By Phil Whipple,
RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer
EDNA, Texas (Nov. 19, 2021) — Twenty-eight year racing veteran Garrett Higgins and rising star Jason Downey won their respective qualifying heats in Limited Modified action, as officials presented Night 2 of the 2021 Clash Friday at Texana Raceway Park.
Higgins, of New Waverly, Texas, won the first of five Heats during first-round qualifying. His No. 98H ride blistered around the 1/4-mile oval ahead of a snarling field. Joseph Pontin Jr., San Antonio-based Johnny Torres, the legendary Howard Willis and Troy Alford also won their 10-lap Heats in Round 1.
“The car felt pretty strong in qualifying,” Higgins said. “Chad Comer is here as my crew chief this weekend. He's sharp and has my car pretty well dialed in for this track. With a few minor changes, we feel like we'll be set on Kill for the 30-lap A Main.”
In the second round, Jason Downey wheeled his No. 164 ride to the front in Heat No. 1 in fine fashion. Downey, of Pearland, Texas, is part of a three-man family team synonymous with success in Texas ovals. Edward Oakes, the legendary Lawrence Mikulencak and young Trent Beaver also won heats.
Eight teams also earned a right to compete in a Dash on Friday evening, with Oakes earning the victory over Mikulencak and Higgins.
Factory Stock teams also ran off two rounds of qualifying Heats on Friday, and the driver who swept his two heats may come as no surprise. Dalton Faulkner backed up his Fast Time efforts from Thursday night by easily winning both of his 10-lap contests. The car he built and calls 'Roxy,' was on rails again.
The 'Pride of Cut and Shoot, Texas,' also won the Dash over Jeff Hammit and Johnny Torres. Hammitt, of Edgewood, has been strong all across Texas this year and feels good about his chances on Saturday.
“I ran the bottom for the most part, and the car felt pretty good,” he said. “We put this ride together in short order, ran it at the Nationals to shake it down, then came down here and really think we found something. We know Dalton is as fast as ever, but we'll give it our best shot to win on Saturday night.”
Other heats winners in Round 1 of Factory Stock action include Caitlin Leonard, Josh Sewell, Donald Cain Jr., Craig Pursley and Johnny Torres, doing double duty at this year's Clash. In Round 2, Allen Torres, Dylan Elasko, Nathan Rachui and Chuck Perry all won their respective heats.
Also on Friday night's card were the Restrictor Micro's, yet only one showed up to compete. Young driving sensation Jude 'The Dude' Allgayer ran some laps, then entertained the crowd with a Rico Abreu style Victory Lane celebration.
Allgayer waved the checkered flag on his roof before thanking each of his many sponsors in a professional manner. He'd been practicing – and it showed on Friday.
The 2021 Clash at Texana Raceway Park continues tonight (Saturday, Nov. 20) with B Mains and A Mains for Factory Stock and Limited Modified, along with Heats and A Mains for Super Late Models and Modifieds. It should be, by all indications, a very entertaining night to close out the year at Texana.
You can replay all of the action from Friday night's qualifying races with a subscription to SpeedPass at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 100 events already streamed Live in 2021, it's been the best value in online short track entertainment anywhere in the Deep South. Sign up today to support your local track.