DayMotorSports.com Race Recap: Abbey, Hartline, Smith win at Rocket Raceway

PETTY, Texas (July 16, 2022) — Veteran Late Model pilot Dean Abbey, regional open-wheel stalwart Shannon Hartline and stock car ace Michael Smith won features in the respective divisions, as officials presented a full card of racing headlined by the American Crate Late Model Series (ACLMS) on Saturday at Rocket Raceway Park.

Abbey powered to victory in a caution-free A Main for the visiting ACLMS teams; Hartline prevailed in a hotly-contested Limited Modified feature; while Smith was triumphant in a highly-competitive Factory Stock tilt.

Matt Riskey (USRA Stock Cars); Corey Whitworth (EcoMods); and Maguire Poole (Jr. Limiteds) were also feature winners on a hot and steamy summer night for short track racing in North Texas.

Abbey, of Boyd, started third on a 16-car grid and quickly jumped out front, leading all 20 laps of his feature. Late Model master Patrik Daniel started fourth and crossed the stripe in second, while Tony Lindsey made the haul over from Louisiana pay off with a respectable third-place finish.

Philip Houston (Odessa) and Garren Lindsey (Keithville, La.) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

“These Late Models are a blast,” Abbey told speedway co-promoter Kevin Rogers in Ballistic Trailer Sales Victory Lane. “When I hit lapped traffic, I just had to wait for the right opportunities and hope I didn't get passed in the process.

“I knew it was possible that PD (Patrik Daniel) would find a hole that I didn't see. I was just trying to find somewhere to go, but they were two-wide in front of me. I had to be patient, then make something happen when the time was right. Fortunately, it worked out for us tonight.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the American Crate Late Model Series A Main were Tom Earl III, Brandon Ball, Tom Earl, Dustin Woods and Donny Miller. Abbey's margin of victory over Daniel was a whopping 1.973 seconds, as he had them all covered from the moment they waved the green flag.

Hartline, of Ivanhoe, started on the pole in his feature and led every lap in convincing fashion. Billy Brierton, of Greenville, started seventh on the 16-car grid and powered his way up to second, while Bailey Dosser started sixth and finished third.

Casey Fowler (Grand Saline) and James Farmer (Sanger) completed the top five.

“We're getting it there,” Hartline said. “I can't thank all my family enough for the help, and all of my sponsors. It's been tough this year, we lost the Hillbilly last October. Now we're here in Victory Lane, and we're going to do the Hillbilly Shuffle, man.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Coston & Sons Ready Mix Limited Modified feature were Tuff Forester, Randy Janway, Austin Dotson, Patrick Fields and Brian Orr. Two cautions slowed the pace (laps 3, 11), both for minor incidents. Hartline's margin of victory over Brierton was .845 seconds.

Smith, of Paris, started on the pole of his feature and led every lap in dominant style. Points leader Deaon Redmon started fourth and crossed the stripe in second, while Alan Screws finished right where he started in third. Marty Hicks (Powderly) and Brian McHenry (Quinlan) rounded out the top five.

“It felt great out there tonight,” Smith said in Victory Lane. “My hat is off to you guys for track prep, we finally have one that puts the driver back in the equation and not just the engine. We had a real good start to the season, winning three in a row.

“But then we had some mechanical failures, blew up a motor, that kind of thing, and just couldn't catch a break. Finally, we got everything worked out and back on track. My son's girlfriend drew us a number 1 this week, so that really helped out a lot. We started out front, held the bottom and just went for it.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Byline Surveying Factory Stock A Main were Brandon Bettis, Brandon Stowell, Brian Holland, Bobby Glover and Billy White. Only one caution slowed the pace at lap six for a minor spin in Turn 4. Smith's margin of victory was a scant .359 seconds.

The dynamic promotional duo of Kevin Rogers and Kevin Sustaire continues to impress at Rocket Raceway Park. They drew 89 entries spread across six divisions on Saturday, and knocked out 12 heats and six features in a timely fashion. The former 82 Speedway has a vibrant new lease on life in 2022.

You can replay all of the action from Saturday night's American Crate Late Model Series program at Rocket Raceway Park with a subscription at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 350 events on the Live streaming schedule this year, it's home to some of the best content found anywhere online.

When you sign up today, select one of three options (OnDemand, ASCS National Sprints Only, or All Access), choose your favorite/hometown track and start enjoying great content while supporting your local track even when you can't attend in person.

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

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