Gap I-37 Raceway, 9/8/12
J.M. Hallas is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Pleasanton, TX.,(Sept. 8th, 2012) The winds of change are upon us.
Thus was the theme for GAP I-37 Raceway Saturday night as a new title sponsor was named for the 14 mile, semi-banked, dirt track just outside Pleasanton. Gonzales Auto Parts, with stores across south Texas andMexico, was named as the new track sponsor and title sponsor for the seasonending Thousand Buck Shootout.
Also a pleasant weather change was in the air, literally and figuratively, with much appreciated cooler temperatures, well under 100anyway.
With the IMCA Super Nationals going on this week in Boone, Iowa, the Modifieds and Sportmods ran a non-sanctioned, non-points race drawing several non-regular racers.
It was a regular night for the Limited Late Models, Street and Pure Stocks, plus the Front Runners.
Leonard Lands in Winners Circle
Sinton’s Darin Leonard took home the hardware in the Modified main going flag to flag in the 20-lapper. Leonard had to fend off challenges by Joe O’Bryan early and Carson Bednarz late. Leonard’s biggest challenge came as he and Bednarz raced to the checkers with a slower car in the way. Leonard had to give the lapper a little shove to hold off Bednarz at the line.
Leonard got the jump on Marlin Samford to get the lead, with O’Bryan, Samford, Bednarz and Matt Fox in pursuit as the green waved. Samford fell back giving up spots to Bednarz, Fox and Doyle Massa. After a restart, Fox began to put the heat on Bednarz for third with the two running wheel to wheel for a handful of laps.
Coming to halfway it was Leonard, O’Bryan, Bednarz, Fox and Ben Ketteman, recovering from early spin and go. Bednarz was able to hold off Fox and get under O’Bryan to snag second, with Ketteman getting past Fox for fourth. O’Bryan pulled to the infield on lap 16, but then right back out giving up third and losing several spots.
Bednarz closed in on Leonard and with two to go was a couple car lengths back as they came up on a slower car. With the white flag waving Bednarz was close enough to challenge. Coming off turn 4 on the run to the checkers the slower car came into play. Leonard, who wasn’t going to lift, had to shove the slower car across the line to get the win the CD Electric, Brandy Leonard Racing, CC Coatings, Ace Transmission, Coastal Diesel, New Vision Graphics, Harris Chassis.
“The track was really slick tonight.” commented Leonard. “I just tried to hold back on the throttle and maintain the spot. I didn’t try to run away from the field. I just eased in it and kept from spinning out. That almost didn’t pay off at the end when I came up on that lapped car.”
“I could see the #16(Carson Bednarz) sticking his nose inside every once in a while. I wasn’t too worried about it. I knew the top line was faster until we caught the lapped car.”
“That slower car went straight in the end, and fast. I never lifted and hit him. I just hoped he didn’t spin and tear us up as I pushed him across the finish line. He looked like he wasn’t going to be in the way until he messed up in one of the corners. Then he became a player.”
26 Darin Leonard, 16 Carson Bednarz, 371 Ben Ketteman, 53x Matt Fox, 37b Matt Banker, 17mf Doyle Massa, 14 Joe O’Bryan, t41 Robert Roysdon, 31 Marlin Samford, 17 Jason Campbell
Heat 1; 31 Marlin Samford, 14 Joe O’Bryan, 17mf Doyle Massa, T41 Robert Roysdon, 17 Jason Campbell
Heat 2; 26 Darin Leonard, 16 Carson Bednarz, 371 Ben Ketteman, 53x Matt Fox, 37b Matt Banker
JJ and Johnny Show in Sportmod Scramble
Corpus Christi’s JJ Jennings grabbed the lead from the second row and never looked back in the 20-lap Sportmod feature. Jennings was chased early by two young guns, Talon Minten and Cody Leonard, but in the end it was multi-time track champ, Johnny Torres hot on his heels after a late caution. Jennings held off Torres by only a couple car lengths as the checkers waved.
After an aborted start due to a multi-car tangle, Jennings ducked under T. Minten and Leonard as they ran up the track in turn 2. T. Minten and Leonard sorted themselves out with Torres and Greg Rohmer falling in line behind them. Torres and Leonard then raced side by side, swapping third as they both closed on T. Minten.
Torres finally got the spot and was now under T. Minten for second until Alton Fambro spun right in front of the lead group for a caution. Jennings got a good jump back under green while Torres renewed thefight for second with T. Minten. At the crossed flags it was Jennings, T. Minten and Torres still door to door, Leonard and Rohmer rounding out the top five.
Torres finally secured the spot on lap 11 as Leonard now moved in on T. Minten with Leonard getting the spot. With five to go the leader caught the back of the pack but was able to get through slower cars quickly. Torres got hung up by two lappers giving Leonard the chance to reel him in for second as the laps wound down.
A spin by Robby Minten brought out a caution on lap 18 setting up a green, white, checkered finish, with Torres now on Jennings tail. As green waved again, Jennings got three car lengths on Torres, a margin he was able to hold as he took 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.
“I just rolled the bottom through (turns) 1-2,” said Jennings. “Talon(Minten) decided to try to run the top and left that bottom open. I got past and never looked back.
“You never know what line someone might find that’s faster. That’s one of the reasons I prefer starting back farther. I never heard anyone behind me though. When you’re in the lead you can run wherever you want, but you never know if someone is coming in a faster line. I just stuck to the bottom and waited till I saw someone on top. No one ever came up.”
“Those guys coming over from Goliad never run on this type track. It’s always a heavy track over there. We’re looking to forward to running against them in Edna coming up in a couple weeks.”
“We’re going to Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track next week to run that big show for our first time. I just want to make the show. There will probably be 100 cars and a bunch of good ones like Stevie(Whiteaker), Dustin(Butcher), Johno(Whittington and (Shane)Hebert. There’s probably 20 guys that can win that race on any day. I just want to make the A, bring it home, run Edna, then the last points night here.”
26g JJ Jennings, 66 Johnny Torres, 37 Cody Leonard, 14t Talon Minten, 9 Ray Doyon, 51 Greg Rohmer, 84k Patrick Kelly, 119 Eric Floyd, 5r Ryan Doyon, 74 Mickey Helms, 60 Pat Lyon, 4r Robby Minten, 72 Zach Tesch, 118 Anthony Gordon, 57 Dale Flanagan, 08 Alton Fambro, 01 Joseph Snow, 10d Don Painter, 11 Tom Grothues, 22t Tommy Grimes---DNS, 147 GW Hessong---DNS
Heat 1; 14t Talon Minten, 84k Patrick Kelly, 60 Pat Lyon, 01 Joseph Snow, 08 Alton Fambro, 22t Tommy Grimes, 5r Ryan Doyon
Heat 2; 37 Cody Leonard, 66 Johnny Torres, 118 Anthony Gordon, 10d Don Painter, 11 Tom Grothues, 72 Zach Tesch, 147 GW Hessong
Heat 3; 51 Greg Rohmer, 26g JJ Jennings, 119 Eric Floyd, 9 Rayon Doyon III, 57f Dale Flanagan, 74 Mickey Helms, 4r Robby Minten
Bartosh Best in Limited Late Model Bash
Richard Bartosh(Pleasanton) went wire to wire taking the victory in the 15-lap Limited Late Model feature. Bartosh emerged from a three wide battle for the lead on lap 1, then proceeded to put a good ol’ whoopin’ on the field as he pulled away to a huge lead and the win in the Gateway Church, Water Well Services, T&S Bit Service, BK Services, King Welding, Afra Machine, Kendrick Automotive, Harris Chassis.
It was three wide coming off turn 2 at the start of the race with Bartosh getting through Howie Marcx and Gary Hunter to grab the point. Marcx fell in line behind Bartosh with Craig Crawley, Hunter and Johnny Torres side by side with point’s leader, Trey Votion. As Bartosh inched away, Crawley looked up top on Marcx as Landon Farquar worked his way to fifth.
Torres, in a hired gun role, tried to follow Crawley by Marcx for second. Torres and Farquar were able to put Marcx back two spots a lap later. With Bartosh increasing his lead, Torres worked past Crawley forsecond bringing Farquar along to third. Farquar got second from Torres in the final circuits while Bartosh, the 2010 track champion, was taking the checkers by a full straightaway.
“I’ve been making a lot of changes,” reported Bartosh. “This is a different car than what I’ve been running. We’ve been throwing changes at it, but I think I finally found the right one.”
“I changed some air pressure between the heat and feature, and got it right apparently. Once I got out front in the feature Ifound a line that the car liked. Fortunately I hit my line every time. I kept listening for someone coming, but never heard anyone. I’ve raced with some of those guys in Corpus and they run good and clean. Some of newer ones are still working it out.”
“I talked to Trey(Votion) and he said he just missed the set up. I’m either second or third behind him in points. This will probably be my last year chasing points. We’ll just come out and race for fun.”
Limited Late Models
7 Richard Bartosh, 77 Landon Farquar, 48 Johnny Torres, 6 Craig Crawley, 99t Tommy Temple, 99 Trey Votion, 113 Howie Marcx, 93(4d3) Anthony Gordon, 14 Gary Hunter, 0 Daniel Neel---DNTG
Limited Late Model heat winners; 6 Craig Crawley, 7 Richard Bartosh
Lyon Tames Street Stock Field
San Antonio’s Mike Lyon took home his first Street Stock win of the season, but it wasn’t easy. Lyon, who led from the green, was chased throughout the race by Brian Becka. Becka would dive in the corners low and get alongside, but Lyon would get the run off the top and hold the position andhold Becka off for the checkers.
Lyon got the lead off turn 2 as the 15-lap Street Stock feature fired off, tailed by Becka, Tristan Carmen, Dennis Hilla and Frank Okruhlik side by side with Eric Knudtson, debuting a new car. As Becka began his first of many challenges on Lyon, Hilla got by Carmen and Okruhlik took the spot from Knudtson.
Carmen moved back in on Hilla as they had their own side by side battle that lasted for several laps. Back up front, Becka was stilllooking for way around Lyon, but Lyon was up to the task and continued to hold the top spot. Carmen finally secured third when Hilla looked to break something in the right front suspension and pulled off.
Becka followed on Lyons bumper, regrouping for a couple laps to take his final shot at the win. On the final lap Becka gave Lyon one more try getting in turn 1 deeper and coming off turn 2 nearly door to door. Lyon held a slight advantage entering turn 3, and got the run off turn 4 to eke out the win in the Car Craft Auto Service, Woodlake Body & Paint, Industrial Brake & Clutch, Mission Race Engines powered Chevy.
“Most of what got the win was me staying up top,” stated Lyon. “I just hit lines every lap and stayed on the top. I just hoped no one would come underneath me. It turned out to be the right line.”
“I knew he(Brian Becka) was down there. I kept seeing the black shadow of a car underneath me. I knew if I stayed where I was at that he wouldn’t get by me if I kept the momentum up top.”
“I just seemed like the top lane was going to work for me. After all the earlier races it was real dry. The top just looked like it would work me, and it did. Every time before that I’ve tried the bottom, the top was where it was at.”
“I’m happy running with the Street Stocks. We’ve been doing a lot of work on the car and I’m happy with it. I hope to get achampionship out of it in the future. I’d like to run the Street Stock Shootout, but I like it here and my car is set up for here.”
Alamo Hot Rod Parts Street Stock
40 Mike Lyon, 9 Brian Becka, 4 Tristan Carmen, 99 FrankOkruhlik, 15 Tommy Casey, 67 Joe Boop, 27 Eric Knudtson, 93 Aaron Leddy, 2xDennis Hilla
Street Stock heat winners; 4 Tristan Carmen, 99 Frank Okruhlik
Doyon Does It Again
Ryan Doyon added another trophy to his collection as the young Lacoste driver picked up the Pure Stock honors. Doyon, who also had first Sportmod race, got past early leader Pat Kelly sr., then pulled away for the win in the 3-D Landscaping, Doyon Motorsports, Empire Race Chassis, CD TireShop, Sheppards Race Engines, Chevy.
