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Dwarf Car Racing Series of Texas @ I-37 Speedway, 7-8-17

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By JM Hallas

Pleansanton, TX.,(July 8th, 2017) After a three week hiatus, I-37 speedway returned to action Saturday with a big night of racing. Along with the regular classes, Modifieds, Sport Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks and Sport Compacts, the Dwarf Car Racing Series of Texas made its second trip of the season to the ¼ mile, semi-banked, dirt oval.

In their first trip it was Ryan Stoy taking the victory followed by James Fitzgerald, Dillon Spreen, Tyler Folkerts and Drew Simental in the top five. Fitzgerald currently lead the DCRST points with Dillon Coyne only 15 back, Gary Buchanan, Dylan Dudnik and Folkerts round out the top five. DCRST returns to I-37 Speedway on August 5th and again on October 21st.

In the Street Stocks, Wade Jones has had a stranglehold on the class, winning five straight. This prompted the track to put up a $100 bounty on Jones, who currently lead the points by eight over Cody Leonard, with Shawn Moore third, Wayne Wernette fourth and Jarrett Payton fifth. If no one collects the bounty this weekend it increases another $100, every race, until collected.

Leonard Lands in Victory Lane
Cody Leonard(Corpus Christi) swept the Modifieds taking a heat and feature win. Leonard was chased early in the 20-lapper by Talon Minten, until Minten did a half spin and fell back. Chris Carroll moved up to second, but was too far behind Leonard, in his CD Electric, raceontexas.com, All In Desings, Ace Transmission, Flanagans Muffler Shop, Coastal Diesel, K&R, Wells Racing Engines powered 2011 Harris Chassis, to mount any challenge.

On a freshly watered track, 11 cars took the green for the Modified main. Leonard and Minten stayed side by side through turns 1-2, before Leonard got the advantage in turn 3. Behind the lead duo Greg Dinsmore, Jamie Campbell and Carroll fell in line. Carroll picked off fourth from Campbell who would slip and fall back giving up fifth to Cody Tidwell.

The races only caution came on lap 7 when Don Banker expired a motor and rolled to a stop. Mike Morris also had troubles under yellow and stopped. Carroll, who got third when Dinsmore pulled off, gave Leonard a look on the restart, but Minten got back by for second on the top side. It was follow the leader on top coming to halfway with Leonard, Minten, Carroll, Jason Borlace and Tidwell in the top five.

Minten made a late charge on Leonard for the lead closing in from several car lengths back. The ended on lap 17 when he half-spun in turn 4 giving up second to Carroll and third to Tidwell. As the white flag waved Leonard had a full straightaway lead on Carroll, which he held to the checkers.

“I could see Talon(Minten) back there,” said Leonard. “I slipped up a couple times. It started slicking off in (turns) 1-2 and I'd have to start driving it easier. When I'd get in there sideways I could see him out the window net. I was just trying to hit my marks.”

“They asked our opinion about putting water on the track before the feature. I told them I wouldn't mind a little sprinkle, then let us run it in. I didn't think it would get that tacky and hammer down.”

“Running the Modified race first it definitely helped me in the Street Stock and Sport Modified. I knew what the track was going to do and where the line was. It definitely helped at the start of the race. I could get to that line quicker and knew where to go.”



12 Cody Leonard, 15 Chris Carroll, 17 Cody Tidwell, 14t Talon Minten, 125 Jason Borlace, 137 Bill Pittaway, 91 Jeremy Davenport, 29 Jamie Campbell, 55m Mike Morris, 377 Don Banker, 8g Greg Dinsmore, 28 James Samford--dns

Modified heats
Heat 1; 14t Talon Minten, 8g Greg Dinsmore, 137 Bill Pittaway, 125 Jason Borlace, 55m Mike Morris, 28 James Samford

Heat 2; 12 Cody Leonard, 29 Jamie Campbell, 15 Chris Carroll, 91 Jeremy Davenport, 17 Cody Tidwell, 377 Don Banker

Bowen a Beast in Sport Modifieds
Goliad's Broc Bowen was the best of the bunch in the Sport Modifieds. Coming off a big win at Texana Raceway Park, Bowen would almost go wire to wire in the 20-lap feature after picking up a heat race win too. Bowen led all but one lap when Cody Leonard got the bumper out front while the two diced through traffic. On a late restart Talon Minten took up the challenge on Bowen but fell a couple car lengths short as Bowen crossed the line.

