3rd Annual Aaron Hudgeons Memorial @ Texana Raceway Park, 9/22/12
AJ Dancer, family and crew in victory lane (Brenda Dancer photo)
J.M. Hallas is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Edna, TX.,(Sept 22nd, 2012) After sitting idlethis season, Texana Raceway Park opened the gates for one special event honoring a long-time area racer and chassis builder, Aaron Hudgeons. As one of the premier Limited Modified builders and class act as a racer, Hudgeons was liked and respected by all who knew him. Sadly, Hudgeons lost his battle with cancer in 2009 at a very young age.
Texana Raceway Park has acknowledged his achievements every year since with a race in his memory. Many of his racing friends and extended family not only contribute to the purse for the Limited Modifieds, but proceeds also go to the Aaron Hudgeons Memorial Scholarship Fund that, to date, has helped support a half dozen graduates.
“This race means so much to not only me, but all the racers that knew Aaron,” said former track owner Bruce Tesch. “He meant the world to us, and even people that never actually met him come to this race because of all the good things they hear about him and to support his scholarship fund. It’s just great to be a part of it.”
“This is a bittersweet night,” added Tesch, who hands over the track keys to Ken Bulsterbaum for 2013. “I’ve met a lot of good people over my seven years. I’ve made many new friends and made a new family of racers. Aaron was one of the best along with Frankie Majek, who we also lost. I may not have ever met those people if not for racing.”
“The Street Stock Shootout has really grown and was added to this weekend. Monty(Chamberlain) and those guys put a lot of effort into it and they do a great job in promoting it. They have shown if you put up a good purse, promote it well, racers will come.”
Despite being postponed by rain earlier in the season, tracks worked together for the best reschedule date, which also included the Allgayer Inc. South Texas Street Stock Shootout for round #3 of their five race series.
70 drivers from all over south and east Texas signed in with some of the best in the business trying their hand on the tricky 5/16 mile, semi-banked, paperclip shaped, clay oval.
Limited Modifieds would qualify through heats and B-mains to make up the field, with two provisional, totaling 26 starters. The firstgoing a promoter’s choice and the second awarded to the highest bidder with the money directed to the scholarship fund.
Heats were run to qualify the Street Stocks to fill its 24-car field for the feature. Heat race winners ran time trials to determine the pole sitter, by fastest time.
Hoefling Takes Hudgeon Memorial Honors
Meyersville’s Shane Hoefling honored his former school friend taking home the Limited Modified trophy in his memory. Hoefling, whodrew the pole, jumped out front at the start of the 30-lap main event and was never challenged. The best Paul White, a multi-time winner at the track, could do was try to hang to Hoefling as he motored away leading wire to wire.
The 26-car starting field formed a three abreast salute to Aaron, paced by his son Caleb, driving his #10 Mini Stock. After severalmulti-car melees before a lap was in the books, Hoefling got out front withWhite, Dustin Butcher, Ray Doyon III and Chris Jewell in pursuit. On a lap 4 restart, Mike Walling got past Jewell for fifth bringing Kris Rye and Howard Willis along to sixth and seventh.
Walling then picked off fourth from Doyon, while Willis got by K. Rye for sixth. The top seven separated from the pack when the fight for eighth stacked up the field scattering several through the infield. Coming to the crossed flags it was Hoefling with a gap back to White, Walling taking third from Butcher and Willis in fifth.
As Hoefling ran up on the back of the pack, Willis was taking fourth From Butcher. As his car looked to be coming in at the end, Willis got past Walling for third, but was a ways behind White. As Hoeflingtook the white flag he held a half straightaway margin on White as he easily cruised to the checkers in the API Pipe & Supply, J4 Oilfield, Phoenix Chemical Technology, Pro-Tech Fuel Services, McDowell Air, M&B Welding, WW Bodies, Carroll’s Performance Engines, Express by 89 Chassis.
