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Emerson, McGaha, Hanusch, Abbey, Hood and Baggerly take 281 Spwy wins

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Texas Sprint Series @ 281 Speedway by C&S Promotions


By JM Hallas


Stephenville, TX.,(April 15th, 2017) - Happy Easter Eve.


The Texas Sprint Series made appearance Saturday night on the ¼ mile, Semi-banked, dirt oval just outside of town. The visit marks the first for the group, a spin off the Racesaver 305 class. 21 drivers signed in to do battle and grab the honors of inaugural winner at 281 Speedway. During intermission all the Sprint Cars lined up on the front stretch with Easter eggs, filled with candy, lucky numbers and toys for all the kids.


Also in action were the IMCA Modifieds, Southern Sportmods, Stocks cars and Sport Compacts, plus the Factory Stocks. As 281 Speedway continues to grow it's quickly becoming known as one of the most consistent dirt tracks in the state. Tonight would be the exception.


After taking 2” of rain on Thursday night-Friday morning, the track held up pretty well. There were some large puddles in the infield, but no one took a mud bath during the night. The track itself started a bit slimy and stayed pretty tacky during the night. A bit different than the regular dry slick the first few weeks.


This year promoters, Heather Combs and Joe Spillman, have brought life back into racing at the track with innovating marketing, creative sponsorships and racer incentives. Tonight was the Easter Egg Hunt for the kids with 1,000 or more eggs, plus Easter baskets for the children. Anyone dressed with “Bunny Ears” was given a discount on admission cost, full Easter bunny dress got free admission.


Emerson Eases Away for Texas Sprint Series Win


Jeff Emerson(Millsap) made a bold move on a restart to snag the lead near halfway from Danny Merrell. Emerson, Merrell and James Hammock went three wide into turn 3 with Emerson coming out with the top spot. Hammock wheel hopped after he and Merrell made contact but was able to keep it on all fours and continue. Another late restart rebunched the field, but Emerson was able to get away cleanly for the victory while Hammock and Jason Howell battled for second.


As the 21-car Texas Sprint Series main event roared to life it was Kenny Venable grabbing the early lead followed by Kenny Elwood, Danny Merrell, Chase Parson and Cody Whitworth. That lead was short as Elwood got the top spot on lap 3 with Parson taking third. Parson picked up another spot bringing James Hammock along.


While he battled with Whitworth for third, Parson jumped the turn 4 cushion and lost a couple spots. Merrell was able to wrestle the lead away from Elwood on lap 8 with Hammock charging to second. Reagan Reed went around in turn 4 for a lap 8 caution.


On green Merrell, Hammock and Emerson went three wide into turn 3. Emerson came away with the spot while Hammock and Merrell made contact. Hammock got the spot as Merrell began to fade, possibly from damage. At the crossed flags it was Emerson, Hammock, Whitworth, Howell and Dustin Woods now the top five.


Howell was able to take third as the lead duo now hit lapped traffic. Emerson was able to increase his margin, going thee wide at times, while Hammock had Howell closing rapidly. Rodney Henderson brought out the final yellow on lap 16 when he had trouble in turn 2.


Emerson got away on green while Hammock and Howell were scrapping it out for second. That battle gave Emerson some breathing room the final 3 circuits as he cruised to the win in his Stone Oilfield Services, Binswanger Glass, Emerson Motorsports, Triple X Chassis. Howell was able to get by Hammock for second, but Emerson was long gone.post-34-0-17786900-1492403050_thumb.jpg


Texas Sprint Series


35 Jeff Emerson, 72 Jason Howell, 4 James Hammock, 50 Cody Whitworth, 00 Dustin Woods, 21 Michelle Melton, 12x Gary Kelly, 28 Trevor Reed, 12 Reagan Reed, 82 Josh Hanna, 57 Chase Parson, 59 Kenny Venable, 56 Craig Woods, 99 Bud Hanna, 42x Bob Odom, 75 Sam Stockon, 42 David Munden, 67 Rodney Henderson, 0 Danny Merrell, 55 Kenny Elwood, 11/93 Johnny Suggs


Texas Sprint Series heats
Heat 1; 57 Chase Parson, 12 Reagan Reed, 50 Cody Whitworth, 35 Jeff Emerson, 28 Trevor Reed, 56x Craig woods, 11/93 Johnny Suggs

