MANY, Louisiana (Mar. 3, 2023) — Regional Late Model stalwart Tony Lindsey, open-wheel hotshoe RC Hagan and Stock car ace Joshua Martin all won features in their respective divisions, as officials presented their first points race of the season on Friday at Sabine Speedway.
Lindsey powered to victory in the Foy Motors Crate Late Model tilt; Hagan dominated his BOM Bank Limited Modified feature; while Martin was triumphant in a hotly-contested affair for Factory Stocks. Gallagher (FWD) and John McCune (Sportsters) were also feature winners on Opening Night.
Lindsey, of Keithville, started fourth on the eight-car grid, drove underneath Tracy Denby Jr. coming off Turn 4 to take control at lap four and hung on for top honors in a caution-free 15-lap feature. Luke Bennett crossed the stripe in second, while Denby settled for third.
Clayton Stuckey (Shreveport) and Jerry Basco (Flatwood) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“I really don't know how that happened,” Lindsey admitted in Joel's Auto Sales Victory Lane. “I tried a new helmet with a visor piece over my nose. It fogged up on me, so I just hammered down. We're hoping to try and run a few Super Late Model races when we can, but we'll keep running the Crate.”
Rounding out the finishing order in Friday night's Foy Motors Crate Late Model feature were Chase Delrio, Austin Storm and Ryan French. The Late Models always set a blistering pace at Sabine.
Hagan, of Glenmora, started second and led flag-to-flag in his A Main with a convincing performance. Only defending Louisiana State Champion Conner Williams mounted a challenge, yet had to settle for second on this night. Colton Davis powered his way up from 10th on the 13-car grid to finish third.
Matt Burney (Forest Hill) and Chad Morgan (Bradley, AR) completed the top five.
“We had a great last weekend at the Valley,” Hagan said. “We ran second in the Dardy Smith race; we had some carburetor troubles. We put a new one on and came over here this week. We drew the worst possible number, so I had to be smart. I knew that I just had to do my job, and it all worked out for us.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the BOM Bank Limited Modified feature were Hayden Beckham, Jordan Parker, Logan Crayon, Conner Saucier and Brandon Miller. Two cautions slowed the pace (laps 0, 8), one before an official lap was completed and one when Crayon put his car into the spin cycle.
Martin, of Colfax, drove underneath Craig Pursley Jr. coming off Turn 2 on the final lap to score an exciting victory. Martin started on the pole in a 17-car feature, yet Pursley used the inside line to snag the early lead. He settled for a disappointing runner-up finish, while Dalton Dubois finished third.
CJ Howell (Boyce) and Daniel Jones (Provencal) rounded out the top five in the night's best feature.
“I don't know the last time ya'll saw a race like that on pull-off tires,” Martin said in Victory Lane. “It's been a long time since I've seen one, so I guess these tires were the right choice. I can't race this car if it wasn't for Neil Kemp; it still belongs to him. I appreciate the motor from Brandon Hightower, as well.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Sideline Graphics USRA Factory Stock A Main were Cody Robbins, Stoney Dubois, Taylor Clinton, Dewayne Rains and Kyle Bassett. One caution slowed the pace for Ben Merchant's minor spin.
Opening Night at Sabine drew a solid 52 entries spread across five classes. Officials knocked out 10 qualifying Heats in an hour flat, took a short intermission and proceeded to run off five features in short order. With a total run time of two and a half hours, fans were treated to a quick and efficient program.
There was one incident during qualifying which caused concern and a brief delay when Bryan Cook was evaluated by medical staff after complaining of back pain from an incident off Turn 2 in his heat. Cook was not seriously injured and would go on to finish 15th in the feature.
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By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer