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Havoc Recap


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The 2014 Halloween Havoc at Shady Oaks Speedway definitely lived up to the event name as there was Havoc all night. Nearly 150 cars arrived in Goliad yesterday and unfortunately, many left in a way not desired. From impromptu, winged Invocation (sorry about that by the way) to computer crashing before features starting to one of the hardest rolls I've seen, it was a long night.

 

We all knew time was going to be of the essence and yes the program went long. Yes there are ways to improve and Yes there were some things that were beyond control of anyone at the track. I won't get into the debate of how long is too long or suggest for ways to cut time, not my place. Even with the long show, I would call Havoc a success, full pits and full stands, and good racing by most.

 

Halloween Havoc is not just an event for the racers and fans, but for the kids as well. I've always enjoyed when tracks bring their cars out and interact with fans, especially the kids. The intermission Trick or Treat the drivers went very well. Good conversation with drivers and fans and officials as everyone had smiles on their faces, good costumes by the kids and adults alike and just an overall festive atmosphere. But Shady Oaks and their drivers, spear headed by Monty Chamberlain, who has always been a supporter of South Texas racing anywhere he's been, put together a very nice tribute for two members of the racing family, Johnny Thomas and Kurt Hudgeons. A very nice turnout by the drivers for their salute laps and fans standing in honor and respect for Thomas and Hudgeons and their families.

 

Johnny Thomas was a Pro Stock Truck driver and piloted the orange 27 to a victory in his last race September 6, 2014. In fitting fashion, that same truck found victory lane once again with I believe James Jennings at the wheel (only get last names for Trucks). The trucks do put on a pretty entertaining race, even with their limited numbers and set a pretty good tempo for the night.

 

The always entertaining Pure Stocks found their way onto the track next, with 30 making the call. As can be imagined with a field that large there was racing and action all over the track. Field settled into about three groups with several cars battling for position and sliding through the infield all over the track which was prepped nicely and held up most of the night. The lead group of Mickey Helms, Logan Schunka, Jerry Walters, Martin Koehne, Randy Morris all battling early trying to catch Helms. Shannon Maurer battled through the second group, eventually caught the lead group and ended up with a strong second behind Helms as he was the man to beat tonight. This race did set another tone that no one wanted to see and the Havoc caught up to Kevin Sullivan and Carlton Albrecht. Sullivan had hit a loose fender that sat in turn 2 for a few laps and either ruptured a tire or broke something in the front suspension and has he limped to a stop in the infield before the starting line, Albrecht got turned into the rear of Sullivan's car with a vicious collision. Both drivers were ok, but cars were done. Sullivan, a flag man himself, let the flag men know there was debris in two then had a conversation with Albrecht after their collision that seemed pretty peaceful. Impressive drive from Hannah Wright coming from 30th to a 6th place finish, but no one had anything for Mickey Helms as he claimed the Pure Stock victory.

 

Dwarf/Mod Lites followed the Pure Stocks as 13 of these little speed demons took to the track. This race was marred by cautions as it seemed like every two laps someone got turned around. Victor Vargas and Morgan Rios were the cream of the crop most of the race but no real flow and time to get away from the field with the yellows. Rios' night effectively ended on a restart as he either missed a gear or the car let go on him. He spent a few laps in the infield but was able to rejoin the race and finish 9th. Seemed like it was Vargas' race to lose and two cars that were sent to the back or recovered from earlier spins ended up running him down and passing him then the 93X (one of the best looking Dwarf/Mod Lites I've seen) of Ronnie Saunders Jr, got around as well. Vargas would settle for a 4th, Saunders Jr, 3rd, Donnie Hunt 2nd and the 1W of Brad Wright claiming the victory.

 

A strong field of 30 Street Stocks next to battle it out on the 1/3 mile beast. Multiple track championships and series championships in this field paced by Greg Carlucci Jr, and Chris Shafer. One visiting Shady Oaks for the first time ever with first laps in his heat race and Shafer, a multiple and current track champion. Then the likes of Tony Blankenship, Steven Doty, Mike Trigg, Shawn Kline, Lawrence Mikulencak, Monte Chamberlain, Stephen Danielsen, and way in the back of the pack after a heat race black flag, Wade Jones. Shafer overtook Carlucci and set the pace. Carlucci fighting a tight car eventually lost ground and settles for a pretty impressive 5th on his first trip to SOS. Doty, Blankenship, Mikulencak, all trying to fight to dethrone Shafer. Jones got as high as 6th or 7th before tangling with Danielsen ending both of their nights. Doty, Blankenship, and Mikulencak couldn't catch Shafer as he is the Street Stock Havoc Champion.

