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Chris Carroll wins IMCA Modified race Saturday at I-37 Speedway

by Jay Hallas | Posted on Sunday, July 1st, 2018

By JM Hallas

PLEASANTON, Texas – As the racing season comes to the halfway point, where has it gone, I-37 Speedway held the Limited Late Model Meet-n-Greet for all their fans to get up close to their favorite drivers, get autographs and hero cards.

Current points leader, Trey Votion, saw his winning streak come an end last time out with Cody Leonard scoring the victory after a good three-car battle along with Quentin Henderson. Tonight’s winner would take home $450, plus $100 from Longs Machine Shop, along with the trophy.

Other mid-season points leader include Rick Green(IMCA Modifieds), Johnny Torres(Sport Modifieds), Wade Jones(Street Stocks), Daniel Preston(Pure Stocks) and Kasey Krauss(Sport Compacts). Sundowner Performance Truck Repair added to the IMCA Modifieds pay making it $575 to win.

With double points on the line points races will either close up substantially or drivers will widen their margins. Currently the top 3 in IMCA Modifieds and Sport Compacts are separated by only 5 points. The other four classes all have separations of double digits.

In nearly every class the winner wasn’t determined until the very last, sometimes even the last lap in some epic battles among a field off over 100 cars. The Pure Stocks got a chance for extra money too with over 30 entries, a season high.

Carroll Cashes in Modified Main

Chris Carroll(Spring Branch) picked up his second IMCA Modified win of the season getting past Bill Pittaway early. Carroll was then hounded by Greg Dinsmore who tried everything in his power to get by Carroll. On a bottom dominant track, Dinsmore got the nose under Carroll on several occasions but couldn’t get by. Cody Leonard, in his new ride, had a little success on top running down Dinsmore and Carroll making a good three car fight for the win.

IMCA Modified winner Chris Carroll. (Photo by JM Hallas)

As the 16-car starting field took the green, Pittaway was first into turn 1 trailed by Jason Borlace, Carroll, Dinsmore and Rick Green. Carroll quickly disposed of Borlace for second and took the lead from Pittaway on lap 3. Dinsmore was next to clear Borlace and Pittaway for second. After a couple yellows, Carroll and Dinsmore were edging away while Pittaway, Cody Tidwell and Green were three wide for third.

Tidwell took third with Green to fourth and Talon Minten getting fifth from Pittaway. Dinsmore began taking peeks low on Carroll as they reached halfway with Tidwell, Green and Minten rounding out the top five. Dinsmore could get the nose inside Carroll going in, but Carroll had the drive coming off the hold Dinsmore at bay.

After a series of yellows, one of which that saw Minten and Green make contact for position, Leonard moved up top and got by Tidwell and Minten for third. Dinsmore tried up top, but lost a little ground, missing an opportunity when Carroll slipped off turn 2.

Dinsmore would go back to the bottom looking low again while Leonard was still on top pressuring Dinsmore. Coming to the white, Dinsmore and Leonard made slight contact for second as Dinsmore tried to get a different arch into turn 1. Leonard backed off Dinsmore, giving Carroll in his Carroll Construction, Simpson Racing Products, GM crate powered, GRT Chassis a little breathing room at the checkers as those two battled.

“I’m just thankful that Greg(Dinsmore) drove me clean,” exclaimed Carroll. “I really appreciate that a lot. Thank God for forward bite. The car was on a rail again. I saw his nose and felt it on my quarter panel, but it was good hard racing and clean. I just knew I had more forward bite. When your car feels that way you know you’ve got it. I was just trying not to overdrive the car.”

“I made more than one mistake. I made about five of them. I know, I was counting. He threw the kitchen sink at me, but I knew if I didn’t give up the bottom, I was going to be the victor. I wasn’t worried about the top coming in. Under yellow I’d go up there and play around, see where we were at and cool our tires off. The kind of forward bite I had I knew the bottom would prevail.”