“It’s not so much about getting the win. Aaron and I were friends since back in grade school,” commented Hoefling. “He was very good friend. It’s a privilege to be able to come here and win this race.”
“I was easy on the throttle and hit my marks every time. It always helps to have raced on this track in the past even though it wasn’t run on all year. You still know where the line is and how the track is going to come in.”
“Paul(White) is always tough here, that’s for sure. You never know being out front if anyone else is going to find a better line. But, just like in NASCAR, clean air, is the best air.”
“This car was good up at Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track last weekend too. We started twenty-second in the feature and made our way to eighth, out of 140 cars there. It always helps to have Express on your side. They’re very helpful and build a fine racecar.”
63 Shane Hoefling, 2w Paul White, 23hw Howard Willis, 29 Mike Walling, 90 Dustin Butcher, 9 Ray Doyon III, 77 Garrett Gregory, 12r Roly Rodriguez, 76 Jesse Manning, 9L David Lege jr., 23 Chris Jewell, 147 GW Hessong, 68 Chris Shafer, 74 Mickey Helms, 4$ Kris Rye, 231 Michael Gay, 60 Billy Gould, 12m Keith Lee, 127 Tyler Moore, 4r Robby Minten, 6(87) Lawrence Mikulencak, 184 Brian Rye, 10d Don Painter, 2c Tracy Denby jr., 26g JJ Jennings, 48 Rob Slott
Limited Modified B-mains(Top 6 to A-main)
74 Mickey Helms, 4$ Kris Rye, 77 Garrett Gregory, 4r Robby Minten, 12m Keith Lee, 147 GW Hessong, 13 Bryce Reed, 119 Eric Floyd, 101 Tanner Whitmire, 63s Chase Sanchez, 5r Ryan Doyon, 6 Vince Louden, 21 Shay Davis, 01 Joseph Snow, 87 Lawrence Mikulencak---DNS, 56 Chris Bowen---DNS, 436 David Pesek---DNS
2c Tracy Denby jr., 12r Roly Rodriguez, 48 Rob Slott, 60 Billy Gould, 9L David Lege jr., 127 Tyler Moore, 37 Cody Leonard, 68 Chris Shafer, 58 Hunter Flanagan, 14t Talon Minten, 85 Jeff Nix, 8 Lary Paris, 11 Tom Gothues, 80 Michael Gallien, 72 Zach Tesch, 22 Art Rodriguez---DNS
Limited Modified heats(Top 2 to A-main)
Heat 1; 9 Ray Doyon III, 10d Don Painter, 4$ Kris Rye, 119 Eric Floyd, 12m Keith Lee, 56 Chris Bowen, 5r Ryan Doyon, 147 GW Hessong
Heat 2; 63 Shane Hoefling, 184 Brian Rye, 48 Rob Slott, 80 Chris Gallien, 9L David Lege jr., 37 Cody Leonard, 14t Talon Minten, 11 Tom Grothues
Heat 3; 2w Paul White, 29 Mike Walling, 74 Mickey Helms, 77 Garrett Gregory, 4r Robby Minten, 101 Tanner Whitmire, 6 Vince Louden, 836 David Pesek
Heat 4; 90 Dustin Butcher, 23hw Howard Willis, 12r Roly Rodriguez, 2c Tracy Denby Jr., 127 Tyler Moore, 22 Art Rodriguez, 72 Zach Tesch
Heat 5; 23 Chris Jewell, 231 Michael Gay, 63s Chase Sanchez, 13b Bryce Reed, 21 Shay Davis, 87 Lawrence Mikulencek, 01 Joseph Snow
Heat 6; 26g JJ Jennings, 76 Jesse Manning, 60 Billy Gould, 58 Hunter Flanagan, 68 Chris Shafer, 85 Jeff Nix, 8 Lary Paris
Dancer Dices His Way to Street Stock Win
AJ Dancer(Red Rock) recovered from an early incident, then sliced and diced his way to the front in the 25-lap South Texas StreetStock Shootout feature. Dancer, got turned sideways starting a multi-car tangle, but his spot back when caution was charged to another car. Once back under green, Dancer three-wheeled his way to the front using the top and bottom. Dancer got by race-long leader Rob Slott with three to go and held on for the victory.
