Speed-O-Rama @ San Antonio Speedway 7-13-13
David Webster Street Stock winner. Photos by Jeff Garvin
J.M. Hallas is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
San Antonio, TX.,(July 13th, 2013) After setting the fields through qualifying and heat races on Friday night, Saturday’s portion of Speed-O-Rama continued with feature races for all six classes. Tonight’s racing action would debut a new format, the ‘Halfway Challenge’ sponsored by Umscheid Race Services for the Pro Late Models, and Temco Services LLC. for the Trucks, Street Stocks, Tator Plumbing Chargers and Grand Stocks. **Modifieds would not have a ‘Halfway Challenge.’
The ‘Halfway Challenge’ pays the race leader at the midway point a bonus, then after a mandatory pit stop(no tire change) a fanrolls a die to determine an invert for the remaining half of each respective feature. This format not only adds excitement to the features, but gives fans a chance to interact at the same time.
It was another scorcher of a day, but a good breeze helped keep it bearable, though I’m sure the track surface showed little effects of that. Everyone made it through final practices unscathed, with the exception of a few minor spins, but no major contact.
Smith Swipes Pro Late Model Win
Austin’s Casey Smith picked up another victory at San Antonio Speedway, but it wasn’t easy. Eventful would be a better term. Smith, who qualified and started third, worked into the lead only to have a power steering hose leak forcing him to pit under yellow and give up the lead. The halfway break was beneficial to Smith as his crew made enough repairs to get him back in the game. Restarting fourth, Smith worked his way back to the front after a solo spin, had a brief side by side battle with Chris Davidson, then retook the top spot with ten to go and motored away for the win.
Jake Kruger beat Ryan Luza into turn 1 for the lead as the 80-lap Pro Late Model main event fired off. Smith got inside Luza for second, with Davidson and Bayley Currey filling out the top five. The top three ran within a car length of each other until Smith began pressuring Kruger for the lead and Currey closed in on the lead trio.
Kruger and Smith gapped Davidson and Currey by lap 15 with Smith still poking the nose low in the corners. Smith finally got a run on Kruger in turns 1-2 and got alongside on the back stretch grabbing the point on lap 19. Smith’s time on the point was short-lived as he lost a power steering line on lap 29. A yellow for the fluid clean up gave Smith a chance to pit without losing any laps.
This put Kruger out front for the restart with Davidson challenging from the drop of the green. Smith was able to get back quickly into the top five as the race came to the ‘Halfway Challenge.’ With a four rolled this would have put George Hagy on the pole, but a cut tire was found that Hagy’s crew had to change, sending him to the back.
Currey and Davidson now paced the field back to green with Davidson getting the lead. Currey, Kruger, Smith and Hagy, making his way back to fifth quickly, trailed Davidson. Smith would spin on the front stretch bringing out a caution on lap 42 sending Smith to the back again.
Davidson got away clean while Kruger and Currey ran side by side for second and Smith dashing back into the top five. Kruger took the spot as Smith made his way by Currey to third. Smith then set his sights onKruger grabbing second on lap 45. Hagy and Luza made contact sending Luza around on the back stretch and into the inside wall for a lap 46 caution.
Davidson got the jump on Smith as green waved again with the trio of Davidson, Smith and Kruger inching away. Smith began working over Davidson on lap 57 and didn’t let up. Smith got inside off turn 4 and alongside Davidson on lap 67.
The two continued the side by side battle until lap 69 when Smith finally secured the position and led back to the line at lap 70.Smith then began stretching out his advantage even as he encountered slowertraffic. Smith, in the Gary Buchanan owned, Sealmaster, Smith Excavating and Paving, Phil Harper powered, Hamke Chassis, ran unchallenged the final fivelaps for the win.
“I really have to thank the Merrell’s for loaning us a motor after we broke ours in Kyle.” commented Smith. “The car was amazing tonight. We tried a bunch of different stuff. We kind of got complacent after winning at OctoberFast and Spencer Davis came in here whooped up on us the first race this year. So we went back to the drawing board and changed somestuff.”
“It was really a lot of fun. It would have been a lot harder to get back up front if there had been more cars here. The car was really good the whole race. We had a power steering line come off. I thought I had a flat first since it wouldn’t turn. Then we had a bit of a fire in the pits. We didn’t fix it, but stopped the leak until halfway.”
