CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (April 16, 2022) — Versatile short track pilots Jared Maupin and Memphis Villarreal earned feature wins in their respective divisions, as officials hosted the Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) and their regular bi-weekly classes on Saturday evening at South Texas Race Ranch.
Maupin fell just short of scoring a hat trick, with wins in the TDTS and Limited Modified features. Only the strong performance of Sinton's Cody Leonard, another versatile driver who can win in any type of car, to win the IMCA Modified A Main prevented Maupin from going 3-for-3 on the night.
Villarreal, who can win on both dirt and asphalt, prevailed in a hotly-contested A Main for the Factory Stocks. GW Hessong (Pure Stock); Nathan Titzman (EMods) and Andy Anderson (Mini Mods) were also feature winners on Easter Egg Extravaganza night at the famed dirt oval in Corpus Christi.
Maupin, of College Station, became the fourth different leader in as many laps when he passed Jarrett Barber to take command of the truck feature. Barber battled all race long with his skilled, easy-going father, Chuck Barber, who edged his son for second with a thrilling last-lap pass.
Series newcomer Josh Sewell started 10th on the 15-truck grid and crossed the stripe in fourth, while Seguin-based veteran Russ Parker, who has raced in the TDTS since it began, completed the top five.
“The driving style is so different between the cars I drive and this truck,” Maupin told track promoter Owen Pittman in Victory Lane. “But I'm going to say right now, these trucks are the most fun to drive of them all. I hope the fans enjoyed that show. I need to thank Jamie Fuller and Aaron Leddy for this.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Texas Dirt Truck Series A Main were Buster Deen, Lightning McGreen, former series champion Tony Bernal, Lance Chacon and Shaun Tracy. Only two cautions slowed the pace, both for minor incidents. With a series record of 15 trucks entered, the TDTS return to Corpus (they first ran there in June of 2019) was a success.
Saturday's show also had series founder George Jones in the field. Current TDTS owners Bo and Mike Tracy are keeping those who love the dirt-slinging trucks happy for a fourth consecutive year. The concept is still very solid; new racers are showing up and the level of competition is getting higher.
Maupin kicked off his evening of feature racing with a win over Leonard in the Limiteds. Hometown favorite Brian Rye of Corpus Christi filled out the podium, while savvy veteran Ray Allen Kulhanek finished fourth. Multi-talented racer Gilbert Perez III completed the top five with another solid effort.
“I really had no idea where Cody was at,” Maupin explained. “Before that last restart, I felt like I had a good consistent line that was working pretty well. But after that, I started getting real free and started to panic a little, thinking he was going to come up behind me. Luckily, we held him off for the win.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Jude Allgayer Racing Limited Modified A Main were Jarrett Barber, who started 15th on the 17-car grid; Bryce Reed, Derrick Gonzales, Ziggy Reusser and Steven Whiteaker III. Three cautions slowed the pace, all for minor spins.
Villarreal, of Corpus Christi, powered around the outside of early leader Tryton Temple coming off Turn 4 on lap nine and pulled away for top honors. Allen Torres made a strong late-race charge yet settled for second, while Steve Grantz filled out the podium.
Mason Castaneda and recent winner Greg Carlucci Jr. finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“The car was fast tonight,” Villarreal said in Victory Lane. “I need to thank MAV Motorsports, Hector at SAMES Ford and Ryan Powers at Powers Race Car Fabrication. I couldn't have done it without them. We work hard on this thing, and to win here feels good. It's cool to see this place so packed.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the SAMES Ford Factory Stock A Main were Megan Dodson, Temple, Chuck Perry, Donald Cain and Johnny Westfall. Five cautions slowed the pace, all for minor incidents.
Pittman and his staff cranked out 14 qualifying heats in an hour flat, impressive given the fact there were 101 entries on hand spread across seven classes. At intermission, he hosted a big Easter Egg hunt on the front stretch for kids of all ages. With a little guidance, the excited kids ran to retrieve their eggs.
You can replay all of the action from Saturday night's show at South Texas Race Ranch featuring the Texas Dirt Truck Series and bi-weekly divisions with a subscription at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 350 races on the Live streaming schedule in 2022, it's wall-to-wall racing all year long.
Sign up today, choose one of three options (OnDemand, ASCS National Sprints or All Access), and start enjoying some of the best short track racing in the country Live in your living room. RaceOnTexas has easy-to-use Apps for your Roku and IOS devices, as well.
By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer