1st Annual North Park Toyota, Fiesta on Asphalt @ San Antonio Speedway
Matt Merrell with the unique SAS trophy / Photos courtesy of Jeff Garvin**
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April 22, 2013
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San Antonio, TX.,(April 20th, 2013) Saturday concluded the weekend of events for the 1st Annual North Park Toyota, Fiesta on Asphalt on the high-banked, 12 mile, speedway. The race featured the North Park Toyota Pro Late Model, Donnie Horelka Memorial 75 in honor of long-time San Antonio Speedway champion and racer, Donny Horelka who was tragically killed in an accident at his home.
The Horelka family was honored during a special ceremony and served as Grand Marshall’s for the event. The Horelka’s gave the initial green for the first feature of the night and made a special presentation to the winner of the North Park Toyota Pro Late Model, Donny Horelka 75.
Also recognized during the evening where the ‘1000 Clubbers’ and those that have put constant hours of sweat equity and determination into making these events possible; Central Texas Speedway, Larry & Toni Burrier, Frank Montanez, Michael Thomas, Gary Harvey and Blake Bush.
After rolling a 1, for no invert, in the North Park Toyota Pro Late Model feature, things took a bad turn(no pun intended) for fast qualifier and polesitter, Kyle Sirizzotti during practice. Coming off of turn 2, something broke in the right front and headed him hard into the boiler plate. Sirizzotti was able to climb out uninjured, but his car suffered significant damage. The crew hauled back to the shop, picked up a buck-up car normally driven by Cody Smith, and returned in time to make the feature.
The North Park Toyota Pro Late Model, Donny Horelka 75 kicked off with the field saluting their fallen fellow racer, running a missing man formation as the field got ready to fire off. Just past halfway, on lap 41, the crowd rose to their feet as they paid tribute to Horelka and his family.
Davis Dazzles for Late Model Loot
Young, as in 14 years old, Spencer Davis made the haul from Dawsonville, Georgia pay off scoring the big win in the Donny Horelka Memorial 75. Davis, patiently, stalked early leader Casey Smith throughout the first 4/5th of the event. Then, like a veteran, made his move with 15 to go into the lead. From there Davis increased his margin over Smith to about three seconds when the checkers flew in the Part City Auto Parts, AR Bodies, Rheem Heating & Air, Overnight Wraps, Core Racing Products, Robby WhiteEngines, Grand American Race Cars, Ford Fusion.
In a race that strangely went green to checkers without a yellow after all the carnage that preceded it, Ca. Smith got the lead goinginto turn 1 trailed by Davis, Chris Davidson, Cody Smith and Joe Aramendia. The top three quickly put some distance on Co. Smith and Aramendia. It didn’t take Sirizzotti long until to move up picking up eighth.
The fast qualifier, Sirizzotti, continued to pick off cars cracking the top five by lap 12. At the 1/3 point Davis was still hanging on to Ca. Smith’s bumper as the duo got ahead of C. Davidson. Coming to halfway it was still Ca. Smith and Davis, with C. Davidson, Co. Smith and Sirizzotti in the top five spots.
As the race hit 25 to go, Davis began showing the nose to Ca. Smith off the corners. Davis got a good run on lap 59 getting along Ca.Smith down the back stretch. Davis got the advantage going into turn 3 and was on the point coming to lap 60. Davis then opened up the margin on Ca. Smith to a half straightaway with five to go. As the young Davis crossed the line heheld a three second advantage on Ca. Smith.
“We were going all out from the beginning,” commented Davis. “I was just trying to tweak my line and find some more speed. I finally got to him and once we got clear of some traffic I dove under him, barely made some contact and got by. It’s not the way I wanted to pass, but we made it clean and nobody wrecked. From there I just checked out. We had a real good car today. Everything just kind of went our way all weekend.”
“I was running him(C. Smith) as hard as I could. We tried to get away from the field. I was thinking about what we would do if a caution came out. At our home track we start straight up, but some divisions they use the ‘Madhouse’ restarts. I’ve seen it used both ways and been on both ends of that deal. It’s just a gamble on choosing which lane.”
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to get by him. I’ve raced with him in Super Late Models down south and know he’s always very stiff competition. I was trying my best to wear him down and hope he’d slip once. It happened in the center of the corner and I knew once I got beside him it would be a race to clear. It worked out.”
“I ran harder than I wanted to,” said Ca. Smith. “I pretty much used up the right front. He(Davis) ran a faster pace than I wanted and was able to make his tires hold on longer than mine. Going 75 laps without a caution didn’t allow me to cool them and let them go through a heat cycle.”
North Park Toyota Pro Late Model, Donny Horelka 75
129 Spencer Davis, 99 Casey Smith, 41 Greg Davidson, 15 Cody Smith, 47g Jared Fryer, 79 Joe Aramendia, 07 Austin Self, 22 Tommy Grimes, 5(93) Kyle Sirizzotti, 3 Mike Reininger, 96 Greg Davidson, 12 Ronnie Whitlock
Merrell Muscles up for Modified Main
Portland’s Matt Merrell made it a clean sweep in the Modifieds following up his fast time with the main event win. Merrell, who rolled a four for the invert dodged a lap 1 crash that took out Joe Aramendia from the pole. Once into racing action Merrell chased Jake Kruger giving him a challenge near midway. Merrell couldn’t complete the pass and fell in line to save his car, while holding off a charging Bayley Currey. With five to go Merrell made his move on Kruger, who had worn out the tires and banged the wall. Merrell in the Merrell Leasing Service, Bemm Boat Works, BMF Shocks, McGunegill powered, BMF Chassis held off Austin Self in the final laps.
As the 11-car field took the green Joe Aramendia made contact with the left rear of Jake Kruger, sending them both around in turn 1. Bruce Beddoe and Brian Otts got caught up in the melee. Both Aramendia and Otts were done for the night, Beddoe pitted and returned losing a few laps. On the complete restart, Kruger got the jump trailed by Merrell, Currey, Brian Moczygemba and Self.
Despite showing some smoke, Self was able to take fourth away from Moczygemba. Currey began pressuring Merrell for second giving Kruger the chance to put a little distance on them. Merrell held off Currey and made a run at Kruger as they approached halfway. Unable to pass, Merrell fell back in conservation mode and trying to hold Currey at bay. As the race wound down Merrell picked up the pace again and caught Kruger for the lead.
Merrell got inside Kruger running side by side through turns 3-4. Merrell inched ahead while Kruger was bouncing off the wall. Kruger would spin the next lap for the races only caution. On the restart, Merrell got away clean while Self and Dillon Spreen made a late run going wheel to wheel for second. Self tried to track down Merrell, but came up three car lengthsshort at the finish line.
“John Heil put together a good car for us this weekend,” replied Merrell. “It was just a waiting game running the open motor in the feature, with the crates. We had to just ride, ride, ride and their cars started going away. We concentrated on keeping ours pointed straight and itworked out.”
“I’m not sure what happened on that initial start. Jake(Kruger) got a good start and Joe(Aramendia) usually starts a little tight. Maybe just the low tire pressure caused Joe to push up a bit. We were fortunate enough to get by Bayley(Currey) on the start and turn down underneath all that.”
“We made a charge up to him during the middle of that run and gave him a try. He got a good run off the back stretch and got back outfront. At that point I was thinking I was comfortable just riding here. If we could get out front and set our pace that’s good too, but it didn’t work out. I just went back to saving my stuff and Jakes car started going away and we capitalized on it.”
“We’ve got some stuff in the works that looking pretty promising to do some NCWTS races at the end of the year. Hopefully that allworks out.”
30 Matt Merrell, 15 Austin Self, 05 Bayley Currey, 50 Brian Moczygemba, 81 Dillon Spreen, 96 Robert Barker, 97 Jake Kruger, 39 Mark Chrudimsky, 18 Bruce Beddoe, 79 Joe Aramendia, 7 Brian Otts
Pollaro Picks Up Truck Pay Day
Rick Pollaro(Canyon Lake) admitted he wasn’t the fastest truck out there, but when the checkers waved, he was the one standing in the Winners Circle. Pollaro was in the right spot when the lead duo, Mark Chrudimsky and Gary Cavigliano made contact, for a second time, sending both into the front stretch wall. Pollaro, driving the Rack-n-Motion, Wild ChildMotorsports, MLH Trucking, Kruger Motorsports, Mission Race Engines, BMF Shocks & Chassis, Chevy then held off Jim Albert the final five laps for the victory.
