Points Season Opener plus Late Models @ I-37 Speedway 3/26/22
By JM Hallas
Pleasanton TX.,(March, 26th, 2022) And the count begins.
After celebrating opening night last weekend, it was time for I-37 Speedway points season to start in the quest for the 2022 track championships.
Can the thrills continue?
Last weekend saw several race-long battles for the win with the most exciting being the IMCA Modifieds. Chris Morris threw every move in his book trying to find a way past Jared Maupin, but Maupin prevailed. Allen Torres survived a hit under caution to hang on to the Limited Modified win over Trent Beaver.
The full bodied cars joined the excitement with young gun Cameron Starry holding Jared Maupin at bay in the Factory Stocks. Justin Sitterle and former track champ Jamie Garner had a good battle in Sport Compacts til the finish.
This week the Late Models make their first appearance of the season with 2021 track champion Brandon Brzozowski looking to again battle it out with de facto team mate Kody Hardage for the title.
Brzozowski Best in Late Model Bash
As the 20-lap Late Model Main took the green it was defending track champ, Brandon Brzozowski leading into turn 1 chased by Kody Hardage, Ryan McDonald, Jamie Campbell and Landon Sowder. The top two quickly began to gap the third place scrap between McDonald and Campbell who swapped the spot for several laps.
At halfway Brzozowski, was edging away from, Hardage, Campbell, McDonald and Sowder. McDonald would half spin to the infield giving up fourth to Sowder. Hardage gave up ground to Brzozowski when he almost looped it. This left Brzozowski(La Vernia) with a big lead, but dealing with traffic. Brzozowski worked through in his Billy Bobs Repair & Tires, Lone Star Pressure Equipment, Mo Bags Suspension & Technology, Texas Industrial Radiator, Magnum by Nilfisk, The Trash Can Cleaners, Pressure Pro, Schaeffers Oil, Vinyl Tricks, crate powered Rocket XR1 Chassis.
“We tried a few different things from last year,” replied Brzozowski. “We’ve been working with Morgan(Bagley) at Mo-Bags Suspension and Consulting and he had me try some things. It seemed to work pretty good for here. We just keep trying to find some more speed, so when Stevie(Whiteaker) shows up we can try to run with him.”
“You never know what’s going to happen(in the race). You show up and try to run the best race you can and be as fast as you can. Once I get settled in and if I don’t see anyone, I kind of cruise a little. I just try to get comfortable and get in a rhythm.”
“As a racer I’m always wondering if someone is right there. Coming to the checkers I kind of got into that 08(Landon Sowder) car. I showed him the nose the lap before and I thought he knew I was there. I thought if I let him go again, and Kodys(Hardage) right there he might go around the outside. I forced the issue a bit and got into him.”
“We really didn’t make any big changes between the heat and feature. It was still a bit slimy in the heat so I didn’t want to change too much. The car doesn’t react to that. I knew the track would come to us. So I kind of left the car alone for the feature.”
Nogalitos Gear Late Models
104 Brandon Brzozowski, 12 Kody Hardage, 08 Landon Sowder, 5 Ryan McDonald, 77 David Taylor, 1x Andrew Hesler, 129 Jamie Campbell, 14 Justin Henley, 37 AJ Wernette
Late Model heats
Heat 1; 104 Brandon Brzozowski, 12 Kody Hardage, 29 Jamie Campbell, 08 Landon Sowder, 14 Justin Henley
Heat 2; 5 Ryan McDonald, 77 Mark Taylor, 1x Andrew Hesler, 37 AJ Wernette
Modified Main to Maupin
The IMCA Modified was rocky from the start and the slated 20-lap race was cut to 15 at one point. At the start it was three wide with Rick Green clipping DJ Schroat sending him around on the front stretch. On the second start Ryan Doyon got the point trailed by Robert Liese, Jared Maupin, Schroat and Darrell Boyd.
The yellow quickly waved when Gilbert Amezquita spun in turn 2 with Marlin Samford going around to miss him. Briefly back to green, Maupin took second from Liese and was running down Doyon for the lead. Another Amezquita spin brought out his second caution, ending his night.
Doyon, with brake issues, over shot turn 3 on the top and went over the turn 3 hill on a lap 3. With Maupin now on point, Doyon quickly moved past Samford for third and Liese for second, but a half track behind. Just to make it interesting, I guess, Maupin(Weslaco) would misjudge a slower car and do a 360 in turn 2, but recovered quickly to hang on to the lead and victory in the Skip and Cheryl Gray owned, Grays Recycling, crate powered, Kraft Chassis.
“I don’t know(what happened)” exclaimed Maupin. “I was going to shoot the bottom and he kind of shot the middle. It was just a bonehead move. Luckily I kept it running and was able to keep going. If I had thrown away that big lead, I wouldn’t slept tonight that’s fore sure.”
“That old car just works, I don’t know. It was satisfying to be able to beat one of those new Lethal Chassis’ last week. Once we get it in the ballpark, it’s a pretty hard car to beat.”
“I noticed Ryan(Doyon) was a little inconsistent on entry. His car was good, but it seemed like it was bad going into (turn) 3. I thought, one of these times he’s going to leave the door wide open, and luckily he did.”
Price Chevrolet IMCA Modifieds
bd 1 Jared Maupin, 5r Ryan Doyon, 77 Robert Liese jr., 5 DJ Schroat, 22z Darrell Boyd, 28 Marlin Samford, 56 Gilbert Amezquita, 82 Rick Green
IMCA Modified heats
Heat 1; bd1 Jared Maupin, 77 Robert Liese, 82 Rick Green, 56 Gilbert Amezquita
Heat 2; 5r Ryan Doyon, 28 Marlin Samford, 5 DJ Schroat, 22z Darrel Boyd
Alexander Aces First Limited Modified Win
Coming to green at the start of the 12-lap Limited Modified feature Sterling Tausch got a little loose making slight contact with Allen Alexander and Tom Grothues. This gave Alexander the opportunity to grab the point on lap 1 with Tausch, Grothues and Johnny Brown to settling in line. The top three were able to put some distance on Brown.
Tausch began closing the gap on Alexander coming to halfway and gave him a look low. Alexander crept back ahead after Tausch had to dodge an infield tire. As the laps wound down, Tausch reeled Alexander back in. As the white waved Tausch looked low in turns 1-2, then up top in turns 3-4. But it was Alexander(San Antonio) in the Hercules Foundation Repair, SoTex Motorsports, Swenson Racing Shocks, PTS powered, IRP Chassis scoring his first Limited Modified victory.
“This is my first Limited Modified win,” commented Alexander. “I did have a win here in Factory Stocks. I’ll take the win any way I can get it. I was wondering if they were finding a better line. I started on the bottom, but found out that wasn’t the fastest line. I think it was better from the middle of the track, up on exit. It was pretty good up there at the end of the race.”
“We’ve been working on this car for a while and we’ve finally found a sweet spot. I’ve got to thank a lot of people for that like Johnny(Torres), Randy Oglesby, Jerry Miller and my steady crew.”
“We’ll be running for track points this year. We’re going to concentrate on I-37 mainly, but run a few big shows when can. We’ll probably do it more with Dillon(Gaither) in the Factory Stock.”
99 Allen Alexander, 95 Sterling Tausch, 11t Tom Grothues, 9r Johnny Brown
Limited Modified heats
Heat 1; 95 Sterling Tausch, 99 Allen Alexander, 11t Tom Grothues, 9r Johnny Brown
Maupin Doubles Up
The always exciting Factory Stock feature would be no exception in the 18-car, 20-lap from the start. On green Cody Tesch, Dillon Gaither and Jared Maupin went three wide for the lead. Maupin came out on top trailed by Tesch, Allen Torres, Gaither and Dustin Hurley. Torres and Gaither were then side by side for third with Torres hanging on leaving Gaither now door to door with Hurley for fourth.
Torres then began pressuring Tesch for second trying to dive low off turn 4. In the pack, JW Blocker, Zach Freeman and Brian Mahler were three wide trading some paint with Freeman catching some air after jumping tires. One of the three shed some parts for a lap 6 debris caution. Once back to green, Gaither, Torres and Hurley went three abreast for third when Brian Schoenbaum looped it in turn 4.
Back to green, Gaither grabbed second from Tesch while Hurley slipped letting John Drexler and Paul Reyes sneak by. At halfway it was Maupin, Gaither, Tesch, Torres and Drexler in the top five. Drexler picked off fourth from Torres as he got loose off turn 4. Tesch moved back in on Gaither for second looking inside until Drexler spun from fourth but stayed under power.
On lap 13 Reyes would go around off turn 4 and get side-swiped by Brian Mahler peeling the passenger side sheet metal off. Another simple spin on the restart shifted restarts to single file where Torres got along side Tesch for third. After another yellow Torres and Tesch went back at it for third with Torres trying to slide Tesch but coming up short.
Lap 15 saw Hurley, Jose Lopez and Daniel Lopez trying three wide, banging doors, slowing their momentum. Michael Keylich had no where to go and drilled J. Lopez, scattering the field. Keylich tried to roll off track, but was close enough to bring out a yellow. On the restart, Gaither got a good run on Maupin for the lead, but couldn’t complete the pass.
With Maupin holding off Gaither the fight was on for third between Tesch and Torres. The duo swapped the spot a couple times as the laps wound down. Up front Maupin had inched ahead to a five car length lead on Gaither taking the checkers in the Jamie Fuller owned, Reflective Wrecker, JGR Fab, Longs Machine Shop, CNC Graffix, Wells Race Engines, Lazer Chassis.
“One lane on the top, makes it tough,” said Maupin. “Everyone hunting for the top, six or seven restarts, you have to start mixing things up. Those guys are always ready to jump all over you. I wasn’t worried about fuel with all the restarts. I try to keep the tires a little warm swerving back and forth under caution to keep them from sealing over.”
“Dillon(Gaither) got the jump on me once. It’s never good when I can look out my door and see someone along side of me. I just tried to block off the middle and get a run and be able to pull away from him. I think a ‘slider’ was the only way he was going around me with the bottom not being that good.”
All in Design Factory Stocks
91 Jared Maupin, 99 Dillon Gaither, 747 Cody Tesch, 94 Allen Torres, 4d Dustin Hurley, 11d John Drexler, 719 Brian Schoenbaum, 15L Daniel Lopez, 29 Jose Lopez jr., 24 Paul Reyes, 15b JW Blocker, 36 George Quintanilla, 98 Ronnie Schoenfeldt, 15 William Cavender, 43 Johnny Johnson, 44k Michael Keylich, 14d Brian Mahler, 00 Zach Freeman, 75 Jerry Miller—dns
Factory Stock heats
Heat 1; 747 Cody Tesch, 94 Allen Torres, 11d John Drexler, 15L Daniel Lopez, 36 George Quintanilla, 98 Ronnie Schoenfeldt, 29 Jose Lopez
Heat 2; 91 Jared Maupin, 24 Paul Reyes, 00 Zach Freeman, 14d Brian Mahler, 719 Brian Schoenbaum, 43 Johnny Johnson
Heat 3; 99 Dillon Gaither, 4d Dustin Hurley, 44k Michael Keylich, 15b JW Blocker, 15 William Cavender, 75 Jerry Miller
Burrises Bust Off 1-2 Finish
The Sport Compact 20-lapper saw Michael Burris jr. first to turn 1 with almost three wide for second behind him. As it shook out it was Jamie Garner, Shaun Tracy, Joshua Garcia and Ryker Hernandez completing the top five. Garcia got turned in front of the field collecting John Thomas, Justin Sitterle and Jennifer Kidd ending their night.
On the restart, Burris jr and Garner got away with Tracy taking third from R. Hernandez. Lap 3 saw Michael Burris sr. bounce off the front stretch wall and clip Tracy. Tracy would flip on the front stretch landing drivers side down. Safety crews were quickly on hand and rolled Tracy back on all fours. He would be alright after getting checked out.
Back under green, R. Hernandez took second from Garner while Billy McCall and Levi Hernandez swapped fourth. At halfway it was Burris jr, R. Hernandez, Garner, L. Hernandez and Burris sr. in the top five. Burris jr. was just getting into lapped traffic when red waved again, this time for Donald Lewis who sailed it off the turn 3 hill with two to go.
On the restart R. Hernandez got the drop on Burris jr. coming off turn 4 to sniff the lead. The two ran door to door as the white flag was shown. Burris jr. wrestled the top spot back while Burris sr. was challenging R. Hernandez for second. Burris sr. made the last lap pass as Burris jr.(Marion), in the 2000 Acura Integra, was scoring his first ever I-37 Speedway win.
““Finally, my first win here. It’s nice to get that monkey off my back.” replied Burris jr. “I saw Ryker(Hernandez) coming on the inside on the restart, but I was able to get back by him. I figured Jamie(Garner) would have gotten by me early in the race, but I made it work. This race seemed like it took forever with cautions and red flags.”
“We had a pretty eventful race,” added Burris sr. “I tagged the wall and (Shaun) Tracy was too close to me and he got the bad end of the stick. If I had enough laps I could have gotten by Michael(jr). It takes a lot of laps to run him down. I’ll race him like anyone else would.”
81 Michael Burris jr., 18 Michael Burris sr., 55 Ryker Hernandez, 28 Levi Hernadez, 8 Robert Kelm, 12 Billy McCall, 76y Donald Lewis, 33 Jamie Garner, 32 Joshua Garcia, 35 Darrel Jones, 21t Shaun Tracy, 9t John Thomas, 43 Jennifer Kidd, 88 Justin Sitterle
Sport Compact heats
Heat 1; 21t Shaun Tracy, 28 Levi Hernandez, 55 Ryker Hernandez, 43 Jennifer Kidd, 18 Michael Burris sr., 76y Donad Lewis, 88 Justin Sitterle
Heat 2; 81 Michael Burris jr., 33 Jamie Garner, 32 Joshua Garcia, 9t John Thomas, 8 Robert Kelm, 35 Darrel Jones, 12 Billy McCall
Adult Predator; Andy VanBlarcum, Noah VanBlarcum, Andy VanBlarcum, Rebekah VanBlarcum
Senior division; Charles Flanagan, Zoey Flores
Junior division; Beau Payton, Cecilii Johnson, Wyatt Schul, Jayden Gray
Youth division; Kate Brzozowski