“After halfway I started third and ran with (Jake) Kruger pretty hard. I got under him, clipped the grass and spun sending me to the back again. As I chased Chris(Davidson) back down it reminded me of the race with Spencer, getting throttle tight. I knew if I pressured him long enough I could get by. It’s fun racing with Chris, he’s got a lot of laps here too. We race each other about every week somewhere. It’s fun to race someone you can run side by side with.”
“The ‘Halfway Challenge’ is a tough deal. I think it made the racing better. It was cool they did something for the fans. I had to start in the back after trouble anyway, but next time it might bite me. It all comes around full circle and it’s good for the fans.”
“It does enter into things when you’re trying to figure how hard to run the first half. I always like to be in the lead though so I can see how good my car is. With these tires you have to find time to just rideanyway. It’s not the bonus money at halfway you want, but the big money at the end.”
Pro Late Models (80 laps)
99 Casey Smith, 14 Chris Davidson, 114 Jake Kruger, 47g George Hagy, 22 Tommy Grimes, 01 Derek Scott jr., 79 Bayley Currey, 141 Ryan Luza, 3 Mike Reininger
Kruger Krushes Competition in Modifieds
Jake Kruger(Bastrop) took home the Modified win in convincing fashion. Starting fourth, Kruger worked over Dillon Spreen for the first half of the 50 lapper trying for second, all this while James Cole was pulling off in the distance. Once clear of Spreen, Kruger methodically cut into Cole’s lead and saved enough for the lead battle. Kruger ran down Cole from a half straightaway back on lap 34 and made quick work of Cole getting the point on lap 36. From there, Kruger in the Wildchild Motorsports(Rick Pollaro), Rack in Motion, 410 Outdoors, BMF Shocks, Mission Racing powered, BMF Chassis, built his own substantial lead on his way to the checkers.
Cole charged into the lead from the outside front row as green waved on the Modified feature chased by Spreen, Kruger, Matt Merrell and Austin Wayne Self. Cole quickly asserted himself out front building a big lead as Merrell began putting pressure on Kruger for second. Kruger held Merrell off and began challenging Spreen for second.
That three-car scramble continued with Merrell getting by Kruger for half a lap before Kruger gave Spreen a little bumper bump to get by for second. Coming to the crossed flags, with no hallway break, it was Cole by a half straightaway, Kruger, Spreen, Merrell and Self in the top five.
Once clear of Spreen, Kruger began cutting into Cole’s lead, a little over two seconds. Lap by lap Kruger made up several tenths per lap until he was on Cole’s bumper at lap 34. Kruger ducked underneath Cole on lap 35 and had the top spot at lap 36.
Wasting little time, Kruger began to creep away to a margin of his own while Merrell, Self and Joe Aramendia had a scrap going on for fourth. With two to go, Kruger had his lead up to a half straightaway while Merrell, Self and Aramendia swapped spots. At the checkers it was Kruger cruising to the win easily over Cole, with Spreen, Self and Aramendia in the top five.
“It was just patience tonight,” replied Kruger. “I rode behind Dillon(Spreen) for a while and started working on him. When I finally underneath him I could see James(Cole) up there wearing his stuff out. I just stayed calm, kept my right rear on it(the car) and ran him down. Once I passed him I still had enough to drive away.”
“Even while racing Dillon for second I was being pretty conservative on my tires. Once I got him, I slowed my pace down and was still catching James. I knew it was pretty much in the bag at that point.”
“Running two different cars didn’t help a lot with set ups this weekend. It was kind of two ends of the spectrum. The Modified wasreal free and the Late Model was on the tight side. I had to adapt to that getting out of one and into the other.”
“This heat wore me out running in two races. We had four cars to work on for two days and the heat got to me a little. I got pretty tired toward the end of the Late Model race.”
Modifieds (50 laps)
97 Jake Kruger, 14 James Cole, 81 Dillon Spreen, 15 Austin Wayne Self, 50 Joe Aramendia, 30 Matt Merrell, 18 Bruce Beddoe, 54 Todd McLemore
Stapp Strong for First San Antonio Truck win
After several tries in a Super Stock and Truck, Cary Stapp(San Marcos) finally found the winning combination for his inaugural win on the San Antonio high-banks. Starting seventh, Stapp got the lead at the ‘Halfway Challenge’ when a six was rolled for the restart. Once out front in clean air Stapp was able to hold his own over Bryon Reed and first half leader, ChrisDavidson tried to chase him down. Reed could get no closer than a few car lengths as Stapp held his advantage to the finish for the win.
