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DayMotorsports.com Race Recap: Whitehead bags $2k in Hercules 30 at I-37

PLEASANTON, Texas (June 4, 2022) — Veteran stock car pilot and chassis builder Justin Whitehead kept his recent hot streak alive, adding a $2,000 payday to his bank account with a convincing victory in the Hercules 30 for Factory Stock on Saturday night at I-37 Speedway.

Jared Maupin prevailed in a hotly-contested IMCA Modified feature; while Talon Minten came out on top in an entertaining affair for the Limited Modifieds. Seven classes made up a full card of racing, highlighted by a race presented by San Antonio-based Hercules Foundation Repair and Remodeling.

Ray Doyon (Late Models); Makayla Trimble (B Factory Stocks); Ryker Hernandez (Sport Compacts) and Nathan Titzman (EMods) were also feature winners on a steamy, summer-like night for racing in South Texas.

Whitehead, of Texarkana, started third on the 22-car grid, and drove around the outside of Dalton Faulkner just three laps into the feature to take command. As it does in every major race, the cream quickly rose to the top, with Maupin and local favorite Johnny Torres chasing Whitehead in high gear.

After 30 laps of battle, Whitehead had the big smile, as Maupin settled for second. Faulkner made a hard-core (as only he can) attempt in the closing laps yet crossed the stripe in third, while Torres and Paul Reyes finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

“Dalton just needed to stay down low,” Whitehead told veteran announcer Ruben Mireles in Victory Lane. “He let me go around him up top, and I learned real fast that all I needed to do was stay on the bottom and hope for a mistake by the drivers behind me.

“As bad as I felt, a bump-and-run probably wouldn't have made me mad this time. But I was just trying to keep my cool, trying not to let it slip away on the last lap. We were able to hang onto it, and I'm pumped. I'm not a fan of these NASCAR-style restarts, but it made for some pretty good racing.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Hercules 30 for Factory Stocks were teenage sensation Cameron Starry, Memphis Villarreal, Talon Minten, polesitter Mike Lyon and Brian Harbison. Seven cautions slowed the pace, all for minor incidents. Twenty-six cars were on hand in search of the big money.

Maupin, of College Station, drove around the outside of Ryan Doyon with just two laps remaining to seal the deal in an incredibly exciting Modified A Main. The race featured three-wide battles for the lead, with Brandon Welker and Rick Green also leading at least one lap around the super-smooth oval.

Doyon gave it all he had yet settled for second, while Chris Carroll filled out the podium. Rick Green (Bertram) and Robert Liese Jr. (Schertz) completed the top five.

“That was a blast, I hope it was as fun to watch as it was for me to be in,” a jubilant Maupin said. “That last restart, I didn't know we were down to like three laps to go. When I saw we had two laps to run, I knew I couldn't make a mistake or I would get beat.

“That initial start was terrible; I got shuffled back. Luckily, we had a restart and I was like, sixth or something. I was just trying to regroup; everybody was using the top, the bottom, and I was just trying to find room to fit between them. This track was great, you could run anywhere you wanted tonight.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the IMCA Modified A Main were Darrell Boyd, Chandler Fox, Marlin Samford, Gilbert Amezquita and Welker. Three cautions slowed the pace (laps 3, 8, 15), none for serious incidents. The Modifieds always provide plenty of action on the 1/4-mile South Texas oval.

Minten, of Seguin, drove around the outside of early leader Allen Alexander at lap five to take control of his feature and hung on for top honors. Max Calles-McDonald crossed the stripe in second, while Alexander, affectionately known as 'Double A' in racing circles and the man who created this event, finished a respectable third. Sterling Tausch and Sherrill Lewis rounded out the top five.

“Getting around him (Alexander) on the outside was a challenge,” Minten said. “I was lucky he didn't choose to go up there, I had just enough room to sneak by. That's what got it done tonight. I need to thank All In Designs, 3D Landscaping and everybody who helps out. I appreciate all of the support.”

Filling out the finishing order in the Limited Modified feature were Gilbert Perez III and Trent Beaver, who easily could have earned a Goody's Headache Award with the amount of tough luck he endured. Beaver brought out the lone caution at lap 1, more trouble after a difficult qualifying session, as well.

South Texas has long been a hotbed of Factory Stock racing, and the Hercules 30 brought that into the Spotlight on Saturday evening. Add in some thrills and battles in Modifieds, Limited Mods and Late Models, and you have a recipe for success. They mixed it all together, and the result was pretty tasty.

This was quite possibly the best overall show I-37 has presented in several years. Thirteen heats, a pair of B Mains and seven features, all kept rolling by a 'dynamite' high-energy, two-man announcing team. In dirt short track racing, that's exactly how it's supposed to be done.

You can replay every lap of the inaugural Hercules 30 program at I-37 Speedway with a subscription at RaceOnTexas.com. Click here to replay every lap. With over 350 races on the Live streaming schedule this year, it's your best value for online short track entertainment. Sign up for All Access today and support this great sport.

By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer

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