Simpson Racing Products IMCA Modifieds

15 Chris Carroll, 8g Greg Dinsmore, 12 Cody Leonard, 17 Cody Tidwell, 94 Chris Morris, 82 Rick Green, 137 Bill Pittaway, 125 Jason Borlace, 5r Ryan Doyon, 55m Mike Morris, 14t Talon Minten, 16 Landon Bednarz, 58 Rowdy Flanagan, 77 Robert Liese jr., 86 Dillon Tindall, 1 Marcus Mikulencak—dn

IMCA Modified heats

Heat 1; 15 Chris Carroll, 82 Rick Green, 125 Jason Borlace, 17 Cody Tidwell, 86 Dillon Tindall, 12 Cody Leonard, 16 Landon Bednarz, 1 Marcus Mikulencak

Heat 2; 8g Greg Dinsmore, 14t Talon Minten, 58 Rowdy Flanagan, 137 Bill Pittaway, 94 Chris Morris, 55m Mike Morris, 77 Robert Liese jr., 5r Ryan Doyon

Grimes Grabs First Ever Dirt Win

Long time pavement Late Model ace, Tommy Grimes(San Antonio) took home his inaugural dirt victory in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature. Grimes would go wire to wire, sort of, as last lap contact with Trey Votion nearly cost him the race.

Limited Late Model winner Tommy Grimes. (Photo by JM Hallas)

Votion, who had to start at the back after missing his heat race, closed in on Grimes the in final laps and made a last lap dive under Grimes in turn 3. Both would spin, with the contact charged to Votion as the race was flagged, Grimes, who has been battling new car gremlins early this season, was awarded the win.

An early caution at the start set up a restart that saw Grimes get out front chased by Quentin Henderson, Cody Leonard, Patrick Kelly and Shane Moore. P. Kelly was able to get second from Leonard while Votion coming quickly from the tail made his to fifth getting by Howie Marcx.

As Grimes increased his margin, Votion was still charging getting by P. Kelly for third bringing Leonard along to fourth. At halfway it was Grimes, Votion taking second, Q. Henderson, P. Kelly and Leonard. Grimes ran up on traffic on lap 12 with Votion, Q. Henderson having to go three wide lapping a slower car.

Once clear, Votion began chasing down Grimes. With two to go Votion was on Grimes’ bumper. Votion got a good run off turn 2 on the last lap and tried to stick it in going into turn 3. The contact saw Grimes and Votion spin, with Q. Henderson caught up in the mess. The yellow and checkers were shown. Going back a lap, Grimes in the NAPA, Longs Race Engines, Shaw Chassis was given the victory.

“It’s wonderful!” exclaimed Grimes. “Any time I win it’s just like my first race. I get excited. You work hard on these things, you put everything you’ve got in them and that’s what it’s all about. Winning! I feel real good coming to the dirt tracks. I’ve got a lot of great help getting me to this point, teaching me about dirt cars. I just have to get comfortable in the seat now.”

“Hopefully we’ve got all the bugs worked out. It’d just been one little thing after another. I should have taken a step back and made sure the car was ready then brought the car out here. I was anxious, wanting to come do this and support the track for giving us a chance. You just have little gremlins now and then. Hopefully that’s all worked out.”

“My biggest transition from pavement to dirt is telling myself I have to turn the steering wheel to the right to turn left. That and with the rear ends the way they are on these cars that drives it, turns it, gives it bite. It’s a little different the way it gets up on the bar where pavement squats it on the left rear. It’s strange feeling. In theory it’s doing the same thing.”

“You can’t tell other than motor noise what’s around you. When we went by that lapped I didn’t realize anyone was back there. I never thought Trey(Votion) would do that. It’s bad deal. I hate it. It wasn’t racing. If we had been racing side by side for a few laps, I get rubbing on each other. I’ve been around all that before. There was no way he was going stay down there driving it in there so hard. If you’re beat, you’re beat. You just have to do better next time.”

