1) IMCA Modified winner Steve Whiteaker jr
2) Limited Modified winner JJ Jennings
3) Factory Stock winner GW Hessong
4) "B" Factory Stock winner Brian Harbison
5) IMCA Stock Car winner Shelby Williams
6) Sport Compact winner Brandon McCall
7) Go Kart Senior Division winner Cody Clegg
8) Go Kart Junior Division winner Tucker Kempe
9) Go Kart Youth Division winner Gabriel Solis
Frostbuster @ I-37 Speedway, 2/27/21
By JM Hallas
Pleasanton, Tx.,(Feb 27th, 2021) Oh the irony of the show title.
After suffering through a week of weather better suited for eskimos(although Alaska was actually warmer), it was time for the roar of race engines as I-37 Speedway kicked off the 2021 season with its 'Frostbuster' Saturday night after an open practice on Friday.
With north Texas tracks suffering rain outs to their opening weekend shows, some drivers took the opportunity to travel south, or further south as was the case for several out of state teams.
The track was also able to add the IMCA Stock Cars to the nights slate running for national, regional and state points.
Some minor changes for the classes this year with the Limited Modifieds, Factory Stocks and Tuners dropping the USRA sanctioning going to a common set of rules for all three south Texas tracks. The IMCA Modifieds retain their sanction as well as their rules package.
The night line of competition included the IMCA Modifieds, Limited Modifieds, Factory Stocks/B Factory Stocks, IMCA Stock Cars, Sport Compacts and Go-Karts. The Late Models had the night off with their racing beginning March 13th.
Whiteaker Whips 'Em
Debuting a new car car be tough sometimes getting all the bugs worked out, but Steve Whiteaker jr.(Corpus Christi) proved that wrong taking home the IMCA 20-lap feature win on its maiden voyage.
A 'bakers dozen' of IMCA Modifieds started the main with Danny Patterson first to turn 1, but it was former track champ, Rick Green, going around him off turn 2 to lead lap 1. Robby Minten, D. Patterson, Chris Morris and Mark Patterson fell in line behind the leader. Green was quickly challenged by R. Minten who got past Green to lead lap 2.
Morris was able to get third from D. Patterson while Whiteaker powered past both Pattersons to take fourth. R. Minten saw his good lead erased when a spin by Wade Pistole slowed the pace on lap 6. Morris used the restart to get by Green for second and was on R. Minten when yellow came out for a spin by Talon Minten.
Whiteaker capitalized on the restart to take third from Green as Morris pressured R. Minten for the lead. At halfway it was R. Minten, Morris, Whiteaker, Green and Ryan Doyon in the top five. Morris turned up the heat on R. Minten for the lead with the duo going wheel to wheel for three laps before he inched ahead at the line.
Morris' lead was brief as he slipped making slight contact with R. Minten allowing Whiteaker to go past both for the top spot. R. Minten would then slide off turn 2 for a yellow. Once back to green Whiteaker took command pulling away in his First Class Towing, D&SS Construction, Cottrell Racing, WW Bodies, Supreme Vinyl Works, G&M Oilfield Services, raceXR.com, Dark Horse Shocks, 3D Landscaping, IRP OS1 for the win.
Price Chevrolet IMCA Modifieds
89c Steven Whiteaker jr., 94 Chris Morris, 82 Rick Green, 14t Talon Minten, 5r Ryan Doyon, 48r Raymond McSpadden, 44x Brandon Walker, 7m Daniel Miller, 24r Robby Minten, 10 Wade Pistole jr., 48 Danny Patterson, 1 Mark Patterson, 23 Mikel Powers---dntg, 5 Cody Clark---dns
IMCA Modfied heats
Heat 1; 89 Steve Whiteaker jr., 94 Chris Morris, 82 Rick Green, 23 Mikel Powers, 10 Wade Pistole jr., 14t Talon Minten
Heat 2; 48r Raymond McSpadden, 5r Ryan Doyon, 1 Mark Patterson, 48 Danny Patterson, 7m Daniel Miller, 44x Brandon Welker, 5 Cody Clark
JJ Scores Payday
It's been a while, but JJ Jennings(Corpus Christi) found his way back to Victory Lane at I-37 Speedway in the 20-lap Limited Modified feature holding off a charge by Jared Maupin in the latter stages.
The 19-car starting field saw Marcus Mikulencak get out first for the lead trailed by Jason Hubbert, Jennings, Joseph Pontin and Maupin. A quick early caution for an infield tire/restart cone on track brought about a restart that saw Tom Grothues get turned into the front stretch wall. On the ensuing restart Jennings got by Hubbert for second with Maupin following him to third.
Jennings caught Mikulencak and got the point on lap 5 bringing Maupin along to second, while Mikulencak faded and pulled off. Jennings and Maupin then pulled away from the field with Hubbert, Robert Vetter and Craig Oakes filling out the top five at the crossed flags. A lap 13 spin by Brandon Miller rebunched the field.
Back to green, Jennings and Maupin quickly got away with C. Oakes and Hubbert swapping third. C. Oakes finally secured the spot with Ray Doyon in tow to fourth as Hubbert slowed. Up front Jennings was holding off Maupin for the lead with a three car advantage as they saw the white flag. At the checkers it was Jennings in his G&M Oilfield Services, Swenson Racing Products, VanBlarcum Services, 1st Class Towing, WW Bodies, Express Chassis with the victory.
“It took some luck tonight, getting to start up front,” commented Jennings. “The track was hammer down, hard to pass on. It was fast top to bottom. I guess Marcus(Mikulencak) had some issues. Luck of the draw tonight. It was fun tonight. Finally finished a race, nothing broke, it was a good uneventful night.”
“I don't really worry about new guys I've never raced with before. Everybody takes pride in all their equipment. They don't want to tear up their stuff or wreck my stuff. You'll know a lot of these guys seeing them show up in results.”
“I haven't won here since the last time I had my Hughes car, probably 2018 maybe. It's been a minute. We didn't race our car for a year. We just raced Stevies car at home. We came here a couple times last year but Stevie brought his car and beat us all the time.”
“I can't thank my brother enough for all he does for me with the car and whatever I need. I have to thank the Whiteaker's for letting me borrow a motor since mine is still off getting freshened up.”
Swenson Racing Products Limited Modifieds
26g JJ Jennings, 96 Jared Maupin, 91 Craig Oakes, 24r Ray Doyon, v8 Robert Vetter, 29lem Lawrence Mann, 53 Edward Oakes, h15 Joseph Pontin jr., 777 James Hanusch, 77 Cody Beddoe, 40 Michael Bowles, 25 Terry Owen, 35 Tony Spencer, 77m Brandon Miller, 7k Kevin Parker, 778 Jason Hubbert sr., 21 Nathan Oakes, 79 Marcus Mikulencak, 11t Tom Grothues, 7mk Kyle Wilkins---dns, 14 Cody Tesch---dns, 30k Chris Swenson---dns
Limited Modified heats
Heat 1; 778 Jason Hubbert sr., h15 Joseph Pontin jr., 21 Nathan Oakes, 777 James Hanusch, 91 Craig Oakes, 77 Cody Beddoe, 40 Michael Bowles, 11t Tom Grothues
Heat 2; 79 Marcus Mikulencak, v8 Robert Vetter, 35 Tony Spencer, 7k Kevin Parker, 77m Brandon Miller, 30k Chris Swenson, 53 Edward Oakes
Heat 3; 26g JJ Jennings, 96 Jared Maupin, 24r Ray Doyon, 29lem Lawrence Mann, 25 Terry Owen, 7mk Kyle Wilkens, 14 Cody Tesch
Hessong's Hot Streak Continues
After capping off the 2020 season with a win, GW Hessong(Edna) kicked off the 2021 season in the same place, Victory Lane. It wasn't easy though as he had to battle with Tryton Temple throughout the race from the middle stages on to the finish.
Twenty-three cars took the green for the 25-lap feature with Temple, from the pole, getting out front in turn 1 pursued by Jeff Hammitt, Johnny Westfall, Hessong and Johnny Johnson. Just as Hessong got past Westfall for third Hunter Peterson spun and collected Allen Alexander and Dylan Moss for a yellow.
