MANY, Louisiana (July 8, 2022) — Regional Late Model stalwart Luke Bennett, open-wheel veteran Ben Leedy and stock car ace John Parker Jr. all won features in their respective divisions, as officials hosted a full program of weekly racing on Friday evening at Sabine Speedway.
Bennett powered to victory in the 20-lap A Main for Crate Late Models; Leedy went wire-to-wire in the Limited Modified feature, while Parker prevailed in a hotly-contested A Main for Factory Stocks.
Robert Vanderwaters (FWD) was also a feature winner on a hot, sultry night for racing.
Bennett, of Ethel, Louisiana, led all 20 laps of his feature in convincing fashion. Points leader Stacy Veuleman put in another impressive effort, charging from sixth on the 21-car grid to finish second. Teenage sensation Barron Prince, of Haughton, filled out the podium in third.
Austin Dupont (Bossier) crossed the stripe in fourth, while veteran Tony Lindsey (Keithville) made it all the way up from 12th on the grid to finish fifth.
“We drove about three or three and a half hours to get here from where we live,” Bennett told veteran announcer Joshua Bell in Joel's Auto Sales/Powell & Sons Victory Lane. “We bought this MB Customs car this year, and we'd never been to this track. It's all new for us, but it sure turned out perfect tonight.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Foy Motors Crate Late Model A Main were Garrett Gibson, Chad Dupont, Tyler Burnett, Garren Lindsey and Michael King Jr. Four cautions slowed the pace (laps 4, 12, 12, 16), all for minor incidents. The Crate Lates are always lightning-fast at Sabine Speedway.
Leedy, of Jonesboro, started on the pole after wining his qualifying Heat and checked out on the field. David Edwards charged from fifth on the 13-car grid to finish second, while Conner Williams filled out the podium. Bob Kellogg (Natchitoches) and Neil Standifer (Simpson) completed the top five.
“I felt them coming behind me tonight,” Leedy said after his second win in the last three weeks. “I was trying not to spin out, it was getting pretty slick out there. It may have been a little boring up front, but that's a good thing when you're leading the feature. I want to thank everybody who helps me get here.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the American Championship Series (ACS) Limited Modified feature were Logan Crayon, Will Owens, Hayden Beckham, Tyler Fogelman and Mark Pittaluga. Two cautions slowed the pace (laps 6, 9), one when Barron Prince came to a stop, and one for a spin by Pittaluga.
Parker, of Dry Prong, started third on the 21-car grid, drove around the outside of early leader Dalton Dubois coming off Turn 4 to take command at lap four and hung on for top honors. Joshua Martin powered his way from fifth on the grid to finish second, while Dubois settled for third.
Daniel Jones (Provencal) and Dewayne Rains (Anacoco) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“We finally made a change in chassis, and I wish I would have done it a long time ago,” Parker said as he stood next to a brand new car. “This is our first night out with this new Outlaw car from Justin Whitehead, and it is amazing. I want to thank my Daddy; if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be here. He works his tail off all week, every week. I'll also thank Justin for getting this car ready so quickly.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the BOM Bank Factory Stock A Main were Dakota Wyatt, Tyler Dubois, Bryan Cook, Ben Merchant and Dewayne Turner. Three cautions slowed the pace, all for minor spins. The Factory Stock division is loaded with talent in this part of Louisiana.
Sixty-five teams were on had Friday evening spread across four divisions. Officials cranked out 10 Heats in short order, took a brief intermission and proceeded to deliver four entertaining feature races. Just like it's been in Texas, high temperatures and humidity made it tough on race teams all evening.
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By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer