Easter Egg Hunt and Bicycle Give-away at South Texas Speedway April 7
J.M. Hallas is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Corpus Christi, Tx., South Texas Speedway hosted its Seventh Annual Easter Egg Hunt, plus Bicycle Give-away, Saturday night on the high-banked, 14 mile, clay oval. Through the efforts of the track, and generous donations from teams, drivers and others, forty young race fans went home with new Easter bicycles, and some other gifts given away during the intermission Easter Egg Hunt. Kids scoured the track and racecars in search of the prized eggs holding the goodies inside.
Racing action included the Limited Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, Sport Compacts and new this season, theE-Modifieds, plus three Go-kart classes. The E-Mods, aptly named for the economy value, are a revisited version of the Limited Modified with a stock 350 motor with very limited alterations on both motor and suspension parts.
There was a good Easter weekend crowd on hand for the night’s events that were treated to three spirited battles for wins in the Limited Modified, E-Mod and Sport Compact classes, as well as a last lap pass in the Senior Go-kart class.
Helms Holds Hoefling at Bay for Limited Loot
Victoria’s Mickey Helms out-hustled Shane Hoefling for the thrilling Limited Modified main checkers in the 25 lap event. Helms got the spot after searching high and low, from Ray Schaalman, while Hoefling came back from an incident with Tanner Whitmire. The two swapped the spot in the final half, but it was Helms, by a few car lengths, taking home the win, his first South Texas Speedway trophy in ten years.
Schaalman got a good jump on green, while James Park, Chuck Perry and Helms were three wide off turn 2 for second. With Schaalman out front, Helms came out with second trailed by Park, Perry and Dustin Butcher, debuting his new 2012 ride in fifth. Brian Rye made his way past Butcher for fifth on lap 2, followed by Hoefling to sixth.
Perry, suspecting he had a flat, pulled up and stopped in turn 4 to bring out a yellow giving up third. On the restart Helms was pressuring Schaalman, looking low off turn 4. Chris Bowen brought out a caution on lap 5 when had trouble after contact with the front stretch wall. This time on the restart, Helms gave Schaalman a look high, but Larry Jernigan lost awheel after contact with Perry to bring the yellow back out.
Helms again looked high on the restart through turns 3-4, but dove low in turns 1-2. The two were side by side coming to the line, while Hoefling made his way past Rye for fourth. Hoefling lost ground to Rye and Butcher with an infield excursion and hooked bumpers with Tanner Whitmire bringing out a lap 8 yellow. Going back a lap, Helms was given the lead as he had the bumper ahead the previous lap.
On the restart Rye got inside Schaalman for second in turn 1. Schaalman got in the loose stuff, turned sideways and made contact with Rye with Schaalman going around. Schaalman was done for the night, Rye sent to the tail. On the restart it was now Helms, Hoefling, birthday boy GW Hessong, Perry and Flint Brown in the top five.
Back to green, Hoefling was looking for a way under Helms, while Brown got past Hessong and Perry for third. Perry and Brown tangled on lap 10 to bring out a yellow. As the top four eased away on green, Rye made his way back up to fifth getting by Jensen Pray. Hoefling got under Helms off turn 2 and was first to line to lead lap 12.
At hallway the top five were Hoefling, Helms, Brown, Hessong and Rye. Helms was now trying the bottom of Hoefling on lap 14 and as the lead trio closed on slower traffic, Helms ducked low off turn 4 to retake the top spot on lap 16. This left Hoefling and Brown side by side for second, with Hoefling holding the spot. Park went around in turn 2 to bring out a lap 20 yellow.
Hoefling kept the pressure on Helms for the lead once back to green while Rye worked around Brown for third. With two to go, Helms had Hoefling on his bumper, but a slight slip but Hoefling in turn 4 gave Helms a three car length advantage coming to the white flag. Helms was able to hold that edge to the checkers in the Mickeys Auto Repair, Rock Auto, Qwik Chassis.
Patience, patience, patience, and not wearing the tires out” exclaimed Helms. “This is my first win here in ten years, back when I was running Super Stocks. The track was a little tricky where the infield dust was getting kicked up on it. If you were out front you could use it to your advantage. It wasn’t good behind someone going through it.”
“It’s a pretty stout field coming down here to race. Tonight Stevie(Whiteaker) wasn’t here, but it’s real tough to beat him on his home track. He’s even just fun to watch. We really to have to step up our game with the competition in this class now days
“Shane(Hoefling) and I started racing at the same time and have raced a long time. We ran in a lot of different classes so it’s easy for me to put my trust in him. We started out in Street Stocks, then Late Models and Modified, now we’re in Limited’s. I know he’s going to race me clean. I hope he comes race with us in Goliad more.”
Limited Modifieds; 174 Mickey Helms, 63 Shane Hoefling, 184 Brian Rye, 75 Flint Brown, 147 GW Hessong, 90 Dustin Butcher, 38 David Schury, 12 Ruben Montes, 82jp James Park, 30 Jensen Pray, 115 Chuck Perry, 2r Ray Schaalman, 101 Tanner Whitmire, 56 Chris Bowen, 18 Larry Jernigan, 21c EJ Gilpin---DNS
Limited Modified Heat races
Heat 1; 63 Shane Hoefling, 90 Dustin Butcher, 82jp James Park, 184 Brian Rye, 147 GW Hessong, 38 David Schury, 21c EJ Gilpin, 56 Chris Bowen
Heat 2; 115 Chuck Perry, 174 Mickey Helms, 2r Ray Schaalman, 101 Tanner Whitmire, 75 Flint Brown, 18 Larry Jernigan, 30r Jensen Pray, 12 Ruben Montes
Box Best in E-Mod Event
Tyler Box and Jerry Walters took up where they left off in the E-Mod heat, going at it tooth and nail, through traffic, for the topspot. T. Box and Walters swapped the lead during the feature and were stillside by side coming to the finish, T. Box was able to edge out Walters for the win in the Core Engineering, Becker AG Electronics, M&M Farms, Ace Transmission, Flanagans Muffler Shop, Wrangler Construction, Wilbur Ellis, Smileys Chassis.
T. Box eased out front as the E-Modified main took the green followed by Walters, Corey Collier, Gary Box and Cody Limerick. Walters ducked inside T. Box to snag the lead on lap 2. Collier’s top three run ended on lap 7 when he was forced to pull off with a flat tire. Up front the leadbattle was heating as the duo came up on slower cars.
T. Box took advantage of the traffic to retake the point on lap 10. The fight continued and as the flagman showed them two to go, Walters was looking inside T. Box for the lead. They were side by side coming off turn 4 to the white flag, but it was T. Box holding the line to capture the win at the checkers.
“I took advantage of the slower cars,” commented Box. “We came up on those lapped cars, he went high and I found an open spot low to get by. We both had good cars and were running really good. The set up on thesecars is very important. You don’t have the power to just outrun someone or power you out if the car isn’t handling right. We’ve got my car handling good, but have some more things to tweak on it.”
“I thought this class would be a great opportunity to use as a way to move up from my previous class. I want to eventually end up in a Limited Modified and with this car I can get the feel of the chassis for a couple years and then move up.”
“I’d love for someday to battle for the lead with my dad(Gary). I won’t cut him any slack though. All his old pit crew from back when he raced in the 80’s help me out and back me a hundred percent.”
E-Modifieds; 25 Tyler Box, 127 Jerry Walters, 25sr Gary Box, 15 Jamie Sullivan, 23 Cody Limerick, 93 Corey Collier
E-Modified heat race; 25 Tyler Box, 127 Jerry Walters, 25sr Gary Box, 93 Corey Collier, 23 Cody Limerick, 15 Jamie Sullivan
Pray Pounces on Limited Late Model Field
Jensen Pray jumped out to the early lead at the start of the Limited Late Model feature trailed by Bo Beckner, Larry Lewis and Landon Farquar. Farquar made his way past Jones for third, but slowed a couple laps later with a flat right rear, ending his night. Pray built a huge lead as the field sorted out until a lap 13 spin by Andy Anderson rebunched the group.
Beckner tried to pressure Pray on the restart, but did a half spin to the infield for a quick yellow. Once back to green Lewis had trouble getting his car to go and fell back. This left Pray, all alone at the head of the field, to easily cruise on to the victory.
Limited Late Models; 1 Jensen Pray, 75 Bo Beckner, 17 Ryker Stastney, 95 Larry Lewis, 86 Andy Anderson, 77 Landon Farquar, 23 Robert Schelling---DNS
Limited Late Model heat winner; 1 Jensen Pray
Jackson Sweeps Streets
Justin Jackson swept both the Street Stock heat and feature wins to double up for the night. Jackson got by early leader, Curtis King, and then held off challenges from his uncle, Bill Stephens and David McGuire in the end to grab the victory.
Jackson and King stayed side by side through turns 1-2 as the Street Stock feature went green. King took charge going into turn 3 to lead lap 1, with Stephens, Jackson and McGuire falling in behind. As King and Stephens fought it out for the lead, Jackson found an opening to sneak pastboth for the spot on lap 3. King looped his ride on lap 4 to bring out a yellow.