As green waved on the 12-truck field Bryon Reed jumped into the lead with Cody Beddoe, Shawn Paul Lehman, Chrudimsky and Jim Albert in pursuit. Chrudimsky made quick work of Lehman and Beddoe, challenging for the top spot on lap 9, while Lehman pitted with transmission issues. Chrudimskygrabbed the lead on lap 10, while Cavigliano worked his way up to third.
After a restart for dual spins by Jesse Salazar and John Kelly jr., Cavigliano used the outside to get past Reed for second. Coming to the crossed flags it was Chrudimsky, Cavigliano, Reed, Beddoe and Rick Pollaro in the top five.
As the laps began to wind down Cavigliano gave Chrudimsky a look down the back stretch and got the nose by in turn 3. Chrudimsky fought back with the two making contact off turn 4 getting Cavigliano loose allowing Albert to take second and shaking up the order behind them. A spin by Salazar restacked the field for a shootout to the finish.
Albert and Pollaro choose the outside on the restart with Cavigliano taking second back and Pollaro able to move up to third. Cavigliano and Chrudimsky were back at it battling for the lead on lap 35 when they got together again, this time both made contact with the wall coming off turn 4ending both of their chances to win.
Pollaro was in the right spot, inheriting the lead with Albert, Cary Stapp, Salazar, Reed and Chrudimsky falling in line after pitting for repairs. As Pollaro took off on green, Reed and Salazar were side by side and Chrudimsky trying the grass on both. Reed was able to hold off Salazar and get past Stapp for third. Up front it was Pollaro able to hold his margin on Albert and score the victory.
“Right place at the right time,” said Pollaro. “We had a right spring out of the bucket and that made us kind of loose in the corners. Our truck was good all weekend in practice but in the race we really didn’t have the truck to win. It was just the circumstances that got us the win.”
“I’m proud of our team. I really wanted that trophy made out of wood from the old bleachers. We’ve got an awesome crew. John Heil builds us some good cars and my truck. With all my teammates we share a lot of information. We’re all just one big family here in the pits.”
“I had a good seat for the incident between Mark(Chrudimsky) and Gary(Cavigliano). I was right behind them watching Gary work on Mark. Gary was fast, but I think Mark had the truck to beat here. They just got together a little bit, that happens, and it worked to my benefit this time.”
96 Rick Pollaro, 183 Jim Albert, 83 Bryon Reed, 99 Cary Stapp, 39 Mark Chrudimsky, 18 Jesse Salazar, 77 Cole Miller, 57 John Kelly jr., 00 Gary Cavigliano, 13 James Lynch, 97 Cody Beddoe, 28 Shawn Paul Lehman, 33 Joey Jenkins---DNS
Stanley Stars in Street Stocks
Coming all the way from Kannapolis, North Carolina, Jason Stanley capitalized on some others misfortune, then held off a hard charging RL Alexander on several restarts. Stanley got the lead after early combatants,Allen Alexander and Greg Rohmer got together sending Rohmer into the wall. After a few attempts at restart line ups using the “Madhouse rules” cone, A. Alexander was sent to the back, leaving Stanley out front. Once clear of RL Alexander on the ensuing restarts, Stanley would ease way taking the checkers in his Circle Track Warehouse, 24/7 Towing, Screen Pro Graphics, Chevy Camaro.
At the start of the 17-car Street Stock feature Rohmer beat A. Alexander into turn 1 for the lead pursued by A. Alexander, Stanley, Brandon Gaither and Aaron Leddy. A. Alexander hung on to Rohmer’s bumper as they put some distance on the field. After a spin by David Schooman to regroup the pack, it got interesting on the restart.
A. Alexander, Leddy and RL Alexander opted for the outside on the ‘Madhouse’ restart. A. Alexander got a good run on Rohmer coming down the front straight and as the two made contact fighting for the lead, Rohmer ended up in the turn 1 wall, with several others getting some damage as the field stacked up in turn 1.
Since no laps had been completed from the previous restart, those that had chosen outside were still committed to that lane. After several attempts to reline the field, A. Alexander was shown the black flag, for trying to take the inside line, and sent to the rear. He opted instead to park hiscar.
