ELM MOTT, Texas (March 24, 2023) — Regional Modified stalwart William Gould, Stock car master Jason Batt and open-wheel sensation Brandon Geurin all earned feature wins in their respective classes, as officials presented a full card of weekly racing on Friday night at Heart O' Texas Speedway.
Gould powered to victory in the Outlaw Modified feature; Batt took home $1,000 thanks to Doug's Auto Repair boosting the IMCA Stock Car purse, while Geurin prevailed in a hotly-contested affair for IMCA Southern SportMods.
Shannon Dulock (Factory Stock); Wade White (Outlaw Street Stock) and Chance Hull (Mod Lites) were also feature winners on a beautiful night for short track racing in Central Texas.
Gould, of Calera, Oklahoma, started second on the 13-car grid, drove under polesitter Kevin Green on the initial start and led all 15 laps of his feature. David Goode Jr. drove up from eighth to finish second, while Eric Tomlinson filled out the podium.
Local favorite Green (Waco) and Gregory Muirhead (Mabank) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“With a track like this, you're not going to do anything real fast,” Gould told announcer Collin Bell in Victory Lane. “You just try to do everything real consistent. He hooked that rut that one time, and that was the only opening I needed.
“This is an IMCA Modified; we're running it basically just the way it sits tomorrow night at Kennedale. This Hoosier tire deal is a real equalizer. I know a lot of the guys aren't coming here because they're scared of the Outlaw name. It's really not Outlaw at all; it's just an IMCA car with a big motor and a spoiler on the back if you want one. So I think more guys need to come down here and try it out.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Outlaw Modified A Main were Troy Taylor, Dylan Ramey, Jeff Needham, Jeff Bauser Jr. and Joe Ross. Only one caution slowed the pace at lap four when Gary Spears spun his machine in Turn 4. Gould's margin of victory was a whopping 4.242 seconds.
Batt, of Harker Heights, started second on the 20-car IMCA Stock Car grid and led all 20 laps to earn top honors. Veteran Paul White worked his way from fifth at the start to claim second, while Shelby Williams drove up from 11th to fill out the podium.
Benji Kirkpatrick and Gregory Muirhead completed the top five.
“This is a beautiful race track here tonight, I'll say that,” Batt said. “That's what we come here for. You don't usually get a track like this in March. My whole thing was that I couldn't exit the bottom of Turn 2 if I entered the bottom of Turn 1. So I had to open it up a little bit.
“I really didn't know it was Paul (White) behind me, I thought it was Benji (Kirkpatrick). The first 10 or 12 laps, I could look up at the board and tell it was Benji. But those last eight laps, I was kind of up on the wheel. I was making some mistakes in 1 and 2, but I could pull away really good off Turn 4.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the IMCA Stock Car feature were David Goode Jr., Blake Clark, Lance Hanson Jr., Dennis Bissonette and Chris Florio. Only one caution slowed the pace at lap 11 when Ray McSpadden and Brandon Palmer collided in Turn 2. Batt's margin of victory was a scant .523 seconds.
Geurin, of Robinson, became the fourth different leader when he drove underneath Paul White coming off Turn 2 to take command at lap seven of his 15-lap contest. White settled for second, while cagey veteran Jeff Sheppard wheeled his way up from 10th on the 15-car grid to fill out the podium.
Dustin Mooney (Forney) and Garett Rawls (Waco) rounded out the top five.
“I was kind of cautious there the first few laps,” Geurin told Bell in Victory Lane. “I kind of followed Paul White for a while and let him make my holes for me. I needed to run him down before he ran away to hide. That was a good, clean race, I really enjoyed it.
“I didn't know if they were right on me or not, I kept looking to see if somebody was coming on the top. I felt pretty comfortable on the bottom. It was a good run for us.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the IMCA Southern SportMod A Main were Kyle Wilkins, David Montgomery, Jason Hubbert Sr., Charlie Norris and Corbin Willett. Only one caution slowed the pace at lap nine when Montgomery's car came to a stop in Turn 4.
Geurin's margin of victory over White was a healthy 1.039 seconds, as his No. 12 machine was flying.
This week's program at Heart O' Texas Speedway drew a collective 125 entries across six classes. Led by 30 Factory Stocks, teams continue to turn out in droves at Selby Holder's popular oval.
Officials cranked out 16 qualifying Heats in a little over an hour, then ran a B Main for Factory Stocks and six features in short order. Holder and his staff are true masters at moving things along on Friday nights.
You can replay all of the action from Friday night's weekly program at Heart O' Texas Speedway with a subscription at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 450 events on the Live steaming schedule this year, it's home to some of the best short track content available anywhere on the planet.
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By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer