Daniel, Tidwell, Honeycutt notch key wins at Heart O’ Texas

By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer. Photo by: Southern Sass

ELM MOTT, Texas (March 26, 2021) — Touring series veteran Patrik Daniel, open-wheel star Cody Tidwell and professional short track racer Kaden Honeycutt posted feature wins on Friday, as Heart O' Texas Speedway completed its fourth weekly program of the season on the high-banked 1/4-mile.

Jason Batt (IMCA Stock Cars), Wade White (Outlaw Street Stock) and Ryan Hopkins (Factory Stock) were also feature winners on a warm and summer-like evening at the historic central Texas oval.

Daniel, of Wills Point, Texas, was awarded the victory in the visiting DFW Crate Late Model series after apparent winner 'Little' Robbie Starnes and runner-up Honeycutt (doing double duty) failed post-race technical inspection.

Chris Bragg (Springtown) and Dean Abbey (Boyd) finished second and third, while Austin Theiss (Hockley) and Dustin Woods (Forney) completed the top five. Chase Allen, of Midlothian, led the first 12 laps before pulling into the infield with mechanical issues.

Steven Whiteaker Jr. was also robbed of a solid finish when Nate Jantz spun out right in front of him on lap 12, with the resulting damage ending his night. Finishing sixth through 10th in the Late Model A Main were Donnie Shipp, Kody Hardage, Chase Doughty, Billy Meazell and Anthony Boatman.

Three cautions slowed the pace, none for serious incidents. Nineteen cars took the green flag, while Allen, Starnes and Daniel all won their respective qualifying heats. The Crate Lates blasted around the high banks at a blistering speed, with Allen logging laps in the mid 13-second bracket at one point.

Tidwell, of Round Rock, led all 20 laps in a caution-free feature for the IMCA Modifieds. Chris Morris (Taylor) and recent winner Kevin Green (Waco) finished second and third, while Matt Guillaume (Haslet) and Jon White (Red Oak ) rounded out the top five.

“I was up on the wheel tonight,” Tidwell said in Victory Lane. “I saw Gabe (Tucker) about halfway through, and I knew it was time to pick up the pace. Then we ran into lapped cars, so I had to be sure I didn't throw it all away. It turned out fine, and it sure feels good to be standing here in Victory Lane.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the IMCA Modified A Main were William Gould, Lance Hanson Jr., Wes Dulock, Steve Askew and Donald Banker. The Modifieds are quite a spectacle at Heart O' Texas.

Honeycutt, of Bridge City, races all over the country. On Friday, he took the lead from TJ Green with an outside pass at lap 10 and pulled away for top honors in the IMCA Southern Sport Mod feature. GW Egbert settled for second, while Chris Cogburn filled out the podium.

Brandon Geurin and Green (both of Robinson, TX) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Two cautions slowed the pace, one at lap eight for a three-car melee, the other at lap 18 when cars piled up down in Turn 4. With a two-lap sprint to the checkers, Honeycutt was off to Victory Lane.

“That was amazing,” Honeycutt said after his second race of the night. “It was definitely a good tune-up to run the Late Model race before this one, knowing where to run. I figured the top didn't come in for the Sport Mods, but I used it when I passed TJ and it paid off. I just can't thank everyone enough.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Sport Mod feature were Pat McGuire, Kyle Wilkins, Damon Hammond, Tommy Davis Jr. and James Hanusch. Other notable finishers included Maine native and Lamesa resident Chad Heath, who salvaged a 16th-place finish in his first-ever visit to Heart O' Texas.

In earlier feature action, Hopkins came from 19th on the 22-car grid to notch his Factory Stock victory. Batt found Victory Lane once again after a scary incident earlier in the week, after his finger got caught between a coil spring and a spring bucket when his race car fell off the jack-stands.

Luckily, his wife quickly came to the rescue and helped to free the injured driver from his machine. It's been said that winning eases pain, so for Batt — at least for a little while, he could focus on something else. There's always far more to the story than just who finished first, second and third.

Heart O' Texas Speedway gets back into action next Friday night, April 2, with a full card of short track competition. Subscribe to SpeedPass at RaceOnTexas.com today to see every lap of Friday night's racing program. RaceOnTexas delivers more Live races than any other media outlet in the deep south.

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