MANY, Louisiana (Sept. 15, 2023) — Regional open-wheel stalwart Tracy Denby Jr. and Texas oval master Dalton Faulkner each won features in their respective divisions, as Bubba Jones and his staff hosted Night 1 of the Fall Southern Showdown Friday at Sabine Speedway.
Denby Jr. powered to a $1,000 payday in the USRA Limited Modified A Main; while Faulkner put on a clinic with his dominant performance in the $750-to-win USRA Factory Stock feature. Cory Giles (FWD) and Josh Worn (Sportsters) were also feature winners in a full program.
Denby Jr., of Vidor, Texas, started second on a 22-car grid, inherited the lead at lap two when Adam Willis' car broke and pulled steadily away to earn top honors. Mickey Steele drove up from fifth to claim second, while Joel Couvillion filled out the podium.
Conner Williams (Sibley) and Ethan Bailes (Elizabeth) completed the top five.
“The car was really good tonight,” Denby told veteran announcer Zach Clark in Victory Lane. “We tried out a new shock package this weekend. I'd like to give Darrell at PRP a big shout out. This thing was a rocket. I hated to see Adam break, that was about to be a good race.
“I need to thank my wife for letting me spend all the hours it takes in the shop, and my Dad for helping me keep this thing together. This is a big win for us.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the USRA Limited Modified A Main were Chad Hughes, Colton Davis, Kale Murphrey, Jason Downey and Danny Hebert. Three cautions slowed the pace (laps 1, 1, 14), all for minor incidents. Denby's margin of victory was a comfy 2.047 seconds.
Couvillion (making his first start of 2023), Steele, Hughes and Adam Willis won their respective qualifying Heats earlier in the evening, while Trevor Strother and R.C. Hagan won the two B Mains.
Faulkner, of Cut and Shoot, Texas, started on the pole of his 22-car field and led all 20 laps in convincing fashion. Dakoda Wyatt gave chase throughout yet settled for a distant second, while Vic Case filled out the podium with a solid performance.
Daniel Jones (Provencal) and Matthew Lindsey (Jonesboro) rounded out the top five.
“I like tracks like this, they have a little character,” Faulkner told Clark in Victory Lane after earning his seventh win of 2023. “If we can do this again tomorrow night, it will be a hell of a weekend.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the 20-lap Factory Stock feature were Dalton Dubois, Donald Cain, Logan Davis, Taten Perkins (who drove up from 17th); and Hayden Brown (who started 19th). Four cautions slowed the pace; one for Toby Airhart's rollover, and another when John Parker hit the wall.
Wyatt, Case, C.J Howell, Faulkner and Josh Martin won their respective qualifying Heats, while Toby Airhart and Mickey Steele won the two B Mains.
Night 1 of the Fall Southern Showdown drew an impressive 108 entries spread among four divisions. Led by the mighty Factory Stocks with 42 teams on hand and Limited Mods with 37, talent lurked in every corner of the pit area on Friday evening.
Fans were treated to two and three-wide action all night. Officials cranked out 13 Heats and four B Mains in short order before hosting four exciting A Mains.
Throughout the 2023 season, Jones and his staff played host to several highly-entertaining programs, and they were all run with exemplary efficiency. Loyal fans at Sabine are rewarded with great shows.
You can replay all of the action from Night No. 1 of the annual Fall Southern Showdown at Sabine Speedway (and catch Night 2 this evening) with a subscription at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 400 events on the Live steaming schedule in 2023, it's home to some of the best content available.
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By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer. Photo By: Austin Wilkins