IMCA Modifieds join Saturday shows at Gator Motorplex a Texas venue is home track for Southern United Sprint Series
WILLIS, Texas – Newly-sanctioned Gator Motorplex will be both a weekly home to IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds and the home track for IMCA Eagle Motorsports RaceSaver Sprint Cars following the Southern United Sprint Series beginning this season.
Opening night at the ¼-mile dirt oval is March 7. Veteran promoter Randy Waller anticipates the Modifieds will duplicate the success the Sprint Series has enjoyed during its three years with RaceSaver.
“Modifieds in this area have struggled. We’ve tried this and we’ve tried that,” Waller said. “I decided we had to do something to bring them back to the area and contacted IMCA.”
Gator will be part of IMCA’s Razor Chassis South Central Region for Modifieds. The Southern United Sprint Series will travel to eight different tracks in Texas and Louisiana, racing every other week.
“We grew our Sprint Car class from nothing. It was popular for a while when it was carbureted 360s and then it went to zero,” said Waller. “Once I introduced the 305 RaceSaver rules and stated this is what we were going to go by, our car count average has gone from three the first night to nine at the end of the first year. Last season it was 27 and we topped 40 twice.”
Local track points will be awarded to Modified drivers through the end of September. The Sprint series schedule is still being finalized and will be posted on the www.southernunitedsprints.netwebsite.
Banking has been increased on the straightaways at Gator, after Waller “just decided to do something different.”
“We’re in the entertainment business. When we do a Sprint Car show, we don’t just do a three-wide parade lap. We fire off a cannon, we’ve got fireworks, a T-shirt launch and lasers,” he said. “We’ve had to think outside the box and it’s working for us. We put on a 20, 25-minute fireworks display on July 4 and it’s our biggest show of the year spectator-wise.”
"This is my 15th year of promoting and running Gator Motorplex,” he added, “and it's going to be a full schedule with several special events for this 2015 race season."
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NASCAR NATIONWIDE ROOKIE - RYAN REED #16 SAID, SO FAR HE THIS ONE HAS BEEN THE MOST FUN AT THE DIRT TRACK FILMING AT GATOR MOTORPLEX. THIS WAS A FIRST TIME EXPERIENCE WITH THEIR ADVENTURE.
Houston Fire Capt. Bill Dowling recovering from another surgery at Brooke Medical Center
Houston Fire Capt. Bill Dowling had a setback in his recovery from a suffering brain injury and burning more than 30 percent of his body after serving a deadly call on a Southwest Houston hotel restaurant May 31, 2013.
Injuries from the fire also resulted in Dowling’s legs being amputated, and due to a bone infection, surgeons at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio on Monday removed another four inches from his left leg.
But on the same day, supporters presented a $5,453 check raised from an Aug. 30 fundraiser organized by Firefighters Helping Firefighters and the Gator Motorplex racetrack.
The money was raised to buy Dowling a recreational vehicle that could better accommodate his physical disability. Dowling struggles getting around for long distance trips, and the RV would allow him to attend his daughter’s select volleyball games.
It took a gesture from U.S. Congressman Ted Poe, R-Texas, to get Dowling into the San Antonio Level 1 military trauma center, according to his wife Jacki Dowling.
Arthur Hermiz of Gator Motorplex, who helped organize the event after following Dowling’s health progress through social media, said even though he doesn’t know the fire captain, it was important to show appreciation for the sacrifice of firefighters at the Southwest Inn last year, when four died and 16 more were injured, including Dowling.
“I don’t know Bill from anybody else but he was a firefighter that was injured and to me, the city of Houston wasn’t doing enough for him,” Hermiz said. “So, for as much as he sacrificed for us, it was the right thing for us to do something for him.
“Somebody asked us why we were doing it someone we didn’t know, and we told them that he didn’t know anybody going into the hotel.
“He went in there to help people he didn’t know and he got hurt. It could’ve my family in that building. Firefighters sacrifice for us every day and when one gets hurt, we need to take care of them.”
Hermiz contacted Al Goebel, founding member and vice president of Firefighters Helping Firefighters, to help organize what turned out to be a silent auction, live auction and the selling of T-shirts and car decals.
Firefighters from all across the county, as well as neighboring Harris and Walker counties, attended the fundraiser.
Protec Ambulance Transport, a private ambulance company based in Willis, picked Dowling up from his home in Spring so he could attend the event at the racetrack.
Goebel said the focus now is getting Dowling back to as healthy as possible. Jacki Dowling in May called her husband “a fighter.”
“It’s a huge deal to get him at Brooke’s,” Goebel said. “They’re used to seeing these traumatic injuries like he has.”
Article Written By Brandon K. Scott The Conroe Courier
The Southern United Sprints is currently in it’s second season, but based on car counts, you would have no idea this is a relatively new class of cars. Randy Waller, owner/promotor, has done a tremendous job building a affordable sprint car class that is now touring across Texas and Louisiana. Recently the Southern United Sprints worked with EMSA (John Coyle) to bring the mini-sprint’s into the sanction. The recent addition of the mini sprint division will bring along the 600cc “A” class, Restrictor class, and the Junior Sprints. This allows drivers to start at a young age and progress all the way into a full size sprint car.
We had the chance to sit down and talk with Randy Waller who gave a lot more detail on the 305 and Mini Sprint division of the Southern United Sprints. You can listen to the completely interview on above Link.
Randy also owns and operates Gator Motorplex in Willis, Texas. Gator just came off a massive sprint car show last saturday. The 3rd Annual Nolan Wren Memorial race brought 92 sprint cars out in support. This was a great race that also featured the ASCS sprint cars. Needless to say, Sprint Car racing in Texas is alive and well.
You can get more information on both Gator and the Southern United Sprints online at www.GatorMotorplex.net.