DayMotorSports.com Race Recap: Torres, Gregory, Maupin prevail in The Clash

EDNA, Texas (March 4, 2023) — South Texas short track stalwart Johnny Torres, open-wheel hotshoe Garrett Gregory and the ever-versatile Jared Maupin all won features in their respective divisions, as officials completed their Make-Up Clash event from 2022 Saturday night at Texana Raceway Park. 

Torres pulled off one of the biggest wins of his career in a $5,000-to-win, 40-lap Factory Stock tilt; Gregory powered to victory in a talent-filled IMCA Modified feature; while Maupin was triumphant in a hotly-contested battle for Limited Modifieds. 

Louisiana native Shane Hebert sewed up the All-Star Crate Late Model Winter Series championship with his victory in the 25-lap Late Model feature; while Cody Tesch, who set Fast Time in Factory Stock qualifying on Thursday night, won the Hobby Stock feature. 

Torres, of San Antonio, started third on the 24-car grid and steadily worked his way into contention. Justin Whitehead led the first 32 laps from the pole until Torres found his opportunity. He found room to get under Whitehead going into Turn 3, took control at lap 33 and hung on for top honors. 

Whitehead settled for second, while regional powerhouse Dalton Faulkner filled out the podium. Maupin, doing triple-duty at The Clash, crossed the stripe in fourth, while Cody Leonard was fifth. 

“I haven't gotten nervous like that in the car in a long time,” Torres said in Victory Lane. “After that restart, my legs were shaking. I figured if I could just hold onto the bottom, I'd be good. I saw him peek into the middle and wondered if he (Whitehead) was going to make me look stupid two weeks in a row.

“Last week in Oklahoma, he passed me with 10 laps to go and I couldn't catch him. I had to represent our home turf here tonight, I couldn't let this one slip away. I think he was trying to avoid the bumps down there in Turn 3; so I thought I'd run right through there since it was the only chance I had.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Monty Chamberlain Motorsports Factory Stock A Main were Ray Allen Kulhanek, Johnny Westfall, Shannon Mauer, Mark Underwood Jr. and Allen Torres. Four cautions slowed the pace, all for minor spins. Torres' margin of victory was .637 seconds. 

Gregory, of Tomball, drove to the inside of Tanner Whitmire coming off Turn 4 to take command of his Modified feature. Jared Maupin wheeled his way up from ninth on the grid to claim runner-up honors, while Cody Leonard filled out the podium. 

Whitmire (Taft) and Rick Green (Bertram) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. 

“I knew I had a really good car,” Gregory told veteran announcer Bobby Chaffee. “The track was kind of top-dominant, and I was getting stuck on the bottom. I was trying not to show my cards, but when it opened up, I took the opportunity. We went all through this thing, and I think we're on the right track.” 

Finishing sixth through 10th in the East Side Hot Rods IMCA Modified 20-lap feature were Robert Liese Jr., Jacob Hortch, Kalif Sellier, Ryan Slott and Cody Duke. A whopping eight cautions slowed the pace, all for single and two-car spins. Gregory's margin of victory was a healthy 1.419 seconds. 

Maupin, of College Station, inherited the lead with just two laps remaining in the Limited feature after Shane Hoefling and Tanner Whitmire brought out a late caution. Hoefling was sent to the rear for  spinning Whitmire, and Maupin held on in a three-lap sprint to the checkered flag. 

Cody Beddoe drove up from sixth on the grid to finish second, while early leader Nathan Titzman put in a solid effort to claim third. Gilbert Perez III and Bryce Reed completed the top five. 

“First of all, coming out of Turn 2, he (Hoefling) got up in the marbles,” Maupin said. “It looked like he tried to keep himself away from the wall; and ended up getting into me. I guess he thought I ran into him, but it's clear as day. I love Shane; so I hold nothing against him. It's just hard racing.

“Since I'm pulling triple-duty, so I'll go jump in the Mod. Hopefully, I learned a thing or two.”  

Finishing sixth trough 10th in the Tony's Mobile Home Service Limited Modified A Main were Jarrett Barber, Roly Rodriguez, Hoefling, Daniel Preston and Tanner Whitmire. Only two cautions slowed the pace (laps 4, 22), one for Eric Cegielski's spin and the second for that tussle between front-runners. 

Maupin's margin of victory was a whopping 1.448 seconds, enough time for a sip of Texas Sweet Tea. 

The 2022 version of The Clash at Texana wrapped up with a solid night on Saturday, drawing 83 entries spread between five divisions. With all preliminary races completed on Friday evening, the spotlight was on big-money, extra distance races. In the end, Torres' big win capped a great weekend.

You can replay all of the action from Saturday night's Make Up Clash at Texana Raceway Park 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 anywhere on the planet. 

When you sign up today, select one of two options (OnDemand or All Access), choose your favorite or 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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