MANY, Louisiana (Sept. 16, 2022) — Youth and exuberance won out over age and treachery, with rising star CJ Howell leading BOM Bank Factory Stock qualifying action as officials hosted Night No. 1 of their annual Fall Southern Showdown on Friday evening at Sabine Speedway.
Howell, of Dry Prong, La., led a talent-filled field of 53 Factory Stock entries in overall passing points after two rounds of qualifying heats. Howell won his heat in second-round action, with Ben Merchant, Dylan Elasko, Justin Whitehead and Joshua Martin also winning their respective second-round heats.
In first-round action, John Parker Jr., Bryan Cook, Mark Underwood Jr., Bo Perry and Cody Myers all won their respective heats. Factory Stock teams are seeking a $5,000 winner's purse in Saturday night's A Main. There will be a pair of C Features and two B Features to set the field for a 50-lap A Main.
Limited Modifieds are also a big part of the Fall Southern Showdown, and they ran two sets of heats on Friday evening, as well. Tracy Denby Jr., Adam Willis and Mark Underwood Jr. all earned wins in first-round qualifiers, while Ben Leedy, RC Hagan and Michael King Jr. won second-round heats.
Along with that intense qualifying action for Factory Stock and Limited Modified teams, the program also included a full program for the FWD warriors. Shreveport's Jack Dupont notched the 16th win of his outstanding 2022 season after starting fourth on the 15-car grid.
Dupont drove past early leader Cory Giles following an early restart and was never challenged. Danny Bryant finished right where he started in second, while Luke Dupont charged up from last to third with an impressive performance. Robert Vanderwaters and Michael Hudson completed the top five.
“The last time they had a cool trophy like this here, I broke while I was leading,” an honest and proud Dupont told announcer Joshua Bell in Joel's Auto Sales/Powell and Sons Flooring Victory Lane. “I was pretty bummed out about that. Tonight, the car was strong the whole race. If it stays this good for next weekend at Boothill, it will cap a great season.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the FWD feature were Giles, Robert Barber, Brandon Harrod, Chris Burrows and Michelle Tedder. Two cautions slowed the pace (laps 1, 8), both for minor incidents.
Just under 100 entries filled the pits on Friday evening, a strong turnout for promoter Bubba Jones. With over 50 Factory Stock and 30 Limited Modified teams going after the big purse, action in Friday's heats and tonight's A Main was guaranteed to be intense. Sabine is a real hot-spot for both divisions.
You can replay all of the action from Friday's Night No. 1 of the Fall Southern Showdown at Sabine Speedway 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 short track racing content found anywhere online.
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By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer. Photo By: Austin Wilkins