Mark Whitener earns Pole for Battle at Boothill

By Phil Whipple,
RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer. Photo by: Brian McLeod/Dirt Scenes

GREENWOOD, Louisiana (Oct. 15, 2021) — Veteran touring series racer Mark Whitener put in a strong performance in time trials and his qualifying heat, earning the pole position for Saturday night's seventh annual Battle of Boothill for the Crate Racin' USA Late Models Friday at Boothill Speedway.

James Griffin (Pro Mods) and Jack Dupont (FWD) earned feature wins in support class action on a beautiful night for racing in northwestern Louisiana.

Whitener, of Middleburg, Florida, led all 27 drivers in time trials, laying down a blistering lap of 15.453 seconds around the 1/4-mile clay oval. Clayton Stuckey was second quick with a time of 15.695, while Kevin Sitton was third fastest with a lap of 15.775 seconds.

Corey Neil Jr. (16.158) and Waylon Morris (16.239) completed the top five under the stopwatch.

Whitener won the first of three 12-lap qualifying heats, with Jason Welshan and Louisiana native BJ Robinson also earning heat wins. Robert Delude, Griffin (Pro Mods), Jack Dupont, Steve McEachern (FWD) were also heat winners in their respective divisions.

Griffin, of Elysian, Texas, led all 20 laps of his feature, despite surviving two restarts. Doug Vick Jr. offered up the biggest challenge until he got hung up at the top of Turns 3 & 4 on lap 18. Griffin cruised home to earn his first victory at Boothill in 18 years, and he was more than appreciative.

BJ Cook crossed the line in second, while Mike Washburn filled out the podium. Vance Coleman and Jason Beasley completed the to five.

“The last time I won was in 2003 in a Factory Stock for the Louisiana State Championships,” Griffin told announcer Josh Bell in Victory Lane. “The track was really good and smooth. My car was just a little bit loose, so I had to fight it a little. I was just trying to hang on to it, and hoped I didn't mess up.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Pro Mod A Main were Trevor Keith, Doug Vick Jr., Robert Delude, Brian Matthews and Timothy Bell. Two cautions slowed the pace, both for minor incidents. Griffin's margin of victory was a scant .777 seconds over Cook.

Dupont, of Shreveport, Louisiana, notched his fifth consecutive feature win in the region with another solid performance. His cousin Luke Dupont crossed the line in second nearly a second and a half back, while second-generation driver Steve McEachern, of Haughton, La., finished a strong third.

Mike Brunker (Shreveport) and Luke Wheat (Nash, Texas) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

“This has been an amazing season,” Dupont said in Victory Lane. “We're going to race at Sabine next weekend, then we have one last event coming up in November. We'll try for a couple more wins.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in Friday night's FWD feature were Clay Gardner, John Harris, Kameron Smith, Hunter Armstrong and Makayla Strom. Four cautions slowed the pace, two before the first full lap was completed. Once things got settled in, it was the Dupont and Dupont show once again in FWD.

The seventh annual Battle of Boothill continues tonight (Sat., Oct. 16) with the $10,000-to-win A Main for the mighty Crate Racin' USA Dirt Late Models, along with heats and features for Factory Stock and Limited Modifieds.

You can replay all of the action from Friday night's program with a subscription to SpeedPass at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 100 events Streamed Live in 2021, it's your best value in online short track entertainment while still supporting your local track since half of your monthly payment goes directly to them.

With several 'Big Shows' still left on the docket this fall, now is the time to subscribe to SpeedPass.

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