Summer Kick-Off @ I-37 Speedway by R&M Promotions, 6/2-3/17
By JM Hallas
Pleasanton, TX.,(June 2nd, 2017) I-37 Speedway finally got to run its previously scheduled Memorial weekend, Inaugural Summer Kick-Off Friday night, with the first of two nights full of racing. Mother Nature claimed the first attempt back in May, but storms stayed just west of the track tonight. With extra money up for grabs in all the classes several new drivers made the trip to the ¼ mile, semi-banked, dirt oval a little south of San Antonio.
Friday nights scheduled action saw the Cash Bred Off Road Modifieds, Swenson Racing Products Sport Modifieds, SABFI Transportation Street Stocks, All In Designs Pure Stocks and Brown Chevrolet Sport Compacts running heat races and qualifiers locking drivers into Saturday night main events. The Nogalitos Gear Limited Late Models ran their heats and features as a one night show.
On Saturday the remaining starting spots will be up for grabs in the five classes through B-mains while Limited Late Models get the night off.
Dinsmore Dusts Off Winning Ways
Greg Dinsmore(Kerrville) a past I-37 track champion hasn't been happy with this years results. After numerous changes and finally getting the car back to previous years, Dinsmore grabbed the pre-lim feature getting by race-long leader Chris Swenson on the last lap of the 15 lap qualifier.
As the Modified main took the green, Swenson jumped out front trailed by Robert Liese jr., Cody Leonard, Talon Minten and Bill Pittaway. Dinsmore quickly worked up to third before a caution where he took second from Leonard on the restart. After a couple tries on Swenson, Dinsmore fell into a rhythm while Liese, Pittaway and Jamie Campbell were three wide for fourth.
A lap 10 caution set up the dash to the finish with Dinsmore chasing Swenson. Swenson had a car length with the two to go mark. On the final lap Dinsmore dove below Swenson in turn 1 and stayed side by side on the back stretch. Going into turn 3 Swenson spun after losing a shock while Dinsmore in the Sundowner Truck Repair, Texas Land Restoration, Performance Towing, Sanderson Motorsports, Fast Shafts, AFCO, Six-Two Graphics, Friesen crate powered, BMS Chassis took the checkers.
Cash Bred Off Road Modifieds(top 6 locked in for Saturday A-main)
8g Greg Dinsmore, 14t Talon Minten, 137 Bill Pittaway, 29 Jamie Campbell, 77 Robert Liese jr., 91 Jeremy Davenport, 55m Mike Morris, 28 James Samford, 48 Chris Swenson, 12 Cody Leonard, 31m Marlin Samford---dns
Heat 1; 48 Chris Swenson, 8g Greg Dinsmore, 14t Talon Minten, 12 Cody Leonard, 91 Jeremy Davenport, 31m Marlin Samford
Heat 2; 77 Robert Liese jr., 137 Bill Pittaway, 28 James Samford, 55m Mike Morris, 29 Jamie Campbell
Frank-O Flies to Limited Late Model Money
In the only race to be decided in one night, it was Frank Okruhlik(San Antonio) going home with the victory. Okruhlik got by his teammate, Aaron Leddy to lead lap 2 with the Kelly's, Jason and Patrick, side by side for third. Coming from the back was defending and multi-time track champ Trey Votion, who got sent to back after contact early with J. Kelly.
By halfway Okruhlik had lengthened his lead over Leddy, while Votion made his way to third. With five to go Votion took second from Leddy and chased down Okruhlik in the final laps. Votion gave his best but it was Okruhlik in the Jamie Fuller owned, Reflective Wrecker, CNC Grafix, Cadillac holding on for the win
Nogalitos Gear Limited Late Models
99 Frank Okruhlik, 99v Trey Votion, 93 Aaron Leddy, 57 Jason Kelly, 84 Patrick Kelly, 14 Gary Hunter, 13 Howie Marcx, 8 DJ Schroat, 15 John Owen, 42 Ron Sprayue, 78 Landon Farquer
Limited Late Model heats
Heat 1; 84 Patrick Kelly, 99 Frank Okruhlik, 18 Shane Moore, 57 Jason Kelly, 8 DJ Schroat, 15 John Owens
Heat 2; 93 Aaron Leddy, 78 Landon Farquer, 99v Trey Votion, 14 Gary Hunter, 13 Howie Marcx, 42 Ron Sprayue
Mikulencak, Whiteaker Share Sport Modified Spotlight
Two Corpus Christi drivers, Lawrence Mikulencak and Steve Whiteaker jr., snagged the qualifier wins in the Sport Modified 15-lappers.
