Houston, TX – NASCAR Modified drivers Jake Kruger and Ryan Luza were the class of the 14-car starting field at the “Calico Coatings Season Opener” at Houston Motorsports Park this past Saturday with Kruger coming out on top at the checkered flag.

 

Kruger, driving Rick Pollaro’s Wild Child Motorsports NASCAR Modified, was dogged all evening by Luza who was able to stay side-by-side with Kruger for a lap or two after every restart during the caution-filled 75-lapper.  But in each instance Kruger was able to power away after a few laps and then open a comfortable two or three car-length gap until the next caution flag waved.

 

“The biggest challenge was the restarts, “Kruger said. “With this new engine package that Tom Hamilton and Mission Racing put together, I kep blowing the tires off until I got it all figured out.”

 

Kruger said that his “open motor” actually started life as a crate engine, but that Hamilton “souped it up a bit. It was turning pretty good.”

 

Kruger gave lots of credit to runner-up Luza as well as up-and-coming youngster Clayton Green, who finished a strong third.

 

“Ryan is really strong this year and at this point he’s our main competition,” Kruger said. “We’re going to have to stay one step ahead of him, that’s for sure.  And we’re keeping an eye on (third-place finisher) Clayton Green too. He’s got a new BMF chassis under him and once he gets it all sorted out he’s going to be tough.”

 

Kruger made sure to thank his sponsors, Rack-N-Motion, STX Coating, Wild Child Motorsports, BMF Chassis, Mission Racing and Crew Chief John Heil.

 

Luza, wheeling a Raymond DeLaHoussaye Modified, said the car was hooked up great, but that Kruger had just a bit more power coming off the turns and down the straights.

 

“The difference between us was his amazing drive off the corner,” Luza said. “He was able to pull me one or two car lengths every straightaway. His open motor verses my crate engine was a very noticeable difference.”

 

When asked what it will take to win the next time out, Luza said, “I really don’t know how much better the car can be next time out because the car was very stout. Maybe the right answer would be if Kruger’s car wasn’t quite so good! Either way, the two of us ran faster than the NASCAR Modifieds have been in a long time.”

 

Rounding out the top five were Green and veterans Ian Webster and Paul White.

 

Kruger and Luza won their heat races over Green and White, respectively.

 

NASCAR Fiesta Modified Feature

 

Position, Car #, Name, Laps

1. 96Jake Kruger 75

2. 5Ryan Luza 75

3. 54Clayton Green 75

4. 13Ian Webster 75

5. 2Paul White 75

6. 4Michael Kourkoubes 75

7. 33Jason Morman 75

8. 01Art Kunzeman 75

9. 88Larry Hughes 74

10. 16Jake Thomasson 71

11. 28Kevin Wiseman 31

12. 9JT Schild 26

13. 32Jason Otts 25

14. 8DL Wilson 20

 

NASCAR Coke Trucks

 

NASCAR Coke Truck driver Mike Coursey might have finished second on the track, but after both the first-place finisher, David Webster, and the thrid-place finisher, Michael Villarreal, were disqualified by Chief Tech Inspector Ricky Brooks, Coursey ended up with the win.

 

“That was my first feature win for the number 53 NASCAR Coke Truck last night at HMP,” Coursey said. “I actually finished second on the track, but the number 13 truck (David Webster) was disqualified, so I got the win. Not exactly how I wanted to get it, but a win is a win.”

 

NASCAR Coke Trucks Feature Finish, Truck #, Name, Laps

 

Finish, Truck #, Name, Laps

1. 53Mike Coursey 50

2. 17Christopher Hogan 50

3. 8Ed Nastasi 50

4. 182Adam Schwarz 48

5. 15Mark Lindley 41

6. 02Eric Wallace 22

DQ13David Webster 50

DQ79Michael Villarreal 50

 

 

NASCAR Stock Cars

 

As the NASCAR Stock Car class rebuilds their division, a very short field was on hand for opening night. Only Ed Thompson and Eddie Nastasi were in competition with Thompson having the upper hand over Nastasi in both the heat and feature.  Several more NASCAR Stock Cars are expected to make their appearance in the near future.

 

NASCAR Stock Cars Feature

 

Position, Car #, Name, Laps

1. 8 Ed Thompson 10

2. 36 Eddie Nastasi 10

 

Eco Stocks

 

Taylor Harris, defending Eco Stock champion Daniel Bartholomew and Dave Barton were the class of the 10-car Eco Stock field with Harris taking the 15-lap feature ahead of Bartholomew and Barton. In the 10-lap heat Bartholomew took the win by the tiniest of margins – 0.001 of a second – over Barton with Harris running a strong third. The Eco Stocks always put on a good show with and tonight was no exception.

 

Eco Stock Feature

 

Position, Car #, Name, Laps

1. 717 Taylor Harris 15

2. 27 Danny Bartholomew 15

3. 37 Dave Barton 15

4. 8 Kit Leslie 15

5. Soren Rasmussen 15

6. 7 Stephen Dalton 15

7. 22 Mitch Lindley 15

8. 11 Tyler Hassler 15

9. 43 Richard Smith 15

10. 13 Bedie Sonnier 15

 

Legends

 

Michael Dabney picked up right where he left off last season and took the checkered in both his 10-lap heat and the 25-lap feature. But in both cases he had his mirror full of Grady Fox-Rhode from start to finish.

 

Legends Feature

 

Position, Car #, Name, Laps

1. 50Michael Dabney 25

2. 4Brady Fox-Rhode 25

3. 27Colin Lynch 25

4. 12Joseph Graff 25

5. M16Coby Henslee 25

6. 62KKamera McDonald 25

7. 308DeWayne Irwin 25

8. 162Tim McDonald 24

9. 48Gabbie Dubeau 23

10. 19Jamie Call 23

11. 14Roger Williams 22

12. 357Matthew Barnard 6

 

Bandoleros

 

Levi Dubeau also had his “clean sweep” broom out and dominated both the Bandolero heat and feature.

 

Bandolero Feature

 

Position, Car #, Name, Laps

1. 84Levi Dubeau 15

2. 7Zoey Barker 15

3. 99Kade Brown 15

4. 34Camryn Chadwick 15

5. 6Ethan Barker 13

 

-Houston Motorsports Park Press Release & Photo

Kruger, Coursey Post Wins in Season Opener at Houston