Dinsmore, Doyon take home wins at Newsome Motor Park
PLEASANTON -- The only thing unusual about Greg Dinsmore’s two wins at Newsome Motor Park at I-37 Raceway last Saturday was how long it took him to get into the lead in both of his races -- the IMCA Modified feature and the Limited Late Model feature. The Kerrville driver has dominated at Newsome Motor Park so far this year, and his efforts have aided the track’s goal of making all of the classes more exciting.
Last year, the two weakest classes in numbers and wheel-to-wheel competition were the IMCA Mods and the IMCA Limited Late Models. With a little help from Tator Mason of Tator Plumbing in San Antonio, who stepped up to sponsor the “Limited Lates” and inject a little more money into the purse, the Limited Late Models put on a better show nearly every race night, ending in a popular first championship for Pleasanton’s own Richard Bartosh.
Getting the numbers and level of competition up was a little harder in the IMCA Modified class. That has changed so far in the first three races of 2011, though.
So how could watching Dinsmore win two races yet again be exciting? Trust us, you have to be there. This week, Jamie Campbell kept him honest in the IMCA Mods by leading much of the race before Dinsmore was able to slip into the lead and gradually draw away from the field. Campbell finished second, with Darin Leonard third, and Floresville’s Robert Liese Jr. finishing fourth. More than a dozen cars were on hand, with 11 going through to the feature.
The IMCA Southern Sports Modifieds are slower than the Mods, but it’s hard to tell that from the grandstands. Last Saturday, 17 cars took the green flag, with former champions Johnny Torres of Lakehills and Kerrville driver Moe VanKirk among them. The field also included J.J. Jennings, Victoria’s Mickey Helms, and a new driver from the paved track at Thunder Hill in Austin, Duane Toyne.
Randy Bennett went over the berm on the opening lap, which presaged a bunch of caution flags early, while Torres, VanKirk, and Comfort’s Randy Yount were trying to work themselves up to the front. Torres’ job wasn’t made any easier when he spun and had to go to the back, but he managed to come back to finish second to Ray Doyon, with Jennings third, and Helms and VanKirk in fourth and fifth. Yount, who at mid-race was in mid-pack, would finish sixth, and Toyne seventh.
The Limited Late Model feature ended with the expected Dinsmore win, but the fun was in watching how hard it was for him to get through the field and get by Andrew Hesler for the lead, which he didn’t do until the last stages of the race when Shane Moore left the track with a mechanical problem. Robert Danielson, Gary “Taz” Hunter, and Craig Crowley chased the top two to finish third, fourth, and fifth in the 13-car field.
Mike Lyon drew the pole in the Street Stock feature, but Tom Casey took the high line and the lead, while defending champ Wade Jones also got past Lyon for second in the early going. A.J. Wernette, already hampered by a weak engine, pulled off the track with a cut tire just about the time Jones and Casey tangled and smacked the front wall. Cleaning that up gave Wernette time to get back on the track.
On the restart, it was Dancer in front and Lyon second ahead of Dennis Hilla and Billy Denton, who were battling for third. Casey would come back to finish fifth in his wounded ride, with Wernette sixth, as Denton held off Hilla for third.
Nearly always the largest class, the Pure Stocks also put on one of the best shows. There were 18 cars for the feature, which included some new faces, like Sonny Jones, who made his first start of 2011. Frank Okruhlik was also in the mix, along with Jarrett Payton, Brandy Ramzinski, Justin Henley, Janel Hilla, and Jarrett Barber. Hilla and Ramzinski started seventh and ninth, with Henley and Okruhlik at the front. Okruhlik got foxed last week, but this time stayed with Henley until he could get by at about halfway. The usual battle between Hilla and Ramzinski didn’t materialize, as they ran most of the race about three or four spots apart. In the end, Okruhlik held on for the win over Henley, with Barber third, Ramzinski fourth, and Jones fifth.
Only nine of the popular Front Runners were able to take the green flag for the feature, with Charlie Earnhardt III jumping past defending champion Nick Hencey to take a lead he would never give up, even when the two were working their way through traffic. Jimmy Carroll finished third, with Cody Smith fourth, and Hailee Marcx fifth. Marcx ran fourth early, but is on a steep learning curve with regard to dealing with traffic.
The earlier 7 p.m. starting time for Newsome Motor Park, and the use of radios to get the cars lined up quickly after caution flags, has helped to streamline the racing action.
Newsome Motor Park at I-37 will take a couple of weeks off, but racing will resume Saturday, April 16. On Saturday, April 23, the track will be open to the exciting Vintage Dirt Track Racing Association (VDTRA) motorcycles. There will be no race cars that day, only flat-track motorcycles.
For more information, visit www.I37Raceway.com.