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Grudge Showdown at I-37 Speedway by R&M Promotions

by Jay Hallas | Posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2018

By JM Hallas

PLEASANTON, Texas – It was the fifth race of the season for I-37 Speedway on the ¼ mile, semi-banked, dirt oval near Pleasanton. Tonights action included all six classes(Cash Bred Off Road IMCA Modifieds, Swenson Racing Products Sport Modifieds, Nogalitos Gear Limited Late Models, SABFI Transportation Street Stocks, All In Design Pure Stocks and Brown Chevrolet Sport Compacts, plus the Russ Parker Construction Go-Karts.

Adding a twist to the regular racing it was Grudge Showdown night featuring eight of the tracks hottest drivers. Two drivers from each of the IMCA Modifieds, Sport Modifieds, Limited Late Models and Street Stocks would face off to see who was the best of the bunch.

Representing the IMCA Modifieds were defending track champion, Talon Minten and Dillon Tindall, Sport Modifieds had Johnny Torres and Lawrence Mikulencak, multi-time track champ Trey Votion and Jason Kelly held the Limited Late Model banner, while defending champ Wade Jones and Lynn Fox were Street Stock competitors. Each of the drivers would be up for auction adding money to the race and giving spectators the chance to cash in as well.

After the driver auction and draw for starting positions, $1,445 was raised making the winners share, uuummmmm, carry the naught, carry the naught, $722. 50 going to the winner and the high bidder for the winning driver. Mikulencak had the pole drawn with Jones along side in row 1, Votion and Fox row 2, Minten and Kelly row 3 with Torres and Tindall the final row.

Votion Grabs Grudge Green

Despite four different classes, each with their own advantages/disadvantages, the 6-lap Grudge Race was one of the nights most competitive. Mikulencak grabbed the early lead with Votion getting Jones for second and Minten up to fourth. Jones then lost spots to Minten and Torres, charging from the back.

Grudge and Limited Late Model winner Trey Votion. Photo by JM Hallas

Kelly looped his ride in turn 4 for a lap 4 caution setting up a green, white, checker finish. On green Votion got inside Mikulencak with the two side by side. As the white waved Mikulencak still lead by a bumper. Mikulencak, on top, and Votion, on the bottom, continued their door to door run. Coming off turn 4, Votion was able to get a good bite and edge out Mikulencak at the line for the win.

“I probably wouldn’t have been able to get by Lawrence(Mikulencak) if it hadn’t been for that caution,” replied Votion. “I don’t know. I don’t think I would have had enough laps. I saw he was trouble holding the bottom. I started inching up on him and with that caution it started us over. At the restart I was able to stay on his bumper and get under him. That was good racing. We were side by side and I hoped to pull him more than I did. I saw he was still there the whole time. I was super proud and happy about that.”

“I got to talk to him a little after the race. I’d never really met him before. He’s a real class act guy. I know he’s got a long history of racing. I wasn’t worried when he was outside of me. I knew I was good with him being out there and holding his line.”

Grudge Showdown

99 Trey Votion, 5r(87) Lawrence Mikulencak, 14t Talon Minten, 66 Johnny Torres, 86 Dillon Tindall, 41 Wade Jones, 57 Jason Kelly, 14 Lynn Fox

Cash to Carroll in Modified Main

After some early season bad luck, Chris Carroll(Spring Branch) was able to park it in the Winners Circle. Thanks to his wife, son and a couple grand in repairs, Carroll got by current points leader Rick Green for the lead. Just as it looked like Carroll would drive away for the victory and late caution intervened. Talon Minten was able to show him the nose after the restart but Carroll, in the Carroll Construction, GM crate powered, GRT Chassis was able to hold him off.

Imca Modified winner Chris Carroll. Photo by JM Hallas

At the start of the 20-lap main, Jason Borlace was first off turn 2, but it was Green with slide job in turn 3 leading lap 1 with Carroll getting second, Borlace, Minten and Tindall in the top five. Minten gave up third to Minten then got clipped by Landon Bednarz who cut down a right front while Borlace went around.

On the restart Carroll gave Green a look while Minten retook third from Borlace. Carroll was able to get out front on lap 3 with Minten following past Green for second. After a yellow for a Tindall spin, Minten showed Carroll the nose on green while Bill Pittaway and Don Banker got past Borlace for fourth and fifth.

At the midway point Carroll was easing away as the top five had spread out showing Carroll, Minten, Green, Pittaway and Banker in the top five. With two to go Carroll had a full straightaway lead, but Chris Jones went over the turn 3 hill, erasing that advantage. Minten again showed the nose to Carroll on the restart but Carroll held his line, hit his marks and took home the win.

“It’s my wife and son supporting me, first off,” commented Carroll. “Colin put the car together and he made it come off the turns. It rotated through the middle real good. Rick(Green) slipped up a little bit and let me go. Once we took off I was praying that it would over, I was tired.”

“I saw Talon(Minten) down there on the restart. I took the bottom back from him. I thought he was there the whole time. I didn’t know I had driven off and left him. I was just on cruise control and doing my best to not wreck the car.”

“My son put the car back together after the crash earlier this year. There was about two-thousand dollars in damage. We basically torn the right front off and bent the bird cages, tires and wheels. Luckily I have a kid that loves this stuff and got it all back together. He’s a pretty good mechanic.”

“There’s a little bit of concern there after all the work if everything is right. We put it on the scales and it looked as good as it did before we wrecked it. I had some confidence. When I first pushed the ‘go pedal’ I knew the car was still with me.”

IMCA Modifieds

15 Chris Carroll, 14t Talon Minten, 82 Rick Green, 137 Bill Pittaway, 377 Don Banker, 125 Jason Borlace, 15c Chris Jones, 86 Dillon Tindall, 16 Landon Bednarz

Cash Bred Off Road IMCA Modified heat

Heat 1; 15 Chris Carrol, 125 Jason Borlace, 82 Rick Green, 16 Landon Bednarz, 14t Talon Minten, 86 Dillon Tindall, 137 Bill Pittaway, 15s Chris Jones, 377 Don Banker

Top Spot to Torres in Sport Modifieds

Johnny Torres(San Antonio) used some knowledge gained earlier in the Grudge Race and Street Stock features, plus starting on the pole, to take home the top spot in the 20-lap Sport Modified feature. Torres led wire to wire. After building a good lead, a mid-race yellow put L. Mikulencak on his bumper for the last half. Torres and Mikulencak then gapped the field to settle it among themselves.

Sport Modified winner Johnny Torres. Photo by JM Hallas

Mikulencak never got close enough to mount a serious late race challenge as Torres took the checkers in the Scott Ball Racing, Alamo Hot Rod Parts, Tator Plumbing, Sundowner Performance Diesel & Truck Repair, All In Designs, Long Run Seamless Gutters, Swenson Racing Shocks, Fletchers Race Engines, IRP Chassis.

Fourteen cars took the green with Torres off turn 2 with the lead trailed by Chris Swenson, rebounding from a wild ride last time out, L. Mikulencak, Tom Grothues and Anthony Gordon. Grothues had problems on lap 4 and pulled from his top four spot. L. Mikulencak was able to get by Swenson for second on lap 6. Chase Havely spun on lap 8 for the races only caution.

Torres got a good start with Cody Beddoe taking fourth from Gordon. At the crossed flags it was Torres, L. Mikulencak, Beddoe, Swenson and Gordon the top five. By lap 15 Torres and L. Mikulencak had left Beddoe and Swenson behind. At the white flag, Torres had about five car lengths on L. Mikulencak a margin he carried to the finish.

“It was extremely slick,” exclaimed Torres. “It took a lot of patience. I felt like I was going two miles an hour. I thought as long as my car was driving off the turns straight, that I’d be fine. I was a little worried, when I was out there in the Street Stock it seemed like a groove higher than the bottom was were it was at. I was going to make them work for it and chance getting up in the marbles.”

“We already had the Sport Mod ready to go because the features were back to back. It was pretty slick top to bottom, so my plan was just sticking on the bottom and making someone go around the outside. There were a lot of marbles up higher. I didn’t want to risk it. I tried in the Street Stock and it hurt me a little. I didn’t feel like anyone could go around unless I slipped too bad.”

Swenson Racing Products Sport Modifieds

66 Johnny Torres, 5r(87) Lawrence Mikulencak, 77 Cody Beddoe, 30 Chris Swenson, 22m Anthony Gordon, 95 Larry Lewis, bd2 Eddy Ross, 03 Marcus Mikulencak, 28m Mason Casteneda, 31 Chase Havely, 49k Michael Keylich, 24r Robby Minten, 2r Talon Minten, 11t Tom Grothues

Sport Mod heats

Heat 1; 66 Johnny Torres, 11t Tom Grothues, 03 Marcus Mikulencak, 95 Larry Lewis, 28m Mason Casteneda, bd2 Eddy Ross, 24r Robby Minten

Heat 2; 30 Chris Swenson, 5r(87) Lawrence Mikulencak, 22m Anthony Gordon, 77 Cody Beddoe, 2r Talon Minten, 31 Chase Havely, 49k Gator Dodson

Votion Victorious Again

Trey Votion added to his great night after taking the Grudge Race win by following it up with a dominating run in the Limited Late Model feature. Votion went wire to wire in the 20-lap event dotted with cautions. It was almost a Kelly family sweep as all four Kelly family cars ran in the top four spots at one point.(Patrick Kelly-brother, Jason Kelly-cousin, John Kelly-uncle)

Grudge and Limited Late Model winner Trey Votion. Photo by JM Hallas

After a bad start, Votion grabbed the point on the second try chased by P. Kelly, Quentin Henderson, Ja. Kelly and Howie Marcx. Shane Moore went around in turn 2 collecting Aaron Leddy with Rene Mares stopping to miss. Once back to green, Q. Henderson got along side P. Kelly but slid high in turn 4 and fell back moving Ja. Kelly to third as Jo. Kelly snagged fifth from Leddy.

Moore’s troubles continued when he went over the hill bringing out another caution. On the restart Marcx gave Ja. Kelly a tap sending him around and Marcx to the tail. As Votion began to ease away, Leddy, Q. Henderson and Marcx, coming from the back, were three wide for fifth. At halfway it was Votion, P. Kelly, Ja. Kelly, Jo. Kelly and Q. Henderson in the top five.

Jo. Kelly, the former asphalt Super Late Model pilot, return to dirt tracing ended abruptly when he found the wall coming off turn 4. As another spin on the restart, Votion was able to get clear of P. Kelly on green with Ja. Kelly and Marcx battling for third. Votion in the Nogalitos Gear, SRC Performance, Mission Race Engines, Kelly Racing Chassis stretched it out to a half straightaway at the checkers.

“That’s awesome that all of our family was in the top four at one time,” said Votion. “This racing deal started a long time ago with John, Pat, Robert and all the brothers from back in the Pan American Speedway days. They were very successful. For it to translate into what we do now with me, my brother, Jason and John coming back, is pretty neat. It’s awesome.”

I pretty much knew what we needed going in after the Grudge Race. I tried to run the top a bit and it was nothing but marbles. I found I had more on the bottom. I was going to run down there, be easy on the tires, and if anyone found something on top, then they’ve got it. You’re kind of committed at that point. You don’t know what they’re doing behind you. It’s too late if someone gets by you.”

Nogalitos Gear Limited Late Models

99 Trey Votion, 84 Patrick Kelly, 57 Jason Kelly, 13 Howie Marcx, 93 Aaron Leddy, 44 Quentin Henderson, 86 Bob Henderson, 22 Rene Mares, 17 Adrian Awalt, 57sr John Kelly, 18 Shane Moore, 2 Aaron Starnes—dns, 5 Bobby Jack—dns

Limited Late Model heats

Heat 1; 99 Trey Votion, 18 Shane Moore, 57 Jason Kelly, 57sr John Kelly, 86 Bob Henderson, 2 Aaron Starnes, 22 Rene Mares

Heat 2; 84 Patrick Kelly, 44 Quentin Henderson, 13 Howie Marcx, 93 Aaron Leddy, 17 Adrian Awalt, 5 Bobby Jack

Barber Best in Street Stock

Despite not having run I-37 Speedway in years, Jarrett Barber(College Station/Corpus Christi) bested two of the Street Stocks classes toughest competitors. Barber fought his way around Johnny Torres and then Wade Jones to get the lead just before halfway. From there, Barber in the Ace Transmission, Barber Oilfield Trucking, Ace Machine, Western Flyer chassis crept away for the victory.

Street Stock winner Jarrett Barber. Photo by JM Hallas

At the start of the 20-lap feature Jones took the point with Torres, Barber, Jacob Crow and Lynn Fox on his tail. Mike Lyon was able to sneak past Fox and Crow when they slipped in turn 4. Barber began his challenge on Torres using the middle groove and got along side when Crow spun collecting Anthony Gordon and Dennis Hilla.

Barber had just began to put the heat on Torres again by Cody Henderson spun off turn 2 and got plowed into by Dennis Taber. Finally back to green with Jones, Barber and Torres clearing Lyon, Fox and Crow. Barber went high on Jones and was door to door for the lead on lap 6. Barber edged ahead slightly on lap 7, but Jones didn’t give up on the bottom for a few laps.

Barber finally cleared Jones at halfway with Torres, Lyon and Fox rounding out the top five. As Torres and Jones fought it out for second, Barber increased his advantage. Behind them, Lyon and Fox were swapping fourth. Barber had a comfortable margin on the final lap to score the victory.

“We’ll be back.” replied Barber. “We didn’t have to make many changes from running in Corpus. I was running second to Wade. He was pretty solid on the bottom. So I figured I’d try something a little different. I went to the top and it worked. I knew I had to find something else. I wasn’t going to pass him on the bottom. That was my only other option.”

“I wasn’t sure if Wade(Jones) would be able to go to the top and make it work for him too. I was just trying to hit my marks, stay clean and keep it smooth once I cleared him.”

SABFI Transportation Street Stocks

19 Jarrett Barber, 41 Wade Jones, 36 Johnny Torres, 20 Mike Lyon, 14 Lynn Fox, 8 Jacob Crow, 2x Dennis Hilla, 98(18) Shawn Moore, 33h Cody Henderson, 23 Dennis Taber jr., 81 Anthony Gordon

Street Stock heat

Heat 1; 41 Wade Jones, 36 Johnny Torres, 8 Jacob Crow, 19 Jarrett Barber, 20 Mike Lyon, 14 Lynn Fox, 33h Cody Henderson, 2x Dennis Hilla, 81 Tony Bernal, 23 Dennis Taber jr, 98(18) Shawn Moore—dns

Leddy Lands in Victory Lane

The Pure Stocks had a little trouble negotiating the dry, slick surface with numerous cautions during the scheduled 20-lap event. When the dust settled, literally and figuratively, it was Aaron Leddy going home the win in his Reflective Wrecker, C3 Speed Horses, CNC Grafix, GM crate powered, Oval Components Chassis. Leddy had Daniel Preston on his tail throughout most of the race and on restarts.

Pure Stock winner Aaron Leddy. Photo by JM Hallas

At the start of the 22-car feature Leddy was off turn 2 with the lead pursued by Dustin Hurley, William Saunders, Preston and Allen Torres. A. Torres made quick work getting past Preston, Saunders and Du. Hurley for second. As he began to challenge Leddy the first of many cautions flew. During a yellow A. Torres retired with motor trouble.

Preston got by Du. Hurley for second with Robert Kelm next to put Du. Hurley back a spot. A yellow helped Preston, and the field, catch Leddy on lap 6 restart. At halfway it was Leddy, Preston, Kelm, Clint Montanio and Du. Hurley in the top five. Kelm and Preston made contact sending Preston around and Kelm to the back.

Leddy got away on green while Dakota Hurley and Saunders were side by side for fifth. A lap 12 caution was the final one as officials shortened the race on time. The green, white, checkered finish saw Leddy get a couple car lengths on Preston to take the win while Saunders held off Da. Hurley for fifth.

“It took a little bit of luck on that slick track,” commented Leddy. “There was a lot of cautions throughout the race. You had keep a handle on your car. My car was real loose. I just hoped the fast cars behind me wouldn’t get by me at the end.”

“I knew those fast cars were right there. I saw Daniel(Preston) show the nose on a restart. We just had to push it through the corners. We were a bit too loose, but it worked out for us.”

“Sometimes running the Late Model helps us decide what to do. It just depends on what order we run. We’ll know what changes to make on the cars just by knowing the track conditions.”

All in Designs Pure Stocks

93 Aaron Leddy, 6 Daniel Preston , 09 Clint Montanio, 4d Dustin Hurley, 98 William Saunders, 40 Dakota Hurley, 66 Adam Torres, 9c Caitlin Leonard, 82 Andrew Garcia, 99t Treyton Temple, 48 Robert Kelm, 7x Janel Duncan, 36z George Quintanilla, 44k Michael Keylich, 53 Treyler Caulfield, 63 Joe D Johnson, 57b Les Bettis, 02 Louis Treybig, 88 Brandy Torres, 94 Alan Torres, 182 Ben Mikulencak, 5 Dillon Gaither

Pure Stock B-main(top 7 to A-main)

40 Dakota Hurley, 09 Clint Montanio, 99t Tryton Temple, 5 Dillon Gaither, 44k Michael Keylich, 82 Andrew Garcia, 02 Louis Treybig, 68 Kenny Wright, 19 Justin Todd, 39 Sonny Kinnaman, 17 Casey Lowe, 23t Sean Terry—dns, m13 Jeremy Watson—dns

Pure Stock heats(top 5 transfer)

Heat 1; 4d Dustin Hurley, 6 Daniel Preston, 7x Janel Duncan, 57b Les Bettis, 66 Adam Torres, 40 Dakota Hurley, 99t Tryton Temple, 5 Dillon Gaither, 82 Andrew Garcia, 39 Sonny Kinnaman

