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DayMotorSports.com Race Recap: Begnaud earns Late Model win at STRR

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Dec. 9, 2022) —  Rising star Beau Begnaud has always known how to win big races, it's why he's one of the hottest commodities on the talent-filled Texas short track scene. And while it may be mid-December, he still carrying a ton of momentum as we close out another year.

Begnaud earned a wire-to-wire victory in Owen Pittman's new All Star Crate Late Model Series, as the high-powered division headline Qualifying Night of the annual South Texas Shootout on Friday night at South Texas Race Ranch. 

Two rounds of Heats were held for the Limited Modified, Factory Stock, Pure Stock and EMod classes, while Heats and features were contested for Late Models and Mini Mods. Michael Lindsey was the surprise winner in Mini Mods after James Parks III suffered mechanical failure on the final lap. 

Begnaud, of Spring, started to the outside of polesitter Ray Allen Kulhanek in the ASCLMS A Main, and quickly jumped out to the lead. His patience was tested frequently, as numerous incidents plagued the feature. Yet he held on for top honors, with Kulhanek settling for second and Kevin Sitton in third. 

Louisiana veteran Shane Hebert recovered from an early spin to claim fourth, while Tracy Denby Sr. completed the top five. Begnaud earned $1,000 for his efforts on Friday evening. 

“The car was still a little tight in the feature,” Begnaud told world class announcer Rodney Rodriguez in Sames Ford Victory Lane. “But we worked on it all night, and it improved. The track started blowing off a little bit, and the car got better the longer we ran. 

“I didn't know if those cautions would ever end, it got pretty frustrating. We stuck it out, and were able to get it done. I've been down here a couple of times just to watch, but this was actually my first time driving a car here. I'm glad we could come away with a victory tonight, it feels pretty amazing.”  

Finishing sixth through 10th in the All Star Crate Late Model Series A Main were Wyatt Wilkerson, Brandon Brzozowski, Kody Hardage, Ryan McDonald and GW Egbert. Six cautions slowed the pace, all for minor incidents. Adding Crate Late Models to the South Texas Shootout was a great idea. 

Marcus Mikulencak, Tracy Denby Jr., Steven Whiteaker Jr., Brian Rye, Eric Cegielski and Ray Allen Kulhanek won their respective Heats in first-round qualifying for the topless Limited Mods. Zane Goff, Jared Maupin, Steven Whiteaker Jr., Shane Hoefling, Johnny Torres, Daniel Preston and Cody Smith carried the checkered flag in second-round action. 

When it was time for Factory Stock to qualify, the depth of talent on hand cranked up the heat. In Round 1, Hector Aguirre, Memphis Villarreal, Frank Okrulik and Cameron Starry won their Heats,  while Tryton Temple, Cody Tesch, Dalton Faulkner, Dylan Elasko and Chuck Perry won in Round 2. 

In Pure Stock, GW Hessong led the way with a pair of Heat wins. Donald Cain and James Dear also won first-round Heats, while Steven Whiteaker III and EJ Gilpin won their second-round Heats. In EMod qualifying action, Jett Johnson and Tyler Gilpin won their respective Heats. 

Teams from all over the Great State of Texas, Louisiana and points beyond filled the pit area on Friday evening. With a whopping 46 Limited Modifieds leading the way, 143 entries spread across six classes put on a show for fans in the stands and those watching at home. 

You can replay all of the action from Friday's Qualifying Night for the South Texas Shootout at South Texas Race Ranch with a subscription at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 300 events already streamed Live this year, its been home to some of the best short track 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. 

With new Apps on the way, 2023 season promises to deliver more great broadcasts on a variety of platforms from high-quality venues than ever before. Join the growing RaceOnTexas family today, watch tonight's exciting A Mains from Corpus Christi and get ready for the Holidays in fine style. 

By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer

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