Houston, TX – Houston Motorsports Park, one of the nation’s finest motorsports facilities, is gearing up for some intense NASCAR stock car racing action this Saturday, June 21.
Officially billed as the “Whelen NASCAR Night,” it would be better named “Have at it Boys and Girls Night” if the stock car racing is as competitive this weekend as it has been for the past several races.
Last time out, for instance, multi-time NASCAR Fiesta Modified champion Joe Aramendia was leading the modified feature with just a handful of laps remaining when Michael Kourkoubes, who was running second at the time, made solid contact with Aramendia’s rear bumper, causing him to spin
Kourkoubes went on to win the race with Aramendia recovering to finish twelfth.
“I don’t mind a tap or two from someone,” Aramendia said when asked about the incident, “but I do mind getting turned around. If I were him, I’d think twice before doing that to me again.”
Under the so-called “Madhouse Rules” in force at HMP, only the car(s) that actually cause a caution flag are put to the rear of the pace regardless of who was “at fault.” In other words, one driver can intentionally spin another driver and, as long as he doesn’t also spin, he gets to keep his spot. HMP management believes that respect is given and earned on the track and that drivers will sort it all out over time when things happen.
“Joe (Aramendia) knows how to make his car pretty wide,” Kourkoubes said. “He’s been around a long time and knows how to keep someone behind him. I did give him a couple of taps before his spin, but I would back out and let him go. But his car was having some handling issues and would push up in the middle of the turns and I needed to get by. So I did get into him a little bit harder and this time I didn’t let him go.”
Will there be any paybacks this weekend?
“I went over to Joe and apologized after the race,” Kourkoubes said. “And he said it was a good thing I did because he was going to return the favor in the next race if I hadn’t. And in the second feature he ran behind me and had plenty of chances to get to my bumper, but he didn’t, so I guess it’s safe to say this deal is behind us.”
Well, not so fast.
“I drive people clean and I drove him clean in the second feature even though I could have taken him out like he took me out,” Aramendia explained. “But, make no mistake, if he bumps me this weekend he had better expect something in return.”
There will be ample opportunity to see how this all plays out this weekend with the NASCAR Fiesta Modifieds competing in a 10-lap heat race and a 75-lap feature event – the “Fiesta Mart 75.”
Heat races and feature events for the two other NASCAR-sanctioned classes – the NASCAR American Muscle cars (the “TFE Company 25”) and the NASCAR BWFS Coke Trucks (the “BWFS Industries 50”) are also on the schedule as well as an 8-lap heat race and a 15-lap feature for the rough and tumble Eco Stocks.
In addition, the snazzy Bandoleros will run a 15-lap feature event (the “B&R Industries 15”) while the lightning-quick Legends will compete in the “TFE Company 25.”
With $1 hot dogs, $1 beer, $1 cokes and free parking, it’s a great way to spend an exciting, yet very affordable, evening with the whole family. Adult tickets are only $12 and kids 12 and under are admitted free.
Racing starts promptly at 6 pm and normally finishes by 10 pm at the well-maintained, park-like 3/8-mile oval which is located at 11620 North Lake Houston Parkway in Northeast Houston.
The HMP information hotline is 281-458-1972. Their email is [email protected].
For more information about Houston Motorsports Park and Saturday’s Whelen NASCAR Night visit
www.houstonmotorsportspark.com or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/houstonracing.
Track PR – Photo Steve Steinle