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Reb's Race Report

Bicycle Giveaway/Back-to-School Night at I-37 Raceway at Newsome Motor Park

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J.M. Hallas is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or

August 27, 2012 | 2,249 views | Post a comment

Pleasanton, TX.,(Aug. 25th, 2012) As the racing season winds down and school starts back up, I-37 Raceway at NewsomeMotor Park hosted its annual Back-to-School and Bicycle Giveaway night on the 1Ž4 mile, semi-banked, track outside of San Antonio. Through donations from the track, drivers and sponsors, 10 bikes were given away to some very happy kids, as well as packages filled with school supplies.

All six regular classes were in action as drivers tried to pick up valuable points for their year-end tallies. Added on to the nights racing card was the Dwarf Car Racing Series of Texas, who also contributed to the bicycle giveaway.

Last lap passes and the tech pad had an outcome on several of the night’s finishes, with two drivers leading only the final few feet and other seeing position changes after tech.

Noted racing shock and chassis man, Chris Swenson debuted his new Limited Late Model and promptly put it in the Winners Circle, while a couple other drivers took another step in locking up track championships.

Campbell Captures Three-peat
Adkins Jamie Campbell pulled off a three-peat in the IMCA Modifieds, but it wasn’t easy. Campbell battled side by side with Carson Bednarz throughout the 20-lapper and led only the last 100’ coming to the checkered flag. Campbell would get the nose inside Bednarz numerous times, but found a ‘sweet spot’ in the middle of turn 1 on the final laps to eventually complete the pass and steal the win.

The 11-car IMCA Modified feature got off to a rocky start when Kevin Schelling made contact with Chuck Chesler sending him around collecting Bednarz, Tracy Fink and Cody Tidwell. Finally under green Bednarz beat Marlin Samford off turn 2 with the lead trailed by Campbell, Bill Pittaway, Samford and Joe Spillman.

After a rash of early cautions, Campbell began putting the pressure on Bednarz for the lead. Campbell would get the nose past on the bottom of turns 1-2, but Bednarz would have the momentum off the top to stay in the lead. Pittaway tried to join the fight, but gave up some ground trying the low side.

The lead duo was still slugging it out coming to halfway with the two wheel to wheel, Pittaway in third with Jimmy Tidwell fourth and Darin Leonard fifth after an earlier encounter with a spinning Spillman. Campbell fell back in line as the top four now ran nose to tail. With threelaps to go, Campbell tried the middle of turns 1-2, and found some moisturegetting his best run.

Bednarz was still able to hold him off as they came to two to go. Campbell regrouped and as they took the white flag Campbell again went to the middle. They were side by side down the backstretch and into turn 3. Campbell get the bumper out front coming off turn 4 as was able to beat Bednarz to the line in his, VP Race Fuels, Snap On Tools, Screen Pro Graphics, Swenson Racing Shocks, Performance Machine Shop, Swenson Chassis.

“I didn’t have a plan(top get by Carson) until about three laps to go,” explained Campbell. “There was some moisture in the middle of turn 1 and I found it with three to go. I kind of coasted the next lap and then went all out on the final lap. I could see it was there and just had to get my arc into the corner right. There was a rut about 4” deep I had to miss in the middle of it too.”

“Carson and I are good friends and we help each other with our cars, so I know I can trust him running side by side all that time. I knew he wasn’t going to wreck me, and I didn’t want to wreck him. During the race, he’s just another car and I race him as hard as I can.”

“Things just kind of worked out at the start. I got lucky and missed all the wrecks. That helped a lot to get up front. I didn’t know who was on my tail or see anyone, but I could hear someone. I tried to give himroom on the bottom and when he couldn’t get by me I went back down there.”

“I’d really like everyone to keep Dennis Taylor’s wife, Liz, in their prayers. She’s been in the hospital for over a week now with West Nile Virus.”

IMCA Modifieds
29 Jamie Campbell, 16 Carson Bednarz, 137 Bill Pittaway, 117 Jimmy Tidwell, 26 Darin Leonard, 49 Chuck Chesler, 444 Joe Spillman, 17 Cody Tidwell, 24 Tracy Fink, 31 Marlin Samford, 14x Kevin Schelling

IMCA Modified heat races
Heat 1; 444 Joe Spillman, 31 Marlin Samford, 26 Darin Leonard, 49 Chuck Chesler, 24 Tracy Fink, 17 Cody Tidwell

Heat 2; 29 Jamie Campbell, 137 Bill Pittaway, 117 Jimmy Tidwell, 16 Carson Bednarz, 14x Kevin Schelling

Jennings Jousts with Slott in Sportmod Scramble
JJ Jennings(Corpus Christi) picked up his sixth win of the season in the IMCA Southern Sportmod 20-lap feature. Jennings made a daring move at the start to quickly move up to fifth, then methodically picked them off until reaching leader, Rob Slott. Diving low on a restart, Jennings wasable to get alongside and past Slott for the lead. Slott tried to retake the spot on the ensuing restarts, but couldn’t find a way past as Jennings crept away for the victory.