On the restart, Jackson was now chased by his uncle(Stephens) until a caution for debris slowed the action on lap 8. Onceback to green, McGuire began to put the heat on Stephens for second. McGuire got the spot on lap 14, but was unable to run down Jackson, in the StephensRacing, Arnold Oil, GR Electric, Mestizos Biker Club, Mission Racing Engines powered Chevy.
“We work on our cars all week,” replied Jackson. “That has a lot to do with winning. We do our homework and try to adjust the car all week long and be ready for the races. It showed out there tonight. Hopefully we’ll keep on it, take the week off and get back on it.”
“It’s a great feeling to race against my uncle. It’s always been a dream of mine to race against him. We brought first and thirdhome tonight. I’d love racing him for a win, may the best man win. He’s a heck of a driver and I want to show people that I have the potential to beat him. I’m proud to race against him. My grandpa owns both the cars and he helps us out a lot.”
Street Stocks, 13 Justin Jackson, 4 David McGuire, 13s Bill Stephens, 42 Curtis King, 62 Scott Symonds, 10r David Grobe, 8 TJ Sullivan
Street Stock heat winner; 13 Justin Jackson
Garcia Grabs Pure Stock Green
Sebio Garcia was another driver to sweep his class as he went wire to wire in the Pure Stock feature, after snaring the earlier heatrace win. In a race of attrition, Garcia held it together in the 15-lap event powering the Tecate/Tecate Light, Coastal Tool & Supply, Chevy to the victory.
Under a barrage of cascarones thrown by the crowd, Garcia beat Raymond Dibrill, James Dear and David Jackson into turn 1 to take the top spot. Dear went around on lap 2 and got tagged by Gary Durbin, ending both their nights. On the restart, Chris Berryman spun from the top five, but continued losing several spots.
Dibrill slowed from the runner-up spot on lap 7 with a flat tire to bring out a quick yellow. Once back under green, Dibrill who pitted, was quickly back into the mix getting by Berryman and Skyler Mormon for third. With Garcia way out front, Dibrill made it past Jackson for second, but any chance of reeling in Garcia ended when he broke on lap 14. Garcia was able to hold off Mormon on the restart for the victory.
Pure Stocks, 26 Sebio Garcia, 111 Skyler Mormon, 013 David Jackson, 8r Raymond Dibrill, 97 Chris Berryman, 2 Brandon Skinner. 39Johnny Weeney, 151 James Dear, 57 Gary Durbin, 76 Denver Willmon, 84 AlainaSmith---DNS
Pure Stock heat winner; 26 Sebio Garcia
It was a classic battle of the tortoise and the hare in the Sport Compact feature. GB Carter, in his Volkswagon Rabbit, lagged back at the start, and then tried to chase down early leader Cody Schach and Charley Powell. Powell got the point from Schach on lap 4 and briefly gave it up to Carter on lap 5 until caution waved for a spin by Schach. Powell then would hold off Carter the remainder of the race to grab the win.
Sport Compact; 9 Charley Powell, 77 GB Carter, 98 Cody Schach
Sport Compact heat winner; 77 GB Carter
Adult; 88 Wesley Varn, 50 Kevin Donegan, 66 John McKinney, 420 Kelsie Elhard, 99 Pete Cavazos
Senior; 3 Dylon Moseley, 17g Isaiah Garcia, 36 Amelia Perez, 22 Katie Dunoker
Junior; 14 Dylan Whitehead, 5 Ciara Smith, 1 Mason Castaneda, 8 Matthew Castaneda, 36g Gilbert Perez III, 46 N/A, 6 Kaitlyn Carlucci, 8r Ryan Carlucci, 100 Waylon Scheidt, 83 Tyler Gilpin. 26 CameronWise
**Ed. Note; This was my first trip down to STS in a while and since improvements have been made. The track has been recut, with the back stretch raised up making a smoother transition off turn 2 and into turn 3. Dirt has also been added to the pit area to raise its level to hopefully alleviate flooding problems.
The biggest change is the added “Turn 5” bar beneath the grandstands that features a live band playing every race night. Plans are in the works to add closed circuit TV of the races live to the bar area.
Between four times more local promotion, a one hour radio spot on Saturday and a live band, track promoter Owen Pittman and his staffhave insured that dirt track racing in south Texas is going to stay alive and well. Holiday weekends are always a tough crowd draw, but a good crowd was on hand for a full night of activities, including a Harley Davidson exhibit and Volkswagon club exhibition.