DayMotorSports.com Race Recap: Jenkins, Green, Barker notch wins at HMP

HOUSTON, Texas (Sept. 10, 2022) — Talented young gun Joey Jenkins, asphalt oval master Clayton Green and local racing stalwart Robert Barker all won features in their respective divisions, as officials of the Southern Premier Racing Series (SPRS) made their debut Saturday at Houston Motorsports Park.

Jenkins powered to victory in a caution-plagued 30-lap tilt for the headline Pro Trucks; Green prevailed in a high-speed tussle for the Pro Modifieds; while Barker came out on top in Super Stock action.

Mike Mecum (Eco Stocks); Mike Knotts (Legacy) and Corey O'Donnell (Naskarts) were also feature winners on a beautiful late-summer night for short track racing in Houston.

Jenkins, of Bastrop, became the sixth different leader of a wild Truck feature when he drove inside of Arden Smith to take command at lap 23. Jim Teague started fifth on the 15-truck grid and crossed the stripe in second, while Arden Smith filled out the podium.

David Webster and Jaron Hasley finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

“I couldn't tell you exactly how that happened,” Jenkins admitted to veteran P.A. Announcer, radio show host and former asphalt oval racer Rodney Rodriguez in Walker Sport Fishing Victory Lane. “I found an open hole and I took it. There was some pressure behind me, but those guys raced me clean.

“They (team owners Mason and Jim Teague) called me on the phone about two months ago. They said they had two trucks, and wanted to offer me a ride. I accepted their offer, and I'm sure glad I did.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the SPRS Texas Truck division feature were Mike Peters, Mike Reininger, Colt Mize, Doug Gibson and Brent Devoti.

No less than eight cautions slowed the pace (laps 1, 6, 12, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23), the most significant of which affected the race's outcome in a big way. Two-time Texas state champion Jake Wright dove under Anthony Monroe going into Turn 3, the two made contact, and Wright led laps 17 and 18.

Monroe was not at all pleased with the manner in which Wright muscled his way past, and thus made a wild, banzai move going into Turn 1. He dove low, hit the apron and slid up into Wright, while third-place at-the-time Brandon Leonard piled in hard with simply no way to avoid the spinning machines.

On the ensuing restart, David Webster inherited the lead, yet his time on the point was brief. Teague drove by on the inside to lead lap 20 before Smith wheeled around the outside to become the event's fifth different leader. Just as the Modified feature earlier on, the Trucks were cut from 40 to 30 laps.

Green, of Marble Falls, was awarded the Modified feature win after the apparent top three of Ryan Luza, Memphis Villarreal and Johnny Walker all failed post-race technical inspection. while Jason Ferre filled out the podium.

Nathan Caldwell and Brian Otts rounded out the top five.

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Pro Modified feature were Patrick Villarreal, Robert Walton, Sonny Hunt, Jake Thomasson and Bob Slezinsky.

Three cautions slowed the pace, all for minor incidents. The ground-pounding Modifieds are a thrill to watch at Houston Motorsports Park, as they flash by the flag-stand and make some crazy, jaw-dropping moves for position.

The original plan was for both the Trucks and Mods to run 40 laps, yet that just didn't pan out Saturday.

Barker is a multi-time race winner and points champion, and has won races all over Texas and beyond.

“We worked hard in practice last night and got the car even better than it's been lately,” he told Owen Pittman in Victory Lane after adding yet another win to his illustrious career. “We were fortunate to have just a really good car, and that outside line made it a lot of fun tonight.

“It's just awesome to be back here; I want to thank John (promoter Alverson) for making this happen, along with my sponsors, BMF Shocks & Chassis; RNMInstall.com, All In Designs and Mission Auto.”

Southern Premier Racing Series manger John Alverson and his team made a solid debut at HMP. He is dedicated to saving asphalt racing in the Lone Star state and should be praised for those efforts. Once a thriving scene in Texas, it's down to one last active oval left to keep a decades-old tradition alive.

You can replay Saturday night's exciting SPRS debut (there are two more races this fall) from Houston Motorsports 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 online short track content.  Click HERE to replay! 

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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