The front row of Davidson and, Fiesta on Asphalt winner, Rick Pollaro stayed side by side through turns 1-2 with Davidson getting the advantage on the back stretch. Pollaro got in line behind Davidson tailed by Jesse Salazar, Cody Beddoe and Beau Bukowski. The field quickly sorted out and settled in with Davidson five truck lengths ahead of Pollaro.
Bukowski was able to put Beddoe back a spot with Bryon Reed following to fifth a lap later. Bukowski closed the gap on Salazar forthird and after slight contact got the spot. Salazar was forced to pit with a cut tire while Reed got third from Bukowski as the race approached the ‘Halfway Challenge.’
Teams were given a five minute break to make any adjustments, but no tires or adding fuel were allowed. A six was thrown for the invert moving Stapp and Beddoe up to the front row for the remaining 25 circuits. Stapp jumped into the lead while Davidson got by Pollaro for fourth. Bukowski slipped high the next lap allowing Reed and Davidson to move into second and third, respectively.
Stapp built a comfortable lead leaving Reed and Davidson fighting for second. With ten to go the second place scrap had closed the gap on the leader, Stapp, down to a handful of truck lengths. Stapp, in the SanMarcos Police Officers Association, Continental Collision, Miller Light, MATCO Tools, crate motored, TRC Chassis maintained his lead as he ran to the checkers.
“It’s huge” said Stapp. “It’s a big accomplishment for me to get my first ever win here. The first segment the truck was really loose. I could barely touch the gas off the corners. My brother Chase, threw some major things at it during the break and it really woke the truck up. I love the ‘Halfway Challenge,’ at least tonight.”
“My spotter was telling me where everyone was at so I wasn’t too worried about the other guys coming. He was giving me updates on how their times were falling off compared to mine. I just had to hit my marks and we’d be ok.”
“We really didn’t make a lot of major changes from our Central Texas Speedway set up. I’ve only raced here a handful of times in my Super Stock and Truck. It’s been a bit of a learning curve, but it’s fun. I really like the unique trophy. It’s a part of San Antonio Speedway history.”
Trucks (50 laps)
99 Cary Stapp, 83 Bryon Reed, 14 Chris Davidson, 1 Beau Bukowski, 96 Rick Pollaro, 13 James Lynch, 00 Gary Cavigliano, 18 Jesse Salazar, 97 Cody Beddoe, 33 Josh Cheek, 77 Cole Miller
Webster Whips ‘Em in Street Stocks
Coming out of the Houston area, David Webster flexed his muscle during the second half of the 40-lap Street Stock feature to grab the victory. Webster, who started seventh, hung around the top five and restarted fourth at the halfway break. Webster barely survived a huge multi-car tangle on the restart that took out several contenders and brought out a red flag. Once back to green Webster, who moved up to second, got around Brandon Spreen for the lead and never looked back. Webster stretched his margin out to a half straightaway ahead of early leader Greg Rohmer for the win.
As green waved on the 19-car Street Stock field, Rohmer beat Tator Mason into turn 1 for the lead. Mason fell in line second followed by Damon Bean, Spreen, and Paul Reyes. Spreen got past Bean for third whileRobert Barker, driving Jamie Fuller’s car, made his way from the back into the top ten.
Ryan Doyon, who had been showing some smoke, brought out yellow on lap 13 when he found the turn 1 wall. Rohmer got a good jump on the restart while Barker, using the Madhouse style line up to his advantage, made his way to sixth. Coming to the ‘Halfway Challenge’ it was Rohmer, picking up the bonus cash, Mason, Spreen, Bean, Webster and Barker.
The invert roll was three placing Spreen and Mason on the front row for the final 20 laps. As the pack raced into turn 2, with Spreen on point, Rohmer and Mason made contact with Rohmer climbing over Mason’s front end. As the field stacked up several cars got caught up in the melee with Bean taking the hardest hit. Bean was shaken but checked out and released by EMScrews. Mason, Bean, Robert Elizondo and AJ Wernette were done for the night.
The new line up put Spreen and Webster out front for the restart, with Webster getting the lead from Spreen coming off turn 2. As Webster, Spreen and Rohmer broke away, Matt Kaminski spun three times down the back stretch, and didn’t hit anything, while battling for fourth with Troy Hensiek.
