I-37 Raceway at Newsome Motor Park, 7/28/12
J.M. Hallas is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Pleasanton, TX.,(July 28th, 2012) Another scorcher, with the water truck logging the most laps during the day trying to keep conditions ready for the night’s action.
All six regular classes again saw action throughout the night with the IMCA Modifieds and Southern Sportmods, Limited Late Models, Street and Pure Stocks, plus the Front Runners running heats and features.
As has been the norm this season another first time winner emerged, this time in the highly competitive Street Stock class. Making the five hour trip from east Texas, New Waverley’s, Rob Slott took home the hardware taking his first ever I-37 Raceway win, despite having never seen the track before tonight.
In the IMCA classes, two driver returned to the Winners Circle after several weeks of trials and tribulations with Jamie Campbell(Modifieds) and Johnny Torres(Sportmods) picking up the trophies.
In the Pure Stocks it was “Ladies Night Out” as two of the classes front runners, Brandy Ramzinski and Janel Hilla fought it out lap after lap until Ramzinski powered away.
Trey Votion backed up last weeks Limited Late Model feature victory, while Dillon Gaither added another notch in his young career belt.
Campbell Claims Modified Main Money
Jamie Campbell(Adkins) found his way back to the front early in the 20-lap IMCA Modified main. Coming out of a three wide battle for second, Campbell got the lead on lap 1, and never looked back. Campbell was challenged for several laps by Darin Leonard, using the low side, as Campbell stayed up top. The final five laps Campbell was able to break away and pull out to a comfortable margin.
A dozen cars roared to green led into turn 1 by Marlin Samford and a three wide scramble behind him. Campbell powered off turn 2 with the edge as Samford, Jason Borlace, Leonard and Donald Banker sorted out. Leonard quickly took second from Borlace and Samford, with Chuck Chesler moving up to fourth.
Borlace and Leonard started a fight for second until Tracy Fink slapped the front stretch wall to bring out a caution. As Campbell and Leonard got away, Chesler got past Borlace for third leaving him side by side with Bill Pittaway. With Campbell working the top, and Leonard on the bottom, the battle for lead began. Leonard could run the bottom in turn 1-2 better, but loose that ground at the other end.
Coming to halfway it was Campbell, Leonard, Chesler, Pittaway and Borlace running in the top five. Pittaway closed in on Chesler and as they ran side by side for third, Carson Bednarz snuck up on both. Out front Campbell, in the aplusboatparts.com, VP Race Fuels, Screen Pro Graphics, Swenson Racing Shocks, Performance Machine Shop, Swenson Chassis, was now inching away from Leonard as the laps wound down leaving him unchallenged to the finish.
“I got lucky this week,” exclaimed Campbell. “I got out to the lead on the first lap and was smooth from there on. My car was excellent. Chris Swenson helped me with it this week and we went back to some of the stuff he was doing with it. It worked real good.”
“I didn’t think the bottom would be fast enough, so I stayed up top. I wanted to keep my momentum up because this place is fast around the outside. I really only saw Darin(Leonard) once the whole race. It was easy for me to run the middle to the top. I was expecting someone to be coming, but never heard anyone else.”
“There are some people helping all the new Modified guys out there, so it’s pretty even. That’s one reason there’s been some new guys winning. Carson(Bednarz) even won with a Street Stock motor in his car. It’s not really a horsepower track.”
29 Jamie Campbell, 26 Darin Leonard, 49 Chuck Chesler, 16 Carson Bednarz, 137 Bill Pittaway, 21 Jason Borlace, 67 Robert Liese jr., 37b Donald Banker, 31 Marlin Samford, 10b Ellis Tracy, 9 Jason Campbell, 24 Tracy Fink
IMCA Modified heats
Heat 1; 21 Jason Borlace, 29 Jamie Campbell, 26 Darin Leonard, 37b Donald Banker, 31 Marlin Samford, 9 Jason Campbell
Heat 2; 16 Carson Bednarz, 137 Bill Pittaway, 10b Ellis Tracy, 49 Chuck Chesler, 24 Tracy Fink, 67 Robert Liese jr.