 

The Limited Late Models roared back into action after a long hiatus from Shady Oaks. Sixteen of the eighteen started the main event with Johnny Torres and Bobby Jack pacing the field to green. Johnny Torres took an early lead that he never relinquished as several battled for the second spot. Jack, Landon Farquer, Drew Hesler and Anthony Malhorin all spending time near the front. Shane Moore took a rather wild ride as something fell off the front of the car and launched him around the top of the track Hesler driving a pretty consistent race while others lost traction through the night but couldn't get around Torres although the results posted have the two switched, Torres was the on-track winner but not sure if there were any penalties handed out or if it was an oversight. Either way, those two and the rest of the Limited Late Models put on a pretty good show.

 

Limited Modified were next to try their luck as Steve Whiteaker and Shane Hoefling led the field of 26 to the green. Those two were definitely the pace setters but Hoefling was a man on a mission and would not be beat tonight as he consistently maintained a solid lead over Whiteaker as Dustin Butcher was third most of the night until handling issues got the best of his night. The Havoc bug collected a few of the Limited Modified drivers as well when Larry Jernigan, John Bonneau, Randy Bennett, and Sherrill Lewis were involved in a collision under the flag stand. All drivers ok, but tow trucks were busy with that incident. Shady Oaks track champion Vince Louden had a rough night as he pulled off early with some sort of mechanical issue. Back up front, this race was dominated by Hoefling as he cruised to a victory over Whiteaker and the rest of the field. Tough luck to Chase Sanchez as he was running strong in his heat until his motor let go, he could have been a factor in the main event but don't know if anyone would have caught Hoefling.

 

Late Models had to face a very slick track by this time as the nine competitors struggled to find grip. Well, a few had no problem as GW Hessong set sail early and often and was in a world of his own. He would constantly build huge leads that even the always tough to beat, Kevin Migura couldn't put a dent in. Jarrod Stepanski finished third, Jesse Harris fourth, and Alan Kunkel rounding out the top 5.

 

The last race of the evening was the most scary. Michael McCarthy and Jamie Campbell battled pretty hard for the lead but Cody Stacy and another car touched wheels and sent Stacy barrel rolling down the front straight. Safety crews and other drivers rushing to Stacy's aid. He was able to walk away and I'm sure he's a little sore today but seemed to be ok. The car however isn't but did everything it was supposed to do. Thank God for Hans device and full containment seats in this case and there was a slight bend in the halo but car looked better than expected after that roll. McCarthy ended up with a relatively easy win as he stayed smooth and consistent with Campbell pretty close behind, Cody Leonard rounding out the podium.

 

It was a late night at Shady Oaks and I know there will be the naysayers. Some are upset about things that went on and honestly, I can expect that. All in all, other than leaving around 3am, Havoc was a good event and thank you to all the fans, drivers, and sponsors that made it a good show. Thank you to all the track sponsors for supporting the entire 2014 season. Shady Oaks will be open in 2015 and will be looking forward to the next season as the South Texas Nationals will be roaring in March 12-14, $1500 to win Pure Stock, $2000 to win Street Stock and $3000 to win Limited Modified with several other events planned, BBQ Cookoff, concert, and special celebration planned for the victors. See you in March and thank you for the support.

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I also want to add one thing I've noticed. I wrote about Monty's efforts but seeing multiple drivers rushing to Cody Stacy's aid after his roller coaster ride, it's good to see. Great job by the safety crew and fellow drivers and of course the way you guys came together to either help or respect fallen members of the racing family.

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Jon dad is fine and he went and told duey that he wasnt mad at him but more the person that had the flag, but in any case i would rather rebuild or build another car then to have someone hurt by debris left unattended on the racing surface that could have led to serious injuries. Once again awesome job on the write up and announcing and maybe one day i will catch up and finally meet u.

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I didn't think he was mad with the other driver and thought the flaggers saw the debris in 2 but who knows. Heard the hit in the booth so knew it was a hard hit but was glad both were ok. I'll be at the Dec race at STS, hopefully with my car but will find ya there. Your dad does a good job here so I know he understands what goes on in the stand.

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