At the start of the 15 car Sport Modified feature Bowen got a good jump on green followed by Leonard, T. Minten, Tom Grothues and Chris Swenson. The top two began to break away until Steven Nores stopped on the front stretch. On the restart T. Minten, on the bottom, got by Leonard briefly with Grothues, Swenson, Johnny Torres and Robby Minten almost four wide for fifth.

Leonard kept the pressure on Bowen as the two again distanced the field. Coming to halfway the duo was coming up on slower traffic. Leonard got the nose ahead at halfway with Bowen, T. Minten, Marcus Mikulencak and Torres in the top five. Bowen retook the lead on lap 11 as they broke clear of traffic.

On a lap 15 restart, T. Minten put a slide job on Leonard for second with Torres getting fourth from Mikulencak. As the top three pulled away, T. Minten was trying the top. At the white flag Bowen had a car length on T. Minten and held on for the win in the Gamewell Fishing Charters, CBR Shocks, Triple Cross Ranch, Performance Graphics, Clarient Oil, WW Bodies, T's on the Square, Fletcher Custom Race Engines, Hughes by 89 Motorsports Chassis.

Sport Modifieds
56 Broc Bowen, 5r/14t Talon Minten, 12 Cody Leonard, 66 Johnny Torres, 9m Marcus Mikulencak, 24r Robby Minten, 31 Chase Havely, 22 Randy Bennett, 25t Michael Keylich, 2 Robert Byrd, 48 Chris Swenson, 10 Steven Nores, 11t Tom Grothues, 24 Jim Blevins, 37 Andy VanBlarcum

Sport Modified heats
Heat 1; 56 Broc Bowen, 9m Marcus Mikulencak, 5r/14t Talon Minten, 48 Chris Swenson, 24r Robby Minten, 2 Robert Byrd

Heat 2; 12 Cody Leonard, 22 Randy Bennett, 11t Tom Grothues, 66 Johnny Torres,31 Chase Havely, 25t Michael Keylich, 37 Andy VanBlarcum, 24 Jim Blevins, 10 Steven Nores

Fitzgerald Flies in Final Laps for Flag
James Fitzgerald(Converse) made a last lap move to steal the show and the win from Dillon Coyne. Fitzgerald, who seemingly came out of nowhere, used the high side to get around Coyne coming to the white flag. Once out front he inched ahead of his points rival Coyne to secure the victory.

The fifteen car, 20-lap DCRST feature was dotted with cautions early but came down to the finals laps to be decided. Dwaian Groff grabbed the early lead trailed by Jerry Young, Rusty Young, Dylan Budnik and Coyne. Coyne worked his way up to lead on lap 3.

Brandon Spreen ran down Coyne and got the nose out front on lap 11, but Coyne retook the spot a lap later. Ty Paxson was next to take the point getting by Coyne on lap 15. But Coyne regained the lead on lap 16. Enter James Fitzgerald, using the high line.

He and Gary Buchanan got by R. Young for third and fourth. Fitzgerald continued to motor around the top getting by Buchanan on lap 17. With two to go Paxson was next on the list moving Fitzgerald to second. Coming the white flag Fitzgerald had a run off the top on Coyne to take the lead and go on to the victory.

“The top came in at the right time,” said Fitzgerald. “I lost one like that last time coming up a little short on the last lap. It was nice to get this one the same way. Better yet it came against Coyne who I'm battling with in the points right now.