**Note: Votion has offered a public apology and hopefully the two can move forward the remainder of the season.

Nogalitos Gear Limited Late Models

22t Tommy Grimes, 44 Quentin Henderson, 5 Cody Leonard, 84 Patrick Kelly, 13 Howie Marcx, 86 Bob Henderson, 57sr John Kelly sr., 99 Trey Votion, 14 Gary Hunter, 18 Shane Moore, 93 Aaron Leddy, 17 Adrian Awalt, 57 Jason Kelly, 95 Jerry Jones

Limited Late Model heats

Heat 1; 22t Tommy Grimes, 44 Quentin Henderson, 18 Shane Moore, 57 Jason Kelly, 93 Aaron Leddy, 95 Jerry Jones, 99 Trey Votion—dns

Heat 2; 5 Cody Leonard, 84 Patrick Kelly, 13 Howie Marcx, 86 Bob Henderson, 14 Gary Hunter, 57sr John Kelly sr., 17 Adrian Awalt

Minten Muscles to Sport Modified Win

The last feature of the night was another hotly contested event with the finish coming down to a bumper lengths at the checkers. Robby Minten(La Coste) took his first win in a couple years, but it wasn’t easy. R. Minten, who led from the drop of the green, was chased down by Chris Swenson in the late stages. Swenson, using the top, got along side R. Minten with the two making contact coming to the checkers and R. Minten edging out Swenson by about a foot.

Sport Modified winner Robby Minten. (Photo by JM Hallas)

At the start it was R. Minten getting lead pursued by Ryan Doyon, JJ Jennings, Swenson and Talon Minten in the top five. Swenson, Jennings and Ry. Doyon tried three wide for second, but a yellow slowed the action. On the restart Jennings began challenging R. Minten for the lead while T. Minten and Cody Beddoe battled for fourth.

After a yellow, Jennings tried R. Minten on the top, but gave up second to Swenson. Coming to halfway it was R. Minten(bottom), Swenson(top), Jennings(bottom), Cody Leonard(top) and T. Minten(bottom) in the top five. Leonard was able to get by Jennings for third leaving him side by side with T. Minten for fourth.

Up front, Swenson was closing on R. Minten. The duo were side by side for the lead on lap 15. Swenson stayed up top and was about to make the pass when John Heil went over the turn 3 hill for a caution. On the single file restart R. Minten hugged the bottom, while Swenson began his charge on the top.

Swenson and R. Minten were again wheel to wheel as the flagman showed two to go. Swenson could get a run up top coming off, but R. Minten was faster in the corners. Coming to checkers, Swenson got a little loose off turn 4 coming down on R. Minten. They made contact, but R. Minten held his ground for the win by a bumper in the La Coste Meat Market, 3-D Landscaping, CSR Shocks, All in Designs, Rising Star Racing Bodies, Spreen Race Engines, IRP Chassis.

“I was just trying to hold the bottom,” replied Minten. “I just made sure no one passed me on the bottom. If they were going to pass me it was going to be on top. Then I saw (Chris) Swenson inching up on me and I was pushing him up a little to hold my momentum. I held him back just long enough, maybe by about a foot. It was close.”

“Normally I might try the top to see if anything is up there. This week I told myself that I was going hug the tires. I was going to make someone pass me outside before I tried anything else. I just tried to not make mistakes.”

“I knew he would be there(at the finish). I just tried hold it to where he only had one line so it would be close at the end. Unfortunately he spun his tires and got into me. It was a good race. Fun for the fans.”

“I’m happy where we’re at mid-season. I wish I could be more consistent as a driver. I think I could finish more races up front. This is one of my best seasons so far. I like the new car. With double points tonight I think that will put me in second. I don’t think I’ll be able to catch Johnny(Torres). If I can finish top three every night I should be able to hang on to second. I’m happy about that.”

