Morris, Kulhanek claim IMCA Mod, Ltd. Mod wins
EDNA, Texas (Nov. 21, 2020) — Newly-crowned points champion Collin Hodges capped a stellar season over the weekend, fending off a challenge from top-ranked Dalton Faulkner in the closing laps to win the $4,500-to-win Clash for Factory Stocks Saturday night at Texana Raceway Park.
Faulkner settled for second, while Donald Cain Jr. filled out the podium in third. Daniel Preston and Corey Babbitt completed the top five in a wild 35-lap A Main. Faulkner took the green in fourth on a 26-car grid, but led the first 26 laps in his familiar No. 27 entry.
Chris Morris (IMCA Modified) and Ray Allen Kulhanek (Limited Modified) were also feature winners on the final night of the season at Texana for promoter Owen Pittman and his staff.
It wasn't all clear sailing for Hodges after he took command, as Jacob Wilburn turned him around on a restart at lap 30. With Wilburn sent to the rear and no longer a threat, the key was keeping heavy-hitters like Faulkner and Cain in his rear-view mirror.
“I needed to make a statement that I own this place,” Hodges said in Victory Lane. “There were cars all over the place tonight. I think moving up off the bottom for a while helped me. I finally found the right line, and it paid off. I knew those guys were coming for me, but we had a car that could hold them off.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in The 2020 Clash were David Lege Jr., Jamie Dear, Wilburn, Tanner Whitmire and Shawn Graham. Seven cautions slowed the pace, none for serious incidents. Nine of the 26 starters finished on the lead lap, while Hodge's margin of victory was a scant .406 seconds.
Other notable finishers in the A Main include Steve Whiteaker Jr. (18th); prerace favorite Neil Kemp (19th); Jesse Sandoval (21st) and Aaron Leddy (25th). Whiteaker made his exit at lap 23 with rear brake rotors glowing brightly. He and Kemp were both contenders until forced to retire early.
In earlier feature action, Morris, of Taylor, Texas, drive his now-famous No. 94 entry inside of Ryan Slott after just one lap and cruised home to a dominant victory. He survived two restarts (both with just one lap remaining in a 25-lap A Main) and held off pole-sitter Matt Guillaume for top honors.
Garrett Gregory filled out the podium in third, while Raymond McSpadden and Greg Dinsmore finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Three cautions slowed the pace, two for spins and one for a car stalled out on the backstretch. Fifteen of the 24 starters completed all 25 laps.
“We really struggled at the Duel in the Desert last weekend out in Vegas,” Morris said. “But tonight the car was on a rail. Those late cautions made it tough, I just knew I had to hit my marks in Turns 1 and 2. We made some contact there once and knocked the toe out, but were still able to get it done.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Modified A Main were William Gould, David Goode Jr., Craig Oakes, Jared Maupin and Cody Leonard. With a nice green-flag run from lap 2 through lap 24, Morris set a blistering pace. The ground-pounding Modifieds were at full thunder on Saturday night in Edna.
Kulhanek, of Magnolia, Texas, put in a flawless performance in the caution-free Limited Modified A Main. The veteran wheel-man drove inside of the ever-talented GW Hessong on lap three and promptly said goodbye to the field. John Whittington settled for second, while Matthew Day crossed the stripe third.
“I was able to get out early and set my own pace,” Kulhanek said. “I just tried to stay smooth and keep those guys behind me. Luckily, we had a strong car capable of running away from them tonight.”
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