In the first qualifier, that was dotted with cautions, L. Mikulencak went wire to wire for the win. L. Mikulencak got by Cody Leonard off turn 2 for the lead, while JJ Jennings, Johnny Torres and Shane Hoefling battled for second. By halfway L.Mikulencak had gotten out to a nice lead until a lap 12 yellow brought the pack together.
Jennings tried L. Mikulencak high on the restart but fell back into a four car scrap for the final three transfer spots. Those spots changed often as a series of last lap yellows flew. When the dust settled it was L. Mikulencak, in the Ace Transmissions, Youngs Auto Repair, 3-D Landscaping, Swenson Racing Shocks, All in Designs, Mattress Firm, Texas Battery, Spreen Racing Engines, Frankenstein II Chassis first to the checkers.
Interestingly enough the second qualifier would go caution free and set up to be a scrap between Broc Bowen and Whiteaker. Bowen was first into turn 1 with the lead pursued by Talon Minten, Whiteaker, Dustin Butcher and Marcus Mikulencak. After several tries, Whiteaker was finally able to wrestle second away from T. Minten.
Whiteaker then methodically ran down Bowen for the lead and let him know with a tap on the bumper. Ducking inside on lap 11, Whiteaker got the top spot on lap 12 and began to pull away. At the checkers it was Whiteaker in the DS&S Construction, Cotrell Racing, Performance Graphics, WW Bodies, Churchs Chicken, raceontexas.com, Nasty Cookers, Rhino Rearends, Fletcher Race Engines, Hughes by 89 Motorsports Chassis, cruising to the checkers.
Swenson Racing Products Sport Modifieds(top 4 from each locked in for Saturday A-main)
Qualifier 1; 87 Lawrence Mikulencak, 63 Shane Hoefling, 26g JJ Jennings, 12 Cody Leonard, 66 Johnny Torres, 5r Ryan Doyon, 37 Bill Pittaway, 77 Cody Beddoe, 14 Trent Beaver, 25t Michael Keylich, 10 Steven Nores---dns, 38 David Schury---dns
Qualifier 2; 89c Steve Whiteaker jr., 56 Broc Bowen, 9t Talon Minten, 03 Marcus Mikulencak, 24r Robby Minten, 9 Chris Swenson, 11t Tom Grothues, 21r Eric Ramos, 90 Dustin Butcher, 184 Brian Rye, 24 Jim Blevins---dns
Sport Modified heats
Heat 1; 87 Lawrence Mikulencak, 9t Talon Minten, 63 Shane Hoefling, 03 Marcus Mikulencak, 14 Trent Beaver, 11t Tom Grothues, 37 Bill Pittaway, 24 Jim Blevins---dns
Heat 2; 56 Broc Bowen, 66 Johnny Torres, 90 Dustin Butcher, 5r Ryan Doyon, 24r Robby Minten, 25t Michael Keylich, 9 Chris Swenson, 10 Steven Nores
Heat 3; 26g JJ Jennings, 89c Steve Whiteaker jr., 12 Cody Leonard, 77 Cody Beddoe, 184 Brian Rye, 21r Eric Ramos, 38 David Schury---dns
Jones Joins Street Field, Takes Home Honors
Wade Jones(Jourdanton) almost didn't make the call for the 15-lap Street Stock qualifier. Thinking he was done after the early heats, Jones was loaded up and ready to leave. I'm certain the rest of the field had probably hoped he would. But Jones was able to make the line up for the 15-lapper. After getting the lead from Kenny Hurley, Jones proceeded to lead every lap to go home with the honors.
Hurley was first into turn 1 at the start, but it was Jones, on the high side, powering by off turn 4 to lead lap 1. Behind him Hurley, Anthony Gordon, Jarrett Barber and Cody Leonard battled for positions. Gordon made his way up to second and was reeling in Jones until he made contact with an infield tire forcing him to pit.
Jones built a half straightaway lead over Leonard and Barber while Ryan Luza, in his first dirt start, got by Hurley for fourth. A late restart erased Jones' big lead as the field restacked. On green Jones, Leonard and Barber got away while Hurley found the turn 4. Jones was able to cruise the final two laps for the win in the SABFI Transportation, Opiela Mechanical, Chevy Camaro
SABFI Transportation Street Stocks(top 6 locked in for Saturday A-main)
41 Wade Jones, 7 Cody Leonard, 19 Jarrett Barber, 80 Ryan Luza, 11 Allen Torres, 40 Kenny Hurley, 2x Dennis Hilla, 37 Wayne Wernette, 22 Anthony Gordon, 82 Jarred Stepanski, 7x Janel Liese, 4 Dwayne Markgraf---dns
Street Stock heats
Heat 1; 40 Kenny Hurley, 37 Wayne Wernette, 11 Allen Torres, 7 Cody Leonard, 82 Jarred Stepanski, 7x Janel Liese---dns
Heat 2; 41 Wade Jones, 22 Anthony Gordon, 19 Jarrett Barber, 2x Dennis Hilla, 80 Ryan Luza, 4 Dwayne Markgraf---dns
Dakotas Double Up in Pure Stock Prelims
It was a tale of the two Dakotas, Heinaman and Hurley, in the Pure Stock qualifiers.