Dwarf Car Racing Series of Texas
6 James Fitzgerald, 12 Dillon Coyne, 15 Ty Paxson, 99 Gary Buchanan, 17 Brayden Becker, 25 Dylan Budnik, 88 Rusty Young, 27 Butch Havelka, 80 Brandon Spreen, 42 Tyler Folkerts, 66 Dwain Groff, 51 Richard Smith, 50 Jerry Book, 64 Larry Carwin, 18 Jerry Young

DCRST heats
Heat 1; 18 Jerry Young, 66 Dwain Groff, 17 Braydon Becker, 51 Richard Smith, 64 Larry Carwin, 50 Jerry Book, 27 Butch Havelka

Heat 2; 99 Gary Buchanan, 15 Ty Paxson, 42 Tyler Folkerts, 80 Brandon Spreen, 12 Dillon Coyne, 6 James Fitzgerald, 88 Rusty Young, 25 Dylan Budnik88

Victory for Votion in Limited Late Models
After watching Frank Okruhlik take home wins the past few races, Trey Votion(San Antonio) put it back in the Winners Circle. Votion, using the low line, grabbed the lead early and pulled away to a good margin until a debris caution. A series of late yellows set up a one lap dash for the win that saw Votion in his ZDT's Amusement Park, Champion Signs, Mission Race Engines powered, Kelly Racing Chassis, Ford hold off Patrick Kelly.

At the start Votion jumped out to good lead chased by Jason Kelly, P. Kelly, Ron Sprayue and Okruhlik. A debris caution erased Votions big lead and Gave P. Kelly the chance to grab second from J. Kelly. Okruhlik moved into the second place fight but made contact with P. Kelly sending him around, and Okruhlik to the back.

As the laps clicked off, Okruhlik made his way back to the lead pack. Sprayue went around on lap 13 setting up a green, white, checker finish. P. Kelly slipped off turn 4 with J. Kelly and Okruhlik making it three wide for second. J. Kelly would spin from that battle and make it a one lap shootout. P. Kelly tried the top, but Votion, stuck to the bottom, held his line for the win.

“It was a little slick, but I had good grip on the bottom,” replied Votion. “We Made some changes to the set up and they seemed to work pretty good. I was hooked up on the bottom. It didn't hurt starting on the pole either. I didn't know who was coming from where.”

“I checked the top during the pace laps and under caution. I knew the top was too slick for anybody to do much up there. If they were able to pass me in the middle, they were welcome to it. I heard a motor a couple times, but never knew who was back there. I was just trying to make sure I didn't get out of the groove on the bottom.”

“We're just out here racing for wins. I'm out of the points chase after missing the opening night. Going to try to get some trophies.”

Limited Late Models
99v Trey Votion, 84 Patrick Kelly, 99 Frank Okruhlik, 42 Ron Sprayue, 8 DJ Schroat, 15 John Owens, 57 Jason Kelly, 13 Howie Marcx

Limited Late Model heat
Heat 1; 99v Trey Votion, 84 Patrick Kelly, 13 Howie Marcx, 57 Jason Kelly, 8 DJ Schroat, 42 Ron Sprayue, 15 John Owens, 99 Frank Okruhlik

Trigg Tops for Street Stock Tally
With bounty money on the line several made the trip over to give Wade Jones a run for his money, figuratively. Mike Trigg(Lakehills) got out front early, but gave up the lead to Cody Leonard. Trigg retook the spot after halfway then eased away to take the win while Jones, who ran in the top five, got up to second but Trigg was long gone.

The 20-lap, 16-car Street Stock feature saw Trigg first into turn 1 trailed by Leonard, Anthony Gordon, Jason Fitch and Chris Swenson. Swenson and Jones got by Fitch for fourth and fifth while Leonard began pressuring Trigg. Leonard got the top spot on lap 3, as everyone headed to the top.

By halfway Leonard, Trigg and Gordon had put some distance on Jones and Fitch, who got fifth when Swenson spun. After a series of yellows, Jones moved past Gordon for third. Up front Trigg was able to get back by Leonard for the lead on lap 14. Just as Jones got along side Leonard for second, Shawn Moore went around in turn 2.

Trigg got away clean while Jones and Leonard scrapped for second, with jones finally getting the spot. By now Trigg had checked out with Gordon, Fitch, Kenny Hurley and Swenson slugging it out for third. At the checkers it was Trigg in the Sames Ford, 1560 Storage, Willie Cotton Race Engines, Knopfler Chassis grabbing the victory with Leonard edging out Gordon for third by inches.

“I learned that running up top was smarter than the bottom,” joked Trigg. “I heard they put water on the track but didn't know how much until we pulled on the race track. I wasn't to worried about (turns 3-4), but (turns) 1-2 had me a little spooked. I figured if someone pulled up beside that I would change. He didn't pull up beside me, he drove by me. I was like, oh ya, the top's a lot faster.”

“There's always tough cars in this class here in south Texas. For an extra hundred dollars it's going to bring them all out. Every track we race at has a tough group of cars.”

“I put this car in the fence here hard opening night. We hurt it pretty bad. We're just now getting it back. It's still not 100%. Right now we're on our baseline. We're still not where we need to be, but it's decent.”

Street Stocks
4t Mike Trigg, 41 Wade Jones, 7 Cody Leonard, 22 Anthony Gordon, 23f Jason Fitch, 48 Chris Swenson, 40 Kenny Hurley, 11t Allen Torres, 20 Mike Lyon, 18 Shawn Moore, 11k Shawn Kline, 99 Wayne Wernette, 42 Tom Casey, 37 AJ Wernette, 6h Homer Miller, 51 Herald Cope

Street Stock heats
Heat 1; 4t Mike Trigg, 23f Jason Fitch, 48 Chris Swenson, 20 Mike Lyon, 11t Allen Torres, 99 Wayne Wernette, 51 Herald Cope, 42 Tom Casey

Heat 2; 7 Cody Leonard, 22 Anthony Gordon, 41 Wade Jones, 40 Kenny Hurley, 18 Shawn Moore, 11k Shawn Kline, 37 AJ Wernette, 6h Homer Miller

Surprised Saunders Gets Pure Stock Win
In a wild Pure Stock feature, that was cut short by time, William Saunders(San Antonio) found himself in the Winners Circle after the tech pad. The race started with the two Dakotas, Hurley and Heinaman, getting out until they made contact while fighting for the lead. Abraham Mares would eventually take the initial checkers, but fail tech inspection handing the victory over to Saunders. The win was his first since 2009 at the track.

On the first start Hurley and Heinaman got away from the front row. In the pack Brandon Eure, Andy Kirkland, Rene Mares and Shannon Maurer tangled quickly bringing the yellow out. Hurley got the lead on the next start pursued by Heinaman, Sterling Tausch, A. Mares, Aaron Leddy and Saunders side by side. Heinaman began to look high on Hurley for the lead while A. Mares got third and Leddy fourth.

As the top two pulled away, Saunders got fifth from Tausch. The lead duo hit traffic on lap 9 with Heinaman still trying the high line. Sonny Kinnaman brought out a yellow on lap 11 when he clipped an infield tire. On the restart Heinaman got the nose under Hurley. The two were side by side on the back stretch making contact going into turn 3. Both would spin and go to the tail, while A. Mares inherited the lead.

Mares, Leddy and Saunders took off on the restart with Caitlin Leonard getting fourth from Tausch. A spin by Hurley on lap 15 prompted official to call a green, white, checkered finish, due to time. The finish order got shook up on the final lap as drivers battled and spun. At the line it was A. Mares first, but after failing the tech shed, Saunders in the Auto Graphics & Sign Company, Freddie Harris Sand & Clay, Clays Machine Shop, Destroyer Chassis went home with the win.

“A win's, a win” exclaimed Saunders. “The way it's been going you just try to hang in there and let them sort it out. You just have to be patient. Sometimes it works sometimes, it doesn't.”

“You just have to guess at a set up when they keep changing the track. Putting water on it(during the races) really doesn't help it much. It makes it nasty at first, but it goes right back to being dry. You just hope you're the lucky ones that they don't water before you go out there.”

