KENNEDALE, Texas (May 13, 2023) — Regional Modified stalwart Jacob Pirkle, open-wheel master Kyle Wilkins and Stock car ace Ryan Powers all earned feature wins in their respective divisions, as James Lopez and his staff hosted a full card of racing on Saturday night at Kennedale Speedway Park.
Pirkle powered to victory in the IMCA Modified A Main; Wilkins prevailed in a hotly-contested tilt for IMCA Southern Sport Mods; while Powers was triumphant in a talent-filled Factory Stock feature.
Matt Guillaume (IMCA Stock Cars); AJ Gardner (make-up and regular ECO Mod features); and PJ Egbert (Jr. Limiteds) were also feature winners on a beautiful night for dirt track racing in North Texas.
Pirkle, of Midlothian, started seventh on the 20-car grid, drove around the outside of Kaleb Emerson coming off Turn 4 to take command at lap three and hung on to earn top honors. Emerson settled for second, while veteran William Gould (Calera, Oklahoma) drove up from ninth to fill out the podium.
Matthew Day (Farmersville) drove up from 11th to fourth, while Beau Collins completed the top five.
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Mike Frieri Photography IMCA Modified A Main were Jerry Robinson, Jake Upchurch, Matt Martin, Michael Svehlak and Oklahoma native Michael Ables. Six cautions slowed the pace (laps 0, 0, 1, 9, 15, 18), with two pileups before a single lap was completed.
Pirkle's margin of victory was a scant .838 of a second, as Emerson was giving it all he had at the line.
Wilkins, of Italy, Texas, started sixth on the 16-car Sport Mod grid, drove underneath John Rabozzi coming off Turn 4 to take control at lap five and pulled steadily away to dominate a caution-free race. Jerrett Bransom wheeled his way up from eighth to second, while Eric Franklin filled out the podium.
Rawdy Hull (Kennedale) and Jason Hunter (Poolville) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Finishing sixth through 10th in the C&P Pump Service IMCA Southern Sport Mod feature were Colton Keel, Jeff Reynolds, James Skinner, John Rabozzi and Chase Martin. Wilkins' margin of victory was a whopping 2.863 seconds, enough time to celebrate with his car builder (GRC) Justin Long.
Powers, of Kennedale, started eighth on the 25-car grid and inherited the lead with just two laps remaining when Trey Smitherman and early leader Michael Trammell made contact, costing both drivers several positions. Kenny Magar drove up from sixth to second, while Cameron Cook was third.
North Texas icon Chris Davis (Wills Point) and Smitherman (Mansfield) rounded out the top five.
Finishing sixth through 10th in the 1st Class Service Group Factory Stock A Main were Cody Baker, Sonny Schoffen, Ricky Sessions, Michael Trammell II and Dylan Cammack. Three cautions slowed the pace (laps 2, 2, 18), all for minor incidents. Powers' margin of victory was a comfy 1.072 seconds.
This round of weekly racing at KSP drew a noteworthy 122 entries spread across six divisions, led by Factory Stock with 27 teams on hand. Throughout the season, Kennedale continues to carry a high car count across the board. And it's not just quantity here; it's a ton of high-quality race teams, as well.
Officials knocked out that makeup ECO Mod feature and 15 qualifying Heats in an hour and a half; took a brief 10-minute intermission, then proceeded to host the features in a timely manner. It was, by all accounts, another action-packed and efficient weekly show at KSP on Saturday evening.
You can replay all of the action from Saturday night's program at Kennedale Speedway Park featuring all Weekly divisions with a subscription at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 450 events on the Live steaming schedule this year, it's home to some of the best short track content available on the planet.
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By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer. Photo by: Mike Frieri