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ASCS @ Heart O' Texas Speedway

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ASCS @ Heart O' Texas Speedway 6/18/04

By J M Hallas

The Eagle Has Landed....

Waco, Texas., The ASCS Gulf Coast Region Sprint Car Series made their first ever appearance to the 1/4 high-banked clay oval on Friday night with 36 car vying for the 20 starting spots in the 25 lap A-main event. after the heats and B-mains were all said and done, Ray Allen Kulhanek and Jerry Bell held the front row, while points leader Todd Johnson was forced to take a provisional along with Larry Howery to make a 22 car starting field.


As green flew Bell squeezed by Kulhanek to get the lead going to turn 1. Brad Welborn and Matt Clevenger made contact with the sideboard of Clevenger getting hung on the wing of Welborn. The sideboard eventually flew off in turn 3, but out off the groove. The caution flew on lap 2 when Brandon Corn spun in turn four.


Bell held the point as green waved on the restart, while Jason Martin unsuccessfully tried the high groove to get by Tony Bruce for fifth. By lap 5 Dallas area hot shoe, Kevin Ramey had moved up to 11th from his eighth row starting spot. Johnson brought out the second caution on lap 5 when looped his ride in turn 3.


Bruce was able to get by Clevenger, who was hanging in despite the loss of his sideboard, for third. Martin moved in to challenge Clevenger for fourth with the two making contact and spinning. Richard Cordray and Larry Howery got caught up in the pack and spun ending both their nights. Once back to green Claud Estes started his move towards the front getting by Scotty MacDonald for fourth, with Ramey trying the high side on MacDonald, but falling back after a couple laps.


Chris Sweeney then made the pass on MacDonald as he grabbed fifth. Coming to halfway Kulhanek was closing the gap on leader, Bell. At the crossed flags it was Bell, Kulhanek, Bruce, Estes and Sweeney in the top five, while Ramey was charging back getting by both MacDonald and Brad Stokes.


Kulhanek started to pressure Bell for the lead on lap taking looks inside coming out of turn 2. Clenenger's car then shed the nose wing to bring out the yellow on lap 13 for debris. On the restart Ramey grabbed two more spots, passing Greg Rilat for sixth then Sweeney to crack the top five. Point leader, Johnson's trouble continued as he spun again on lap 14.


As green came back out, Sam Hafertepe made the double pass on Rilat and Sweeney to move into sixth. Kulhanek continued to look inside Bell, who was getting a little loose coming out of turn 4. On lap 17 Bell wiggled and Kulhanek stuck the nose inside, the two made wheel to wheel contact sending both spinning towards the winners circle. An unhappy, Bell suffered a broken front end, while Kulhanek was able to restart, but both had lost their chance at the win.


Bruce inherited the lead, with Estes second folowed by Ramey, Sweeney and Hafertepe. Hafertepe again passed Sweeney on the restart to snare fourth as the top three inched ahead. On lap 16 Rilat, MacDonald, Stephen Chevallier and Eric Payne had good battle going on for sixth, swapping position at each end of the track. Meanwhile Bruce and Estes started to put a little space on Ramey who had a big advantage over the continuing Sweeney, Hafertepe fight.


Sweeney and Hafertepe were still swapping the fourth spot when the final yellow flew for a spin by Clevenger. Ramey got high and low-sided as the race restarted with Sweeney getting by low and Hafertepe going by on the high side, kicking Ramey back to fifth. Estes was looking inside Bruce on lap 19 and was able to sneak by for the top spot on lap 20.


Estes then started to pull away from Bruce, while Ramey, Payne and Rilat fought it out for fifth. Estes continued to increase his lead over Bruce as the white flag waved. Coming to the checkers it was the Mansfield, Texas driver Estes taking the victory in his Wells Racing Engines/SouthWest Racing Engines/Pennzoil/S&S Furniture/Skyvue Funeral Home/2002 Eagle Chassis, owned by HD Miller.


The win was the first ever ASCS win after three years of trying. Estes, who thanked God for a a safe race, said, "We pray before every race that no one is injured. I think my past track experience her at Heart O' Texas Speedway helped me out with my set-up. I also want to thank to thank Kevin (Ramey) for a few tips he gave us tonight too."

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Did they have there DB meter out there putting people on the trailer lol.


No, I was out enjoying a nice peaceful evening with my wife that Frjiday.


And, by the way, it's noise above 96 dB coming from race cars that puts them on the trailer at THR, not the dB meter. LOL


Nick Holt

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