Slott got the lead off turn 2 as the 22-car IMCA Southern Sportmod feature roared to life with Hunter Flanagan, Jason Kelly, Larry Jernigan and Jennings on his tail. Jennings, running the bottom, picked offJernigan, Kelly and Flanagan one lap at a time, with Talon Minten trying tofollow in Jennings tracks.

Jennings used a restart to get beside Slott in turns 1-2 and take over the top spot on lap 5. Slott tried to retake the spot using the top, while Tommy Grimes and Johnny Torres swapped fifth. Jennings held Slott off, with Grimes and Torres now almost three wide with T. Minten. Coming to the crossed flags it was Jennings, Slott, Flanagan, Grimes and T. Minten.

Torres then snagged fifth from T. Minten and put the heat on Grimes getting the spot before a lap 14 yellow slowed the action. As Jennings and Slott took off on green, Torres was trying high on Flanagan. After a crossover, Torres got under Flanagan for the spot as Bubba Seals got sixth from Grimes.

T. Minten and Flanagan ran wheel to wheel for fourth with Seals looking to make it three abreast in the waning laps. As Jennings took the white flag he had a four-car length advantage over Slott and carried that to the win in the G&M Oilfield Services, Bud Light, P&K Services, WFI Waste Management, Pat Foreman Heads, Swenson Racing, CB’s Race Engines, Western Flyer Race Car.

“Everyone went to the top and I was able to just roll through the bottom,” replied Jennings. “Watching the other races, it(the groove) was pretty much on the top. I thought I’d have my work cut out. This car is awesome on the bottom and has been all year.”

“I don’t think about racing someone new to here. You just race everyone like you want to be treated. His car is clean and he looked like he would be a clean driver and when he was here and won the Street Stock race he didn’t tear anything up. Everyone pretty much runs everyone else clean.”

“If I hadn’t been able to run the bottom it would have been hard to get past him. Last week was the first time I passed on the top, usually it’s the bottom. For some reason it likes the bottom better. If everyone’s running the top it sure makes it hard to pass anybody.”

“It’s been fun this year racing with Johnny(Torres). His car is fast and he runs the top or the bottom. He’s fast every week. We’ve raced hard and clean and I’m glad we came up here this year. It’s been a blast. I really have to thank my family for all their help and support every week.”

IMCA Southern Sportmod
26 JJ Jennings, 66 Johnny Torres, 14t Talon Minten, 19 Bubba Seals, 58 Hunter Flanagan, 22t Tommy Grimes, 118 Anthony Gordon, 37 Cody Leonard, 57 Jason Kelly, 22 Randy Bennett, 51 Greg Rohmer, 15 Shawn Kline, 60 Pat Lyon, 08 Alton Fambro, 5 Robert Schelling, 2r Michael Hernandez, 4r Robby Minten, 18 Larry Jernigan, 17 Jim Blevins, 21 Barry Codling, 74 Mickey Helms, 48 Rob Slott---DQ-tech(tires)

IMCA SSM heat races
Heat 1; 48 Rob Slott, 66 Johnny Torres, 18 Larry Jernigan, 15 Shawn Kline, 21 Barry Codling, 4r Robby Minten, 08 Alton Fambro

Heat 2; 58 Hunter Flanagan, 26g JJ Jennings, 37 Cody Leonard, 57 Jason Kelly, 19 Bubba Seals, 22 Randy Bennett, 5 Robert Schelling

Heat 3; 22t Tommy Grimes, 14t Talon Minten, 2r Michael Hernandez, 51 Greg Rohmer, 74 Mickey Helms, 60 Pay Lyon, 17 Jim Blevins

Swenson Sweeps Limited Late Model Debut
Chris Swenson(Boerne), known for his chassis set up and shock building, can also drive a racecar. Driving in the Modifieds and Sportmods of late, Swenson purchased the first ‘fender’ car he’s owned in about 20 years. Adding his own set up, Swenson was able to put it the Winners Circle taking both his heat and feature wins. Powering past former track champ Gary Hunter and Craig Crawley, Swenson got the lead early and never looked back going flag to flag for the win.

After a failed first attempt the 15-lap Limited Late Model got underway with Crawley off turn 2 with the lead briefly. Swenson bolted by on the low side to lead back to the line on lap 1. Crawley, Hunter, Ron Sprayue and Trey Votion fell in line behind the leader. Sprayue and Votion got past Hunter, with Votion then taking third from Sprayue.

