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T. Minten, Votion, Jennings, Jones, Snow, Carter take I-37 Spwy wins

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I-37 Speedway by R&M Promotions, 4/22/17


By JM Hallas


Pleasanton, TX.,(April 22nd, 2017) Saturday night began the third round of racing at I-37 Speedway on the ¼ mile, semi-banked, dirt oval. So far this year the twelve feature races have seen twelve different winners, by class. Talon Minten has, however, won twice but in different classes, once in Modifieds and once in Sport Modifieds.


So who would take home the checkers tonight?


The track put up some bonus money($300) in a challenge to the Sport Modified class to beat the car count from opening night where 27 cars signed in. With another south Texas track already canceled due to weather, that challenge was certainly attainable.


While the challenge wasn't met with only 26 Sport Modifieds showing up, the track still honored its pledge for the bonus money as the featured class for the night. Over 100 cars signed in for the night with quite a few new faces including one, Lee Praytor, all the way from Tyler.


The first two races have seen similar tracks conditions with the surface being dry slick come feature time. Both times racing started under sunny, warm skies. Tonight a whole new ball game. It was cloudy and cool(alright, cold by south Texas standards), with gusty north winds. Track officials did their best to keep dust from blowing in the stands and the fans, yet the track still came in for features.


Minten Masterful in Modifieds


Despite being new to the Modified class, Talon Minten(Seguin) has quickly gotten the hang of things in the higher powered class. Minten toasted the field going flag to flag in the 20-lapper. Taking the point on green Minten pulled away from Cody Leonard and capped it off by lapping up to fifth place in the 3-D Landscaping, All In Designs, Swenson Racing Products, Alamo Hot Rod Parts, Rising Star Racing Bodies, Friesen crate powered, Hughes chassis.


On the first try at a start Minten got away while Greg Dinsmore had fueling issues, slowing and falling out. Jason Borlace went around coming to green for a complete start. Minten once again jumped out front trailed by Robert Liese jr., Leonard, Donald Banker and Jamie Campbell. Dinsmore tried to grab the rear of the field, but pitted again.


Leonard and Liese had a short battle for second with Leonard getting the spot as Campbell took fourth from D. Banker. Matt Banker and Hunter Flanagan were able to get by D. Banker for fifth and sixth. Up front Minten was building a lead on Leonard until Borlace went around again on lap 6.


Leonard gave Minten a look low on the restart, but was also trying to fend off Campbell who took third from Liese. By halfway Minten had driven out to a big lead as the top four spread out. Behind them, Flanagan, M. Banker, D. Banker, Jake Rollins, Jeremy Davenport and Lonnell Timmons jr had their own spirited battle going on for fifth.


As that septet slugged it out among themselves, Minten was reeling them in, fast. The only thing to slow Minten was trying to dice through the pack that was involved in their own fight. As the white flag waved, Minten had a full straightaway advantage on Leonard despite the traffic.


“I really haven't done a thing,” commented Minten. “I haven't touched the car all season. Brandon Blaylock helped me get the car set up and it's been on a rail ever since. I don't feel bad about winning by so much.”


“I hoped that (Greg) Dinsmore had stayed in the race. I wanted to see how fast I was compared to him. It never happened since he broke or something. I really wanted to have a good race, but it didn't happen. Fortunately I was able to start up front and stay there.”


“I've tried to get with everyone I know that has a Modified and convince them to come out. Maybe if they put a bounty on me? It would be nice to get a full field here again.”



Jay Hallas photo


Cash Bred Off Road Modifieds


14t Talon Minten, 12 Cody Leonard, 29 Jamie Campbell, 77 Robert Liese jr., 58 Hunter Flanagan, 377 Matt Banker, 37 Donald Banker, 92 Jake Rollins, 91 Jeremy Davenport, 125 Jason Borlace, 4 Lonnell Timmons jr., 15 Chris Jones, 8g Greg Dinsmore


Modified heats
Heat 1; 77 Robert Liese jr., 37 Donald Banker, 377 Matt Banker, 125 Jason Borlace, 15 Chris Jones, 58 Hunter Flanagan---dns

Heat 2; 8g Greg Dinsmore, 14t Talon Minten, 12 Cody Leonard, 29 Jamie Campbell, 4 Lonnell Timmons jr., 91 Jeremy Davenport, 92 Jake Rollins


Votion Victorious


San Antonio's Trey Votion showed the field he was back in championship form taking the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature for the second race in a row. Votion again rode the high line to the lead despite getting some damage on the initial start. Votion got by Aaron Leddy who drifted too high on the next start then fought challenges from Frank Okruhlik and Jason Kelly to lead every lap on his way to the win.


