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Heinaman gets it done at SAS, 4/30/05

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For Immediate Release

May 1, 2005

Contact: Nick Holt, TAMS Media Director



Heinaman’s experience shines in Texas Asphalt Modified Series win at San Antonio Speedway


Defending Texas Asphalt Modified Series champion Joey Heinaman of Robstown showed why he’s the champ last night at San Antonio Speedway.


Heinaman, who started third in the 22-car field, won the 50-lap TAMS feature at the paved half-mile paved oval after a spirited, race-long battle involving fellow Robstown native and fast qualifier Bruce Beddoe, local favorite James Cole of San Antonio, Billy Becka of San Antonio and Chris Swenson of Comfort, who had to start at the rear of the field after a serious crash in practice.


Beddoe, who logged a very quick 19.36-second lap in qualifying, led for the first 38 laps, skillfully dodging lapped traffic and somehow managing to keep Cole, Heinaman and Becka, who formed a three-car pack ready to pounce at Beddoe’s slightest bobble, off his rear bumper.


On the 16th circuit Cole decided to gamble and try an outside pass down the front straightway while Beddoe went to the inside to clear the slower cars. Cole, however, found J.R. Zapata’s rear bumper and was forced to fall back into line behind the Heinaman and Becka. For the next 20 laps it was Heinaman in Beddoe’s mirror while Cole and Becka dropped back a bit to conserve their tires.


In the meantime, Swenson, who had tangled with Jay Guthrie of Dallas during practice and had to rebuild the entire right front suspension in order to even make the race, had carefully picked his way through the field and found himself in the lead pack by lap 37.


Shortly after a lap-37 caution period, Heinaman sensed that Beddoe’s tires were beginning to fade and he turned up the pressure, making contact with Beddoe’s rear bumper down the straight-aways more than once. Then on lap 39 Heinaman slipped under Beddoe on the inside to take the lead while Cole followed him through for second place.


A few laps later Becka’s tires gave up allowing the hard-charging Swenson to get by to claim the fourth spot.


For the last ten laps in was a four-way dogfight up front with Heinaman pulling out all stops to hold of the determined Cole, while Swenson worked feverishly to find a way around Beddoe.


At the checkered it was Heinaman, driving the Bill Myers Repair, Jim Myers, Commercial Coach Works, Absolute Carpet Cleaning modified, taking the win with Cole, Swenson, Beddoe and Becka crossing the finish line in that order before an appreciative SAS crowd.


“After I got by Bruce (Beddoe), I could see (James) Cole right on my bumper,” Heinaman said after the race, “So I reached up and knocked the mirror so I couldn’t see him any more. That way I just drove my line and if he had enough car he could drive around me.”


Beddoe was philosophical about his fourth place finish after leading most of the race. “We had a really fast car early on, but the track kept getting looser and looser. I should have started with a slightly different set up, but, hey, that’s racing.”


Swenson said his third place finish was almost like a win. “We had to start at the back because I messed up in practice, but my team put the car back together just right and I was able to make a run for the win. I think a few more laps and I would have been seeing the checkered flag instead of Joey.”


With the win, Heinaman solidified his position atop the TAMS point standings with Swenson staying close with his third-place finish.


Rookie sensation Matt Merrell of Portland qualified fifth (19.53 seconds) and was running in fifth place until the very last lap when he spun out in turn four. Merrell finished ninth, the last car on the lead lap.


The TAMS modifieds move up I-35 to tackle Thunder Hill Raceway on May 14 for a 50-lap feature event at the three-eighths mile, D-shaped raceway in Kyle.


Results of the 50-lap feature at San Antonio Speedway, 4/30/05


1. (71) Joey Heinaman, Robstown, 50

2. (14) James Cole, San Antonio, 50

3. (48) Chris Swenson, Comfort, 50

4. (18) Bruce Beddoe, Robstown, 50

5. (29) Billy Becka, San Antonio, 50

6. (36) Jason Boyd, Magnolia, 50

7. (22) John Paul Kliewer, Boerne, 50

8. (81) David Machen, Austin, 50

9. (03) Matt Merrell, Portland, 50

10. (6) Jim Myers, Corpus Christi, 49

11. (55) Joe Shaffer, Mountain City, 48

12. (19) Marc Madison, Tioga, 48

13. (70) Milton Krauss, Bulverde, 48

14. (45) Clare Randell, Portland, 48

15. (50) J.R. Zapata, Hobart, OK, 47

16. (65) Gary Junco, Katy, 45

17. (97) John Witzsche, Corpus Christi, 43

18. (91) Steve Grantz, Aransas Pass, 37

19. (5) Jerry Schild, Katy, 27

20. (78) Greg Baber, Uvalde, 12

21. (98) Jay Guthrie, Dallas, 5

22. (26) Bob Slezinsky, Beeville, 0


Lap Leaders: Bruce Beddoe led laps 1-38. Joey Heinaman led laps 39-50


Fast time set by Bruce Beddoe, 19.36 seconds.

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