Votion was looking high on Crawley for second when John Owens went up in smoke. Back under green Swenson pulled away as Votion worked by Crawley for second. Hunter was next to put Crawley back a spot taking third. Lucas Oil Drag Boat racer, Mickey Snider trying his hand at dirt racing brought out a final yellow on lap 18, re-bunching the pack.

Votion tried to dive low on Swenson going into turn 1, but Swenson was able to pull him off turn 2 and ease away. Swenson in the Swenson Racing Products, A+ Cash, Alamo Bolt & Screw, Wells Racing Engines, hybrid chassis was able to run unchallenged to the checkers.

“This is a new car and we just kind of threw some stuff at it and it worked,” said Swenson. “We were trying some different things. It felt good. We had a good night. This is the first time I’ve raced since I totaled my car at HRP last year. It’s the longest I’ve gone without running a car.”

“I’ve run this race a few times in my head while lying in bed at night. It was kind of unnerving and there was some anxiety there coming back. Then there was, did I make the right choice in shocks and springs. I talk to a lot racers in my business so I take little of what other people are doing and apply it.”

“It’s just a feeling. I’ve driven a lot and we don’t always get it right the first time. We just got lucky tonight.”

“I really want to thank Stevie Whiteaker for making this deal happen. He helped me out finding the motor and the car. Then I have tothank all the guys back at the shop for all the work they’ve done on it. I haven’t owned a fender in about 20 years or so. I’ve raced a few that weren’t mine.”

“We’re not sure what type chassis it is. It might be a Rocket or Masterbilt that Jason Hughes reclipped with one his Modified front ends. Hughes had a lot to do with how the car was put together.”

Limited Late Models
448 Chris Swenson, 99 Trey Votion, 14 Gary Hunter, 6 Craig Crawley, 13 Howie Marcx, 4d3 Aaron Leddy, 2x(7) Richard Bartosh, 48 Mickey Snider, 42 Ron Sprayue, 15 John Owens

Limited Late Model heat winners; 14 Gary Hunter, 448 Chris Swenson

Casey Claims Street Stocks
With an extra $100 on the line, compliments of Alamo Hot Rod Parts, the 15-lap Street Stock feature was hotly contested. Early in the event leader Tommy Casey had Aaron Leddy, AJ Wernette and defending track champ Wade Jones on his bumper, literally and figuratively. After contact took Leddy and Wernette out of the mix, Jones kept the pressure on Casey. The two weredoor the final two laps with Jones sneaking by at the line. After tech, Casey(San Antonio) was awarded the win when Jones’ car failed inspection for grooved tires.

Casey was first into turn 1 as the Street Stock feature fired off with Leddy and Curtis Opiela side by side for second and Dennis Hilla fourth. Jones quickly made his way forward getting by Hilla and alongside Opiela. AJ Wernette split the two teammates to grab third, with Jones taking fourth. The top five were nose to tail until Casey began to inch away.

This left Leddy, Wernette and Jones scrapping it out for second. As the trio playing a high-speed game of bumper tag, Casey increased his margin. Leddy and Wernette got tangled off turn 2 to bring out a yellow, putting Jones on Casey’s tail for the restart. Jones went to the bottom trying to find a way past with only a few laps remaining.

Casey and Jones were side by side in a dead heat as they came to the line with two to go. They stayed door to door the final circuitwith Jones getting the bumper out front coming to the line. After tech inspection, Casey was awarded the victory in the Clays Auto Parts, Odie Automotive, Wernette Racing, Clays Machine Shop, Chevy Camaro.

“I made a mistake there at the end and he got around me,” commented Casey. “It was my driver error, but his car wasn’t within the rules and he got caught and disqualified. I’ll take it. It’s a bit of redemption to be standing here with the trophy.”

“I really don’t have time to think about who is coming behind me, or what line they’re running. I’m getting too old and have enough things rattling around up there. I just have to drive and if someone gets me, they get me.”
I had no idea anyone was back there when the four of us were nose to tail. I couldn’t hear anyone or feel anyone. I assumed there might be someone there, but until I saw his fender near the end I didn’t know he was there.”

“When I saw him down there I was able to get the run down the straightaway. That kind of plays into your mind as racer when you see someone pull ahead of you (on the bottom). You want to go a little harder, that’s where I made my mistake. I got on the gas too early and broke the rear tires loose.”

