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Oktober'FAST' Race Recaps


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This past Saturday night the Weather Bureau did not issue a tornado warning, but they should have. Because the ROMCO Super Late Model Series Texas Tornado Tour touched down at San Antonio Speedway. Most meteorologists forecasted Brandon Bendele to set fast time in qualifying and win the race. After all, he knows every nook, cranny and everything else in between at this track. So were the meteorologists correct???? The top four in qualifying were inverted for this 150 lap event AND guess who started in the fourth position? Yes, it was Bendele. Starting alongside him was John Heil. Right in front of them on the front row were Tommy Grimes and Greg Davidson. The points leader, Bradley Riethmeyer (in the borrowed car of Robert Richardson), started in the fifth position. The mercury in the thermometer rose, as the battle for the ROMCO championship heated up intensely between Riethmeyer (906 points) and Bendele (884 points). As the field of 19 racers took the green flag, Grimes jumped into the lead. The first yellow flag flew on Lap 25 when Heil and JC Umschied made contact and both were sent to the back of the pack. Grimes was still leading with Davidson, Bendele, Riethmeyer and Doug Hooks hot on his trail. It didn't take Doppler Radar to see how super-fast Bendele was moving. On Lap 61, he put his #8 racecar into the top spot. John Kelly's night came to an end when his Ford started pouring smoke which brought out the yellow flag. Current conditions saw Grimes, Davidson, Hooks and Riethmeyer lined up behind Bendele for the restart. With 59 laps remaining, something went awry with Tommy Grothues car AND Thad Felton, Heil, Heath Stewart, Michael Crofford and Jason Young encountered stormy conditions between Turns 3 & 4. Unfortunately, Davidson sought shelter in the pits after experiencing mechanical problems with just 23 laps remaining. When the checkered flag waved, Brandon Bendele thundered into the winner's circle. The next contenders to cross the finish line were Grimes, Hooks, Umschied and Riethmeyer. Bendele won the battle, however, Riethmeyer won the war and was crowned the 2004 ROMCO Champion.


A whopping 29 cars were on tap for the Sportsman event. Sharing front row starting positions were Eric Knudtson and Jason Oates followed by Marcus Bellino, Frank Johnson and Tom Casey. Knudtson took the early lead, however, that was short-lived as Oates moved into the #1 position on Lap 3. It wasn't perspiring, but the yellow flag had a vigorous work-out before 10 laps were ever completed. Most of the drivers involved in these incidents were able to continue. Oates was still at the helm with Knudtson, Bellino, Johnson and Casey keeping a close eye on him. On Lap 24, the field was slowed when Robert Mayberry spun in Turn 4. Oates really had his hands full, not only with Bellino who was now on his back bumper, but with a power steering problem as well. Things got even bleaker for Oates when oil was spotted under his racecar which put an end to his night. Bellino inherited the lead. Two laps later, the caution lights lit up when Mark Rahn spun out. At this point, the race was shortened by 10 laps due to time constraints. Knudtson, Johnson, Greg Carlucci Jr. and Tater Mason had 25 laps to find a way around Bellino. As the laps clicked off the scoreboard to 0, it was Bellino who zeroed in on the checkered flag. Finishing in the 2nd - 5th spots were Knudtson, Carlucci Jr., Mason and Casey.


QUESTION: Where can five ladies be found, whose wardrobes include a racing uniform, helmet and other racing accessories?

ANSWER: The Women On Wheels (WOW) division at SAS.

Sitting on the pole for this event was Missy Jones followed by Amy Requilman, Ann Freudiger, Carolyn Aramendia and Kelly Earnhardt. When the green flag was displayed, Requilman leaped into the lead. Earnhardt brushed the Turn 1 wall and was able to continue. On Lap 2, Aramendia and Requilman were engaged in some door-to-door action with Aramendia emerging in the No. 1 spot. Earnhardt's night came to an end with engine problems. Aramendia, who has been on a hiatus from racing, didn't miss a beat and won by a large margin over Requilman, Jones, Freudiger and Earnhardt.


Congratulations to all of the winners!

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