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Texas Dodge Dealers 100 @ SAS/Oktober'Fast' 10/9/0

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Texas Dodge Dealers 100 @ San Antonio Speedway/Oktober’Fast’ 10/9/04

By J M Hallas

Aramendia Drains Competition

The Late Model qualifying was as close as you could get with multi-time track and Sunbelt Region champ, Brandon Bendele in the Viking Home Builders/Viking Gunite/CPU Repair/Matts Auto/Oval Components Chassis once built and owned by Bendele, now owned by Eric Knutson and James Cole in driving the Mission Auto Parts/Greg Hubbell Race Cars/Oval Components/Custom Coach Works/Mission Race Engines/Hedgecock Chassis setting identical fast times at 19.12. Cole would be awarded fastest time because of a better second lap time.


With a six car invert two-time SAS Late Model champ, Larry Bendele and Danny Garcia led the field of 12 to green for the 100 lap main event. L. Bendele would beat Garcia into turn 1 for the lead, while part time NASCAR Truck and Busch Series driver, Joe Aramendia fell to fifth and Cole moved up to fourth. Jason Smith moved around Donny Horelka on lap 4 to get sixth.


L. Bendele was beginning to creep away from second through sixth by lap 10. Smith’s night ended on lap 13 when he broke and pulled to his trailer. Robert Barker snagged second frrom Garcia on lap on the same lap. Cole would spin from fourth in turn 2 on lap 14 to bring out the yellow. Jim Creech’s night came to a conclusion on lap 19 when he broke the rear end.


Aramendia retook third from Garcia on lap 20, with B. Bendele following hyim through for fourth. Cole again had trouble in turn 2, with another spin to bring out caution. L. Bendele and Barker got a good jump on Aramendia as green came back out. B. Bendele, whose pass was erased by caution, again was trying to get by Garcia for fourth on lap 22.


At the 1/4 mark, the top three had separated and were pulling away from the Garcia/B. Bendele battle. B. Bendele finally got Garcia on lap 26, as Horelka moved along side for fifth. L. Bendele was opening up his lead over Barker as the top 6 were spaced by 8-10 car lengths each. Another NASCAR Truck part timer, Rob Ferguson snared eighth from ROMCO points leader, Bradley Reithmeyer driving a borrowed car.


L. Bendele caught traffic on lap 40, and Barker capitalized closing to within a car length as the entire top four tightened up. Once clear, L. Bendele was again inching ahead at the race reached halfway with Barker, B. Bendele getting by Aramendia and Horelka in the top five.


Just after the mid point the whole complexion of race would change. L Bendele saw his hopes of win go up in smoke as he expired a motor on lap 53. This handed the top spot to Barker, with Aramendia pitting for fuel, along with Reithmeyer and Cole. During the red flag clean up, Barker had a tire go down and he was forced to give up the lead, without ever leading a lap.


The race would restart with B. Bendele now on the point who got a slight edge as the green waved again. Garcia would bring out yellow as he slid into the turn 3-4 wall on lap 55. Aramendia moved by Horelka for second on the restart. Barker then moved in to challenge Horelka for third. On lap 60 B. Bendele had a five car gap to Aramendia, but that didn’t last long as Aramendia quickly caught B. Bendele on lap 63.



Aramendia ducked inside B. Bendele on lap 64 and had the lead coming the stripe on lap 65. Aramendia then eased away from B. Bendele, who had a 10 car gap to Barker in third. Cole’s problems came to end on lap 75 when he slowed and pitted from fifth trailing smoke. Barker lost ground to the leaders as he was forced to go three wide around lap traffic.


With five to go, Aramendia was maintaining a 10 car lead over B. Bendele who now had a full straightaway over Barker. As the white waved, Aramendia still held the same advantage over B. Bendele and was to take the victory in the Aramendia Plumbing/Gem Sign Service/Southwest Body & Paint/Damon Bean/Janke Race Engines/Port City Chassis. The win was Aramendia’s fourth in six starts on the high-banked ½ mile paved oval.


“I was just ridin’ and guidin’” said the happy winner. “The car was doing all the work, I was just steering it. We saved our tires during the first half, because we knew we would have to pit for fuel with a smaller fuel cell. We didn’t change anything during the fuel stop because the car was good. Once I got behind Brandon(Bendele) I just looked for his week spot and used the power to get by when I got the chance.”


Texas Dodge Dealers 100 Late Model


1. 79 Joe Aramendia, San Antonio, 100 Laps

2. 27 Brandon Bendele, Adkins, 100

3. 17 Robert Barker, Boerne, 100

4. 41 Donny Horelka, Jourdanton, 100

5. 1 Rob Freguson, Powey, CA., 95

6. 15 Jeff Moore, Helotes, 77

7. 14 James Cole, San Antonio, 75

8. 97 Danny Garcia, San Antonio, 55

9. 23 Larry Bendele, Adkins, 53

10. 98 Bradley Riethmeyer, Hutto, 52

11. 2 Jim Creech, San Antonio, 19

12. 28 Jason Smith, San Antonio, 13

DNS 96 Todd Farris, College Station, Blew Engine

DNS 33 Shawn Tumlinson, Victoria, Blew Engine

DNS 50 Brian Moczygemba, San Antonio, Blew Engine (Friday)


Lap Leaders:

23 led 1 - 53

27 led 54 - 64

79 led 65 - 100

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