yellow.


As green waved for the final five laps Jennings got under Stanley for fourth. While Torres and Pittaway fought it out for second, Gilpin was increasing his advantage. As the checkers waved it was Gilpin in the D&M Oilfield Services, Shell Machine Works, Sybesma Graphics, Superior Trailer Sales, Titzman Race Engines, Rush Chassis taking the victory.



EJ Gilpin took the SportMod feature. Jamie Brabson photo


“It was a lot of hard work,” replied Gilpin. “My brother and some of my good friends helped me out a lot. The first two races this year I got taken out both times. So I came up here to see how my luck would go.”


“I doubt we had anything for Stevie(Whiteaker), he's real good. It was fun though, it was racing. This was only my fourth time up here and my best finish was third. I like this little track. We're definitely going to be coming back more when we can.”


IMCA Southern Sportmods

21 EJ Gilpin

66 Johnny Torres

37 Bill Pittaway

26 JJ Jennings

92 Jason Stanley

18 Larry Jernigan

2x Dennis Hilla

09 David Routen

4 Robby Minten

189 Steve Whiteaker jr.

88 Mark McGahey

00 Leland Frautschi

60 Pat Lyon

89 Doug Livingston

989 Clark Warren

10 Travis Penny


IMCA SSM heats


21 EJ Gilpin

189 Steve Whiteaker jr

89 Doug Livingston

37 Bill Pittaway

10 Travis Penny

09 David Routen

4 Robby Minten

00 Leland Frautschi



Heat #2

92 Jason Stanley

66 Johnny Torres

88 Mark McGahey

2x Dennis Hilla

18 Larry Jernigan

60 Pat Lyon

989 Clark Warren




Multi-time class champion, Gary Hunter jumped into the lead of the 15-lap Tater Plumbing Limited Late Model feature. Behind him Wesley Skains and Barry Major ran side by side for second until Skains did a half spin and fell back. Major the put pressure on Hunter for the lead looking under him on lap on lap 7.


Major got along side Hunter on lap 8 but couldn't complete the pass. As the duo battled up front, Skains quickly closed the gap. Skains snuck past Major on lap 9 for second, then around Hunter for the lead on lap 11. Skains would increase his lead over the final circuits going unchallenged for his second victory of the year.



Wesley Skains takes the Limited Late Model feature. Jamie Brabson photo


Tater Plumbing Limited Late Models

25 Wesley Skains

14 Gary Hunter

33 Barry Major

6 Ellis Tracey

18 Shane Moore


Limited Late Model heat winner; 25 Wesley Skains



Allen Torres lead the field of Street Stocks into turn 1 as the 15-lap feature took the green. AJ Wernette and Wade Jones charged by Tommy Casey and Torres with Wernette getting the lead. Yellow waved on lap 2 to retrieve Dennis Jasik who went over the turn 2 hill. Once back to green Wernette, Jones, Casey and Torres stayed nose to tail until Jones began to look inside. Jones got inside Wernette on lap 4 coming across the line in a virtual dead heat on lap 5 when yellow waved for debris.


On the restart Jones ducked inside again and got the bumper out front on lap 6. Wernette used his momentum up top to get back by Jones for the top spot on lap 7. As the top three pulled away Casey began to put the heat on Jones for second getting along on lap 11. As Casey and Jones fought it out for second Wernette , who turned 18 last week, inched away to give himself a birthday present win.



AJ Wernette (37) is sandwiched by Wade Jones (41) and Allen Torres. Photo by Jamie Brabson


Street Stocks

37 AJ Wernette

41 Wade Jones

15 Tommy Casey

8 Dennis Jasik

94 Allen Torres

74x Steve Mireles

5 Danny Shroat---DNS

40 Mike Lyon---DNS


Street Stock heat winner; 94 Allen Torres



The always exciting Pure Stock class saw Jarret Peyton lead the 15-car field into turn 1 followed by Janel Hilla, with Rick Snyder and Frank O'Krulik side by side for third. Peyton slid high in turn with Hilla getting by for the lead, while O'Krulik, Snyder and Miguel Mendoza jr. were three wide for third. O'Krulik got by Peyton for second while Snyder and Mendoza jr. ran door to door for fourth.


O'Krulik began challenging Hilla for the lead, as Peyton spun off the back stretch and Mendoza jr. pitted, shaking up the top five order. Gilbert Amezquita brought out the yellow on lap 5 when in front of traffic. Once back to green, O'Krulik kept the heat on Hilla for lead finally getting under then by on lap 7. Snyder got by Hilla on lap 7, while Freddie Gierisch and Brandon Eure ran side by side for fourth.