On the initial start Adrian Awalt went around in turn 2 and collected Votion, DJ Schroat and John Owens ending Owens night early. The next try saw Leddy first into turn 1 but slip up allowing Votion to get past for the lead with Okruhlik, J. Kelly and Leddy three wide for second.


On a restart for Leddy stopped on the back stretch, Votion Okruhlik and J. Kelly were three wide coming off turn 4 for the lead. Votion held his ground on top while Ron Sprayue got by Patrick Kelly and J. Kelly for third. Just as Votion and Okruhlik began to check out, Awalt looped it again for a lap 6 yellow.


As green waved again, Sprayue and Okruhlik swapped second giving Votion some breathing room as the two Kellys ran door to door for fourth. Sprayue would spin and collect Awalt ending both their nights. Votion and Okruhlik would break away on green leaving the Kellys side by side for third.


With five two to go Okruhlik was still within a car length of Votion for the lead. The final five circuits saw Votion, in the ZDT's Amusement Park, Champion Signs, Mission Race Engines powered, Kelly Racing Chassis, Ford ease away to the checkers.


“Can't complain,” exclaimed Votion going two for two in a new car. “It' wasn't much different than last week. I'm happy, car was working good and it's all in one piece except for little body damage.”


“They told us they were going to put some water on the track during intermission and I was thinking, 'Oh, man.' It worked out really well in (turns) 1-2. (Turns) 1-2 was night and day from (turns 3-4). I could run it hard into 1-2, but it was completely opposite in 3-4. You really had to baby it. I got too high once and thought I was going to loop it.”


“I ran the top line the whole race. If someone was going get the bottom to work, they were going to get me on the bottom. I felt I was pretty good where I was. I saw a fender a couple times and I was able to pull whoever it was coming off the top.”


“After that wreck I was absolutely concerned about any damage. I found a track official and asked him to look at the back of the car. I really had no idea how it was. I knew I got hit, but didn't know where. It ended up being fine and didn't effect the car at all.”

Nogolitas Gear Limited Late Models


99v Trey Votion, 99 Frank Okruhlik, 84 Patrick Kelly, 57 Jason Kelly, 13 Howie Marcx, 42 Ron Sprayue, 17 Adrian Awalt, 8 DJ Schroat, 93 Aaron Leddy, 15 John Owens


Limited Late Model heats
Heat 1; 93 Aaron Leddy,99v Trey Votion, 57 Jason Kelly, 8 DJ Schroat, 15 John Owen

Heat 2; 17 Adrian Awalt, 84 Patrick Kelly, 99 Frank Okruhlik, 42 Ron Sprayue, 13 Howie Marcx


Jennings Finds Joy on High Side


If you thought that 25 Sport Modifieds battling for extra cash would be organized chaos, you'd be correct. At the end of it all it was JJ Jennings(Corpus Christi) going home with the win and bonus money. Jennings, using the high line, got the lead early from Cody Leonard. Leonard continued to chase Jennings through numerous restarts. At the end Jennings got a slight margin on Johnny Torres, who took over in the fight with Leonard for second.


After a line up road meet-n-greet with the 26 Sport Modified drivers, it was time to suit up for battle. Twenty-five cars took the green with Leonard getting into turn 1 first. Behind him, Jennings and Steve Whiteaker jr. were wheel to wheel for second followed by Shane Hoefling and Marcus Mikulencak. Further back it was three, almost four wide in the pack.


Jennings secured second using the high side and kept that line to get along side and by Leonard for the lead on lap 4. In the pack Lawrence Mikulencak, Talon Minton and Torres were still three wide for seventh. Edward Oakes joined that scrap looking for a way to go four abreast. As the leaders caught traffic yellow waved after Cody Beddoe got into Oakes sending him around.


That set up a series of four restarts that saw lots of bent sheet metal and probably some hurt feelings. When 'racing' finally resumed Leonard took a look low on Jennings, but ended up giving up a spot to Whiteaker, then another to Torres. Coming to the midway point it was Jennings, Torres, Leonard, Hoefling and T. Minton after Whiteaker pitted with ignition issues.


