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You can't keep a good (man)racer down, a story of inspiration

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You can't keep a good (man)racer down, a story of inspiration

By JM Hallas


San Antonio, TX.,(Aug. 4th, 2018)


Satan can't hold me down”


A life changing event can make or break a person. For Kris Workman his faith and love for racing keeps him going. Workman is a survivor of the November 2017 Sutherland Springs Church shooting, but his injuries have left him in a wheelchair. Some would let the disability bring them down, yet Kris hasn't given up on his religion or his racing and recently orchestrated a 'grudge race' between two groups of Pure Stock cars at I-37 Speedway.


Now that I’ve met a lot of the south Texas racing community, I basically can't stay away, so despite my inability to race at the moment, it feels great to find ways to stay involved,” said Workman who is still an active leader in his church. This community is as tight knit and loving as many churches that I've seen.”


As a south-central Texas dirt track racer Workman looks to get back into racing, hopefully in a Go-Kart by the end of the year and back in his familiar black #13 Pure Stock next season, using hand controls. Workman has turned to Chris Morris, another central Texas racer using hand controls to pilot his IMCA Modified, for ideas for his car.


I've talked with Chris Morris a few times. As we’re getting my car ready, I plan to visit his shop to see how he does things and how his cars are set up. I plan on getting my Pure Stock back soon from WRT down in Corpus. They are putting a new body on for me. After that, we'll make a few changes to the car, put in some hand controls and find a way to get me in it.”


While waiting for his chance to get back behind the wheel again, Workman has taken up promoting, of sorts, organizing a two-team, four-car each, Pure Stock grudge match between the “Fast Four Links” and “Nova Nation” the leaf spring cars. Noticing there was the typical track chatter for bragging rights between the two groups, he threw out an idea on social media and approached the track about scheduling an event.


I noticed that there was a sort of cult following and a rush to buy up leaf spring/Nova based Pure Stocks because of Allen Torres’ success in the class at the south Texas tracks. There was a unwritten perception that the Novas were better than the traditional four link cars. I just wanted to call the Nova owners on their bluff and said we should have a team based grudge race to see which cars were truly better.”

I more or less just instigated the idea, but the post seemed to gain so much traction with the racers that I decided to see if the track (I-37 Speedway) would be game to let us put on the race.”


From there, sponsors came on board and I decided just to run with it and start promoting and coordinating it. Once we knew it was going to be a thing, I asked the Nova Nation to elect a captain so the choices of participants would be fair. Allen Torres stepped up and chose his team and I did the same for the four-link team. He and I agreed upon a set of rules, procedures and criteria (and we posted them publicly).”


I-37 Speedway took on the race in accordance with the regularly scheduled July, 28th show. The two teams consisted of Caitlin Leonard, Aaron Leddy, Daniel Preston and Mason Casteneda, the Fast Four Links and Allen Torres(team captain), Jarrett Payton, Clint Montanio, and Kenny Wright, who was added as an alternate when Dakota Hurley broke, the Nova Nation.


With a separate purse, contingency awards and bragging rights on the line the race itself took on a personality all its own. The team with the best overall points total took home the money and the right to say that they were the best for the rest of the season. The race was a big hit for the fans and well as the racers. The track's 50/50 drawing was also themed for the two groups with the winning ticket chosen from the corresponding team bucket adding some more money to the pot and sending a fan home with about $150.


In racing action, the competition was as hot the south-central Texas sun. Clint Montanio led the first lap, but was overtaken by Daniel Preston. Just when it looked like the Fast Four Links would get the glory, it was Jarrett Payton making a last lap pass to secure the win for Nova Nation.


Pure Stock Grudge Race(10 lap)

9s Jarrett Payton—NN, 6 Daniel Preston—4L, 94 Allen Torres—NN, 28m Mason Casteneda—4L, 93 Aaron Leddy—4L, 43 Clint Montanio—NN, 88 Caitlin Leonard—4L, 68 Kenny Wright-NN


What are the odds?...What would be the odds of eight cars splitting the points equally ending in a tie between the two teams. Well after it was all tallied up both teams ended the event with 18 points. As discussed pre-race the championship was decided by the team that won the race, Nova Nation.


I'm already hearing some track smack for a rematch!


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