Heat 2; 4 Jerry Hammock, 0 Danny Merrell, 67 Rodney Henderson, 59 Kenny Venable, 00 Dustin Woods, 42 David Munden, 99 Bud Hanna

Heat 3; 21 Michelle Melton, 55 Kenny Elwood, 12x Gary Kelly, 72 Jason Howell, 82 Josh Hanna, 42x Bob Odom, 75 Sam Stockon


McGaha Motors to Modified Main Money


Abilene's Josh McGaha went home with the IMCA Modified feature win going flag to flag in the 20-lapper. McGaha was chased early by Johnny Sheets until pulling away mid race. Caution in the final laps erased his lead and put Sheets and Chad Melton on his bumper for restart. Sheets gave McGaha a look on green, but couldn't get by while Melton had problems and fell out leaving McGaha to pull a couple car lengths on Sheets at the checkers.


As the 14-car field took the green McGaha was first into turn1 while Melton drifted too high and fell back a few spots. At line for lap 1 Sheets, Hardy Henderson, Melton and Brandon Hood in tow. Sheets put pressure on McGaha early even as they crept away. Behind them Melton took third with Hood, Henderson and Dean Abbey fighting for fourth.


After Hood secured fourth, Abbey got fifth as the laps quickly clicked off. At halfway it was McGaha easing away, Sheets, Melton, Hood and Abbey. The races only yellow flew on lap 17 when Peter DeGrote went around in turn 2. The yellow, unwanted by McGaha, took away his half straightaway lead.


On the restart Sheets gave McGaha another try, but came up short. Chris Bragg and Abbey swapped fifth while Hood got third from Melton, who would pull off on the last lap. McGaha, in the All Pro Clutch & Driveline, Jay Grimes Chassis Tuning, Stephenville Starter & Electric, Dirt Defender, A-City Speed, Dave Leech Construction, Rowdy C Racing Specialties, Fletchers Custom Engines, CAM Chassis inched back away to take the victory.


“We had a good starting spot,” exclaimed McGaha. “That kind of helps. That's been our downfall some this season having to start deeper in the field. The car was a little tight to start with and I adjusted the brakes and got it working really good. I felt like I had a good comfortable lead. Then that caution came out, I wasn't looking forward to that. I had no idea who was behind me. I felt I had a good enough car. It took off and did what I wanted it to do. It started to shove the nose so I just had to drive it a little harder."


"There's a lot of tough cars here. We were just talking about that, the competition level here this year is tremendous, more than it has been. “We bounce all over the place so we're changing stuff constantly. Then there's never a track condition that's the same. So it's always a struggle to stay on top of the game and figure out what we need.”


IMCA Modifieds


911 Josh McGaha, 96 Johnny Sheets, 1b Brandon Hood, 26 Dean Abbey, 24b Chris Bragg, 9 Chris Elliot, 88 Wesley Dulock, 63 Hardy, Henderson, 07 Jason Hilliard, 92 Peter DeGrote, 8 Jason Hubert, 71 Chad Melton, 52 Ken Old, 53 Robert Scrivner, 711 Bobby Sanford ---dns


IMCA Modified heats

Heat 1; 71 Chad Melton, 911 Josh McGaha, 1b Brandon Hood, 24b Chris Bragg, 53 Robert Scrivner, 88 Wesley Dulock, 8 Jason Hubert, 711 Bobby Sanford

Heat 2; 96 Johnny Sheets, 63 Hardy Henderson, 26 Dean Abbey, 9 Chris Elliot, 07 Jason Hilliard, 52 Ken Old, 92 Peter DeGrote


Sportmod Scramble to Hanusch


Belton's James Hanusch battled his way through the IMCA Southern Sportmod field moving in behind Tyler Bragg as they separated themselves from the field. Hanusch got inside Bragg on lap 9 getting the spot a lap later. Bragg fought back with a tap or two, but as the checkers waved in was Hanusch in the Precise Plumbing, Tri-City Landscapes, Cen-Tex Performance powered, CAM Chassis getting the win by a couple car lengths.


