11th (not so) Annual Octoberfast @ San Antonio Speedway, 10/18-20/12
J.M. Hallas is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
San Antonio, TX.,(Oct. 20th, 2012) -- “Better late, than never” -- That was the theme of the weekend as the venerable oldSan Antonio Speedway roared back life after sitting idle since 2007. Through the efforts of Unique Track Solutions LLC and many, many volunteers putting in thousands of man hours, the legendary 12 mile, high-banked, paved oval wasresurrected from the dead after city expansion and code compliance forced the track to close.
The track has seen many stars take laps during its 30 years in action, including NASCAR Cup champion Terry Labonte and brother, Bobby. Other local heroes have logged hundreds of laps, some of whom have moved on to the east coast including newly crowned NASCAR Truck Series champ, James Buescher.
Others, still to this day, make the trip east for events in Florida, Alabama and the Carolinas. This weekend the trip would be much shorter for drivers like multi-time track and NASCAR Sunbelt region champion, Brandon Bendele, past ROMCO Super Late Model champ, Chris Davidson and Joe Aramendia and former USAC Silver Crown champ, Paul White, who both have raced with NASCAR’s elite series’.
An estimated crowd of over 4000 packed the grandstands to once again feel the thunder on the high-banks. Some of the drivers may haveexperienced some first race jitters, with the usual spins and crashes, but things went well overall, including “Madhouse” style restarts.
Over 120 drivers signed in throughout the three days to give the grand old lady a try. Thursday was strictly a practice day, with qualifying in Late Models and Modifieds on Friday, heat races for Trucks, Street Stocks and Chargers and a feature for the Grand Stock.
All-in-all the management, track officials, drivers, crew and full house of fans made for a great night of racing, putting San Antonio Speedway back on the map.
It was, however, somewhat sad and disheartening to look over the back fence and see buildings, parking lots and weeds where Alamo Dragway and Texas Dirt Speedway once stood. R.I.P. old friends.
Smith Strolls Through Late Model Main
Austin’s Casey Smith made up for a race he gave away in the tracks last late Model event going wire to wire in the 100-lapper. Grabbing the lead at the drop of the green, Smith pulled out to a good lead, then played a cat and mouse game with hometown favorite Brandon Bendele. A late race caution rebunched the field and gave Chris Davidson a chance to get past Bendele for second, but Smith was able to inch ahead for the victory.
As the 16-car field took the green, Smith jumped out front from the pole trailed by Bendele, Joe Aramendia, Stephan McCurley and C. Davidson. An early caution and “Madhouse” restart shuffled the field, but Smith still held the point. Smith, Bendele and Aramendia were able to distance themselves from the pack during the middle stages, while C. Davidson got byMcCurley for fourth.
C. Davidson got past Aramendia, who began to fade, with JC Umscheid moving up to fifth as the race approached the three-quarter stages. Up front, the cat and mouse game began with Bendele closing on Smith and Smith easing back away. As each driver tried to make the other use up his tires, the gap shrunk and grew, with C. Davidson nearly a full straight back in third.
Brad Queen was able to take a top five spot after Umscheid had trouble and pulled off. Smith was holding a good lead on Bendele when the final caution flew on lap 96. Bendele choose the outside for the restart giving C. Davidson an opening on the bottom to sneak by for second as Smith eased away. Smith, in the Smith Excavating & Paving, Sealmaster, Gary Buchanan Custom Homes, McGunegill Race Engine, Hamke Chassis, took the checkers by about eight car lengths over C. Davidson. Bendele, Queen and McCurley rounded out the top five.
“It’s the most amazing feeling,” replied Smith. “We came out here two weeks ago for practice after thinking that we’d never be out here again. We work around San Antonio with our business and would come by here and it would bring a tear to your eye. Chris Saathoff did an amazing job with the Chrudimsky’s out here to bring this place back. To see the stands packed to standing room only and the parking lot packed, really brings life back to asphalt racing in Texas.”
“We hit on some stuff testing. We’ve been running really well in the Super Late Model, but I’ve never driven a Pro Late Model before. We had it freed up quite a bit and with these tires you have to monitor how you’re using them up. I thought Brandon(Bendele) was messing with me when I saw him coming, but he abused his right front. Our car was really pretty neutral.”