This left Stanley and Leddy pacing the way coming to back to green flag racing. Stanley began to ease away from Gaither, Leddy, RL Alexander and John Henry Witzche. After a couple spins by Gaither and Paul Reyes, Stanley was battling with RL Alexander for the top spot. The final caution flew on lap 28 when Reyes brushed the turn 2 wall at the same time Brian Schneider was pounding the turn 3 wall.
With Stanley still holding serve in the lead, RL Alexander and Witzche picked the outside. As green waved again, Stanley wasable hold off RL Alexander for the lead, with Leddy, Witzche and AJ Wernette in the top five with ten to go. Stanley inched away from RL Alexander, while Witzche challenged Leddy for third. Stanley, a San Antonio native and past SAS racer, took home the win.
“It was a very emotional win for me,” replied Stanley. “I haven’t raced here since 2007 and having my mom here in the Winners Circle was pretty special to me. This is the same car I won with at Caraway Speedway two weeks ago with a different motor in it.”
Street Stocks(40 laps)
92 Jason Stanley, 98 RL Alexander, 93 Aaron Leddy, 97 John Henry Witzche, 37 AJ Wernette, 11 Mark Hudler, 28 David Schooman, 64 Steve Varnes, 68 Kenny Wright, 24 Paul Reyes III, 49 Brian Schneider, 8 Brandon Gaither, 69 Gary Harvey, 80 Allen Alexander, 51 Greg Rohmer, 5r Ryan Doyon, 3 Robert Elizondo, 7 Stephen Leicht---DNS
Montgomery Motors to Charger Cash
Backing up last year’s win at OctoberFast, young Hunter Montgomery(St. Hedwig) led wire to wire in the 25-lap Tator Plumbing Charger feature. Montgomery got the jump on polesitter, Aaron Brungot and eased ahead. After a late caution brought the field back together Montgomery, in the Machinery Auctioneers of Texas, I-10 Auto Auctions, JSR Inc., Affordable Trailers, Chevy again was able to pull away while the battle raged for second through fifth.
Montgomery, from the outside, got the jump Brungot at the Tator Plumbing Charger feature took the green. Brungot fell in line second with Mark Mathias, Trey Heald and Dillon Gaither on his tail. Mathias then got under Brungot for second while Gaither slowed and pitted with a smoking car. Montgomery wasted little time checking out as Brungot closed back in on Mathias.
A caution for debris slowed the action on lap 14, with Tommy Temple and George Reyes opting for the outside on the ‘Madhouse’ restart. Temple and Reyes made the move pay off falling into second and third. As Montgomery began to motor away again, Temple, Reyes, Brungot and Brent Reeves battled it out for second.
Brungot tried a dive bomb move going into turn 1 getting past Reyes, but into Temple. As Brungot tried to avoid taking Temple out, he ended up spinning himself. Montgomery easily got away from the second place scrap and was able to stretch out his margin coming to snag the win.
Tator Plumbing Chargers(25 laps)
15 Hunter Montgomery, 99 Tommy Temple, 50 Aaron Brungot, 19 Brent Reeves, 9k Brett Karulak, 83 Mark Mathias, 14 Trey Heald, 95 SterlingTausch, 7 Jesse Sandoval, 96 Dillon Gaither, 31 George Reyes---DQ(tech), D30 Mark Chrudimsky---DNS, 01 Wes Walker---DNS
Farish Fastest in Grand Stocks
Kempner’s Mike Farish lead all but one lap in the 20-lap Grand Stock feature. Marcia Moore jumped out to the early lead on lap 1, but gave up the point to Farish as they crossed the line. Moore hung with Farish for a bit, but Farish finally got away clean.
A quick yellow for debris rebunched the field on lap 14. Farish held off Moore, Kevin Carroll and Les Bettis on the restart. Moore made several attempts on the high side in the final two laps, but it was Farish holding on for the win.
Grand Stocks(20 laps)
88 Mike Farish, 91 Marcia Moore, 58 Kevin Carroll, 578 Les Bettis, 3 Sean Folsom, 29 Casey Simons, 21 Eric Ramos, 68 Matthew Harvey, D30 Mark Chrudimsky---DNS