Tyler Bragg led the 13-car IMCA Southern Sportmod feature into turn 1, but it was DL Wilson coming off turn 2 to lead lap 1. Bragg, James Guyton, Quentin Noel and Taylor Florio fell in behind. Bragg didn't waste any time grabbing the point from Wilson on lap 2 while Hanusch took fifth from Florio, who was now three wide with Kamera McDonald and Jeffrey Abbey.


Hanusch then picked off spots from Noel, Guyton then Wilson to put him in second. Bragg and Hanusch were checking out at halfway with Wilson, Guyton and Abbey in the top five. Hanusch and Bragg were side by side on lap 9 with Hanusch getting the lead on lap 10 while Abbey got fourth followed by Brad Shirley to fifth.


As Hanusch began to inch away from Bragg, Abbey took over third from Wilson. Shirley was next to put Wilson back a spot as the laps wound down. With the white flag in the air Hanusch had cleared Bragg by a couple cars lengths, a margin he would hold to the finish line.


IMCA Southern Sportmods


777 James Hanusch, 24t Tyler Bragg, 37 Jeffrey Abbey, 00 Brad Shirley, 6w DL Wilson, 3x Quentin Noel, 68 James Guyton, 62k Kamera McDonald, 21f John Freeman, 95 Ronnie Bell jr., 21t Taylor Florio, 18 Jeff Toler, 2x Nathan Arms


IMCA SSM heats
Heat 1; 6w DL Wilson, 24t Tyler Bragg, 37 Jeffrey Abbey, 62k Kamera McDonald, 21t Taylor Florio, 95 Ronnie Bell jr., 2x Nathan Arms

Heat 2; 3x Quentin Noel, 00 Brad Shirley, 21f John Freeman, 777 James Hanusch, 68 James Guyton, 18 Jeff Toler


Abbey Aces I-Stocks


Young gun Westin Abbey(Comanche) went home with the win in the 15-lap IMCA Stock feature after a hard fought battle. Abbey and Dennis Bissonette ran door to door for nearly ten laps before Abbey secured the spot. As Bissonette tried to retake the spot they made some contact that sent Bissonette around. Abbey then held off Zach Riley in the final circuits to take the victory.


Despite a short field of ten IMCA Stock Cars, the race certainly didn't lack for excitement. Abbey was off turn 2 in the lead on lap 1 with Bissonette and Anthony Otken door to door, Zach Spillman and Zach Riley in the top five. Once Bissonette cleared Otken the veteran, Bissonette, began putting heat on the young Abbey.


Bissonette got along side Abbey and got the nose out front on lap 4. As the duo continued to slug it out up front, Otken and Riley had their own battle going. Behind them, Z. Spillman, Wade White and Joe Spillman were three wide for fifth. At halfway the top six were paired off in side by side battles, Bissonette and Abbey, Otken and Riley, Z. Spillman and White.


Abbey finally prevailed and snagged the lead back on lap 12. Bissonette tried to get back inside but made some contact and spun himself coming to the white flag lap. This set up a green, white, checker finish that saw Abbey get away while White got by Z. Spillman.


As Abbey eased away, White took third from Otken as the white again waved. J. Spillman traded some paint with his son Zach, to take fifth. At the checkers it was Abbey in the Abbey Racing, Dean Abbey Enterprises, Berta Built Bodies, five1seven Designs, Dynamic Drivelines, Tumbleweed Bar-b-que, KSE powered, B&B Chassis getting the win.


“It was a pretty good battle with Dennis(Bissonette),” replied Abbey. “I was a little tight and he got by me. I worked on getting him and finally got him on the back stretch. The car was pretty good, just a little tight. We'll have to work on that when we come back next week.”


“My brothers, Dean, Jeffrey, and my dad all help me a lot on my car. I don't really know if I'm going to move up, these Stock Cars are pretty fun. I've run some in a Sportmod and I might drive my brothers back-up car some.”