On the restart Hessong picked off Hammitt for second with it three wide for sixth. Coming around to the front stretch they tried four wide with Brandon Gaither getting the worst of the bumper car bash that amazingly didn't bring out a yellow. Rusty Head grabbed a top five spot getting by Westfall and Johnson, who would get caught up in an Aaron Leddy spin the next lap.
As Temple got out on green, Hammitt and Hessong were side by side for second and Daniel Preston along side Head for fourth. A hard crash on lap 11 saw Leddy get off the ground briefly in a stack up with Michael Bowles and Kyle Wilkins. Once back to green, Temple and Hessong got clear of Hammitt and Preston door to door for third.
Hammitt was able to hold off Preston and look low on Hessong who was trying the high side of Temple for the lead. The trio fell back in line with Preston again trying Hammitt for third. Hessong again tried the top on Temple giving Hammitt the low groove. Hessong finally got the pass on Temple for the lead with five to go.
Preston would loop it trying to battle Hammitt for third but continued without caution. Temple tried to hang with Hessong on the final lap but it was Hessong, by a car length, in his Magnum Services, Magnum Motorsports, Edna Auto Supply, Tonys Mobile Home Service, Lieta Farms, Rock Motors, Lick my Stack Cooking Team, Wicked Transmission, Destroyer Chassis taking home the win.
All in Design Factory Stocks
747 GW Hessong, 13 Jeff Hammitt, 55r Rusty Head, 33d Dylan Moss, 99d Dillon Gaither, 20 Colt Beaver, 99a Allen Alexander, 9 Johnny Westfall, 13j Johnny Johnson, 4d Dustin Hurley, 6 Daniel Preston, 40 Michael Bowles, 704 Kyle Wilkins, 93 Aaron Leddy, 49k Michael Keylich, 87 Andrew Albritton, 20r Roy Long, 48 Michael Land, 92 Brandon Gaither, 2x Brandon Palmer, 34h Hunter Peterson, 881 Daniel Waer, 99t Tryton Temple(DQ--tech)
Factory Stock B-main; 33m Dylan Moss, 40 Michael Bowles, 20 Colt Beaver, 704 Kyle Wilkins, 48 Mike Land, 49k Michael Keylich, 87 Andrew Albritton, 41t Elgin Tracy, 25 Greg Hammit, 55c George Clark---dns
Factory Stock heats
Heat 1; 99t Tryton Temple, 881 Daniel Waer, 55r Rusty Head, 93 Aaron Leddy, 87 Andrew Albritton, 55c George Clark
Heat 2; 13 Jeff Hammit, 747 GW Hessong, 4d Dustin Hurley, 20r Roy Long, 40 Michael Bowles, 49k Michael Keylich
Heat 3; 13j Johnny Johnson, 92 Brandon Gaither, 99d Dillon Gaither, 99a Allen Alexander, 20 Colt Beaver, 48 Mike Land, 41t Elgin Tracy
Heat 4; 9 Johnny Westfall, 34 Hunter Peterson, 6” Daniel Preston, 2x Brandon Palmer, 33d Dylan Moss, 704 Kyle Wilkins, 25 Greg Hammit
Harbison Hustles to First Ever Checkers
Eight-cars took the green in the “B”eginner Factory Stock feature with Cauy Moore from the pole first to turn 1, but it was Brian Harbison getting alongside Moore taking the lead on lap 1 chased by Moore, Gary Butler, Ronnie Sparks and Steven Whiteaker III. Butler was able to get around Moore for second.
The field began to separate out coming to halfway with Harbison still holding point, Butler, Moore, Sparks and Whiteaker in the top five. Whiteaker then began to challenge Sparks taking fourth on lap 12 then chased down Moore.
As the white flag waved Harbison had built a full straightaway advantage over Butler while Whiteaker caught Moore. Harbison(New Braunfels) easily took the checkers in his self-funded, 'junk yard motor' powered HolyMoly Chassis while the 10-year old Whiteaker made a last lap pass on Moore to snag third.
