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Dinsmore wins, Payton and Ramzinski make history
By T.Q. Jones
PLEASANTON -- Maybe it was because it took him nearly half the race to get to the front during his last outing at I-37 Raceway, but Greg Dinsmore quickly jumped to the lead this past weekend during the IMCA Modified class at I-37. It was a lead he held through several cautions, as Dinsmore finished ahead of Robert Liese Jr., Bill Pittaway, and Jamie Campbell for the win.
In contrast, Johnny Torres had the pack on his heels in the IMCA Southern Sports Mod feature, as he battled a trio of veterans including Ray Doyon, Randy Yount, and Moe VanKirk. Torres, like Dinsmore, has had a lock on his class so far this season, but Doyon, Yount, and VanKirk, in particular, are doing their best to keep Torres from turning the class into a “Torres benefit.” They haven’t succeeded yet, but it’s fun to watch them try.
The Limited Late Models are also getting interesting as well. A.J. Wernette, a regular in the Street Stock class, got a shot at a bigger, faster car this week when he got behind the wheel of the No. 08, and he responded with a heat race win. His luck wasn’t as good in the feature, however, as he spun twice and left the track before the end of the race.
Matt Hodge was looking good for his first win in the Limited Lates, but a spin dropped him to the back of the field, and he spent the race battling his way back to a well-earned fourth-place finish. Trey Votion got the win ahead of defending champ Richard Bartosh and multi-time champion Gary “Taz” Hunter.
The Street Stock class is another that is coming on strong in terms of both numbers and quality of competition. Wade Jones of Jourdanton still wins most of the time, but it isn’t a given this season with Mike Lyon, Dennis Hilla, A.J. Dancer, and others giving him a run for his money -- literally. But Lyon led for a good chunk of the race, and Dennis Hilla and Stephan Donaldson made it hard for Jones to get to the front. When he did, he still had to get past Lyon. Wernette, who is usually a factor as well, was mired at the rear and had trouble getting through traffic, so much so that his dad, Wayne, beat him. Jones did get the win, with Lyon second and Hilla third. Danielson was a strong fourth, with Dancer fifth. This is another class that makes I-37 Raceway well worth the short drive and price of admission.
And then there are the Pure Stocks and Front Runners. In Pures, there is a large field, usually about 18 cars, with the most interesting of matchups, which includes four women drivers. Brandy Ramzinski is often battling with Janel Hilla, and the two are generally trying to outrun “The Big O” -- Frank Okruhlik. But now there is another element, Ramzinski’s little brother, Jarrett Payton. Last Saturday, Payton won the race, while Ramzinski ran second, and Hilla charged up quickly through the field to finish third. Payton and Ramzinski made it a “first” at I-37 Raceway, as the first brother-sister duo to finish one-two.
The Front Runners (front-wheel drive) are also drawing a good following at the track. Hailee Marcx’ first win a couple of weeks ago was a popular victory, and folks wanted to see if she could do it again -- and she might have -- but an early spin dropped her in the field to finish third. Cody Earnhardt won the race, and Jimmy Carroll ran well to finish second.
The racing action at I-37 Raceway at Newsome Motor Park will resume this Saturday, May 7. The gates open at 5 p.m., and the racing starts at 7 p.m.
For more information, visit www.I37Raceway.com.
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