CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (June 9, 2019) — There’s an old term frequently used in stick-and-ball sports used to describe an athlete with far more experience and skills than his or her rivals in a particular game or series. It’s called a “ringer,” and it happens in short track stock car racing, as well.
Veteran oval racer John Heil is a fine example, as he put on a clinic for his fellow competitors over the weekend. Heil, of Floresville, Texas, drove Rick Pollaro’s No. 96 entry to a wire-to-wire victory in Saturday night’s 20-lap feature at South Texas Speedway for the Texas Dirt Truck Series.
Anthony Gordon, of San Antonio, hustled the Michael Keylich-owned Ford F-150 No. 77 entry to a solid runner-up finish, while point leader Larry Baggett, of Marble Falls, filled out the podium in third. Tony Bernal (La Vernia) and Russell Rust (Boerne) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“I really have to thank Rick Pollaro for allowing me to drive this truck,” Heil said in Victory Lane. “This was a great time, and that thing was on a rail. It was a blast to race with these guys tonight, and I hope I have a chance to do it again.”
With the originally scheduled race for June 8 at Texana Raceway washed away by rain, series owner George Jones got on the phone to find a track willing to add the series to their regular weekly program. South Texas Speedway promoter Steven Whiteaker Jr. stepped up on short notice, and the results were more than satisfactory.
“I’m just so proud of the group of people we have supporting this series,” an exhausted Jones said after the program’s conclusion. “I appreciate these teams more than they know, and I can’t thank Steven enough for allowing us to come race here. I’m delighted with the results, and hope to return.”
Notable performances in Round 2 on the 8-race 2019 inaugural schedule include that of Gordon, a talented driver as well as a graphics and vinyl wrap guru. The multi-time Street Stock feature winner already in 2019 jumped into a truck that changed hands twice recently and put it on the podium.
Baggett continues to be Mr. Consistency, wheeling the No. 3 machine to a solid second-place finish in the qualifier before his hard-charging third-place run in the feature. His ability to adapt to a new track was clearly visible at South Texas Speedway.
“I think John was out there in his own zip code tonight,” Baggett said after the feature. “Our truck was just horrible in Hot Laps, but we changed some tire pressures and moved some weight around a bit and it came right back to life in the qualifier. I’m pleased overall, and am thrilled we could race this weekend. I’m selling my Street Stock this week and going all-in with the trucks. I love them.”
Baggett represents an amazing core group of series supporters worthy of mention and thanks, including All In Designs, Russell Gordon, Russ Parker Construction and new presenting sponsor Military Talent Source. The TDTS is gaining traction, thanks to those who believe in the concept.
Next up for the Texas Dirt Truck Series, presented by Military Talent Source, is a return to the friendly confines of I-37 Speedway in beautiful Pleasanton, Texas on Saturday, June 29. With the rainy season now past us in south Texas, it’s time to apply the sunscreen, hydrate heavily and get set to go racing. It’s already starting to heat up.
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