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Texas Stock Car Championship @ Corpus Christi Motor Speedway 10/29-30/04

By J M Hallas

 

In the revival of a race that debuted and ended back in 1995, Corpus Christi Motor Speedway brought back the Texas Stock Car Championship race. Despite a short field of Late Models for a good purse, $4000 to win(which I’ll never understand) the 150 lap event turned into one of the wildest, weirdest races I’ve ever attended. Also on the bill were the Super Street Stocks going 75 laps for $2000 to win, Bombers in a 50 feature for a grand to win and Mini Stocks for $500 to win.

 

A field of only 12 cars would take the track for the 150 lap, $4000 to win Late Model Main event. The race would count yellow laps for the first half, then after a stoppage for fuel and adjustments, yellow laps would no longer count. One final stoppage at lap 135, would place all the lead lap cars to the front for the final 15 lap shootout.

 

After Friday nights fast car dash to set the top four spots, 2004 Texas Asphalt Modified Champion, Joey Heinaman and Ryan Englehardt would lead the field to green. Heinaman got a good jump on the green, perhaps a little too good as the yellow was out quickly. Heinaman was first into turn 1 on the next try, followed by Ervin Breiten and Englehardt getting in line third.

 

Breiten was looking low on Heinaman on lap 2, with the duo side by side for the lead at line on lap 3. Breiten secured the top spot on lap 4, while 2003/2004 San Antonio Speedway track champion, Larry Bendele and former NASCAR Busch and Truck series driver, Joe Aramendia battled for fifth. Bendele got the position from Aramendia on lap 8.

 

The top five had gapped out by a couple cars lengths on lap 10, but Bendele caught Lloyd Alexander three laps later for fourth. The first caution came on lap 15 for debris on the track. The top six stayed nose to tail on the restart, until Breiten got a little breathing room over Heinaman on lap 25. Heinaman would be able to close in the corners, but Breiten would pull him down the straights.

 

Allen Alexander’s night began to get bad early end when he slowed on lap 38, and rolled to a stop on lap 42, erasing Breiten’s four car length lead on Heinaman. Breiten got out quickly as the green waved pulling back to a four car advantage. Veteran Corpus Christi dirt track driver, Steve Whitaker sr. saw his night go bad when he was forced to pull off on lap 54 with overheating trouble.

 

Yellow waved on lap for a spin by L. Alexander, with Bendele being sent to the tail for contact. Shortly after the restart, A. Alexander would loop his ride in turn 2 and pull to the pits. Breiten had just started to inch away from Heinaman under green when CCMS track owner, Greg Godfrey would spin and roll back into Teresa Gural. Godfrey’s car would rupture the fuel cell bring the mid-race stoppage on lap 74.

 

As the race resumed at halfway it would have been Breiten, Heinaman, Engelhardt, L. Alexander and Aramendia in the top five. Oh, did I gorget to mention the catch of an invert at halfway? Yep as a interesting twist during the refuel stop a number was drawn to invert the field. With a six being pulled this would put another former San Antonio Speedway track champion, Donny Horelka out front, followed by Aramendia, L. Alexander, Englehardt and Heinaman.

 

As the green waved again, L. Alexander and Englehardt made contact with L. Alexander sliding through the infield. Breiten got by Heinaman on the next restart, leaving Heinaman battling door to door with Bendele for fifth. Breiten grabbed another spot on lap 80 as he got by L. Alexander for third, with Bendele tagging along behind Breiten for fourth. With the top five running in a line, Breiten started looking inside Aramendia for second.

 

Despite trying to hold off Breiten, Aramendia had thoughts of the lead on his mind as he started to peek inside Horelka on laps 90-91. Heinaman retook fourth from Bendele as the top five got stacked up in turn 3. Englehardt caught the top five on lap 100 and got by Bendele, who had a slowly deflating tire.

 

Aramendia got sideways coming out of turn 4, and Breiten tried to get inside. As Aramendia fish-tailed back down it clipped Breiten’s nose causing some minor body damage. During the incident, Englehardt snuck past Heinaman for fourth. Breiten continued to put the pressure on Aramendia and had just gotten by when Bendele spun with a flat tire.

 

On the restart, Breiten got inside Aramendia and took the spot bringing Englehardt and Heinaman along. It didn’t take Breiten long until he was on Horelka for the lead, which he would snare on lap 116. Englehardt would get by Horelka as well to take second, with Heinaman taking advantage of Horelka on the high side for third.

 

By lap 120 Breiten and Englehardt were inching away from Heinaman and Horelka. Englehardt took a shot down low on lap 123, but lost some ground as he was unable to make the pass. L. Alexander would go for a spin in turn 2 on lap 127 to bring out the yellow hankie. Once back to green, the top five separated out by several car lengths.

 

Then things really got wild! With Breiten looking to perhaps run off for the win, he started smoking badly on lap 131, a mere 19 laps short of a big payday. Breiten was shown the black flag on lap 132 and he would spin in his own fluid on lap 134. Heinaman would pit from second during the yellow. This handed the point to Englehardt as the race went green on lap 135.

 

Breiten was able to return and grab the tail of the field as the race resumed. Breiten snagged fifth from L. Alexander, while Bendele moved by Horelka for second, only to spin in turn 3. Heinaman rejoined the field under yellow. On the restart, Heinaman and Bendele tried to go side by side as they were going by Tr. Gural. The three made contact with Bendele getting turned into the wall along with Tr. Gural.

 

During the red for a clean up, Breiten, L. Alexander and Aramendia all pitted and came back after making adjustments. Breiten got by L. Alexander for third on the restart then made quick work of Horelka for second on lap 137. Breiten then caught Englehardt for the lead on lap 140. Breiten got a nose inside, but Englehardt slammed the door. The two made contact with Breiten going up and over the side of Englehardt’s car, then spinning. Both cars were somehow able to continue, despite there being maybe enough body work for one car between them.

 

An opportune Horelka would be the new leader as the race went back to green on lap 141, with two of the fastest cars of Breiten and Englehardt restarting fourth and fifth. Englehardt grabbed third from Aramendia on the restart, with Breiten getting by a lap later for fourth. With five to go, L. Alexander put the heat on Horelka and took the top spot in turn 2 bringing Englehardt through for second.

 

The yellow waved with only three laps remaining when Horelka and Breiten made contact while battling for third, with both spinning. L. Alexander got a slight advantage on the green, while Breiten tried to claw his way back up to the front. L. Alexander was able to hold off Englehardt in the final laps, while Breiten worked back up to third. L. Alexander was first across the line for the apparent win.

 

But during post race inspection, or Jack’s(Sandefur) ‘room of doom’, L. Alexander was found to have an illegal crankshaft. This would have handed the win and 4K check to Englehardt, but Englehardt failed tech with illegal heads.

 

So at 4:00 or 5:00 AM(depending on if you had set your watch back yet), Breiten was awarded the win in the AAA House Leveling/Dodson House Moving/CPU Repair/Premier Minerals/Oval Components(owned by Breiten)/Longs Racing Engines/C&C Signs and Graphics/3D Landscaping/V&M Paint and Body/Tradewinds Auto Sales/Lefthander Chassis. Somewhere this morning Breiten, who got a grand for third, woke up $3000 richer than when he left the track, before the disqualifications.

 

Late Models

 

1. Ervin Breiten

2. Joe Aramendia

3. Donny Horelka

4. Joey Heinaman

5. Tommy Gural

6. Larry Bendele

7. Teresa Gural

8. Gregg Godfrey

9. Allen Alexander

10. Steve Whitaker

DQ Lloyd Alexander (illegal crank)

DQ Ryan Englehardt (illegal heads)

DNS Michael Umschied

DNS Bobby Joe New

***Still pending final decision on tech***

 

 

The 24 car, 75 lap, Super Street feature began with, Matt Gardener and Kyle Carter who finished one-two in the four car fast dash. on the front row. Gardener got out of turn 2 first to grab the early lead with Jimmy Wayne Mason spinning to bring out yellow. Under the split race format, yellow laps would count for the first 35 circuits. Gardener and Carter got a good jump on the field as the race resumed, but Jamie Evans would spin to bring out the yellow a lap later.

 

Gardener got a slight edge on green, but Carter quickly reeled him back in as the lead duet held a small lead over Greg Carlucci jr, Steve Grantz and Tommy Wynd. Carlucci jr. and Grantz caught the lead twosome on lap 20. The caution would come back out on lap 21 when Evans and Abel Arredondo got tangled and spun off the back stretch.

 

Carter looked low on the restart and got underneath Gardener in turns 1-2. Gardener got hung on the high side and began falling back. Gardener would retire with problems on lap 33. Carter moved out to a 5 car advantage over Carlucci jr as the leader ran up on traffic. Carter would have to use the chrome horn to get by Evans, who would spin on lap 35.

 

Carter grabbed a five car edge on the restart, while Grantz was looking inside Carlucci jr. for second. Rusty Mirth brought the yellow hankie on lap 41 when he slapped the turn 3 wall. Carter had just another good jump on the green, when caution was back out for Grantz who spun in oil laid down by Chris Blaszak. Because of the oil spill, Grantz was given his spot back for the restart.

 

Clare Randall, got sideways as the green waved causing a freeway style traffic back up. Randall got turned into the wall, Bart Wilcox got turned around, with several others suffering body damage ranging from minor, to moderate in the melee. Carter used the restart to grab a big lead on Carlucci jr. who would pull up high and slow, then pull off.

 

At lap 50, Carter had nearly a half straightaway lead over Grantz and Wynd, who had a gap back to Bruce Barber and Jim Teague. Carter ran up on lap traffic on lap 51, with the Grantz, Wynd duo catching it on lap 52. As the two raced three wide around a lap car, Wynd tapped Grantz who would spin to the infield. Both caught a break when yellow was thrown for Jim Meyers who was being black flagged for a loose window net.

 

Barber would break an axle on the restart and have yellow come back out. During the slow down, the fuel break was called a few laps early, with all the lead lap cars being placed ahead of lap traffic. Carter once again got out to a good lead as green waved, but Grantz reeled him back in on lap 60. Carter would then begin to inch away getting a six car margin by lap 65.

 

Grantz and Wynd would close in on Carter, but Carter would then pull back ahead. Carter got away from Grantz and Wynd as they sliced and diced through traffic with five to go. The final caution came on lap 72 for debris on the track in turn 2 setting up a three lap shootout to the finish.

 

 

Carter got a car length on Grantz, while Wynd just kissed the wall coming back to green. Carter would be able to hold off Grantz the final laps to put his James P. Bell jr Attorney at Law/Gulf Coast Graphics/Mission Racing Engines/Chevy Camaro in the Winners Circle.

 

Carter, dubbed “The Parader” by some of the old timers, for his always nice looking equipment, also wanted to recognize his Mom and Dad, as well as his wife, who owns the car, for all their help and support. “This is definitely the biggest win of my career” said the 29 year old Carter, who has been racing at CCMS since he was 17 as he pocketed the $2000 check.

 

Super Street

 

1. Kyle Carter

2. Tommy Wynd

3. Greg Carlucci Sr.

4. Clare Randell

5. Jim Teague

6. John Heinaman

7. Jim Meyers

8. Trey White

9. Bobby Jack

10. Rusty Mirth

11. Greg Carlucci Jr.

12. Chuck Perry

13. Bart Wilcox

14. Jimmy Wayne Mason

15. Darrell Miller

16. Bruce Barber

17. Keith Garrett

18. Wesley Black

19. Chris Blaszak

20. Matt Gardner

21. Jamie Evans

22. Abel Arredondo

23. Eric Knutson

DQ Steve Grantz (Illegal Heads)originally second

 

 

 

A field of 23 Bombers took the track, for the 50 lap main event, led to green by Bobby Jack and Jason Knight, both of whom took Friday night qualifier wins. B. Jack quickly got the point as the top four sorted out single file leaving Larry Requilman and Mike Lee door to door for fifth. After getting fifth, Lee then grabbed fourth from Jason Kelly on lap 4.

 

On lap 10 the top six were running nose to tail, when races only caution came for a spin by Requilman. On the restart Corey Viar half-spun as he battled side by side for sixth with Manny Trevino. Lee would then begin to pressure Joey Heinaman for third on lap 14. Jy. Heinaman then put the heat on Knight trying the high side. Lee used that opportunity to get under Jy. Heinaman bringing Jason Kelly along.

 

Lee then got under Knight for second as they raced three wide around a lap car. Knight got hung out on the high side and fell back to seventh. By lap 20 the top three had put a little distance on the pack, but fourth through eighth crept back up. Coming to halfway the leaders were caught up in traffic, splitting cars three wide. At the mid-point it was B. Jack, Lee, Kelly, Jy. Heinaman and Viar in the top five.

 

Knight and John Heinaman got by I-37 Speedway Pure Stock track champ, Darin Leonard for sixth as they fought through lap traffic. Jn. Heinaman grabbed sixth from Knight on lap 70 as the top eight ran nose to tail. Leonard would retake seventh from Knight on lap 31. Kelly’s hopes at a top five finish ended on lap 34 when had trouble, slowed and pulled off. Lap 37 had I-37 Speedway track manager, Frank Torres move into the top ten from his 21st starting spot.