Pure Stocks
98 William Saunders, 15b JW Blocker, 9c Caitlin Leonard, 441 Dakota Heinaman, 8 Robert Danielson, 48 Pat Lyon, 93 Aaron Leddy, 42 Wesley Maurer, 56 Bob Caulfield, 40 Dakota Hurley, 39 Red Kinnaman, 15 William Cavender, 95s Sterling Tausch, 38 Sonny Kinnaman Jr., 14 Brandon Eure, 23 Andy Kirkland, 02 Shannon Maurer, 2 Rene Mares, 3 Abraham Mares—DQ(tech-rocker arms)

Pure Stock heats
Heat 1; 40 Dakota Hurley, 95 Sterling Tausch, 48 Pat Lyon, 14 Brandon Eure, 2 Rene Mares, 56 Bob Caulfield, 39 Sonny Kinnaman jr

Heat 2; 441 Dakota Heinaman, 98 William Saunders, 8/87 Robert Danielson, 9c Caitlin Leonard, 42 Wesley Maurer, 23 Andy Kirkland

Heat 3; 3 Abraham Mares, 93 Aaron Leddy, 15b JW Blocker, 02 Shannon Maurer, 15 William Cavender,38 Red Kinnaman

Kelm Kaptures Kash Again
In what is quickly becoming a crowd favorite, the Sport Compacts put on a show in their 20-lap feature. In a spirited battle for the lead, the three heat race winners, Robert Kelm, GB Carter and Jamie Garner, all took turns leading. At the end Kelm and Carter fought it out with Kelm(Kyle) getting Carter in the final laps for his fourth win in a row. Maybe time for another bounty.

As the 20-car Sport Compact feature rolled to green it was Garner getting the early lead with Kelm, Carter, Trevor Bettis and Daniel Zajac behind. Behind them Gordon Dowdy, Brandon McCall, Alyson Dorken and Roy Easler were four wide for sixth. Kelm made an move on Garner for the lead but got picked by a lapped car.

Kristin Lowe, Ronnie Schoenfeld and Ivan Hernandez tangled on lap 4 for a caution. Carter took advantage of the restart getting by Garner for the lead on lap 6. Kelm followed Carter by Garner and was going for the lead again when Dooley Smith spun, erasing the pass. On the restart Kelm got second back as the top three eased away from Zajac.

A late yellow reset the field for a four lap scramble. On green Kelm got inside Carter coming off turn 4 with the two door to door on lap 17. Kelm finally secured the spot on lap 18 the went on to the victory in his Oak Hill Motorsports, M&E Automotive, Rachal Plant 'Picture Taker', Saturn.

Sport Compacts
8 Robert Kelm, 77 GB Carter, 3 Jamie Garner, 42 Daniel Zajac, 57 Trevor Bettis, 38 Kirk Ball, 114 Brandon McCall, 63 Gordon Dowdy, 43 Alyson Dorken, 96 Justin Henley, 12 Roy Easler, 33c Charles Earnhardt III, 13m Jeremy Watson, 56jr Dooley Smith, 53 Treyler Caulfield, 44 Ronnie Schoenfeld, 6jp Dillon Gaither, 6p Ivan Hernandez, 17 Kristin Lowe, 33 Lizzy Blackstock---dntg, 181 George Quintianilla---dns, 56 Caleb Dowdy---dns

Sport Compact heats
Heat 1; 3 Jamie Garner, 57 Trevor Bettis, 43 Alyson Dorken, 53 Treyler Caulfield, 17 Kristin Lowem 181 George Quintanilla, 56 Caleb Dowdy

Heat 2; 77 GB Carter, 42 Daniel Zajac, 114 Brandon McCall, 96 Justin Henley, 13m Jeremy Watson, 38 Kirk Ball, 44 Ronnie Schoenfeld

Heat 3; 8 Robert Kelm, 12 Roy Easler, 63 Gordon Dowdy ,56jr Dooley Smith, 33c Charles Earnhardt III, 6p Levi Hernandez, 6jr/5 Dillon Gaither

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