Jennings had built a nice lead when Bart Wilcox, M. Mikulencak, Randy Bennett and Larry Jernigan got piled up on the back stretch, erasing his lead. On the restart the top four got away, all running the top, while L. Mikulenack took fifth from T. Minten.


With two to go Jennings had gotten about five car lengths on Torres, who now had Leonard challenging for the runner up spot. Torres held the position while Jennings in the G&M Oilfield Services, 1st Class Towing, WW Bodies, Diamond Specialties, Omega Mechanical, raceontexas.com, PTS Powered, Hughes by 89 Motorsports Chassis was taking the checkers.


“It's been at least five years since I've won a race here,” replied Jennings. “It's been a while and I'm glad to be back here, that's for sure. I loved the track we had. You can race on that kind of track. When it's a hammer down, heavy track, everybody is fast. When it's dry it takes the motor out of the equation and back into the drivers hands.”


“I knew Cody(Leonard) wasn't going to give up the bottom, and Steve(Whiteaker) was already there. I didn't have much of a choice at the beginning of the race. I don't know how my car would have run on the bottom. After they put a little water on the dust up there I figured there might be something up there. It took me two or three laps to get it figured out. Once I got it rolling around the top, it was pretty smooth. I'm glad it paid off at the end.”


“When you get out in the lead like that, on a track has been pretty dominant on the bottom, I was waiting for the top to burn up and the bottom come in. I was able to pass them on the outside and if I was going to get beat, it would be on the bottom.”

“It's nice to have all my family here and all their support, especially my wife and kids.”


Swenson Racing Products Sport Modifieds


26g JJ Jennings, 66 Johnny Torres, 12 Cody Leonard, 63 Shane Hoefling, 87 Lawrence Mikulencak, 9t Talon Minten, 184 Brian Rye, 99 Edward Oakes, 24r Robby Minten, 56 Broc Bowen, bd2 Eddy Ross, bd3 Greg Carlucci jr., 77 Cody Beddoe, 25 Tyler Box, 71 Bart Wilcox, 31 Chase Havely, 38 David Schury, 174 Max Helms, 9 Ryan Doyon, 14 Trent Beaver, 18 Larry Jernigan, 22 Randy Bennett, 9m Marcus Mikulencak, 89c Steve Whiteaker jr., 58 Hunter Flanagan, 11t Tom Grothues---dntg


Sport Modified heats
Heat 1; 12 Cody Leonard, 63 Shane Hoefling, 9t Talon Minten, 14 Trent Beaver, 11t Tom Grothues, 184 Brian Rye, 9 Ryan Doyon, 18 Larry Jernigan

Heat 2; 26g JJ Jennings, 25 Tyler Box, 38 David Schury, 77 Cody Beddoe, 58 Hunter Flanagan, 24r Robby Minten

Heat 3; 89c Steve Whiteaker jr., 99 Edward Oakes, 66 Johnny Torres, 174 Max Helms, 31 Chase Havely, 56 Broc Bowen

Heat 4; 9m Marcus Mikulencak, 87 Lawrence Mikulencak, bd2 Eddy Ross, 71 Bart Wilcox, bd3 Greg Carlucci jr., 22 Randy Bennett


Jones Joins Multi-winners Club


There's an old saying that it “isn't over, til it's over.” Thats how it went as Jordanton's Wade Jones joined the growing list of multi-time race race winners for the season. Just when it looked like it would be Cody Leonard getting the repeat win, caution waved on the last lap. This gave Jones one last shot at Leonard. Jones got nose inside Leonard in turn 2 as they ran side by side into turn 3. Jones got the edge off turn 4 and scored the victory.


Seventeen cars took the green for the 20-lap Street Stock feature. Leonard got out front but Jason Fitch spun from the second row stacking up the field with Lynn Fox, Wayne Wernette, Ray Valente and Sam Markgraf piling up. On the next start Leonard got to turn 1 first with Jones, Michale Pesek, Shawn Moore and Robert Danielson on his tail.


Markgraf, who survived the early stack up, got fifth from Danielson bringing Jarrett Payton along to sixth. As the top 3 of Leonard, Jones and Pesek checked out, Payton, Kenny Hurley and Markgraf battled for fifth. At halfway it was Leonard, Jones, Pesek and Moore with Payton side by side with Hurley for fifth.


Fitch, who had to start at the tail after his lap 1 spin, was quickly cutting his way back to the front getting by Hurley for fifth on lap 16. With two to go Leonard had a half straight margin over Jones and looked to be able to cruise to the victory. But a spin in turn 3 by Jimmie Denning forced the flagman to throw a yellow on lap 19.This set up a green, white, check finish that gave Jones a last shot at Leonard.


As green flew Leonard tried to hug the bottom but gave Jones enough room off turn 2 to get inside. They ran door to door down the back stretch and into turn 3. Jones got the advantage off turn 4 coming to the white flag. Jones, in the SABFI Transportation, Opiela Mechanical, Chevy Camaro powered by an in-house motor, kept Leonard behind him coming to the checkers.


SABFI Transportation Street Stocks


41 Wade Jones, 7 Cody Leonard, 22 Michale Pesek, 23f Jason Fitch, 18 Shawn Moore, 40 Kenny Hurley, 5i Brad Hayes, 9s Jarrett Payton, 87 Robert Danielson, 14 Lynn Fox, bd1 Cheryl Gray, 99 Wayne Wernette, h2s Jimmie Denning, 7x Janel Liese, 4t Ray Valente, 85 Sam Markgraf, 2x Dennis Hilla


Street Stock heats
Heat 1; 7 Cody Leonard, 23f Jason Fitch, 85 Sam Markgraf, 9s Jarrett Payton, bd1 Cheryl Gray, 99 Wayne Wernette

Heat 2
41 Wade Jones, 18 Shawn Moore, 40 Kenny Hurley, 5 Brad Hayes, 2x Denni; Hilla, 4t Raymond Valente

Heat 3; 22p Michale Pesek, 87 Robert Danielson, h2s Jimmie Denning, 7x Janel Liese, 14 Lynn Fox


Cold Enough for Snow in April


Joseph Snow(Cuero) was one the new drivers coming over after a rain out in Edna. Snow flew around the top side sneaking up the lead group all running the bottom. Snow got the lead at halfway from Daniel Waer and Dakota Heinaman as they traded the top spot. During a couple late cautions Snow held back challenges from Mason Casteneda and Waer to secure the victory in the 20-lapper.


Another 25-car field took the green for the Pure Stock feature with Heinaman getting off turn 2 with the lead on the second try. Heinaman had Waer still along side with Casteneda, Cheyloh Brodnax and Jamie Dear in tow. Waer got the nose out front on lap 2 while Show was sailing the high side getting by Brodnax and Dear for fourth.


Snow and Casteneda traded third as the leaders quickly hit slower traffic. Heinaman and Waer went three wide around a slower car with Heinaman retaking first on lap 7. After a tangle between Emet Sevilla and Jesse Sandoval, Snow used the restart to get a run on Casteneda and Waer for second.


Keeping his momentum up, Snow went around Heinaman for the lead as the crossed flags were shown. Following the lead duo were Waer, Casteneda and Dear. Caitlin Leonard spun for a quick yellow on lap 11. As Snow inched ahead Heinaman and Waer stayed door to door for second. Casteneda joined them going three wide on lap 13.This gave Snow an advantage before that trio got sorted out.


Sevilla went up in smoke on lap 16 with Leonard perhaps spinning in the fluid. Casteneda took a look on Snow as green waved, but Johnny Westfall, Sandoval and Kris Workman got together in turn 2. As green waved for the final circuits, Casteneda tried to get a run on Waer for second, but was unable to take the spot. That gave Snow enough of an advantage to run to the checkers in the US Army Chevy


All In Designs Pure Stocks


01 Joseph Snow, 51 Daniel Waer, 28 Mason Casteneda, 441 Dakota Heinaman, 58 Cheyloh Brodnax, 40 Dakota Hurley, 98 William Saunders, 15d Jamie Dear, 9 Johnny Westfall, 30 Riley Heil, 33 Barry Major, 56 Bob Caulfield, 48 Jimmy Carroll, 63f Joe Dee Johnson,7 Jesse Sandoval, 13 Kris Workman, 97 James Aramendia jr., 9c Caitlin Leonard, 18 Emet Sevilla, 95s Sterling Tausch, 88 Alexis Hendricks, 23 Andy Kirkland, 19 Mike Horelka, 38 Josh Sewell, 15 William Cavender, d68 Kenny Wright---dns