As the lead quintet scrapped it out Snyder spun and collected Hilla, Eure, Gierisch and Miguel Mendoza sr. On the restart the top five were now O'Krulik, Sean Terry, William Cavender, Erik Watson and James Watson. O'Krulik and Terry took off once green waved again. Terry got inside O'Krulik on the back stretch and by in turn 3 for the top spot on lap 10.


O'Krulik stayed with Terry as th laps clicked off trying to get inside on lap 16. Brandy Ramzinski spun on lap 18 to bring out a caution setting up a green, white, checkered finish. Terry and O'Krulik again got away clean on green, with Terry easing out to a car length lead. O'Krulik gave it the ol' college try as they came to the checkers, but it as Terry getting the win by about 3/4's of a car length.



Sean Terry (23) races Frank O'Krulik in the Pure Stock feature. Photo by Jamie Brabson


Pure Stocks

23 Sean Terry

99 Frank O'Krulik

15 William Cavender

43 Erik Watson

44 James Watson

9 Jarret Peyton

88 Brandy Ramzinski

24 Marc Roy

77 Philip Haywood

7x Janel Hilla

39 Miguel Mendoza jr

66R Rick Snider

4 Brandon Eure

19 Freddie Gierisch

33 Miguel Mendoza sr

72 Gilbert Amezquita

80 JW

13x Gary Chain---DNS

13 Jason Smith---DNS

17 Patrick White---DNS


Pure Stock heat winners; 39 Miguel Mendoza jr., 99 Frank O'Krulik, 33 Miguel Mendoza sr.



Kathy Hime grabbed the lead on lap 1 of the 13-car, 15-lap Front Runner feature with Jerry Jones making a big charge up to second. Jones was able to get by Hime for the lead on lap 2 with Cameron Smith, Cindy Snider and Brent Bouchillon in pursuit. As Bouchillon and Snyder went three wide past a lapped car, Nick Hencey and Charlie Earnhardt III closed in. Hencey and Earnhardt split the middle of the Bouchillon, Snyder battle for third and fourth.


Up front it was still Jones and Smith slicing and dicing through traffic, with James Sanford moving into the top five just before halfway. Smith tried low on Jones but lost ground on lap 13. Traffic slowed the leader as the white flag waved allowing Smith to reel him back in. Smith got under Jones, who was hung behind a lapped car, stealing the win in the last two corners.



Cameron Smith took a last-lap win in his Front Runner. Jamie Brabson photo


Front Runners

13 Cameron Smith

95 Jerry Jones

33 Charlie Earnhardt III

911 Nick Hencey

35 James Sanford

66c Cindy Snider

20 Brent Bouchillon

57 Trevor Bettis

113 Haley Marcx

14 Kathy Hime

T30 Chad Thrush

98 Amber Clay

96 Steve Stanley

18 Shannon Moore---DNS


Front Runner heat winners; 911 Nick Hencey, 35 James Sanford



Action started early in the Brazos Mini Sprint 20-lap feature when Hunter Montgomery and Kyle Thompson tangled before the green was shown. Montgomery took a tumble down the front stretch wall ending up on his side, but climbed out uninjured. Michael Hernandez and Jacob Gillian stayed wheel to wheel through turns 1-2 with Hernandez getting the lead.


Hernandez quickly built a big margin over Gillian as the short field spread out. Hernandez looked to be a runaway winner until racing fate stepped in. On lap 15 Hernandez blew up and rolled to the infield handing the lead Gillian. Gillian went on to take the Stock class win, his first ever checkers, while Trever Bair scored the Outlaw class victory.



Jacob Gillian came home a winner. Jamie Brabson photo


Brazos Mini Sprints

14 Jacob Gillian(S)

84 Trevor Bair(O)

42 Scott Blakely

22 Michael Hernandez

87 Kyle Thompson

5 Hunter Montgomery


Brazos Mini Sprint heat winner; 22 Michael Hernandez




8g Logan Dinsmore

13 Cody Smith

37 Aaron Trevino

5 Tylor Barr

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Congrats to my guys:

Greg winning in the mod race.

Cameron winning his very first frontrunner race.

Logan winning in the go karts.

Cody finished 2nd in his very first race ever.

And dad finishing 2nd after the last race wreck. Our car was hooked up and moving til the end. It was awesome seeing him up front after everything that happened. All the hard work, long hours, money, blood sweat and tears paid off.

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