By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer
CRANDALL, Texas (Apr. 3, 2021) — Touring series regular Keith Martin, open-wheel stalwart Lance Plant and talented short track ace Justin Vaughan all notched feature wins on Friday, as RPM Speedway contested Round 3 of the 2021 KR Cup on the popular 1/4-mile oval.
Martin, of Burleson, led all 20 laps of a thrilling A Main for the visiting ASCS Elite Non-Winged Sprint Car Series. Plant, of Kaufman, powered to victory in the USRA Modified feature, while Vaughan, of Dallas, carried the checkers after 20 laps of USRA Limited Modified action.
Nate Dixon (By-Line Surveying Factory Stock), Dustin Choate (Everclear Auto Glass EcoMods) and David Thompson (USRA Tuners) were also feature winners on an excellent night for racing in Texas.
Martin fought a torrid battle with Shon Deskins for much of the ASCS Sprint Car Series contest. Chase Randall made a strong late-charge and crossed the line in second, while Paul White filled out the podium in third. Defending series champion Justin Zimmerman and Kyle Jones completed the top five.
“Track position was the factor more than anythying else in this one,” Martin said in Honeycutt Sand & Gravel Victory Lane. “I think Chase had a better car, but hey, we'll take it. The track was in great shape, we were just a little too treacherous on the top to make it work, so I figured I better get to the bottom.”
Randall, of Waco, was pleased with his performance despite falling short in his bid to overtake Martin.
“It was an awesome race for me here tonight,” Randall said. “It was my first time at RPM Speedway; I love the place and had a really good car. I was able to pass a lot of cars on the bottom, and I sure had a lot of fun doing it. Up next we have a full-time program about to kick off in the USAC Midgets.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the ASCS Elite Non-Winged Sprint Car Series feature were Deskins, Justin Melton, Mason Smith, Chase Pearson and T.J. Herrell. Five cautions slowed the pace, the first and scariest of which waved at lap five when Austin Saunders rolled his machine over in Turn 4. Saunders emerged from his car uninjured as fans RPM's loyal fans cheered.
The ASCS Elite Non-Winged Sprint Car Series will return to action tonight (Apr. 3) at Monarch Motor Speedway in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Plant drove underneath early leader Jeff Needham coming off Turn 2 to take command of the Modified feature and survived four restarts to earn top honors. Needham settled for second, while Clyde Dunn Jr. crossed the line in third. Tommy Davis Jr. started 12th and finished fourth, while Kyle Taylor was fifth.
“Man, I'm telling you, it's been a long time coming,” an elated Plant said of his first win in this class. “I've been behind the wheel of a Modified for six years now. I started in the top division and have tried to make my way forward. I do owe Max Eddie Thomas a ton for this win, he's been a huge help to me.
“It's great to get a win in front of guys like Clyde, Chris 'Win-again' Henigan, Max Eddie, all these guys are super tough, it just means so much. It's a dream come true.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the USRA Modified feature were Kevin Ramey, Jack Sartain, James McCreery, Manuel Williams Jr. and Dylan Glass. Five cautions slowed the pace, with one providing a scary moment. Dylan Ramey put his machine up and over in Turn 1 on lap 2, bringing out the red flag.
Vaughan led all 20 laps of the Ken Parker Services USRA Limited Modified feature in fine style. Kaine Buckmeyer started seventh on the 10-car grid and wasted little time moving up into contention. The highly-skilled wheel-man from Forney settled for second, while Steven Ashcraft filled out the podium.
James Farmer and Albert McCall Jr. finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“I almost don't know what to say, I'm not used to doing this,” Vaughan said. “But man, that was Cowboy Up, you put your foot to the floor and just go with it. I knew Kaine was there, for sure. You can't make a mistake when he is on your tail.
“I'm not going to lie, it's my wife that helps me week-in and week-out, I appreciate all she does for me. We're about to have a baby on Sunday, so this is perfect. My Dad, he is here every single weekend, and Bob Pritchett, he is the brains behind this car. He's here every weekend, and I can't thank him enough.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the USRA Limited Modified feature were Dawson Grimes, Blaine Smith, Eric Luttrell, Dalton Frideley and Kevin Forester. Only two cautions slowed the pace, both for minor incidents. Vaughan's margin of victory over Buckmeyer was minimal, an indication of just how competitive this division is at RPM Speedway.
A longer-than-usual Friday evening program at RPM may have run a little late for some fans, yet the high-speed thrills from the visiting ASCS Sprint Car Series made the long night worthwhile.
To see every lap of Friday's show from RPM Speedway and tonight's show at Monarch streamed Live, subscribe to SpeedPass at RaceOnTexas.com today. The most active video streaming provider in the Deep South will stream over 100 Live races in 2021.