In the first 15-lap Pure Stock race it was Dakota Heinaman(Lindale) going flag to flag for the win. At the start Heinaman, Colt Beaver and Joseph Snow were three wide coming off turn 2 until Heinaman secured the spot. Heinaman then was able to ease away while Beaver and Snow swapped second.
Just when Heinaman thought it was in the bank with the white flag waving, caution flew for two incidents, one involving the second place fight, after yellow was already out. With the green and white waving, Heinaman took off and snagged the win the in the Davids Automotive, Chevy.
In the second race it was Dakota Hurley(La Vernia) running down early leader Jamie Dear and getting the lead on lap 4. Hurley stretched out his advantage while Dear and Josh Sewell battled for second before a late caution set up a green, white, checker finish.
As green waved for the final two laps, Hurley was able to get a good jump on Sewell for some breathing room. Sewell never could get close enough to challenge as Hurley in the Clayton Homes of Seguin, Schneider Solar Screens, Delivery Made Easy, Beaver Motorsports, Sassy Styles, All In Designs, Chevy Nova scored the victory.
All In Designs Pure Stocks(top 4 from each locked in for Saturday A-main)
Qualifier 1; 441 Dakota Heinaman, 01 Joseph Snow, 20 Colt Beaver, 93 Aaron Leddy, 6 Daniel Preston, 25 Bobby Jack, 48 Patrick Lyon, 9 Johnny Westfall, 56 Bob Caulfield, d68 Cody Earnhardt, 95s Sterling Tausch---dns
Qualifier 2; 40 Dakota Hurley, 38x Josh Sewell, 15d Jamie Dear, 15b JW Blocker, 9c Caitlin Leonard, 97 James Armendia, 57 Ben Franke, 50 Daniel Waer, 00 Lesley Lazrine, 98 William Saunders
Pure Stock heats
Heat 1; 20 Colt Beaver, 40 Dakota Hurley, 9 Johnny Westfall, 98 William Saunders, 48 Patrick Lyon, 93 Aaron Leddy, 9c Caitlin Leonard
Heat 2; 15d Jamie Dear, 441 Dakota Heinaman, 97 James Aramendia jr, d68 Cody Earnhardt, 00 Lesley Lazrine, 56 Bob Caulfield, 95s Sterling Tausch---dntg
Heat 3; 01 Joseph Snow, 38x Josh Sewell, 6 Daniel Preston, 15b JW Blocker, 25 Bobby Jack, 57 Ben Franke, 50 Daniel Waer
It was pretty much all Jamie Garner(San Antonio) in the Sport Compact qualifier. Garner got by early leader Jeremy Hernandez on lap 4 and the only thing to slow him was a mid-race yellow after a three wide tangle between Eric Wilson, Alyson Dorken and Brandon McCall. Once back under green, Garner, in the AustinVW, VW, inched away from Kirk Ball and Daniel Zajac who slugged it out for second.
Brown Chevrolet Sport Compacts(top 6 locked in for Saturday A-main)
3 Jamie Garner, 38 Kirk Ball, 6p Jeremy Hernandez, 76 Eric Wilson, 12 Roy Easler, 114 Brandon McCall, 42 Daniel Zajac, 13m Jeremy Watson, 53 Treyler Caulfield, 33 Charles Earnhardt III, 3g Garrett Godfredson, 43 Alyson Dorken, 24 Lindsey Blevins---dns, 56 Dooley Smith---dns
Sport Compact heats
Heat 1; 38 Kirk Ball, 114 Brandon McCall, 43 Alyson Dorken, 12 Roy Easler, 76 Eric Wilson, 24 Lindsey Blevins---dns, 56 Dooley Smith---dns
Heat 2; 6p Jeremy Hernandez, 3 Jamie Garner, 42 Daniel Zajac, 13m Jeremy Watson, 33 Charles Earnhardt III, 3g Garrett Godfredson, 53 Treyler Caulfield