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DayMotorSports.com Race Recap: Howell, Henigan fast at Mike Parker Memorial

VIVIAN, Louisiana (July 14, 2022) — Regional stalwarts CJ Howell and Chris Henigan set Fast Time in their respective divisions, as respected racer, chassis builder and event promoter Justin Whitehead kicked off his ninth annual Mike Parker Memorial with practice and Time Trials on Thursday at Ark-La-Tex Speedway.

Howell, of Boyce, La., was quickest among a stellar field of 78 Factory Stock entries with a blistering lap of 17.953 seconds around Ralo Pilkington's well-prepared 1/4-mile oval. Henigan, of Marshall, TX, led a talent-filled field of 51 Limited Modifieds with a lap of 17.296 seconds.

“It felt pretty good out there tonight,” Howell told veteran announcer Zach Clark after qualifying was completed. “I think I can be a little better, hopefully I can get it dialed in more for tomorrow night. As long as I start the feature I'll be happy, but if we can run up front and get a top five I'd be even happier.”

Three rounds of Time Trials kicked things off for Factory Stock warriors, with the fastest three moving on to the final round. After the top nine were determined, the Limited Modifieds rolled out to take their stab at beating the clock. A final session among those nine racers determined the overall results.

TJ Evans was second fastest in that final Factory Stock session with a lap of 18.083 seconds. The top two drivers earned provisional starting spots for Saturday night's $5,000-to-win 50 lap A Main. Recent feature winner Cody Myers was third quick with a time of 18.097, while Bubba Jones (18.111) and Dalton Faulkner (18.208) completed the top five.

Sonny Schoffer surprised a few folks on Thursday evening as he laid down a lap of 18.218 to earn sixth fastest time, while Kyle Cummings (18.289); Bo Perry (18.351) and Shawn Graham (18.362) filled out seventh through ninth positions. It's super tight up front among this highly-competitive group of racers.

Mark Underwood Jr. was the other racer who locked himself into Saturday night's prestigious $5,000-to-win Limited Modified feature, laying down a lap of 17.340 seconds in his well-tuned machine.

“I'll be running three different cars tomorrow night, which will be a little tough,” Henigan said. “I guess we're going to give it a shot. I think I messed up my laps a little in the Factory Stock, I got into Turn 1 a little slow both times. We'll see how the Heats go tomorrow night.”

Connor Mewborn was third fastest in (17.342), while ageless Ricky Ingalls (17.403) and Scotty Husselpeck (17.434) ran the fourth and fifth fastest laps. Sixth fastest in the Limited Modifieds was Ray Allen Kulhanek (17.511), Adam Roy was seventh (17.514); eighth was Corey Neil Jr. (17.536); Michael King Jr. was ninth, while Cody Tidwell was 10th fastest with a lap of 17.557 seconds.

Henigan picked up $600 for his efforts on Thursday night, while Howell took home $500 as they both prepare for tonight's two rounds of Heat races. Passing points will be awarded in both rounds to set the field for Saturday night's rich Mike Parker Memorial.

This event was first held back in 2013 and was then known as the Factory Stock 50. It's been held at a number of tracks since its inception, and last year was held at Boothill and won by Kyle Cummings. Shane Hebert won the Limited Modified portion of the Twin-bill in 2021.

You can catch all of the action from this weekend's ninth annual Mike Parker Memorial at Ark-La-Tex 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.

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By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer 

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