“The lapped cars were kind of messing with me a little. I wanted to see how much Brandon had left at times, but didn’t want to abuse my car. I really didn’t want him to get by me. You really have to use your car up to get back by then. I think we were messing with each other, and it worked out for me.”
“We came here with the same set-up that we should have won the last race with(five years ago) and it didn’t work at all. Times have changed and these tires are different. The track is a lot slower than it was even though the cars have gotten faster. There’s nothing on the car that we used to run here.”
“The sun baking on this track has brought the oil up and there is some gravel coming out. If you got out of the groove too much you could hear the gravel hitting the bottom of the car. Once they get more races on it I think it will get as fast as it was at one time.”
“We were riding just riding early,” added runner-up Davidson. “We made a mistake because I didn’t think the tires would last that long. After we got by Brandon there at the end there wasn’t enough time to see if we had anything for Casey or not. I felt like I was better getting in and through the middle, but he beat us, fair and square.”
“There was nothing we used before that works now. Set-ups have evolved so much, it’s a constant state of progression to keep up, much less get ahead. Whatever (notes) we had, we threw out the window and started over.”
North Park Toyota Pro Late Models
99 Casey Smith, 41 Chris Davidson, 6 Brandon Bendele, 55 Brad Queen, 1 Stephan McCurley, 47g George Hagy, 93 Kyle Sirozzotti, 08 Sean Glennon, 57 Mason Mitchell, 5 JC Umscheid, 2 Davin Cravens, 79 Joe Aramendia, 81 Dillon Spreen, 30 John Heil, 72 Greg Davidson, 15 Cody Smith, 31 Ted Minor---DNS, 02 Matt Smith---DNS
Late Model Qualifying Results
41 Chris Davidson 18.668, 6 Brandon Bendele 18.669, 1 Stephan McCurley 18.698, 99 Casey Smith 18.707, 79 Joe Aramendia 18.800, 93Kyle Sirozzotti 18.842, 5 J.C. Umscheid 18.931, 57 Mason Mitchell 18.942, 30 John Heil 19.008, 08 Sean Glennon 19.055, 81 Dillon Spreen 19.131, 55 Brad Queen 19.342, 72 Greg Davidson 19.384, 2 Davin Cravens 19.892, 47 Trey Mitchell---DNT, 15 Cody Smith---DNT, 47x George Hagy---DNT
Currey KO’s Competition in Modified Main
In a wild 75-lap Modified feature, 15-year old Bayley Currey hung around the front and patiently waited for his opportunity. The Houston area youngster capitalized on mistakes by some of the veterans and found himself in the lead after the lead duo of Austin Self and Joe Aramendia tangled. On ensuing restarts, Mark Chrudimsky tried the young gun and found the wall, with Ian Webster taking up a charge and spinning. Currey got away from Matt Merrell and Bruce Beddoe after a late restart to grab his biggest victory.
At the drop of the green on the 20-car field Self jumped out front with Currey, Chrudimsky, Aramendia and Johnny Walker in pursuit. The top three broke away running nose to tail as Currey took occasional looks inside Self. Aramendia was able to get by Currey for second, while Merrell and Paul White made their way to fifth and sixth.
While fighting for the lead, Self and Aramendia made contact sending both into the turn 3 boilerplate, collecting Walker and Brad Queen. This would put Currey up front for the restart, with Chrudimsky taking the outside. Coming to take the green Chrudimsky clipped the wall breaking the right front sending him hard into the turn 1 wall.
Ian Webster was next to give Currey a try on the outside on the restart. Webster got around Currey on green, but a lap later found himself slipping too high in turn 2, spinning and catching up Dillon Spreen, White and Brian Moczygemba. Once back to green it was Currey again leading the way ahead of Merrell, Beddoe, Robert Barker and Jason Stanley.