“This is not only my first ever win, but my first race in general,” exclaimed Harbison. “We had a lot of issues and didn't know if we were gonna make it. We had a good bit of support from people in the pits. We got it together and able to run a good heat race. We started fourth and worked our way up through some traffic to second. We started outside pole in the feature and ran away with it.”
“I was a nervous wreck out there leading. I made several mistakes. I was never so relieved to see the white flag. I kept thinking one of these days I'm gonna smoke Kyle Larsen and he doesn't make mistakes.”
“We practiced yesterday, did a few things and checked the car out. It was running hot and we fixed that. We shifted some weight around and got it hooked up like a dream today. I'm hooked now. It's everything I wanted it to be. Ready to win a few more and move up with the big boys. I couldn't have done it without Kevin Parker and my buddy, Cary, and the five or six guys we had helping on the car in the pit.”
B Factory Stocks
11x Brian Harbison, 6 Gary Butler, 88 Steven Whiteaker III, 1x Cauy Moore, 22 Ronnie Sparks, 15 William Cavender, 6p Levi Hernandez, 18r Chris Vincent
B Factory Stock heat
Heat 1;1x Cauy Moore, 11x Brian Harbison, 22 Ronnie Sparks, 6 Gary Butler, 15 William Cavender, 88 Steven Whiteaker III, 6p Levi Hernandez, 18r Chris Vincent
Williams Wins Wild One
For the first time in over ten years the IMCA Stock Cars took the track for their 20-lap feature with a couple old Texas Thunder Speedway buddies, Jason Batt and Doug Lorenz on the front row. Lorenz was first into turn 1 with Batt, Shelby Williams, Ron Palmer and Dean Abbey in pursuit. Abbey gave up fifth to Iowan, Jason Doyle.
As the top three began to ease away, Abbey retook the spot from Doyle. Williams then put the heat on Batt for second with Abbey picking up fourth from Palmer. At halfway it was still Lorenz on point, Batt with Williams inside him, Abbey and Palmer in the top five. Williams completed the pass for second and showed Lorenz the nose.
Lorenz and Williams ran door to door while Abbey, making a late charge, took third from Batt. Williams finally wrestled the lead away from Lorenz on lap 16 with Abbey coming along to second. Abbey was hanging on William's bumper with two to go and gave Williams a run up top on the final lap but it was Williams(Bonham) in his Paul Hodge Construction, Stealth Oil Well Services, Morris Farms, North Texas Safari Park, KW Fabrication, LK Machine, Stanford Trucking, Big Iron, Ever Clear Auto Glass, Team 9 Designs, Big Daves Race Engines, Kingpin Chassis holding him off for the victory.
“It feels good to know you can take a home built (older) car and compete with some of the best in the business,” repiled Williams. “I had to work my butt off for this! Dean(Abbey) was right there with me, I didn’t get the lead till about 6-7 laps to go, super fast track and fun!”
“Sniper Speed and Dean Abbey are some of the best in drivers and chassis, and to be able to even be competitive with a brand new car with the best of the best and very talented driver says a lot for our 2 man operation. We have lots of help here and there but 90% of the time it’s me and dad and my brother, if he’s off work.”
“I’m thankful for my family and Tony Hernandez in my racing career. He helped me develop into the driver I am today. Both sides of my family race, and I was at the races when I was just weeks old, it’s all I know.”
“Thank you Johnny Torres Joe Spillman and the rest that made it possible for the I-Stocks to get to race this weekend.”