As the 22-car Street Stock feature took the green, Slott jumped ahead with points leader, Wade Jones, Johnny Torres, Chris Shafer and Dancer on his tail. The lap 1 tangle involving Dancer, who collected Stephan Danielson and a host of others quickly slowed the action. Back under green Torres got second from Jones while Dancer got by Shafer for fourth, with Chris Jewell following to fifth.
Slott had just built a good margin when a couple quick yellow rebunched the pack giving Dancer a shot to snag third from points rival Jones. Using the high side, Dancer went around Torres for second on lap 7 and closed on Slott looking on the bottom during lap 9 before debris brought out a yellow.
The top three took off nose to tail on the restart with Dancer then trying the bottom on Slott approaching halfway. At the mid-point it was Slott, Dancer, Jones, Torres and Danielson getting fifth from Jewell. Jones slowed with transmission problems and pulled off taking a hit in the points, moving Anthony Gordon up to fifth.
As the lead duo ran up on traffic, Dancer got the nose inside Slott, but couldn’t complete the pass. With five to go, Dancer again made a charge, got alongside Slott with the two door to door. Dancer got the advantage going into turn 1 and led back to the line on lap 22. Dancer theneased away from Slott the final circuits to grab the win the A Plus Auto Parts, Meta-Link Powdercoating, Dancer Motorsports, Chevy powered, El Camino.
“It was a lot of luck. I didn’t have the car set up this way, it kind of set itself up. It wasn’t supposed to run like that. My wife, Brenda, said it was meant for Aaron to win tonight,” replied Dancer, whose real first name is Aaron. “Who knows. Sometimes you just get lucky.”
“The car is always pretty good, but the track just didn’t go as slick as I thought it would. There was a lot of moisture still out there and I really didn’t have it set up for that kind of track. I guess it worked, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. For being the only race on the track this year, it held up well.”
“I didn’t even know Wade fell out early. He’s had a pretty good year and had a good points lead. We just do this for fun. It’s not we’re making money doing this. We’ll just hope to have a couple more good top five runs the last two races.”
Allgayer Inc. South Texas Street Stock Shootout
52 AJ Dancer, 48 Rob Slott, 1 Johnny Torres, 149 Stephan Danielson, 118 Anthony Gordon, 91r Chris Jewell, 77 Chris Shafer, 31 Brian King, 9 Brian Becka, 7a Will Arnold, 9* Brad Hayes, 88j Bobby Jack, 3i Mike Moseley, 4 David McGuire, 3 Abraham Mares, 49 Dale Caswell, 186 Robert Danielson, 55 Lauren Chamberlain, 21 Scott Stubbs, 41 Wade Jones, 22 Patricia Lucas, 35 Tony Blankenship, 36 Lucky Gilbert
Street Stock time trials
48 Rob Slott, 20.56
41 Wade Jones, 20.70
1 Johnny Torres, 20.81
77 Chris Shafer, 20.97
Street Stock heats (Winner to time trials)
Heat 1; 48 Rob Slott, 3 Abraham Mares, 21 Scott Stubbs, 4 David McGuire, 186 Robert Danielson, 36 Lucky Gilbert
Heat 2; 41 Wade Jones, 52 AJ Dancer, 118 Anthony Gordon, 31 Brian King, 9 Brian Becka, 22 Patricia Lucas
Heat 3; 77 Chris Shafer, 91r Chris Jewell, 88j Bobby Jack, 7a Will Arnold, 49 Dale Caswell, 3i Mike Moseley
Heat 4; 1 Johnny Torres, 149 Stephan Danielson, 9* Brad Hayes, 35 Tony Blankenship, 55 Lauren Chamberlain