As Currey eased away, Queen and Stanley went three wide past a lapped in the battle for fifth. Queen would spin from the spot and tag the wall for the final, lap 67 yellow. Currey again got away clean while Beddoe was challenging Merrell for second. The final laps saw Currey in the ChascoConstruction, BMF Shocks, Eagle Frac, RRD, Shell Shock Helmets, GM Crate Motor, BMF Chassis hold his margin to the checkers.
“It was a lot of being patient and conserving our equipment,” stated Currey. “I just tried to stay there at the end. It was intense. I just tried to stay with Austin(Self) at the beginning. I tried low one time, but didn’t want to use up my tires. I knew Joe(Aramendia) was behind me and figured I’d let him go and work on him a little bit. They got into each other once and Joe got a run on him and they touched again and crashed. I’m not sure what happened with Ian(Webster). His car looked real loose.”
“I’ve raced Go-Karts then moved up to Bandeleros and Legends for several years. I’ve been in a Modified for about a year racing in Houston and Kyle. We just picked up this car in the middle of the season and have won a couple races in Houston and one in Kyle.”
“I got a lot of help with this car. I came here when I was nine to watch. I never turned any laps around though, I wish I could have. We did come here and test a couple weeks ago. We were just trying to get our baseline set-up down. We came back here this weekend and did some tweaking on it to get where we needed it.”
05 Bayley Currey, 03 Matt Merrell, 75 Bruce Beddoe, 97 Robert Barker, 92 Jason Stanley, 25 James Raborn, 5r Newton Barta, 55 Brad Queen, 26 Bob Slezinsky, 13 Ian Webster, 14 Chris Swenson, 11 James Cole, 5Paul White, 81 Dillon Spreen, 50 Brian Moczygemba, 72 Johnny Walker, 39 Mark Chrudimsky, 15 Austin Self, 79 Joe Aramendia, 77 Jason Ray, 96 Jake Kruger---DNS
39 Mark Chrudimsky 19.58, 15 Austin Self 19.689, 05 Bayley Currey 19.700, 79 Joe Aramendia 19.717, 72 Johnny Walker 19.801, 03 Matt Merrell 19.821, 97 Robert Barker 19.846, 5 Paul White 19.849, 55 Brad Queen19.855, 75 Bruce Beddoe 19.986, 50 Brian Moczygemba 20.001, 14 Chris Swenson 20.021, 5R Newton Barta Jr., 20.307, 92 Jason Stanley 20.372, 25 James Raborn 20.618, 26 Bob Slezinsky 20.672, 77 Jason Ray 198, 96 Jake Kruger---DNT, 11 James Cole---DNT
Davidson Dashes to Truck Tally
Driving an unfamiliar truck provided by Jim Nides, Chris Davidson picked up the win in the 75-lap Truck feature. Davidson chased Mark Chrudimsky early and got the top spot after Chrudimsky pitted with a transmission leak. From there Davidson fought off a challenge by Rick Pollaro the final third of the event to snag the win.
Chrudimsky jumped out front as the 22-truck field took the green with Davidson, James Lynch, Beau Bukowski and R. Pollaro on his heels. Jake Wright was shaken, but alright, after he pounded the turn 2 wall collecting Cary Stapp, Mike Pollaro and Michael Villareal. On the ensuing restart Lynch, Kristen Wallace and Bukowski tangled with Robert Stewart getting a small piece of the action.
Finally back under, Chrudimsky pulled away to a half straightaway lead over Davidson, R. Pollaro, Stewart and Jason Marshall. Chrudimsky was forced to pit on lap 48 leaving a trail of transmission fluid that brought out a yellow for cleanup. Davidson assumed the lead on the restart with R. Pollaro and Stewart on his tail.
R. Pollaro kept the heat on Davidson as they built a gap back to Stewart, Nides and Shawn Paul Lehman. With five to go, Davidson hadcrept away by eight truck lengths, while Nides was pressuring Stewart for third. At the checkers it was Davidson in the Turner Motorsports Truck holding his distance over R. Pollaro for the victory.
“These trucks are definitely different to drive,” said Davidson. “It reminded me of driving a Street Stock back in the day. We were having fun racing with Mark(Chrudimsky). He was really good, but he broke and we weren’t able to see if we were better than him at the end. I guess you take them when you can get them like that.”
“There’s nothing that we could take from our Late Model to the Truck. You just have to man handle these things. I don’t know that it’s possible to have a Truck handle real well, but it was fun. I’ve got to thank Jim Nides for giving me the opportunity to drive one of his Trucks.”
“After doing all the traveling we do to race. It was nice to only have a three hour drive to race at this place again. It’s awesome to come back here. I don’t think anybody ever thought that we’d be back here. What Chris and Brian(Bohlen) did is nothing short of amazing. I hope we can do it again.”
85 Chris Davidson, 96 Rick Pollaro, 32 Robert Stewart, 8 Jim Nides, 2 Shawn Paul Lehman, 42 Jason Marshall, 28 Kevin Wiseman, 13 James Lynch, 76 Lynn Hardy jr., 57 John Kelly jr., 97 Cody Beddoe, 39 Mark Chrudimsky, 18 Jesse Salazar, 69 Mike Pollaro, 197 Michael Villareal, 07 Rusty Mirth, 1Beau Bukowski, 12 Kristen Wallace, 3 Cary Stapp, 48 Jake Wright, 00 Gary Cavigliano, 7 Pancho Mendoza, 77 Cole Miller---DNS
Trucks Heat Races
Heat #1; 18 Jesse Salazar, 1 Beau Bukowski, 00 Gary Cavigliano, 76 Lynn Hardy Jr., 197 Michael Villarreal, 07 Rusty Mirth, 8 Jim Nides, 69 Mike Pollaro
Heat #2; 85 Chris Davidson, 13 James Lynch, 96 Rick Pollaro, 32 Robert Stewart, 12 Kristen Wallace, 77 Cole Miller, 57 John Kelly Jr.
Heat #3; 39 Mark Chrudimsky, 97 Cody Beddoe, 42 Jason Marshall, 3 Cary Stapp, 48 Jake Wright, 28 Kevin Wiseman
Alexander Aces Street Stock Scramble
Picking up where he left off five years ago, Allen Alexander made it two wins in a row as he grabbed the 50-lap Street Stock feature. A.Alexander took over the lead when Greg Rohmer found the infield wall on theback stretch while leading. Anthony Gordon gave chase looking high and low, but it was A. Alexander holding him off for the victory.
Rohmer was first into turn 1 as green was shown to the 21-car Street Stock field. A. Alexander, Jamie Fuller, AJ Wernette with RayBecka side by side with Greg Carlucci fell in behind Rohmer. Rohmer would spin off turn 2 and find the inside guard rail on lap 11 giving the point to A. Alexander. Gordon moved up on the outside for the Madhouse restart and grabbed second with John Witzsche moving to fifth behind Mason Teague.
Alexander, Gordon and Fuller began putting some distance on the pack until Fuller slapped the wall. Robert Mayberry joined the fight up front on the restart with A. Alexander, Gordon and Mayberry three wide before Mayberry tagged the turn 2 wall. Gordon gave A. Alexander a look high once green waved again, but fell back in line.
As the laps wound down, Gordon kept the pressure on A. Alexander while Levi Krauss got by Teague for third and David Sevilla took fifth from Witzsche. Gordon gave A. Alexander a try on the low side, but couldn’t complete the pass as A. Alexander pulled ahead to a four car length advantage as the checkers waved.
Schoena Tree Farms Street Stocks
80 Allen Alexander, 22 Anthony Gordon, 32 Levi Krauss, 50 Mason Teague, 19 David Sevilla jr., 97 John Witzsche, 01 Brandon Gaither, 88 Brandon Spreen, 37 AJ Wernette, 27 Doug Lestourgeon, 68 Kenny Wright, 21 Robert Mayberry, 09 Clint Montanio, 28 David Schooman, 1 Ray Becka, 11 Mark Hudler, 43 Jamie Fuller, 98 RL Alexander, 83 Tommy Wynd, 51 Greg Rohmer, 55 Greg Carlucci jr., 72 Butch Teague---DNS
Street Stock Heat Races
Heat #1; 51 Greg Rohmer, 43 Jamie Fuller, 01 Brandon Gaither, 98 R.L. Alexander, 68 Kenny Wright, 28 David Schooman, 19 David Sevilla Jr.
