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I-37 Raceway honors track champs and rookies


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I-37 Raceway honors track champs and rookies

By J M Hallas

 

Jourdanton, Tx.(Jan. 29th, 2011) Jourdanton Community Center hosted I-37 Raceway's annual track awards banquet with it's largest number of attendees. Over 160 drivers and family showed up to honor their local dirt track hero's in an evening of fun. Long-time track announcer, Milton Hope, emceed the event once again interdicting his humor and unofficial "Razzie-type" awards throughout the festivities.

 

Track Manager, Jim Knudtson was the keynote speaker announcing some of the new upgrades coming the track, slight rules changes, first practice date with a swap meet, a flat-track motorcycle race coming in April and a preview of some new track sponsor deals in the works to be named at a later date.

 

"I think our limited rules changes are th key to help our track continue to grow," explained Knudtson. "2011 will be no exception with very limited changes in classes, mainly in car appearance. We've gone from 60 registered drivers when we took over three years ago to 170 registered in 2010"

 

"Our first practice will be next weekend including a swap meet, and were pleased to announce on April 23rd we will have an AMA Flat Track Motorcycle event."

 

Track improvements include adding on to the existing concession building, remodeling of womens facilities, and increasing the size of the scoring/announcing booth.

 

For 2011 the Street Stocks will be able to use after market bodies, without a penalty for weight and not subject to chassis match, as well as any after market 72cc heads. Front Runners were asked to keep their cars better looking and tag their car with model type to help the fans identify with production street cars.

 

"We'd like our cars to appeal to the casual fan,"added Knudtson. "Since used body panels are becoming increasingly harder to find allowing the Streets to upgrade bodies will help them also. We'd like our Front Runners to stay looking good and have the fans know what they're watching."

 

Track owner, Dr. Joe Gonzales took the podium thanking all the people involved with track operations, drivers, families and crews.

 

"I've been pleasantly surprised with how we've been able to grow over our three years here. We were able to get out of the red and into the black and continue to put those proceeds back into track improvements. I think the track has a good job at providing a family friendly atmosphere, not only for the racers and their families, but for the fans as well."

 

IMCA Modifieds

After taking home the IMCA Southern Sportmod title in 2009, Corpus Christi's Bill Pittaway took home the Modified honors for 2010. This was Pittaway's third Modified track championship of his career. Pittaway also plays a big role in the Go-Karts as co-organizer and flagman for the infield track. Due to IMCA rule changes Pittaway will run his full Modified at IMCA sanctioned events, while converting his Sportmod to run on pavement at a local Corpus track.

 

Robert Liese jr. finished in second along with grabbing 'Rookie of the Year' honors as he improved his racing program after purchasing a newer chassis. Despite mechanical woes throughout the season, track veteran Marlin Samford was consistent enough to finish third in points.

 

IMCA Southern Sportmods

San Antonio native Johnny Torres battled all year with defending champion Bill Pittaway but came away with top honors for his third IMCA SSM track championship. Torres looks with anticipation to repeat in 2011 after upgrading his equipment. Pittaway was second in points with a former pavement racer, Jason Stanley taking third. Rookie honors went Robby Minten, who under the tutelage of his uncle and veteran racer, Ray Doyon III, showed improvement throughout the year.

 

Tator Plumbing Limited Late Models

Long time I-37 Raceway competitor, Richard Bartosh went home with the hardware heading the Limited Model points by a mere 12 points at seasons end. Wesley Skains, who lead in the points early in the year but faded late, secured second, while multi-time track champion Gary Hunter ended the year third.

 

Street Stocks

It was a dominant year for Wade Jones and the Horelka Race Team as they easily outdistanced the field on track and in the points standings. Jones ended the year with nearly a 50-point margin over AJ Wernette and almost 100 ahead of third place Mike Lyon.

 

Pure Stock

Proving 2009 was no fluke, track photographer turned racer, Marc Roy defended his championship with another strong consistent season. Roy looks to move up to the Sportmod ranks in the 2011 season. Former track champ Janel Hilla ended the year second in points, while Frank Okruhlik took home third place and 'Rookie of the Year' honors.

 

Front Runners

After years of track service with the Quality Ambulance safety crew, Nick Hencey jumped into racing. Plans were to split driving among the rest of the safety crew, but Hencey ran all but two races and finished as points champion. Youngsters, Cameron Smith was able to finish second, with James Samford edging out Haley Marcx, who won Alamo Homes best appearing car honors, for third.

 

**Side note, yours truly grabbed the honor of the “Troy Polamalu long hair award.” Go figure. Sadly, I don't have the same curls, talent or paycheck. I guess it could have been worse and been the “Best mullet award!”

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Reb,Always enjoy your reports....But as a proud father i gotta jump in on the report stating Johnnys first IMCA SSM championship..Johnny won the i37 SSM championship in 2008 at STS and i37... This gives him THREE championships in the class.. Along with his Street stock championship...That would make four in five years....Proud of you son....Frank t

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CONGRATS TO ALL THE WINNERS LAST NIGHT!!! WE ALL HAD A GREAT TIME LAST NIGHT.

SPECIAL CONGRATS GO OUT TO RICHARD BARTOSH, WHAT A GREAT YEAR AND FULL OF MEMORIES!!!

IT IS WELL DESERVED. ENJOY IT RICHARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

MILTON DID AN AWESOME JOB, FELT ALIL BAD FOR DONNY THOU, CAUSE BOY HE GOT PICKED ON, BUT IT WAS ALL FUN AND GAMES.

 

LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS COMING WEEKEND AT THE TEST-N-TUNE AND SWAP MEET.

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My dad couldnt make it to the banquet so i want to tell him thanks again... also thank you to Tator Mason, Spreen racing engines, Joe Spillman, Gary and Chris swenson, Greg Rhomer, Jason Stanley,Bill Pittaway, Russell and Anthony Gordon, Greg Dinsmore and the Marcx family for there support.

 

Thanks i really do appreciate everything you all do for me!

 

Sorry if i forgot anyone and also i will not be racing for points this year reb.

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