It was almost three wide for the lead on the restart going into turn 1, but Webster held the top spot while Rohmer got by Spreen for second. Webster was able to build his margin over Rohmer while Spreen and Hensiek battled for third.
As Spreen and Hensiek continued their fight this gave RL Alexander and Douglas LeStourgeon the chance to close the gap. On the finallap, Alexander and Hensiek got together, but both kept going, as Webster was crossing the line for the checkered flag.
1st Choice House Leveling Street Stocks (40 laps)
81 David Webster, 21 Greg Rohmer, 88 Brandon Spreen, 98 RL Alexander, 66 Troy Hensiek, 27 Douglas LeStourgeon, 169 Mike Pollaro, 24Paul Reyes, 7 Matt Kaminski, 93 Robert Barker, 12 Tator Mason, 44 Damon Bean, 3 Robert Elizondo, 37 AJ Wernette, 11 Mark Hudler, 49 Brian Schneider, 5r Ryan Doyon, 68 Kenny Wright, 8 Brandon Gaither, 64 Steve Varnes---DNS
Gaither Grabs Charger Cash
Floresville’s Dillon Gaither had an eventful weekend, but in the end walked away with the win. In Friday practice, Gaither had the motor left go sending him for a lazy spin. The crew loaded up the car and took it to a local shop where they changed power plants making it back in time to finish third in his heat race giving him sixth starting spot. Gaither worked his way to third before the ‘Halfway Challenge’ which put him second after the invert. He quickly got the lead back under green from Jarrett Payton, then fought off Tommy Temple in the latter stages for the victory.
San Antonio Speedway paid special tribute to Ray Becka prior to the start of the 25-lap Charger feature. Polesitter, Hunter Montgomery did a “Polish victory lap” carrying a flag bearing Becka’s name and car number. The flag was presented to the Becka family with Mrs. Becka serving as honorary flag person for the start.
As Mrs. Becka waved the green Temple jumped into the lead while Montgomery fell back with fuel line issues. Brent Reeves, Payton, Gaither and Brett Karulak trailed Temple. Temple and Reeves broke away from the pack while Gaither made his way past Payton for third. Temple and Reeves were nose to tail as yellow waved for the ‘Halfway Challenge.’
With a four rolled for the invert, Payton and Gaither restarted up front. Gaither grabbed the top spot with Temple on his bumper in second. The duo pulled away to settle things among themselves leaving Payton, Reeves and Trey Heald behind. Gaither was able to put some distance on Temple with about a 5-car length margin at the finish line.
Tator Plumbing Chargers (25 laps)
5 Dillon Gaither, 99 Tommy Temple, 19 Brent Reeves, 9s Jarrett Payton, 14 Trey Heald, 15 Hunter Montgomery, 19k Brett Karulak, 95sSterling Tausch---DNS
Smith Snatches Grand Stock Win
Cody Smith was in the right spot for the ‘Halfway Challenge’ invert and got the lead after the restart. Smith was chased by Marcia Moore while first half leader, Joe Aramendia found the turn 2 wall. Joshua McCain was caught up in the crash and tried to fight his way from the back. It was Smith, by a car length holding on the final lap for the win.
Aramendia beat polesitter Sean Folsom into turn 1 for the early lead trailed by McCain, Smith, Mike Farish and Folsom. After building a good lead McCain began running down Aramendia while Moore closed on Smith and Farish. Moore got around both for third with Farish following her past Smith as the race hit the halfway break.
With a six rolled for the invert, Les Bettis and Smith would restart the final ten laps on the front row. Smith grabbed the lead on green while Aramendia got a run on the outside but got squeezed into the turn 2 wall. McCain caught a piece of the action cutting down a tire, while Chris Trevino spun to miss the wreck.
Once back under green again, Smith got away leaving Moore and Bettis side by side for second. As Moore began pressuring Smith for the lead, McCain made his way back to fourth. As Smith and Moore battled up front, Farish, McCain, Bettis and Kevin Carroll had their own scrap going for third. As the white flag waved Smith held a car length advantage on Moore which hecarried to the checkers.
Grand Stocks (20 laps)
53 Cody Smith, 91 Marcia Moore, 88 Mike Farish, 8 Joshua McCain, 58 Kevin Carroll, 578 Les Bettis, 86 Chris Trevino, 29 Casey Simon, 3 Sean Folsom, 97 Joe Aramendia