Swenson Racing Products Sport Modifieds

24r Robby Minten, 30 Chris Swenson, 12 Cody Leonard, 2 Talon Minten, 66 Johnny Torres, 26g JJ Jennings, 77 Cody Beddoe, bd2 Lawrence Mikulencak, 28m Mason Casteneda, 31 Chase Havely, 03 Marcus Mikulencak, 9 Ray Doyon, 32 Robert Stewart, 5r Ryan Doyon, 96 John Heil, 49 Michael Keylich, 53x Matt Fox, bd4 Cheryl Gray, bd3 Eddy Ross

Sport Modified heats

Heat 1; 24r Robby Minten, bd3 Eddy Ross, bd4 Cheryl Gray, 03 Marcus Mikulencak, 9 Ray Doyon III, 66 Johnny Torres—dq(safety gear)

Heat 2; 5r Ryan Doyon, 2 Talon Minten, 77 Cody Beddoe, 12 Cody Leonard, 32 Robert Stewart, bd2 Lawrence Mikulencak, 96 John Heil

Heat 3; 26g JJ Jennings, 30 Chris Swenson, 31 Chase Havely, 28m Mason Casteneda, 53x Matt Fox, 49k Michael Keylich

Jourdanton’s Jones Back in Winners Circle

Multi-time and defending track champ, Wade Jones has had some trials and tribulations throughout the season, but found his way back to the Winners Circle in dominating fashion. Jones had hoped to debut his new car, but problems in hot laps saw him jump back in his old reliable championship ride. Jones would lead every lap in the event shortened to 15 laps due to time.

Street Stock winner Wade Jones. (Photo by JM Hallas)

Fluid on the track saw a melee on the initial start as Jones and Dennis Hilla spun up front scattering the field, On the second try it was Jones beating Hilla to turn 1. Hilla, Cody Leonard, Thomas Hayes and Lynn Fox fell in line behind Jones. Jones got some distance when Leonard fell off the pace from third and Hilla did a 360 in the infield.

A three wide battle resulted in contact between Jacob Crow, Hilla, and Mike Lyon. Somehow all were able to right their ship and continue without caution. A yellow fell just past halfway closing the field up with Hayes trying to hang on to Jones on the restart while Cody Henderson and Fox were door to door for third.

Another yellow set up a green, white, checker finish. Jones and Hayes got away while the battles in the pack went on. Jones eased out from Hayes on the final lap. As Jones in the Opiela Mechanical, SABFI Transportation, Mission Auto Parts, Camaro took the checkers, contact in the pack shook up the final results.

“We had problem in practice with the new car.” commented Jones. “Being double points I jumped back in the Camaro. It worked out good. Started by winning the heat race and got the front row for the feature.

“Every race you wonder if someone is finding a better line behind you. You’re always thinking someone is back there. I figured maybe Cody(Leonard) would be back there in the 36-car. I just laid it down on the bottom and tried to hold it down there. It all worked out.”

“The competition has been real good this year. It makes it fun and exciting. I wish we had more cars. Maybe we’ll get there one day. We’ve been up front in points most of the time. I think it’s seven championships. This might be number eight. We’ll see what happens.”

“My grandpa busts his butt on my cars. My kids motivate me a lot. He’s been winning more than me. Tonight he finished second and I won. He overdrove his Kart a bit. He’s upset with it, but he’s not always going to win. I think watching him race raises my blood pressure more than me racing side by side with someone. That’s a rush.”

SABFI Transportation Street Stocks

41 Wade Jones, 5x Thomas Hayes, 20 Mike Lyon, 81 Tony Bernal, 2x Dennis Hilla, 33 Cody Henderson, 8 Jacob Crow, 14 Lynn Fox, 69 Jeff Rabedeau, 18 Shawn Moore, 36 Cody Leonard, 41k Kurtis Opiela—dns

Street Stock heats

Heat 1; 2x Dennis Hilla, 14 Lynn Fox, 33 Cody Henderson, 8 Jacob Crow, 81 Tony Bernal—dntg, 41k Kurtis Opiela—dns

Heat 2; 41 Wade Jones, 36 Cody Leonard, 5x Thomas Hayes, 68j Jeff Rabedeau, 20 Mike Lyon, 18 Shawn Moore

Torres on Top Again

Allen Torres(San Antonio) added another win to his total this season in a somewhat odd manner. Al. Torres and Daniel Preston battled side by side for several laps and just as Al. Torres got the lead a caution erased the pass setting up a three lap shootout. Preston was first to the line, but a tech infraction handed the win back to Al. Torres, who also lost one on the tech pad earlier this year.

