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TAMS at THR recap

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For Immediate Release

May 14, 2005

Contact: Nick Holt, TAMS Media Director

(210) 415-1251 (cell)



Heil leads Wire to Wire to win Texas Asphalt Modified Series feature at Thunder Hill Raceway


Kyle, TX (May 15, 2005) - John Heil of Floresville may not have had the fastest modified stock car at Thunder Hill Raceway (THR) Saturday night, but he was fast enough to lead every lap of the 50-lap Texas Asphalt Modified Series (TAMS) stock car feature at the 3/8-mile, D-shaped track in Kyle.


Mark Chrudimsky of Hutto set fast time in qualifying with a blistering 14.94-second lap, breaking the THR track record of 15.03 seconds set by Jerry Schild of Katy in 2004. Heil, defending TAMS champion Joey Heinaman of Robstown and Comfort’s Chris Swenson weren’t far behind with laps of 15.07 seconds, 15.15 seconds and 15.18 seconds respectively.


TAMS rules call for an inversion of the fastest cars based on a dice roll, so when Chrudimsky rolled a “3,” that put Heinaman on the pole, Heil on the outside pole, Chrudimsky behind Heinaman and Swenson behind Heil at the head of the 23-car field.


At the drop of the green, Heil got a great jump and edged ahead of Heinaman who experienced carburetor problems for the first lap or two. Heinaman moved over going down the back straight to let Chrudimsky and Swenson by and then fell back into line behind the lead trio when the carburetor suddenly cleared.


For several laps it was Heil, followed closely by Chrudimsky, Swenson and Heinaman with rookie sensation Matt Merrell for Portland, veteran Bruce Beddoe of Robstown and Billy Becka of La Vernia not far behind.


Swenson made a difficult, outside-groove pass on Chrudimsky on lap 18 and began plotting a way around Heil. “I would let him get a few car lengths on me and then move up to put some pressure on him hoping he would make a mistake,” Swenson said after the race. “I wanted to race him clean, but maybe I was a little too cautious,” Swenson said. “He (Heil) started to slip up a bit at the end, but I wouldn’t have been able to get by without moving him out of the way and I didn’t want to do that.”


“At Thunder Hill it’s very difficult to pass so it’s very important to get the lead early,” Heil said after the race. “I had a third-place car tonight, but thanks to the track I came home first. I want to thank Chris (Swenson) for driving me clean there at the end. He could have taken me out any time he wanted, but he was a gentleman.”


In the meantime, Heinaman had been working on Chrudimsky who was beginning to experience fuel pressure problems. The pair were nose to tail for several laps when Chrudimsky’s modified suddenly slowed on the front straight on lap 37 and Heinaman had no where to go. They made hard contact and both spun wildly down the straight but, fortunately, did not make contact with the retaining wall. Both drivers were sent to the back for brining out the caution. Chrudimsky parked his ailing car a lap later, but Heinaman was able to work his way back through the field to finish in ninth place on the lead lap.


“We had a great car up until the fuel pressure went away,” Chrudimsky said. “I borrowed the car from Joe and Reece Shaffer and I want to say thanks to them. It was really fast up until we had the fuel pressure problem.


Rookie Matt Merrell, a 19 year-old Del Mar College student who won in his first TAMS race at Corpus Christi Motor Speedway earlier this season, finished third thanks to the Heinaman-Chrudimsky skirmish. “Our car was as fast as anyone’s,” Merrell said, “but it’s really hard to pass here at Kyle.”


The TAMS modifieds return to Corpus Christi Motor Speedway on June 11 for a 50-lap feature event at the tight, quarter-mile, high-banked oval.


Results of the 50-lap feature at Thunder Hill Raceway, 4/30/05


1. (15) John Heil, Floresville,

2. (48) Chris Swenson, Comfort, 50

3. (03) Matt Merrell, Portland, 50

4. (18) Bruce Beddoe, Robstown, 50

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

6. (81) David Machen, Austin, 50

7. (5) Jerry Schild, Katy, 50

8. (4) Lawrence Mikulencak, 50

9. (71) Joey Heinaman, Robstown, 50

10. (26) Bob Slezinsky, Beeville, 50

11. (70) Milton Krauss, Bulverde, 50

12. (44) John Schultz, Round Rock, 50

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

14. (91) Steve Grantz, Aransas Pass, 50

15. (6) Jim Myers, Corpus Christi, 50

16. (50) J.R. Zapata, Hobart, OK, 49

17. (65) Gary Junco, Katy, 47

18. (55) Mark Chrudimsky, Hutto, 37

19. (98) Jay Guthrie, Dallas, 21

20. (36) Jason Boyd, Magnolia, 11

21. (33) Greg Deatherage, DNS

22. (19) Marc Madison, Tioga, DNS

23. (38) David Schury, Corpus Christi, DNS


John Heil led all 50 laps

Fast time set by Mark Chrudimsky, 14.94 Seconds, New Thunder Hill Raceway track record.

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Let's see. John Hiel starts in two TAMS races this season (HMP and THR) and wins them both in the Raymond DeLaHoussaye modified. That's a pretty good batting average in any league.


And how about that bonzi lap Mark Chrudimsky put down during qualifying? 14.94 seconds is pretty torrid time to turn at the tricky Kyle track.


Nick Holt

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