IMCA Stocks Cars


12 Westin Abbey, 110 Zach Riley, 68 Wade White, 489 Anthony Otken, 44 Joe Spillman, 44z Zach Spillman, 3x Travis Norman, 07 Dennis Bissonette, t4 Tony Hamil, 63 Andy Roller

I-Stock heat


Heat 1; 12 Weston Abbey, 110 Zach Riley, 07d Dennis Bissonette, 44z Zach Spillman, 189 Anthony Otken, 44 Joe Spillman, 3x Travis Norman, 68 Wade White, 63 Andy Roller, t4 Tony Hamil


Hood Hustles to Factory Stock Finish


Brandon Hood(McGregor) spent the first half of the Factory Stock 15-lap feature chasing David Bissonette until a mid-race caution. Hood got inside Bissonette for the lead on the restart then carried his advantage to the checkers in the Wade White Trucking, Terry Keenan powered, Chevy.


The 15-car Factory Stock had a bit of everything, including some shenanigans. Bissonette got out front on green trailed by Anthony Simcik, Hood, Terry Dumas and Blaine Simcik. Hood quickly got second from A. Simcik and was on the chase after Bissonette. Behind the lead quintet, Rick Morosky, Jamie Herring and Thomas Clark were three wide for sixth.


Lap 4 saw Bobby Cox pound the front stretch wall while at the same time Dumas, B. Simcik and Morosky were tangling in turn 1. On the restart A. Simcik got by Hood, but then had a big push in turn 4 giving up spots to Hood and Dumas. Hood began to look low on Bissonette, but John Grobe stopped in turn 4 for a lap 6 caution.


Back under green, A. Simcik got a spot back from Dumas while Clark and Gary Miller were door to door for fifth. At halfway it was Bissonette, Hood, A. Simcik, Dumas and Clark. While battling for third Dumas tried to dive under A. Simcik. The two banged doors in turn 1 with A. Simcik stalled out for a caution, as Dumas continued on.


On the restart Hood ducked under Bissonette and was out front on lap 9. Dumas would spin on his own and get going, right in front of A. Simcik who backed off to let him in. Going into turn 3 A. Simcik drove in deep, clipped Dumas in the quarter panel and sent him around. Dumas had thoughts, but decided against going after A. Simcik, despite the crowd cheering him on, as he headed to the pits.


Back to racing, Hood and Bissonette took off, while Morosky was on the move taking back spots lost with his earlier caution. As the white flag waved it was Hood with slight margin on Bissonette, who was trying to drive in deeper. Bissonette lost some ground on the last lap leaving Hood unchallenged at the finish.


“We were in the right place at the right time” said Hood. “(David)Bissonette had the race sewed up and had the car to beat. We ended up getting by him on that one restart. That last caution put a little pressure on us because we were tight getting in. I knew that they knew we were struggling there, so I drove it with all I know how to, just to make her turn. It was a great race for sure!”


“I have to thank Mark McDaniel for the set up help and all guy back at the shop.”


Factory Stocks


68 Brandon Hood, 85$ David Bissonette, 88 Rick Morosky, 188 Thomas Clark, 7m Gary Miller, 222 Jamie Herring, 55d Terry Dumas, 129 David Millirons, 88x Jeff Sheppard, 01 John Grobe, 29 JD Millirons, 55 Charlie Wilson, 4d4 Blaine Simcik, 74c Bobby Cox, 44 Anthony Simcik---DQ(rough driving)


Factory Stock heats
Heat 1; 44 Anthony Simcik, 85$ David Bissonette, 222 Jamie Herring, 88x Jeff Sheppard, 68 Brandon Hood, 74c Bobby Cox, 01 John Grobe, 29 JD Millirons--dns

Heat 2; 55d Terry Dumas, 4d4 Blaine Simcik, 7m Gary Miller, 88 Rick Morosky, 55 Charlie Wilson, 188 Thomas Clark, 129 David Millirons


Baggerly Bags Sport Compact Sweep


Danny Baggerly(Joshua) swept the IMCA Sport Compact winning the heat and 12-lap feature. Baggerly fought with Clifton Whisenant at the start of the feature getting the lead coming off turn 4. Julia Child(no, not the cooking lady) tried to run down Baggerly at the end, but Baggerly kept a comfortable margin at the finish.


IMCA Sport Compacts
9k Danny Baggerly, 02 Julia Child, 99k Kris Traffansteadt, 10w Clifton Whisenant, 88t James Morehead


IMCA Sport Compact heat ; 9k Danny Baggerly, 10w Clifton Whisenant, 02 Julia Childs, 99k Kris Traffansteadt, 88t James Morehead

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