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DayMotorSports.com Race Recap: Dillard, Honeycutt, Howell win at Bryan Mize Memorial

PETTY, Texas (Sept. 3, 2022) — Regional dirt oval icon Cade Dillard, versatile driving talent Kayden Honeycutt and Stock car veteran CJ Howell all won features in their respective divisions, as officials presented the eighth annual Bryan Mize Memorial on Saturday at Rocket Raceway Park.

Dillard powered to victory in a 40-lap A Main for the American Racer Modified Series; Honeycutt prevailed in a 20-lap tilt for USRA Limited Modifieds, while Howell was triumphant in a thrilling 20-lap tussle for Factory Stock warriors.

Gary 'Peanut' Fitch joined the list of feature winners with his victory in a talent-filled EcoMod feature.

Dillard, of Robeline, Louisiana, started 10th on the 26-car grid and wasted little time getting up into contention. Max Eddie Thomas led the first eight laps before Tyler Davis took command. Davis led until lap 23 when his car suffered a mechanical failure, handing the lead to Chris Henigan.

Dillard drove underneath Henigan coming off Turn 2 and took control of the race at lap 26, survived a late-race restart with just three laps remaining and pulled away to collect the $8,000 winner's purse and a big, beautiful trophy. Henigan hung on for second, while Thomas filled out the podium.

Touring Modified veteran Jack Sartain (Terrell) crossed the stripe in in fourth, while Jared Russell (Wagoner, OK) charged up from 15th on the grid to round out the top five.

“We've been able to win some pretty big races in my career, ” Dillard said. “To win a race of this magnitude in a car that we built on our own is pretty cool. We put a lot of hours in these things; we just try to make sure we build the best cars possible for our customers. We're learning every time out.

“It really helped to be able to take that last restart in second. I was behind Chris; he's about the best there is in situations like that. I figured he'd be hard to stay with, I was fortunate to catch him in a little mistake there and just tried not to make any myself.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Bryan Mize Memorial 40-lap ARMS feature were Josh Landers, Manuel Williams II, Joe Duvall, who drove up from 16th on the grid, Troy Taylor, who started 23rd, and Steve Holzkamper, of Gentry, Arkansas. Three cautions slowed the pace, all for minor incidents.

Honeycutt, of Aleda, was on a tear earlier this year in Factory Stock, yet on Saturday he showcased his skills in an open-wheel machine. Honeycutt inherited the lead at lap 10 when Tommy Davis Jr. was caught up in a multi-car incident. Cody King drove from seventh on the 24-car grid to finish second, while local favorite Shannon Hartline filled out the podium.

Longwood, Louisiana, veteran J.D. Ammons was on fire all evening, charging up from 15th on the grid to cross the stripe in fourth. Jonathan Powers (Iowa Park, TX) put in a stellar effort, wheeling his way up from 18th to secure a solid fifth-place finish.

“This is my first time here at this race track, and I absolutely love it,” Honeycutt said. “I can't wait to come back again in a couple of weeks. I hate that I couldn't race it out with Tommy (Davis) straight up; I chose the wrong lane on that restart and Rowdy got by me, then those two tangled up.

“We still got it done; I felt like we were fast enough to win the race. So here we are, and I'm thankful.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Coston and Son Ready Mix USRA Limited Modified A Main were Dalton Ragsdale, Aaron Roy, Billy Brierton, Crate Late Model powerhouse Jon Mitchell and the cagey veteran Skeet Amason. Four cautions slowed the pace, none for major incidents.

Howell, of Boyce, Louisiana, started second on a talent-filled 24-car Factory Stock grid. He took the lead from Bryce Pritchett on lap 18 with an outside pass coming off Turn 4 and hung on for top honors. Pritchett gave chase throughout yet settled for second, while Deaon Redmon filled out the podium in third.

Louisiana powerhouse Shawn Graham (Shreveport) drove up from eighth to finish fourth, while of Edgewood native Jeff Hammitt broke his streak of bad luck with a solid fifth-place finish after starting 14th on the grid. For Howell, luck was on his side as his car just about made it to the finish.

“I was going down the back straightaway getting towards Turn 3, and it just quit pulling,” Howell said. “I think the transmission or something gave up. I didn't have a working clutch or anything at all. Luckily, it lasted just long enough to get to the checkered flag, and that I got pushed across the line.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the By-Line Surveying Factory Stock A Main were Michael Smith, Gary Fitch, Kody Boatright, Ruben Broussard and Zach Arden. Four cautions slowed the pace (laps 3, 13, 14, 16), all for minor incidents.

Rocket Raceway Park co-promoters Kevin Sustaire and Kevin Rogers hit a home run with this year's edition of the Bryan Mize Memorial. With several other tracks in the region washed out by rain, the dynamic duo of Texas short track promotion ended up with a whopping 225 entries in their pit area.

That translated to 24 qualifying Heats, 12 B Features and four A Mains for a grand total of 40 races. That's a lot to execute for any track's staff, yet they kept their cool and knocked it out.

You can replay all of the action from Saturday night's annual Bryan Mize Memorial 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

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