 

With ten to go, the top seven still tied together at the bumpers, but B. Jack would then put a two car gap Lee a lap later. The lead group again caught traffic with five laps left. B. Jack and Lee got through, while Viar got hooked and fell to fifth, as the top two moved away. With the laps winding down, B. Jack got another car length on Lee who had Jy. Heinaman in tow. As the checkers waved it was the CCMS veteran, B. Jack taking the win.

 

Bombers

 

1. Bobby Jack

2. Joey Heinaman

3. John Heinaman

4. Corey Viar

5. Darin Leonard

6. Jason Knight

7. Manny Trevino

8. Frank Torres

9. Gene Hyde

10. Michael Jack

11. Wayne Voigt

12. Johnny Torres

13. Ernie Villegas

14. Wayne Norrell

15. #2

16. Andy Van Blarcum

17. Larry Requilman

18. Joe Arce

19. Jason Kelly

20. Shawn Ward

21. Jim Meyers

22. Tommy WyndDQ Mike Lee (Illegal Rocker Arms) originally second

 

 

 

 

The 40 lap Texas Thunder(Mini Stock) feature would start with heat winners, Jesse Sandoval and Gage Guevera on the front row. It wouldn’t take long for the action to heat up as the front row tried to beat each others doors off coming to green. Both were forced to pit with flat tires, with Ronald Deleon and EJ Gilpin moving up to the front row on the restart. That duo stayed side by side until turn 3 when Gilpin secured the lead.

 

By lap 5 Gilpin was pulling ahead of Deleon, Will Robertson and Lalo Leal. Todd Evans, who started at the back moved in to challenge Rick Russell for fifth on lap 8. Gilpin increased his lead by lap 15 over Deleon and Robertson, while Leal fell back. Gilpin got hung behind Sandoval, who was fighting to stay on the lead lap. This allowed Deleon and Robertson to catch back up as the race neared halfway.

 

At the mid-point it was Gilpin, Deleon, Robertson, Leal and Evans still in the top five. Gilpin cleared Sandoval and quickly pulled away, while Deleon and Robertson fought to get by. By lap 25, Gilpin had built a full straightaway lead over the rest of the field. With five to go the battle was for second as they dodged through traffic. As the white was shown, Gilpin was still way ahead as he cruised on to grab the win.

Thunder

 

1. E.J. Gilpin

2. Ronald DeLeon

3. Will Robertson

4. Lalo Leal

5. Todd Evans

6. Gage Guevera

7. Rick Russell

8. Jimmy Castilio

9. Jesse Sandoval

10. Joe Arce

11. Rico Gitierrez

12. Fred Smith

13. Darrell Kennemer

14. James Soosa

 

 

 

 

 

Reb’s Rants and Raves;

Kudos to Owen Pittman, wife and staff of CCMS for giving racers the chance to run for some big bucks. Despite lack of participation by the Late Models, it was certainly a show to remember for any of several reasons.

 

Thanks to SAS scorer Jean Nesser for all the help keeping lap counts, etc. for me. You sure made my job easier. Wish I could afford to offer you enough money to steal you away from SAS. Also CCMS scorers and SAS scorer Steve Jung as well as announcer Milton Hope and his wife, for getting me results, names and numbers.

 

To the Bomber class, a class often overlooked as a filler. You guys did a great job. I would have bet anything, and given good odds, that you couldn’t put 23 Bombers on a 1/4 mile track for $1000 and only have one caution.

 

For all you Late Models that didn’t show up...........Seems we’ve been here a few times before haven’t we? I’ll reiterate, I think you have shot yourselves in the foot, again! Once again decent money put up and only a few show support. Don’t be surprised in the coming years if you see the big bucks going to the support classes, the ones that turn out in good numbers, without any excuses.

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Your welcome Reb! Ya know that I cant keep still and just sit there and watch a race anymore. I have to be busy too, guess its that racing gremlin, would rather be out there driving so i get figity just sitting there. :lol: Thanks for helping me stay occupied while i watched the race. I had fun and it made not racing a little more bearable! :)

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It wasn't Garrett's fault, it all happened so fast that I don't think anyone could react.... I wish we could relive that whole weekend! We did run fast after we found the problem in the distributor, only 1/10 off pace with the car firing on odd cylinders... But we all know, a finish is a finish and we didn't finish...

 

Thanks to Garrett for the help on the gears... To the #45 team for the distributor parts... Joe Armendia for the push-to-talk button... Larry Bendele for the suggestion on the stagger... Everyone around Us for the help chasing down parts and officials... Especially to ALL the fans who rooted for Us... Corpus is a VERY Humbling track... See ya' next year, unless you go to Kyle...

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