By Phil Whipple,
RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer
CRANDALL, Texas (Oct. 23, 2021) — Touring Modified ace Clyde Dunn Jr., open-wheel stalwart Cody Smith and stock car pilot Mark Marr earned feature wins in their respective divisions, as officials presented the inaugural Cowboy Up Classic on Saturday at RPM Speedway.
Dunn powered to victory in a caution-plagued 30-lap A Main for the USRA American Racer Modified Series (ARMS); Smith claimed a hotly-contested battle for USRA Limited Modifieds, while Marr came out on top in a 20-lap tilt for Factory Stocks.
Ken Miller (Economy Modifieds); Chase Hatton (STEMS Modifieds); and Sean Leasure (USRA Tuners) were also feature winners on an absolutely perfect night for short track racing in north Texas.
Dunn, of Rockwall, Texas, led every lap of the ARMS feature despite being challenged on eight restarts. Michael Walker charged up from sixth on the 26-car grid to finish second, while Tommy Davis Jr. filled out the podium. Series points leader Triston Dycus and Tyler Davis completed the top five.
“It was a fun track tonight,” Dunn, who earned a cool $3,000 for his efforts, told track co-promoter Kevin Rogers in Honeycutt Sand & Gravel Victory Lane. “I couldn't really get a rhythm going early with all of those back-to-back cautions. I wasn't that great on the restarts.
“They could get up to me on the starts, but once we got a couple of laps under green I could pull away.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the USRA American Racer Modified Series A Main were Chris Huckeba, Kenny Gaddis, Dennie Geiber, Kevin Rowland and Casey Fowler. Eight cautions slowed the pace, all for minor incidents. Dunn's margin of victory was a whopping 4.690 seconds over Walker.
Smith, of Kaufman, Texas, held off a hard-charging Rodney White for top honors in his feature. Walter Hamilton, known for his prowess in Factory Stock, wheeled the No. 07G ride to a solid third, while Steven Ashcraft (Forney, TX) and Chase Hatton (De Berry, TX) rounded out the top five.
“It's always good when you get to start up on the front row and you have a fast car like this to drive,” Smith said. “I just tried to hang on, and it worked out for us.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Ken Parker Services Limited Modified A Main were Thomas Blackwell, Jason Gore, Cory Whitworth, Chad Williams and Michael McCullough. Three cautions slowed the pace, none for major incidents. Smith's margin of victory was just a tick over one second.
Marr, of Van Alstyne, Texas, drove to the inside of Rodney White to take command of the Factory Stock feature at lap 15 and pulled away for top honors. Marr had led the first three laps before Walter Hamilton took control, only to have a flat right rear tire cost him a shot at victory at lap nine.
White made a strong charge in the closing laps yet settled for second, while Joe Findling came from eighth on the grid to finish third. Chris Davis wheeled his beautiful No. 98 entry to a solid fourth, while Justin White crossed the line in fifth.
White was within .316 seconds at the line in the night's closest and most exciting finish.
“The track was to my liking tonight, it was dry but had a little bite on the bottom,” Marr said in Victory Lane. “As luck would have it, we drew the number one and that really helped. We were able to get back around the 38 (White); he's always tough no matter where he goes.
“I wasn't sure how it would turn out. It came back around on me, and with about five to go it felt like I was getting faster than him. It became obvious that his car going away, and it worked out good for us.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the By-Line Surveying Factory Stock A Main were Kyle Blanton, Gary Fitch, Colton Tanner, Danny Chennault and Tommy McKinley. Only one caution slowed the pace at lap nine when Brandon Bettis put his machine into the spin cycle coming through Turn 4.
Over 150 entries packed the pits for the inaugural Cowboy Up Classic spread across six divisions. The Factory Stock and EcoMods led all classes with 33 entries each, while the Limited Modifieds drew 29. With 26 ground-pounding ARMS Mods on hand, double-digit Tuners and STEMS cars, pits were full.
You can replay all of the action from the inaugural Cowboy Up Classic at RPM Speedway with a subscription to SpeedPass at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 100 events streamed Live in 2021, it's the biggest source of short track video content in the Deep South.
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