Fourteen cars took the green with Kelly, William Cavender and Jarrett Payton went three wide off turn 2 for the lead. Coming off turn 4 Kelly got the edge with a four wide battle for fourth sorting itself out. As the lead group singled out it was Payton, Cavender, Doyon and Brandy Ramzinski trailing Kelly. Doyon began picking his way to the front and caught Kelly using the high side.
Doyon snuck past Kelly for the lead on lap 3 and began to creep ahead. As Doyon put some distance on Kelly, points leader, Adam Torres and Ramzinski were scrapping it out for third until Ramzinski had trouble and slowed. With Doyon now way out front, Torres chased down Kelly for second and took the spot with two laps to go. Doyon, with a comfortable lead, was able to cruise across the line and grab the checkers.
“With the track being so dry, I just tried being patient,” replied Doyon. “I just tried not to mess up or slide too much. Running the Sportmod feature helped me a little knowing how the track was going to be. Knowing how dry it was going to be helped with the set up on my Pure Stock.”
“I didn’t know if anyone was behind me. I just try to run my race and not worry about people behind me. It’s always tough not knowing if someone has found a better line. You just have to stick with what got you up front and run your own race.”
“There’s a big difference better the two cars. The Sportmod is lighter and more responsive. The Pure Stock is heavier and takes more gas and brake work to turn. Next year we’re going to try to run for IMCA Sportmod rookie of the year after finishing out this year in the Pure Stock.”
5 Ryan Doyon, 66 Adam Torres, 64k Pat Kelly sr, 6p Jeremy Hernandez, 7x Janel Hilla, 15 William Cavender, 95s Sterling Tausch, 14 Trey Heald, 57 Ben Franke, 21 n/a, 1c2 Dustin Blessing, 88 Brandy Ramzinski, 3 12 Bill McCall, 9s Jarrett Payton
Pure Stock heat winners; 64k Pat Kelly sr., 88 Brandy Ramzinski
As the Front Runner feature kicked off for its 12-lapper, Trevor Bettis led into turn 1, but it was Landon Sowder off turn 2 with theadvantage. Sowder was chased by points rival Dillon Gaither while Thomas and Ryan Franklin battled for fifth. Hailee Marcx and Bettis were fighting for third when the two made contact and Bettis doing a 12 spin and falling back.
Up front Gaither was pressuring Sowder and as they came up on a slower car made some contact. Gaither slipped by but took a hit from Sowder with some parts coming off to bring out the yellow. Gaither got backaround Sowder on the restart with Marcx and Lauren Blessing now fighting for third. Sowder did his best to hang on to Gaither in the final laps taking deep runs into the corners.
Gaither was able to stretch back out on the straightaways and hold off Sowder for his tenth victory in a row driving the in the FirstChoice House Leveling, Rohmer Racing, CNC Grafix, Rays Auto & Truck, Earnhardt & Sons Automotive, TJ Hopper, Tiburon.
“That’s ten in a row,” exclaimed Gaither. “I was just trying to finish the season and take the points championship. I came up on Landon(Sowder) and we started racing real hard.”
“He was trying real hard. Coming off (turn) 4 he got into me and I was pretty sideways. I was able to save it. He leaned on me again down the back straightaway. I just try to race everyone clean. I guess you could say ‘that’s racing’, but I look at it in a different way.”
“I think since I won my heat and the main I may have the points locked up for the championship. I’m just going to come out here the next couple races and just finish. I won’t go out there to try and be a hero.”
5 Dillon Gaither, 08 Landon Sowder, 05 Lauren Blessing, 113 Hailee Marcx, 67 Ryan Franklin, 8t Thomas Franklin, 100 Jamison Pace, 17 Kirstin Blevins, 57 Trevor Bettis, 12 Roy Easler jr---DNS
Front Runner heat winners; 5 Dillon Gaither, 08 Landon Sowder