Pure Stock heats
Heat 1; 51 Daniel Waer, 58 Cheyloh Brodnax, 98 William Saunders, 33 Barry Major, 97 James Aramendia jr., 88 Alexis Hendricks

Heat 2; 441 Dakota Heinaman, 9 Johnny Westfall, 01 Joseph Snow, 19 Mike Horelka, 7 Jesse Sandoval, 40 Dakota Hurley, 23 Andy Kirkland

Heat 3; 95s Sterling Tausch, 15 William Cavender, 30 Riley Heil, 18 Emet Sevilla, 63j Joe Dee Johnson, 68d Kenny Wright

Heat 4; 28m Mason Casteneda, 15d Jamie Dear, 38 Josh Sewell, 9c Caitlin Leonard, 13 Kris Workman, 56 Bob Caulfield, 48 Jimmy Carroll


Carter Claims Sport Compact Cash


If it wasn't for about 3” Harlingen's GB Carter would be three for three in the Sport Compact class. After falling a bumper short last race, Carter once again parked it in Victory Lane. In a race shortened due to two red flags, Carter got the lead late after a restart, then had to hold off a late charge from Jamie Garner.


A huge field of 22 Sport Compacts started the 'scheduled' 20-lap feature with Daniel Zajac getting out front until Robert Wyman and Jeremy Witt tangled. The second start saw Zajac again get out first followed by Gaither, Garner, Carter and Trevor Bettis. Zajac and Gaither were side by side on lap 2 when Garner tried to get between them, but got pinched off.


Gaither got the point with Garner getting second from Zajac after a restart for a Charles Earnhardt III spin. The first of the two reds waved on lap 4 when Rick Snyder ended up on his side in turn 4. Snyder climbed out under his own power, but was done for the night.


On the restart Gaither failed to take off with Garner getting the lead pursued by Carter, Zajac, Robert Kelm and Bettis while Gaither fell to ninth before getting back under power. After a restart for an Abel Solis spin Leland Witt got turned around clipped sending him over in turn 2 for another red flag. Witt would also be uninjured


Finally back under green and it was Carter getting along side Garner for the lead. Carter got the spot on lap 8 while Lee Praytor got fourth from Zajac. Gaithers issues continued when he went over the turn 3 hill for a caution. Officials called for a green, white, checker finish due to time limits.


On the restart Praytor got past Kelm for second, but Wyman spun in turn 4 on the last lap forcing a caution as the leaders hit turn 3. so it was now a white, checker shootout. Garner gave Carter and good look using the top side as the two VW's fought it out, but Carter was able to keep him at bay as the checkers finally waved.


Brown Chevrolet Sport Compacts


77 GB Carter, 3 Jamie Garner, 8 Robert Kelm, 42 Daniel Zajac, 15 Devon Suritt, 69 Felipe Ruiz, 63 Gordon Dowdy, 13 Jeremy Watson, 33c Charles Earnhardt III, 82 Mike Knotts, 50w Robert Wyman, 5 Dillon Gaither, 57 Trevor Bettis, 56 Treyler Caulfield, 14k David Sheffield, 4 Jeremy Witt, 4t Leland Witt, 5a Abel Solis, 181 George Quintenilla, 66c Rick Snyder, 28 Sergio Hexsel, 0 Lee Praytor---DQ(tech)


Sport Compact heats
Heat 1; 42 Daniel Zajac, 77 GB Carter, 56 Treyler Caulfield, 15 Devon Suritt, 13m Jeremy Watson, 4t Leland Witt, 82 Mike Knotts

Heat 2; 3 Jamie Garner, 57 Trevor Bettis, 8 Robert Kelm, 69 Felipe Ruiz, 4 Jeremy Witt, 50w Robert Wyman, 181 George Quintenilla, 66c Rick Snyder

Heat 3; 5 Dillon Gaither, 0 Lee Praytor, 14k David Sheffield, 5a Abel Solis, 63 Gordon Dowdy, 28 Sergio Hexsel, 33c Charles Earnhardt III


Racing continues next weekend, April 29th, with a slight shake up in the schedule. Making their first appearance is the Lone Star 600 series with the Limited Late Models having the night off. For info on the Lone Star 600 series visit http://lonestar600s.myracepass.com/

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