By Phil Whipple,
RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer
GREENWOOD, Louisiana (Oct. 16, 2021) — Touring series veteran Mark Whitener made the haul west from his Florida home pay big dividends over the weekend, leading all 50 laps of the seventh annual Battle at Boothill for Crate Racin' USA Dirt Late Model Series Saturday at Boothill Speedway.
Whitener, of Middleburg, Fla., started on the pole for Saturday night's rich A Main and held off a hard-charging Jason Welshan for top honors. Louisiana native BJ Robinson ran up front all night and came home third, while Tyler Stevens (Searcy, AR) and Jake Knowles (Rome, Ga.) completed the top five.
Bo Perry (Granger Equipment Factory Stock) and Derick Grigsby (LED4Life Limited Modified) were also feature winners on Night 2 of Boothill's annual Fall Classic for Crate Late Models.
“I'm definitely glad I made the trip,” an elated Whitener told announcer Josh Bell in Victory Lane. “It gives us a little momentum going into next week, where we've got a $26,000 purse down there in Florida. I'd urge anybody that can come to do so; it's going to be one heck of a show, for sure.”
The Florida native may not run the entire series schedule, yet his skills sure are at the National level.
“I appreciate how everybody welcomed me here,” he added. “I stayed up top tonight so I could keep my momentum going. I knew Jason was behind me, and I know he's real good. He was going to go wherever I wasn't. I knew if he got by me, I was going to run second. I kept it rolling, and it paid off.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the seventh annual Battle of Boothill were Kevin Sitton, Corey Neil Jr., Robbie Starnes, 2021 track champion Jamie Burford and Rob Litton. Five cautions slowed the pace (laps 12, 13, 18, 19 and 36), all for minor incidents.
Other notable finishers in the Battle at Boothill include series points leader Jimmy Thomas, who took a big hit in the overall standings. Thomas started 12th on the 24-car grid and was up to sixth place when he suffered a mechanical issue that ended his night early.
There was a rare incident that put the feature on hold briefly at lap 18 after a piece of debris off a car struck a crew member behind the pit fence. The victim was quickly evaluated by medical personnel and did not need to be transported. Safety is always a top priority at Boothill, and that will never change.
Perry, of Bossier City, Louisiana, capped a stellar season in which he won the Louisiana State Dirt Track Championship with an impressive victory after starting sixth in a talent-filled 24-car field. Rick Ingalls, of Longview, Texas, settled for second, while polesitter Robert Graham Jr. finished third.
Neil Kemp, of Mineral Springs, Arkansas, was the event's biggest mover as he drove from the 22nd starting position to finish fourth. Nicholas Kirby rounded out the top five with a solid performance. Finishing sixth through 10th in the Granger Equipment Factory Stock A Main were Jason Ingalls, Dustin Choate, Calvin Williams, Peanut Fitch and Benji White.
Grigsby, of Marshall, Texas, started sixth on the 22-car Limited Modified grid and quickly drove up into contention. Zach McMillan gave chase throughout the 20-lap distance yet settled for second, while Stephen Guidry filled out the podium. Quinton Jackson and Carson Bradley completed the top five.
Finishing sixth through 10th in the LED4Life Limited Modified A Main were John Ammons, Tommy Tullis, Tim Strickland, Barron Prince and Tracy Korp. This year's points champion Colby Mewborn did not compete in this event, or he would have no doubt been a factor in the feature.
Boothill drew full fields of cars for all three classes on Saturday, with 27 Crate Lates, 37 Factory Stock and 25 Limited Modifieds packing the pit area. Of the 27 Late Models, 18 were already qualified via their finishes in Friday night's preliminary action.
Tanner Collins, Tim Eaves Jr., Brad Couch and Garrett Gibson made the show through the B Main. It isn't easy to make one of these Crate Racin' USA Dirt Late Model shows against such amazing talent.
You can replay all of the action from the seventh annual Battle of Boothill with a subscription to SpeedPass at RaceOnTexas.com. CLICK HERE to REPLAY. With over 100 events Streamed Live in 2021 and a unique program where half of your monthly payment goes directly to the track of your choice, it's the ideal way to support racing when you can't get out while gaining access to tons of great Live racing in four states.