Alamo Hot Rod Parts Street Stocks
15 Tommy Casey, 14 Curtis Opiela, 35 Tony Blankenship, 40 Mike Lyon, 99w Wayne Wernette, 93 Aaron Leddy, 2x Dennis Hilla, 37 AJ Wernette, 41 Wade Jones---DQ-tech(tires), 5 Jason Kelly---DNS

Street Stock heat winners; 40 Mike Lyon, 2x Dennis Hilla

Doyon Dashes to Pure Stock Pay Day
Young Lacoste driver, Ryan Doyon took over the top spot in the 15-lap Pure Stock feature early from Dustin Blessing. Doyon was chased by Brent Reeves and Brandy Ramzinski, then pulled away as the duo fought for second behind him. A late caution rebunched the field, but Doyon in the 3-DLandscaping, Doyon Motorsports, Empire Race Chassis, CD Tire Shop, SheppardRace Engines, Chevy was able to hold his line to capture the victory.

Fifteen cars took the green for the Pure Stock feature with Blessing jumping out front chased by Reeves, Doyon, and Ramzinski, with Janel Hilla and Ben Franke side by side for fifth. After a caution for a quick spin, Doyon got by Reeves for second and under Blessing. Doyon took the point on lap 3 with Reeves, Ramzinski and Blessing three wide for second.

Reeves and Ramzinski stayed door to door, while Hilla got alongside Blessing. Hilla took the spot as Ryan Slott followed to fifth. AsDoyon eased away, Reeves and Ramzinski swapped second. Slott grabbed fourthfrom Hilla, who was now pressured by Jarrett Payton, coming from the back. A late yellow set up a green, white, checker finish that saw Doyon get away as others battled for positions.

“I just stayed patient, tried not to mess up and hit my marks,” said Doyon. “When I got the lead early I was worried if someone was finding a better line behind me. I don’t know where they’re running so I just try to focus on my line and not make a mistake. Every now and then under yellow I’ll try to look back and see who’s behind me.”

Pure Stocks
5 Ryan Doyon, 88 Brandy Ramzinski, 9s Jarrett Payton, 66 Adam Torres, 7x Janel Hilla, 10c Karaline Campbell, 57 Ben Franke, 1c2 Dustin Blessing, 15 William Cavender, 14 Trey Heald, 19k Brett Karulak, 3 1Ž2 BillMcCall, 18(95) Jerry Jones, 19 Brent Reeves---DQ-tech(tires), 49 Ryan Slott--DQ-tech(tires)

Pure Stock heat winners; 66 Adam Torres, 19 Brent Reeves, 5 Ryan Doyon

Floresville’s Dillon Gaither added another trophy to his case and pretty much sewed up the Front Runner championship for the season.Kirstin Blevins took the early lead in the 15-lapper with Trevor Bettis andLandon Sowder running side by side, as D. Gaither worked from the back. Sowder was able to get by Blevins for the lead on lap 5 with D. Gaither moving to second.

Sowder had encounter with a slower car giving D. Gaither an opening to slip past for the lead. Sowder and Katie McCall again made contact sending Sowder around, then to the pits for repairs. McCall was taken in for a possible fractured wrist. D. Gaither then pulled away on the restart in the First Choice House Leveling, Rohmer Racing, CNC Grafix, Rays Auto & Truck, Earnhardt & Sons Automotive, TJ Hopper, Tiburon for the win.

“I had a lot of fun starting in the back this weekend,” replied Gaither. “They put us back there and we might just run from the back the next couple races anyway. It was fun and I had a real good time.”

“Greg(Rohmer) and I talked about the beginning of the race. I was just to let it play out and see what happened. I wanted to run the outside where my car likes to run. That groove wasn’t there so we had to run the bottom. My car doesn’t like it, so I had to make it work to get to the front.”

“I think I pretty much have the points locked up and was leading by 47 coming into tonight over Hailee Marcx. Then add the points I got from the heat and feature tonight.”

Front Runners
5 Dillon Gaither, 17 Kirstin Blevins, 57 Trevor Bettis, 3 Brandon Gaither, 08 Landon Sowder, 113 Hailee Marcx, 8k Katie McCall

Front Runner heat winners; 5 Dillon Gaither, 08 Landon Sowder

The 15-lap DCRST feature saw Richard Smith grab the early lead, but give way to Chris Silvas jr. on lap 3. Silvas jr. spun himself from the lead collecting Smith and handing the top spot to Jim Mokry on lap 5. Mokry was trailed by Rusty Young, Chris Silvas sr. and Michael Dion until R. Young grabbed the point on lap 9 using the high side. Dion got by Silvas sr. as they bothdodged the spinning car of Smith. R. Young got a good restart and was able to get a decent margin over Dion at the checkers.

Dwarf Car Racing Series of Texas
88 Rusty Young, 07 Michael Dion, 27 Butch Havelka, 86 Chris Silvas jr., 61 John Flake, 55 Jerry Young, 85 Chris Silvas sr., 17 Hayden Becker, 2 Jim Mokry, 60 Richard Smith

DCRST heat winners; 2 Jim Mokry, 07 Michael Dion
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