Heat #2; 37 A.J. Wernette, 1 Ray Becka, 50 Mason Teague, 97 John Witzsche, 22 Anthony Gordon, 09 Clint Montanio, 83 Tommy Wynd
Heat #3; 80 Allen Alexander, 55 Greg Carlucci Jr., 32 Levi Krauss, 27 Doug Lesturgeon, 11 Mark Hudler, 72 Butch Teague, 88 Brandon Spreen
Montgomery Out-muscles Chrudimsky in Charger Challenge
Young Hunter Montgomery was in the race of his life as he battled with veteran Mark Chrudimsky in the 35-lap Charger feature. Montgomery and Chrudimsky ran door to door for several laps as they pulled away to settle things among themselves. Chrudimsky gave it ‘the ol’ college try’ on the final lap, but Montgomery was up to the task as he held him off to snatch the win.
Jarrett Payton led the 12-car field into turn 1, but it was Montgomery coming off turn 4 to lead lap 1 trailed by Payton, JR Eichelberger, Brent Reeves and Ryan Doyon. Payton lost a wheel to bring out a yellow that saw his sister, Brandy Ramzinski take the outside on the restart. As Montgomery took off, Reeves got second from Ramzinski who now had Chrudimsky challenging.
Those two made contact sending Ramzinski around on the front stretch. After Reeves made contact with the wall, Chrudimsky was on Montgomery’s tail for the restart. The two battled side by side, withMontgomery holding the line, and the lead. The lead duo eased away from Doyon, Charles Earnhardt and Matthew Hicks during the mid-stages.
After a restart for spins by Hicks and Trey Heald, Chrudimsky again got alongside Montgomery for the lead. Once again Montgomery was able to fend him off and hold the spot. Chrudimsky kept the heat on andtried one last time coming off turn 4, but it was Montgomery first to the finish line for the win.
Tator Plumbing Chargers
15 Hunter Montgomery, 30 Mark Chrudimsky, 5 Ryan Doyon, 31 Charles Earnhardt, 38 JR Eichelberger, 94 Butch Havelka, 02 Matthew Hicks, 14 Trey Heald, 88 Brandy Ramzinski, 01 Wes Walker, 19 Brent Reeves, 9s JarrettPayton, 83 Mark Mathias---DNS, 84 John Crites---DNS
Charger Heat Races
Heat #1; 19 Brent Reeves, 38 J.R. Eichelberger, 9 Jarrett Payton, 02 Matthew Hicks, 31 Charles Earnhardt
Heat #2; 15 Hunter Montgomery, 30 Marcia Moore, 83 Mark Mathias. 5 Ryan Doyon, 88 Brandy Ramzinski, 01 Wes Walker, 94 Butch Havelka
Grand Stock Feature(Friday night)
91 Marcia Moore, 30 Mark Chrudimsky, 53 Floyd Reed, 88 Mike Farish, 578 Les Bettis, 8 Todd Colvin, 3 Sean Folsom, 6 Jerry Jones, 12 Daniel Cruse, 58 Kevin Carroll, 13Cooter Lynch
Sampson Sneaks By for Legacy Win
Allen Sampson made a last lap pass to sneak away with the Lone Star Legacy 25-lap feature. James Huff got the top spot after Jake Dallenbach and Dillon Sampson got together battling for the lead past halfway. Huff, Dallenbach and D. Sampson were fighting for lead in the waning laps when Dallenbach and D. Sampson again tangled, giving A. Sampson an opening to snag the victory. Huff recovered for second with Del Harris, Arden Vikre and Tom Harwell rounding out the top five.
Action Tree Services Lone Star Legacies
1 Allen Sampson, 32h James Huff, 1h Del Harris, 72 Arden Vikre, 34 Tom Harwell, 19 Cole Runco, 6 Jake Dallenbach, 48 Matt Yevcak, 4 Dillon Sampson, 01 Collin Alexander, 32 Casey Cain, 14 Mel Krauss, 5 Michael Randino, 23 Brian Dallimore---DNS, 77 Lane Cherry---DNS