Heat 2; 93 Aaron Leddy, 94 Alan Torres, 88 Brandy Torres, 9c Caitlin Leonard, 53 Treyler Caulfield, 44k Mike Keylich, 09 Clint Montanio, 17 Casey Lowe, m13 Jeremy Watson

Heat 3; 98 William Saunders, 48 Robert Kelm, 36z George Quintanilla, 182 Ben Mikulencak, 63 Joe d Johnson, 19 Justin Todd, 02 Louis Treybig, 23t Sean Terry, 68 Kenny Wright

Garner Grabs Gold in Sport Compact Scramble

Jamie Garner(Cibilo) went home with Sport Compact feature win following some last lap dramatics again. Garner, who used lapped traffic to get his first win of the season again got a good break when leader GB Carter got slowed by two slower cars. Garner gave up the lead early to Carter in the 20-lap feature but got an opening when Carter was pushed high twice late in the going. Taking the lead on the last lap, Garner in the, Krystal Ball Communication, Rachel Plant Picture Taker. VW Sirocco landed in Victory Lane.

Sport Compact winner Jamie Garner. Photo by JM Hallas

Twelve cars took the green with Garner and Brandon McCall staying side by side. McCall was first to the line for the lap 1 lead, but Garner stayed the course and got out front on lap 2 with Gordon Dowdy third, Carter and Trevor Bettis in the top five. Carter made quick work of Dowdy and McCall for second on lap 3.

Carter gave Garner a little ‘thump’ to get by for the lead on lap 4. Behind them McCall began to fade giving up spots to Dowdy and Bettis, then falling out of the top five. At the mid-point it was Carter, with a slight lead, Garner, Dowdy, Bettis and Kasey Krauss in the top five.

Carter caught traffic with five to go and that allowed Garner to start closing the gap. Carter got run high on lap 17 giving Garner a better chance close in. With two to go, Carter again tried the outside of a slower car and got run up the track. This was the opening Garner needed to get the lead on the last lap and roll on to the win.

“GB(Carter) is hard to beat,” explained Garner. “I think my team mate got in his way at the end, I may have to give him a little money. No, it wasn’t planned, but it sounds good. He’s a little bit quicker than me and I’m looking for something like slower traffic to help. If there’s a lapped car in the way it’s my only hope.”

“Kirk(Ball) had a little bit of carburetor problems. We got him fixed good enough to make the main, but it wasn’t running very good. It broke a venturi in half. It was GB that actually gave us the part we needed to fix Kirk’s car. “

“I heard about that big Sport Compact race they had at Bristol. I really don’t want to leave a 100 mile radius. I’m happy right here. A little fish, in a little fish bowl.”

Brown Chevrolet Sport Compacts

33 Jamie Garner, 77 GB Carter, 63 Gordon Dowdy, 23 Kasey Krauss, 57 Trevor Bettis, 121 Roy Easler, 16 Charles Earnhardt jr., 38 Kirk Ball, 14 Brandon McCall, 7L Loryn Noah, 8 Lauren Crow, 39 Charles Earnhardt III, 29 Mike Pearson—-dns, 24 Felipe Ruiz—dns, 777 Roy Easler jr.—dns, 4 Cody Earnhardt—dns

Sport Compact heats

Heat 1; 14 Brandon McCall, 63 Gordon Dowdy, 57 Trevor Bettis, 29 Mike Pearson, 7L Loryn Noah, 24 Felipe Ruiz, 777 Roy Easler jr. 4 Cody Earnhardt

Heat 2; 33 Jamie Garner, 77 GB Carter, 23 Kasey Krauss, 16 Charles Earnhardt jr., 121 Roy Easler, 8 Lauren Crow, 38 Kirk Ball, 39 Charles Earnhardt III

Russ Parker Construction Go-Karts(Features)

Senior Division

6p Ryker Hernandez, 706 Hannah Miller

Junior Division

41 Peyton Jones, 3c Cody Clegg, 95 Hayes Bettis, 18 George Quintanilla, 11 Sterling Hensley, 9 Gavin Quintanilla

Youth Division

6 Blaine Markgraf, 57 Hayes Bettis, 18 Aubrie Moore, 16 Berkley Keylich

Senior Division Go-Kart winner Ryker Hernandez. Photo by JM Hallas


Junior Division Go-Kart winner Peyton Jones. Photo by JM Hallas


Youth Division Go-Kart winner Blaine Markgraf. Photo by Rachel Plant

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