Torres Topples Sportmod Field
San Antonio’s Johnny Torres got back into the win column in convincing fashion during the Sportmod 20-lapper. Torres grabbed the lead from Tom Grothues, who slipped in the corner giving up the spot. Torres had several drivers try to take up the challenge but fall short as Torres eased away to pick up the victory in the 24/7 Towing, Tator Plumbing, Rising Star Bodies, Screen Pro Graphics, Rays Auto & Truck, Spreen Race Engines, Vato Chassis.
Tom Grothues paced the 12-car IMCA Southern Sportmod field into turn 1 with Jason Kelly looking low and Robby Minten, Torres and Talon Minten falling in line. J. Kelly was pressuring Grothues when caution flew for a spin by JJ Jennings. Back under green, R. Minten got by J. Kelly for second with Torres following to third.
Torres made quick work of R. Minten for second and took advantage of a slip by Grothues to grab the point on lap 4. Rob Slott had just moved into the top five when he had trouble and stalled in turn 2 for a caution. Back under green with Jennings, recovering from his spin, getting past T. Minten for fourth.
The battle for second stacked up in turn 3 shaking up the running order coming to the crossed flags. The top five were Torres, T. Minten, Gordon, and Jennings with R. Minten and J. Kelly side by side for fifth. Jennings got past Gordon and T. Minten for second but trailed Torres by quite a bit. As the white flag waved Torres held a half straightaway margin over Jennings as he cruised to the checkers.
“Feels good to be back in the Winners Circle,” replied Torres. “The car has been pretty fast lately, just some bad luck and mishaps. The track was nice and dry slick tonight and left the bottom groove open for me. It felt like old times.”
“I watched the races before ours, and the top was gone halfway through the night. I knew going in I was going to stick to the bottom. I was trying to get to the front quick, and had to make sure I hit my marks on the bottom. I was more worried about that, than pulling away or who was behind me.”
“The last five weeks this car has been pretty good. We’ve been trying to work out the new chassis, plus had some bad luck. Now that I’m not running for (track) points, we’re trying different things and getting faster. Everything we’re adding seems to be working.”
“I’m looking forward to finishing off the Lone Star Series. I’m leading in points with two races to go. That was my main goal for the year. So far, so good. We’ve got one race to be rescheduled at Grayson County and then 85 Speedway.”
IMCA Southern Sportmods
66 Johnny Torres, 26 JJ Jennings, 9(14t) Talon Minten, 118 Anthony Gordon, 57 Jason Kelly, 4r Robby Minten, 2r Michael Hernandez, 37 Cody Leonard, 84k Patrick Kelly, 60 Pat Lyon, 48 Rob Slott, 11 Tom Grothues
IMCA SSM heats
Heat 1; 66 Johnny Torres, 4r Robby Minten, 11 Tom Grothues, 84k Patrick Kelly, 60 Pat Lyon, 118 Anthony Gordon
Heat 2; 26g JJ Jennings, 48 Rob Slott, 9(14t) Talon Minten, 37 Cody Leonard, 57 Jason Kelly, 2r Michael Hernandez
Votion Victorious in Limited Late Models
Perhaps finally finding his ‘mojo’ after an early season crash, Trey Votion(New Braunfels) appears to be back on track backing up last week’s victory. Votion chased down early leader, Craig Crawley taking the top spot a third of the way through the 15-lap event. Votion was able to power ahead while Crawley and Chris Brock battled for second.
On the initial start of the Limited Late Model feature, Crawley got off turn 2 with the lead, by a spin by Aaron Leddy brought out the yellow. Crawley again jumped out front on the next start trailed by Brock, Ron Sprayue, Howie Marcx and Votion. Sprayue would go around and collect Gary Hunter, ending both their nights early.
The early part of the race was dotted by cautions, but Votion methodically picked off cars one by one and got alongside Crawley. Using the low side, Votion was able to snag the top spot from Crawley, running up top, on lap 5. As the laps clicked off, Crawley and Brock ran door to door giving Votion the chance to pull away for the victory in the Northside Ford, ZDT Amusement Park, Champion Signs, Northside Collision, Mission Race Engines, Kelly Chassis.
“I’d like to think we’ve got our ‘Mojo’ back after the wreck,” stated Votion. “It’s one of those things getting the car to work the way you want it to. It’s pretty close to the way it was. I’m happy with it.”
“The track tricked me tonight. Just looking at it during the heat races I thought the top was going to be good. The top was gone by the time we went out(for the feature). I didn’t think the bottom was going to be there, but sure enough it was. It was coming in just enough and was a fun race.”
“I had to drive the bottom totally different than I drive the top. Once I found the bottom had some grip, that’s where I wanted to be. I saw Craig(Crawley) out front and figured he’d go to the bottom. I took advantage of him while I could. He’s fast on the bottom when he gets there. It was real good in turns 1-2, but it would skate during entry in turn 3 and through the middle, but coming off(turn 4) was great. I just had to make sure not to overdrive it. Once you find the line, you’re good to go.”
Limited Late Models
99 Trey Votion, 10 Chris Brock, 7 Richard Bartosh, 13 Howie Marcx, 6 Craig Crawley, 4d3 Aaron Leddy, 42 Ron Sprayue, 14 Gary Hunter, 15 John Owens
Limited Late Model heat winners; 99 Trey Votion, 6 Craig Crawley
Slott Slices Through Street Stocks
Rob Slott made the long trip from the piney woods to try his hand against one of I-37 Raceway’s toughest classes lately, the Street Stocks. The Gator Motorplex(Willis, TX.) driver found the track to his liking and adapted quickly as he worked his way through the pack. Slott got the lead from Mike Lyon after Wade Jones spun himself out while leading. Slott held off a hard-charging AJ Dancer at the finish for his inaugural victory.
Richard Wells jumped out front as green waved on the 14-car Street Stock feature with Lyon, AJ Wernette, Dennis Hilla and Frank Okruhlik in pursuit. Wells’ run up front was short lived when he looped it in front of the pack and got drilled by AJ Dancer. Several others suffered damage in the ensuing melee.
The restart saw Lyon out front with Wernette, Jones, Hilla, Dancer and Anthony Gordon swapping spots as they battled behind Lyon. Jones began to put the heat on Wernette and gave the outside a try. This gave Dancer a hole low that quickly filled. The trio closed on Lyon, as he caught the back of the pack. Wernette tapped Lyon, who slowed for traffic, giving Jones a run past both for the lead on lap 8.
Dancer followed Jones to second, with Gordon charging to third at halfway. Werenette’s run up front ended with a flat, giving the spot Brian Becka. As Jones and Dancer ran the bottom, Gordon was trying the high side while Rob Slott was making a late charge into the top five. Slott picked up more spots after Gordon went for a spin that saw Dancer sent to the tail.
Jones looked to be on his way to the win with five laps to go, until he looped it on his own, leaving Lyon and Slott battling for the lead. Slott got the spot on lap 15 with Okruhlik and Becka door to door, and Dancer fighting his way back to the front. Becka sailed off turn 3 to bring out a late caution and rebunch the field.
Slott and Lyon took off with Lyon looking low and Dancer moving up to third. Dancer got past Lyon for second with two to go and tried late charge on Slott. Dancer closed to within a car length on the final lap, but it was Slott in the B&R Productions, BKG Management, 105 Machine Shop, Doug Ivey Chassis hanging on for his first ever win, in his first ever trip to I-37 Raceway.
“It took a lot of patience tonight,” explained Slott. “Being our first time here we had to start on the seventh row and I had to get up on the wheel to make my way to the front. Towards the end of the race we finally found the groove, made it to the front and barely snuck by for the win.”
“The more laps and seat time you can get on a track gives you more insight on what you need to do to tweak your car, so running two cars helps. We had a good run going in the Limited Modified too, but broke the motor.”
“We just picked up the Limited and the rules are pretty much the same as IMCA Sportmods so we’re looking to branch out and race more tracks. The more tracks you race, the better driver you become.
“We came here with a Gator(Motorplex) Hobby Stock. Your Street Stocks can run a Ford 9”(rear end), three-link the rear suspension and have a bit more motor than us. I feel like the Houston cars can run with them though.”
Alamo Hot Rod Parts Street Stocks
48 Rob Slott, 52 AJ Dancer, 40 Mike Lyon, 99 Frank Okruhlik, 9 Brian Becka, 14 Curtis Opiela, 41 Wade Jones, 2x Dennis Hilla, 22 Patricia Lucas, 49 Jay Dancer, 118 Anthony Gordon, 37 AJ Wernette, 82 Richard Wells, 15 Tommy Casey, 18 Shawn Moore---DNS
Street Stock heat winners; 41 Wade Jones, 82 Richard Wells, 2x Dennis Hilla
Ramzinski Rambles for Pure Stock Pay Day
NASCAR’s Danica Patrick has nothing on the ladies of I-37 Raceway’s Pure Stock class. In one of the hardest fought races of the night, Brandy Ramzinski and former track champ, Janel Hilla battled tooth and nail throughout the middle stages of the 20-lap feature. Despite their diminutive stature, neither gave an inch as they traded a little paint(not nail polish) and bumper tags. Ramzinski finally took control in the latter stages and eased ahead for the win.
