DayMotorSports.com Race Recap: Gregory, Jennings, Barber win at STRR

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Sept. 2, 2023) — North Texas Modified standout Garrett Gregory, open-wheel veteran J.J. Jennings and the ever-versatile Jarrett Barber all won features in their respective divisions, as Owen Pittman hosted Championship Night on Saturday at South Texas Race Ranch.

Gregory powered to victory in the 20-lap feature for IMCA Modifieds; Jennings prevailed in a talent-filled affair for Limited Modifieds; while Barber dominated the Texas Dirt Truck Series A Main.

Gilbert Perez III (Micro Mods); Daniel Preston (EMods); Jamie Dear (Pure Stock); and Brian Rye (Factory Stock) were also feature winners on a beautiful late-summer night for racing in South Texas.

Gregory, of Tomball, started on the pole of a seven-car grid and led all 20 laps. Steven Whiteaker Jr. charged his way up from sixth to claim second, while Tanner Whitmire filled out the podium. Rick Green and Robert Liese Jr. completed the top five.

“I had about one or two laps to kind of get things figured out tonight,” Gregory told Pittman in Sames Ford Victory Lane. “I felt like if I protected the bottom, the guys around me would have a hard time getting my me. We were a little bit off in the Heat; we made a big swing at it for the feature.

“This place is a little tricky compare to other tracks; but I think we're going in the right direction.”

Filling out the finishing order in IMCA Modified action were Chris Carroll and Jeffrey Guest. With no cautions to slow his pace, Gregory set a blistering pace. His margin of victory was 1.139 seconds.

Jennings, of Corpus Christi, also started on the pole of a 14-car grid and led all 20 circuits around the well-prepared oval. Brian Rye gave chase throughout yet settled for the runner-up position, while South Texas oval veteran Cody Beddoe filled out the podium.

Rising star Nathan Titzman crossed the stripe in fourth, with Kris Rye rounding out the top five.

“I was searching for the best line the whole time out there,” Jennings said. “I felt terrible in the Heat race; and I didn't feel very good in the A Main, either. At the beginning, I rolled around the tires. It felt like I was about to stall the motor, I was going so slow.

“But in Turns 3 and 4; if it has any grip at all, you can just hold it wide open through there. I want to thank all of our sponsors for their support, and my whole family. I have a ton of strong support.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Double J Jerky Limited Modified A Main were James Cole, Trent Beaver, Derrick Gonzalez, Gilbert Perez III and Daniel Preston. Only three cautions slowed the pace, all for minor spins. Jennings' margin of victory over Rye was a comfortable 1.122 seconds.

Barber, of Robstown, started dead-last (14th) in the Truck Series feature, drove to the inside of Tommy Grimes to take command at lap 12 and checked out on the field en route to his win. Tommy Grimes finished a distant second after starting 13th, while Tony Bernal drove up from 12th to third.

Colton Borlace and Pete Arce had career-best finishes of fourth and fifth, respectively.

“I was hoping Tommy wasn't going to move up and take my line,” Barber told Pittman in Victory Lane. “He did, but the bottom worked for me, so I was able to make the pass. I need to thank my Dad, Barber Trucking, Ace Transmissions, and All In Designs. I appreciate all they do for me.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Texas Dirt Truck Series A Main were Lightning McGreen, Aaron Leddy, Daniel Gaudette, inaugural TDTS champion Larry Baggett (2019); and Russ Parker.

Three cautions slowed the pace, all for minor incidents. Barber's margin of victory was a whopping 3.349 seconds, as he was simply untouchable on this night. As the son of South Texas veteran and respected racer Chuck Barber, Jarrett is carrying on the tradition of success on the ovals in fine fashion.

This week's Championship Night at the South Texas Race Ranch drew an impressive 92 entries spread across seven classes. Led by the mighty EMods with 18, they capped a solid season of points racing with plenty of talent in the pits. Fans were treated to great battles for position all evening long.

Pittman continues the Labor Day weekend action tonight (Sunday, Sept. 3) with another full card of racing. First, he came up with an App that allows fans to order food from the concessions from their seats and get notified when it's ready to go. Now, he's added another cool feature for race fans.

We all know how loud it gets when the cars are under green flag conditions; there is now an App that allows fans to tap directly into the track's P.A. System to maintain clear audio throughout the program. Bring some quality headphones (Bluetooth is cool) and enjoy clear announcer audio from your seats.

You can replay all of the action from Saturday night's Championship Night program at South Texas Race Ranch with a subscription at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 400 events on the Live steaming schedule this year, it's home to some of the best short track content available online.

When you sign up today, select one of two options (OnDemand or All Access), choose your favorite or 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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