Pure Stock winner Allen Torres. (Photo by JM Hallas)

At the start of the 22-car Pure Stock feature it was Mason Casteneda first to turn 1, but Preston got the advantage off turn 2 to lead the pack. Casteneda held second trailed by Al. Torres, Zac Courtney and Ben Mikulencak. Dakota Hurley got inside Mikulencak, then Courtney for fourth as Al. Torres got along side Casteneda for second. In the pack it was three wide for tenth and thirteenth.

The top four broke away until Da. Hurley looped it just before halfway. On the restart coming to the crossed flags it was Preston being pressured by Al. Torres, Casteneda, Courtney and Mikulencak side by side with Nathan Rachui for fifth. Jarrett Payton, coming from the B-main, got by Rachui for sixth as Preston and Al. Torres eased away.

Preston got loose off turn 4 giving Al. Torres a run on the top. Al. Torres was able to get the nose out front on lap 17, but a four-car tangle in turn 4 brought out a yellow putting Preston back in the lead. As Preston and Al. Torres took off Casteneda and Courtney were side by side for third. At the checkers it was Preston at line, but after tech, Al. Torres in the Allstate Gear, Allens 24/7 Towing, Destroyer-Eater, Chevy awarded the win.

“This kind of makes up for the one I lost in tech,” replied Torres. “Karma. I get teched everywhere I go and the one that was complaining was the one that didn’t pass tonight.”

“I pretty much just kept my cool and say I’ll go get him back. The track was too dry slick to do much though. You had to run the bottom. The only reason I got by on the other side was because he messed up. With my momentum I was able to get by on the high side. I couldn’t get the car to go after that late yellow. The track had gone away.”

All in Designs Pure Stocks

94 Allen Torres, 28m Mason Casteneda, 2x Zac Courtney, 9s Jarrett Payton, 25r Nathan Rachui, 24 Greg Carlucci jr., 15d Jamie Dear, 91 Johnny Westfall, 48 Robert Kelm, 98 William Saunders, 5 Dillon Gaither, 99t Tryton Temple, 4j JC Paull, 7x Janel Duncan, 9c Caitlin Leonard, 58 Cheyloh Brodnax, 40 Dakota Hurley, 182 Ben Mikulencak, 93 Aaron Leddy, 4d Dustin Hurley, 66 Adam Torres, 6 Daniel Preston DQ(tech-carb)

Pure Stock B-main(top 6 to A-main)

66 Adam Torres, 93 Aaron Leddy, 7x Janel Duncan, 9s Jarrett Payton, 98 William Saunders, 4j JC Paull, 88 Brandy Torres, m13 Jeremy Watson, 30 Riley Heil, 51 Albert Medellin, 50 Mike Pollaro, 17 Casey Lowe, 44k Kathrine Keylich, 19m Mike Horelka, 36 George Quintanilla, 63 Joe D Johnson, 90 Charles Earnhardt jr., 15 William Cavender

Pure Stock heats(top 4 to A-main)

Heat 1; 28m Mason Casteneda, 2x Zac Courtney, 40 Dakota Hurley, 9c Caitlin Leonard, 7x Janel Duncan, 88 Brandy Torres, 51 Albert Medellin, 98 William Saunders, 17 Casey Lowe

Heat 2; 182 Ben Mikulencak, 25r Nathan Rachui, 91 Johnny Westfall, 34 Greg Carlucci jr., 66 Adam Torres, m13 Jeremy Watson, 30 Riley Heil, 93 Aaron Leddy

