Old memories shared, new ones made at Cardinal’s inaugural Sam Hodges Memorial

Colby Deming led start to finish in winning the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature at Cardinal Speedway’s first annual Sam Hodges Memorial. (Photo by Jill Thompson)

EUNICE, N.M. (Sept. 14) – Already pretty good through August, Colby Deming saw his season pick up some more at Cardinal Speedway’s Sam Hodges Memorial.

Deming led all 40 laps of Sunday’s main event for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, earning $3,055 for a win that mattered more than the money. 

“I’d known Sam and his son Cody is one of my best friends. It was an honor to be able to win that race,” he said following the event, held in honor of the late track owner, promoter and driver.

Deming drew the pole start, held off challenges from Michael Sheen early on and was still in front when the race was halted at midway for a mandatory pit stop. 

Cautions kept lapped traffic from becoming a factor in the second half of the contest. Jason Rogers made his way to second but couldn’t catch Deming. 

Michael Sheen, Don Sheen and Cary White rounded out the top five.

“Nobody made it easy for me, that’s for sure,” Deming said. “Cardinal is our home track and we started kind of slow there this season, but we won a couple times leading up to Sunday. We’ve been pretty good toward the end of the year.” 

Chris Elliott earned $2,055, plus a $500 bonus as the leader at halfway in winning the IMCA Modified feature. Trent Crawford’s Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod victory paid $1,755 and Gerald Spalding Jr.’s IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock win was good for $1,055. 

Elliott led every lap en route to the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying victory after starting outside row one and beating teammate Cory Davis around the oval when lap one was scored. 

“My car was really good, probably the best it’s ever been at Eunice. I was cautious about tire wear,” Elliott said. 

The win was his third in five Cardinal starts this season. Colin Deming, Davis, Toby Herring and Will Poston were next.

His IMCA Modified feature win at Cardinal’s Sam Hodges Memorial put Chris Elliott on the ballot for the 2020 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational. (Photo by Jill Thompson)

Making just his fourth start of the season and second this year at Cardinal, Crawford used a setup Hodges had recommended to him at Abilene’s Southern Challenge 10 years or so ago. 

He’d pulled away from the pack by midway, then got the win just half a car length ahead of Tyler Cook following a late restart. 

“I’d know Sam for many years,” Crawford said. “He’s really the one who planted the seeds for IMCA racing in the area.”

Chasing Crawford and Cook across the stripe were Ryan Thomas, Roger Pierce and Heath Herrington. 

Spalding ran an arm’s length away from Jimmy Breeding early in the Hobby Stock feature. Once in front, he stayed up next to the cushion and led to the end of the 25-lapper.

“I’ve won the Ice Breaker, the Southern Challenge, the Sheen Memorial and the Hobby Stock Shootout. I wanted this one more than any of them,” he declared. “I grew up cleaning Sam’s shop. He was a friend to the end. His legacy lives on in the young men and young ladies he got interested in racing. I am one of the many.”

Breeding, John Davis, Wesley Mayer and Kevin Griffin completed the Hobby Stock top five. 

Feature Results

Stock Cars – 1. Colby Deming; 2. Jason Rogers; 3. Michael Sheen; 4. Don Sheen; 5. Cary White; 6. Travis Graves; 7. R.C. Combs; 8. Jody York; 9. Mark Lord; 10. Jeremy Woolley; 11. Tony Hill; 12. Cody Hodges; 13. Rob Moseley; 14. Mack Sealy; 15. Shawn McCarty; 16. Dustin White; 17. Jason Josselyn; 18. Tim Pfalzgraf; 19. Justin Graves; 20. Justin White; 21. Jake White.

Modifieds – 1. Chris Elliott; 2. Colin Deming; 3. Cory Davis; 4. Toby Herring; 5. Will Poston; 6. Jamie Newton; 7. Jamie Newton; 8. Roy Don Mason; 9. Joel King; 10. Dean Deming; 11. Kade Ogle; 12. Caleb Stone; 13. Vince Ogle; 14. Butch Reid; 15. Brian Ray Flowers; 16. Michael Maraschick; 17. Bob Sikes; 18. Kevin Brown; 19. Stormy Derryberry; 20. Donald Banker; 21. Neal Flowers. 

Southern SportMods – 1. Trent Crawford; 2. Tyler Cook; 3. Ryan Thomas; 4. Roger Pierce; 5. Heath Herrington; 6. Zach Wisdom; 7. William Beckham; 8. Justin Johnson; 9. Tanner Houston; 10. Bailey Cooper; 11. Shane Elliott; 12. Brian Heard; 13. Chris Stewart; 14. Kyle Wisdom; 15. Wally Reeves; 16. Garrett King; 17. Jason Mendoza. 

Hobby Stocks – 1. Gerald Spalding Jr.; 2. Jimmy Breeding III; 3. John Davis; 4. Wesley Mayer; 5. Kevin Griffin; 6. B.L. Rogers; 7. David Males; 8. Cory Stone; 9. Mark Turner; 10. Chris Dosher; 11. Ashton Hayes; 12. Don Jones; 13. Matthew Machen; 14. Eddie Johnson; 15. Jeremy Sprinkle; 16. Shawn Stone.