IMCA Stock Cars
82 Shelby Williams, 26 Dean Abbey, 97 Doug Lorenz, 126 Ron Palmer, 512 AJ Dancer, 165 Erik Miles, 40j Jason Doyle, 9b Jason Batt, 124 Ryan Wilkerson, 118 Cameron Wilson, 77a Aaron Benedict---dns, 69 Gary Williams---dns, 81 Ryan Childress---dns
IMCA Stock car heats
Heat 1, 82 Shelby Williams, 512 AJ Dancer, 97 Doug Lorenz, 165 Erik Miles, 9b Jason Batt, 124 Ryan Wilkerson, 81 Ryan Childress
Heat 2;126 Ron Palmer, 26 Dean Abbey, 40j Jason Doyle, 77a Aaron Benedict, 118 Cameron Wilson, 69 Gary Williams---dns
McCall Gets the Call
It's always tough losing a race after the checkers have already flown, but Brandon McCall(Von Ormy) has seen both sides of that coin. Tonight, he was the beneficiary of a call at the end of the red flag shortened Sport Compact feature when Ryan McDonald failed to report to the tech area after appearing to win his first ever race.
At the start of the 18-car, scheduled 20-lap feature McCall and Jamie Garner stayed door to door through turns 1-2 before Garner got the spot. McDonald, McCall, Daniel Thompson and David Thompson sorted out in the top five. McDonald got alongside Garner for the lead and got the nose out front on lap 5.
The top five all ran nose to tail before a lap 9 caution for debris at both ends of the track. On the restart McCall got second from Garner while the Thompsons swapped fourth. At halfway it was McDonald, McCall, Garner, Dv. Thompson and Dn. Tompson in the top five. McCall began looking low in McDonald for the lead for several laps until the red was waved.
Ryker Hernandez had the back of his car erupt in flames going into turn 1, but apparently didn't realize it. Hernandez drove around to the front stretch before stopping as the car became engulfed in flames as the electric fuel pump kept supplying the fire.
Thanks to efforts of some brave infield personnel, one of whom did a stage dive on the hood to help unbuckle the driver, and two others that pulled him from the car, the young Hernandez miraculously escaped without injuries.
Officials declared the race complete and ordered the cars off the track. Certainly, amidst the confusion, McDonald failed to report to the tech area while McCall and Garner both did. This gave the victory to McCall in his Freddie Harris Sand & Clay, Bettis Boat & RV Storage, 07 Chevy Cobalt.
“Ryan(McDonald) not going through tech gave me the win,” said McCall. “The track called the race. Jamie(Garner) and myself were the only two cars that went to tech and scoring went back to the last completed lap.”
“It was a great night of racing, starting on the pole for the main after winning my heat race. I found myself in 3rd after a couple laps chasing Ryan and Jamie. Caution came out for debris and Jamie took the inside line for the restart. He said after the race it was a rookie mistake, which gave me the preferred line of the night. Got by Jamie through 1&2, stayed with Ryan a few laps and was finally able to get under him coming out of 2, won the drag race down the back stretch. We made it back around to the back stretch and the 55 of (Ryker)Hernandez was on fire bringing out the red flag. Glad he was ok, we all hate fires.”
“Just wanted to thank the track personnel for putting on a great night of racing. Thanks to my family and host of friends and fans that make this all possible.”
14 Brandon McCall, 33 Jamie Garner, 33t David Thompson, 17t Daniel Thompson, 47e Mark Earl, 88 Justin Sitterle, 81 Michael Burris jr., 8 Robert Kelm, 14t Shaun Tracy, 32 Joshua Garcia, 01t Adolph Tracy, 55 Ryker Hernandez, 9t John Thomas, 89b Johnny Brown, 31b Thomas Bedrick, 46 Jonathan Cervantes, 11j Josh Jones, 13 Meghan Stevens---dns, 816 Ryan McDonald(DQ—didnt report to tech)
Sport Compact heats
Heat 1; 14 Brandon McCall, 816 Ryan McDonald, 81 Michael Burris jr., 31b Thomas Bedrick, 01t Adolph Tracy, 89b Johnny Brown, 46 Jonathan Cervantes
Heat 2; 33 Jamie Garner, 47e Mark Earl, 8 Robert Kelm, 88 Justin Sitterle, 32 Joshua Garcia, 9t John Thomas
Heat 3; 33t David Thompson, 17t Daniel Thompson, 11j Josh Jones, 14t Shaun Tracy, 55 Ryker Hernadez, 13 Meghan Stevens
Senior Division; Cody Clegg
Junior Division; Tucker Kempe
Youth Division Gabriel Solis