Heat 3; 6 Daniel Preston, 48 Robert Kelm, 4d Dustin Hurley, 58 Cheyloh Brodnax, 50 Mike Pollaro, 90 Charles Earnhardt jr., 36 George Quintanilla, 63 Joe D Johnson

Heat 4; 94 Allen Torres, 5 Brandon Gaither, 15d Jamie Dear, 99t Tryton Temple, 4j JC Paul, 15 William Cavender, 44k Kathrine Keylich, 9s Jarrett Payton, 19m Mike Horelka

Gold for Garner in Sport Compacts

It was shaping up to be another epic battle between GB Carter and Jamie Garner for a feature win in Sport Compacts, until, the rabbit died. Figuratively speaking. Carter and Garner ran side by side for about ten laps until Carter’s VW Rabbit started popping and missing. This gave the lead to Garner the final two laps for the uncontested win.

Sport Compact winner Jamie Garner. (Photo by JM Hallas)

At the start of the 20-lapper it was Carter getting the early advantage with Kirk Ball, Garner, Brandon McCall and Randy Frautchi in pursuit. Trevor Bettis made an early charge getting by Frautschi then McCall for fourth. Red waved on lap 5 when Roy Easler rolled his Geo Metro landing on all fours. Easler refired and drove off under his own power.

Once back to green Garner got by Ball for second with Kasey Krauss moving up to fifth. Garner began to look inside Carter on lap 7, but Carter would hold the middle lane and the lead. At the crossed flags it was still Carter and Garner door to door, McCall, Ball and Krauss in the top five.

Over the next six laps the two stayed tied at the door handles with only the transponder readout determining the leader at the line. Lap 17 was the demise for Carter as his engine misfired and slowed giving the lead and the win to Garner in his Austin VeeDub, Pick-n-Pull, Krystal Ball Communication, Up Top Roofing, VW Sirocco.

“That old GB(Carter) is a tough old guy to race with,” said Garner. “Even if I finish second to GB it’s been a good night. It would have been real close(at the finish). I’m disappointed that he dropped out like that. I’ll take ’em anyway I can get ’em.”

“This is our third win this year. I’m not sure where we are in points. The double points will help, but all the other guys will get them too. It’s going to be tough. That 16 year old Kasey Krauss is something else too. He’s going to be good.”

“I’m surprised where we’re at the middle of the season. We’ve been racing a long time. It’s uphill, down hill, back and forth. Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug. That’s just the way racing goes.”

“I want to thank all my friends a crew and Brown Chevrolet for sponsoring our class.”

Brown Chevrolet Sport Compacts

33 Jamie Garner, 38 Kirk Ball, 23 Kasey Krauss, 57 Trevor Bettis, 7l Loryn Noah, 01 Randy Frautchi, 39 Roy Easler jr., 11b William Cass, 77 GB Carter, 14 Brandon McCall, 13 Chad Miller, 4 Cody Earnhardt, 121 Roy Easler

Sport Compact heats

Heat 1; 38 Kirk Ball, 39 Roy Easler jr., 14 Brandon McCall, 7l Loryn Noah, 23 Kasey Krauss, 13 Chad Miller, 11b William Cass

Heat 2; 77 GB Carter, 33 Jamie Garner, 01 Randy Frautschi, 57 Trevor Bettis, 121 Roy Easler, 4 Cody Earnhardt

Russ Parker Construction Go-Karts

Senior division

706 Hannah Miller, 6p Ryker Hernandez

Junior Division

3c Cody Clegg, 41 Peyton Jones

Youth Division

6 Blaine Markgraf, 18 Aubrie Moore, 16 Berkley Keylich

Senior Go Kart winner Hannah Miller. (Photo by JM Hallas)

 

Junior Go Kart winner Cody Clegg. (Photo by JM Hallas)

 

Youth Go Kart winner Blaine Markgraf. (Photo by JM Hallas)

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