Darin Blevins led the 15-car Pure Stock field into turn 1 chased by Dustin Blessing, Jarrett Payton, Ben Franke and Jeremy Hernandez. Last week’s winner, Payton made the move to the front on lap 2, while Hilla, Payton and Ryan Doyon moved into third through fifth. Payton became the second race leader to give up the spot after a solo spin, handing the lead to Blevins on lap 8.
Hilla quickly pressured Blevins for the top spot on the restart and they were door to door on lap 11 with Hilla getting the position on lap 12. Ramzinski then made her move and after going almost three wide with Blevins and Hilla grabbed the point on lap 13. Hilla fought back going side by side on lap 14, retaking the lead on lap 15.
As the lead duo played a little bumper tag, Brent Reeves moved into the top five, while Payton recovered from his spin and came back into the mix. Ramzinski was able to sneak back past Hilla to get back out front on lap 16. Ramzinski was able to finally put some distance on Hilla, while Blevins, Payton and Reeves fought it out for third. At the checkers in was Ramzinski in the Tator Plumbing, 24/7 Towing, CNC Graphics, C3 Speed Horses, Mission Race Engines, Chevy taking the victory.
“When the green flag dropped it was obvious that the low line was going to be the way to go,” said Ramzinski. “That’s the line I love to run. I made a few mistakes entering the corners, but once I got it down I just hugged the bottom and the car has never run better. After having the side torn off in the heat race, I thought my night was pretty much over. I knew I had to start at the back and figured it was going to be someone else’s night.”
“I have to give a lot of thanks to my father-in-law, Bill, without him I would have never been in the running for the victory. I’m a workaholic and along with taking care my little lady, he and Steven make sure we have a shot to win every week.”
“I also need to thank Danny at Mission Racing. He and his team have been a huge help this season.”
88 Brandy Ramzinski, 7x Janel Hilla, 9s Jarrett Payton, 28 Darin Blevins, 19 Brent Reeves, 5 Ryan Doyon, 6p Jeremy Hernandez, 57 Ben Franke, 66 Adam Torres, 95s Sterling Tausch, 10c Karaline Campbell, 1c2 Dustin Blessing, 19k Brent Karulak, 15 William Cavender, 64k Pat Kelly sr.
Pure Stock heat winners; 6p Jeremy Hernandez, 9s Jarrett Payton, 19 Brent Reeves
Another Gold for Gaither
Floresville’s Dillon Gaither just keeps on rolling along in the Front Runner class. Starting from mid-pack D. Gaither quickly moved up to battle with early leader Kirstin Blevins in the 15-lap feature. D. Gaither got the point, after they went four wide, then pulled away to a huge lead while point’s rival, Landon Sowder made his way up to second, and Sam Markgraf came front the back to third. Trevor Bettis came home in fourth with Blevins holding on to a top five spot at the finish.
“Tonight wasn’t as easy,” said Gaither. “We started a little further back and I was just going to pick them off one at a time. I just put the car to the outside and went. I saw Kirstin(Blevins) get a little loose and everyone stacked up and I got by on the high side.”
“I could not get a good run in the heat race. The track had dry spots and wet spots. Finally I got a good place to run and got out front. I try to bide my time when I start in the back and see what’s going on.”
“I had my brother behind me in the feature. We had a plan, but it didn’t work. He was banging on my bumper during the pace laps so I’d know he was there.”
5 Dillon Gaither, 08 Landon Sowder, 82 Sam Markgraf, 57 Trevor Bettis, 17 Kirstin Blevins, 113 Hailee Marcx, 8t Thomas Franklin, 05 Lauren Blessings, 67 Ryan Franklin, 66c Cindy Snyder, 18 Hayden Anderson, D3 Brandon Gaither
Front Runners heat winners; 5 Dillon Gaither, 08 Landon Sowder