VIVIAN, Louisiana (June 11, 2022) — Veteran short track ace Chris Henigan used a thrilling last-lap pass to secure a $2,000 payday, winning a 30-lap A Main for the American Racer Modified Series (ARMS) on Saturday at Ark-La-Tex Speedway.
Justin Whitehead powered to victory in a hotly-contested Factory Stock feature, while Stephen Guidry earned a win in an action-packed A Main for Limited Modifieds. Corey Neil Jr. won his first career Crate Late Model race in impressive fashion, while Josh Worn picked up the Pro Mod feature win.
Jack Dupont (FWD) also notched a win on Saturday as officials hosted a full card of points racing.
Henigan, of Marshall, Texas, started on the pole in a talent-filled 24-car field. Chris Dawson got the early jump and led the first 10 laps before Triston Dycus powered around the outside of him to take command at lap 11. Dycus would set a blistering pace for the next 17 circuits.
As the snarling pack of high-powered Mods were coming to the white flag, Henigan, who is a master of working the bottom, chose the outside coming off Turn 4 and led lap 29 before bringing the crowd to its feet with another impressive victory. Dycus settled for second, while Joe Duvall came from 12th on the grid to finish third.
Manuel Williams II (Fouke, AR) and Tommy Cannon (Denham Springs, La.) completed the top five.
“I think they all knew I was going to be on the bottom,” Henigan told announcer Collin Bell in Victory Lane. “They started blocking a bit, so it kind of opened up the top groove for me. You could race all over this place, and it was a blast.
“Those guys from the Dallas area, they are all good racers. I was just trying to get as low as I could down there in Turn 1, hook it in and let it propel me off the top of Turn 2. It wasn't pretty, but I guess it got the job done. I want to thank my sponsors and everybody that helps make this possible.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the American Racer Modified Series A Main were Kenny Gaddis, Jade Luzenberg, Tyler Townsend, Sean Gaddis and Lynnsee Provence. Five cautions slowed the pace, two before a single lap was completed. Henigan's margin of victory was a comfortable .892 seconds.
Whitehead, of Texarkana, Texas, led all 20 laps of his Factory Stock contest despite attempts from his pal Neil Kemp to prevent the inevitable. Kemp gave the noted chassis builder and wheel-man a little nudge here and there, yet Whitehead hung on and sealed the deal.
Kemp settled for second, while Henigan (yes, he does double duty often) capped a stellar night in third. Sabine Speedway promoter Bubba Jones crossed the stripe in fourth, while Edgewood, Texas, racer Jeff Hammitt salvaged his weekend by finishing fifth after starting 12th on the 20-car grid.
“Starting on the pole was a huge advantage tonight,” Whitehead said. “It kind of locked up for us, I see the place to be was right around the bottom. Maybe Chris (Henigan) made some passes on the top, but I was going out there. We had an alright car, but it wasn't that great. We'll work on it for tomorrow.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Factory Stock feature were Bo Perry, Shawn Graham, Peyton Daughtery, Hayden Brown and Scotty Case. Two cautions slowed the pace (laps 1, 6), both for minor incidents. Kemp and Whitehead's battle up front was one for the ages, a real 2022 season highlight.
Guidry, of Marksville, La., drove around the outside of early leader Adam Roy on lap four and pulled steadily away to earn top honors. Aaron Roy started fourth and finished second, while Brent Tidwell put in a blazing performance with his drive from seventh on the grid to fill out the podium in third.
B.J Moore (Texarkana, AR) and Andrew Rossum (Texarkana, AR) rounded out the top five.
“I really need to thank my Mom and my Fiance, Erica; they are a really big part of this operation,” a humble and honest Guidry said. “They keep me going every week. I just want to thank everybody who helps me do this, including all of my great sponsors for their support.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Limited Modified A Main were Conner Williams, Adam Roy, Dustin Durham, Jake Huckaby and Michael King Jr. Two cautions slowed the pace (laps 6, 16), both for minor incidents. The Limited Modifieds always put on a fine show at Ark-La-Tex Speedway.
Saturday night's gathering at Ralo Pilkington's beautiful facility, rightfully known as “The Land of Three-Wide” was one to remember, for a number of reasons. With a whopping 154 entries spread across six classes and more talent than words can describe, the end result was insanely-good racing.
World-class track prep made for an excellent racing surface, one that held up nicely through 18 Heats, four B Mains and six features. Ralo and his staff drew big numbers, yet kept their heads down and executed the entire program in fine fashion.
You can replay every lap of this thrilling event with a subscription at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 350 races on the Live streaming schedule this year, it's your best value for online entertainment.
When you sign up today, choose from one of three options (OnDemand, ASCS National Sprints Only, or All Access), select your favorite track and start enjoying some great content.
By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas Staff Writer
Photo credit: Chaz Brzeski Event Photos available here ttps://chazbrzeski.smugmug.com/