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American Iron Horse Modified Nationals

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American Iron Horse Modified Nationals @ Rio Grande Speedway 12/4-5/04

By J M Hallas



Gould Gold in Limited Mod Main

For the second year, the event hosted the SIMS/ARA Limited Modifieds for $2000 to win in the 30 lap feature. Bobby Fehring and Ronny Gould lead the 23 car field to green, with R. Gould first into turn 1 for the lead. On lap 2, Jerry Aylor brought out the yellow when he spun into the infield berm and collected Jeff Wood and Jensen Pray, who was plagued by hard luck all weekend long.


R. Gould got a good jump on the restart, with last years winner, Howard Willis getting past Fehring for second. By lap 5 R. Gould had built up a big lead over Willis, who had a gap back to Fehring, Cody Smith and Gary Clark. Smith’s shot at a top five finish ended a lap later when he broke and pulled to the pits. The top four had separated out by lap 10, while the pack still battled side by side from fifth on back.


At the crossed flags it was R, Gould, Willis, Fehring, Clark and Wood running in the top five spots with R. Gould holding a half straightaway lead. R. Gould caught traffic on lap 16, but never missed a beat as he ripped through lap cars. Wood got along side Clark for fourth on lap 16, with Wood getting the spot on lap 17. Lap 20 saw R. Gould still holding huge lead over Willis. Fehring, Wood and Clark continued to battle for third, while Edward Oakes closed in on the trio.


Fehring and Wood made slight contact on lap 22 with Wood brushing the front stretch wall. Wood never lifted, kept right on truckin’, and was able to snag third. Clark then moved in on Fehring and took over fourth on lap 23. With five to go, R. Gould was still way ahead of Willis, while Oakes snared fifth from Fehring. Wood was able to close on Willis in the waning laps, but never close enough to challenge. In the meantime, R. Gould was cruising across the line to take the victory in his Discount Kolors/V&H Paint and Body/Hot Chassis.


Limited Mod A-main

1 1 Ronny Gould

2 23 Howard Willis

3 333 Jeff Wood

4 148 Gary Clark

5 53 Edward Oakes

6 33 Bobby Fehring

7 56 Ray Kulhanek

8 56 jw Jeff Walker

9 7 Brad Brumley

10 27 Roger Faulkner

11 68 Kurt Hudgeons

12 71 Billy Garza

13 10 Charlie Pharris

14 83 Jerry Aylor

15 60 Billy Gould

16 07 Adam Schach

17 14 Anthony O'Hanlon

18 02 Rick Rodgers

19 57 Jensen Pray

20 26 Johnny Johnson

21 12dm David Marroquin

22 13cs Cody Smith

23 93 Travis Brandt

Ben Haddox----DNS



Defending Champ Doubles Up

John Allen and defending champ, Jason Hughes led the 24 car field for the start of the Modified 50 lap A-Main event for $5000 to win. Allen and Hughes stayed side by side through turns 1-2, with Hughes grabbing the advantage on the back stretch. Johnny Bone jr. dropped to the tail and pulled off a lap later. The top four fell into single file order, with Allen, Randy Timms and Eddie Martin trailing Hughes.


Timms moved along side Allen for second on lap 3, at the same time Scott Drake ran side by side with Martin for fourth. Hughes was building on his, while Timms and Allen were still wheel to wheel for second with Drake losing ground to Martin on lap 5. Timms grabbed the position on lap 6 as Martin looked low on Allen for third. Drake quickly reeled back in Allen and Martin.


Allen gained back on Timms with the duo again battling side by side, this time with Martin looking for a way by both. It was three wide at the line for second on lap 9 as Hughes continued to ease away. Timms, Allen and Martin swapped positions corner for corner until Timms finally broke free on lap 12. Drake wasted little time as he pounced on Allen and Martin to take third. With all the action up front, it was hard to watch all the battling throughout the pack, two and sometimes three wide.


Hughes run into lap cars on lap 15, but was still comfortably ahead of Timms, while Steve Holzkamper closed in the top five. Hughes held a half straightaway lead on lap 20 as Drake tried to run down Timms and Allen fought side by side with Chad Wheeler for fifth. The first caution came at an opportune time for Hughes who had just hit heavy traffic. RGS track champion, Bobby Maupin brought out the yellow when he looped his ride on lap 23.


On the restart, Martin took a peek inside Timms, putting Drake back to fourth. Coming to the halfway point Martin and Timms swapped second and as the mid point it was Hughes, Timms, Martin, Allen and Drake. With the top five single file, there was still good two wide racing going on in the field. Timms tried to dive in under Hughes on lap 26 going into turn 1, but lost ground coming out of turn 2. Drake began to move forward again, snaring fourth from Allen on lap 28.


Texas hot shoe, Lawrence Mikulencak was on the charge up top, catching Wheeler and Holzkamper in a battle for sixth. Kenneth Cox brought out the yellow on lap 29 when he rolled to a stop on the front stretch. Hughes got a good restart as green waved again leaving Timms and Martin wheel to wheel for second, as Allen was looking to split the middle. Wheeler got along side Drake on lap 31 as they fought it out for fifth.


Timms and Martin were still side by side on lap 32, while Drake got away from Wheeler and recaught Allen for fourth. Timms cleared Martin on lap 33, and dove low on Hughes in turns 1-2 on lap 34. The two were rub rail to rub rail for the lead on lap 35, with Timms eking out the top spot on lap 36. Timms got a slight edge on Hughes on lap 37, but Hughes fought back. In the meanwhile, Drake drove past Martin for third and Kevin Sitton got by Wheeler for sixth.


Timms, on the low side, got hung up behind a lap car giving Hughes the chance to go by on the high side to retake the point on lap 39. With ten to go, Hughes who had been exclusively on the high side changed his line, using the bottom in turns 1-2 and was able to get away from Timms. Sitton, who was one the faster cars in the late laps, powered by Allen for fifth on lap 42. Hughes was building his lead on lap 43 as the top four got away from the fifth place battle between Sitton, Allen and Wheeler.


Drake was able to catch Timms for second on lap 46, with the two side by side on lap 47. This gave Hughes a chance to get ahead by 8-10 car lengths with two to go. Drake and Timms continued to scrap it out for second trading some paint as the white flag waved. Coming to the checkers, it was Hughes piloting the South 10th St. Auto Parts/West Siloam Pawn/Deleon Auto Accessories/Maxwell Oil/Bartell Motorsports/Rainbow Graphics/BMS Race Engines/Aero Wheels/Zamara Racing Heads/Hughes Chassis, taking the back to back win.


Modified Main

1 12 Jason Hughes

2 12D Scott Drake

3 5T Randy Timms

4 51 Eddie Martin

5 20KS Kevin Sitton

6 98 John Allen

7 88CW Chad Wheeler

8 5SH Steve Holzkamper

9 5W Johno Whittington

10 91 Bobby Maupin

11 44 David Grigg

12 27 Derek Knowles

13 19 Jamie Burford

14 216 Wayne Brooks

15 1 Lawrence Mikulencak

16 21W Greg Waugh

17 112 Chris Anderson

18 4G Gary Clark

19 51RF Randy Frailey

20 B52 Johnny Brown

21 12WB Wade Bates

22 77 Paul White

23 5K Kenneth Cox

24 12JB Johnny Bone jr.

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i'm tired of hearing this b.s. about asphalt lates and mods. it is CHEAPER to run dirt and the ratio of the purse for the mods is greater than that of lates if yall are so worried about late model car counts buy one and help the car count out. o but you dont have the money right maybe a lot of other people didnt have the money to make a race that wasnt scheduled until late in the season. so quit bitching about the car counts unless you're gonna do something about it. yall are comparing apples to oranges. i'm ready now so bring all your bashes.

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Lloyd, no bashing and you're right there are far more modifieds around than pavement late models. Why? Becuase they run a fairly close set of rules(or IMCA rules) allowing cars from all over the midwest to race at one place. Even with crappy weather forecast and happening, 100 modified and 40 limited modifieds showed up. Usually there are 120+/- modifieds, the limiteds were just started last year and twice as many showed up this year.


True, money is probably an issue, but if it's that big of a deal, maybe running a different class would be more suitable. I (personally)would rather race a entry level class every week, than a high dollar class only when I could afford it. Then look at some of the haulers, they're worth more than my house. Ever see two-time SAS Champion Larry Bendle's rig? An open trailer pulled by a less than new pick up truck w/a camper shell. Does a high dollar hauler make one faster on the track, or is it just a status symbol?


Cheaper to run a dirt modified? I would venture a guess that most of the big name travelling teams have as much in their car as a late model(other than USRA, S/E Series, etc.) The weekly guys probably have less or almost as much for a 'good' car. Maybe pavement racing should start using a motor/shock/carb claim rule to keep costs down? LOL Hey, don't laugh it works for IMCA!


Purse breakdowns. The big shows vary so much it would be tough to compare, some are top heavy and others are spread good back through, but a weekly modified racer gets 300-400 to win on a regular night and 20-40 bucks to start.


Yes I realize I'm probably one of the biggest offenders when it comes to taking snipes at the late model no shows, but I can at least back up my statements with good counter-points. It's nothing personal against you or any other team.

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