Sanders, Day, Faulkner score big wins at USRA Nationals

By Phil Whipple,
RaceOnTexas Staff Writer. Photo By: Austin Wilkins

GREENWOOD, Louisiana (Nov. 5, 2021) — Modified touring series veteran Rodney Sanders, open-wheel sensation Rowdy Day and stock car expert Dalton Faulkner all won features in their respective divisions, as officials ran Night No. 2 of the USRA Southern Nationals on Friday at Boothill Speedway.

Sanders powered to victory in a 35-lap feature for the American Racer Modified Series (ARMS); Day claimed his second straight A Main for the Limited Modifieds; while Faulkner once again dominated the Factory Stock feature.

Steven Bevills kept the theme of repeats from Thursday night alive with another win in USRA Tuners.

Sanders, of Happy, Texas, a multi-time national champion, led all 35 laps of his feature despite having to fend off the competition on several restarts. Series points leader Triston Dycus started ninth on the 24-car grid and crossed the stripe in second, while Jason Ingalls filled out the podium in third.

Dillon McCowan and Chris Henigan finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

“We were lucky all night long, we had good draws,” Sanders told series announcer Bryce Hall in Victory Lane. “We had a good car, but it was slamming the track really hard with the front end. It feels good to get a win; we've kind of been struggling lately.

“We've thrown everything including the kitchen sink at it, and it feels good to have it all come together. I want to thank my Dad for this one, he's been working very hard lately. I need to thank Wichita Tank Racing, Norman Contracting, Mesilla Valley Transportation and everybody who helps us out.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the USRA American Racer Modified Series A Main were Sean Gaddis, Kale Westover, Kenny Gaddis, Joe Duvall and Dustin Hyde. Six cautions slowed the pace, all for minor incidents. Sanders' margin of victory was almost a lifetime; a whopping 5.753 seconds.

Kenny Gaddis, Sanders, Henigan and Justin McCoy all won their respective qualifying heats.

Day, of Greenville, Texas, drove around the outside of early leader Derick Grigsby at lap 13 and hung on for top honors. Aaron Roy started sixth on the 23-car grid and finished second, while Grigsby settled for third. Bo Day powered his way up to fourth from 10th on the grid, while Sanders finished in fifth.

“I just got up on the wheel, and the car did the rest,” Day said after his second consecutive appearance in Victory Lane. “I was just along for the ride. The car is going really well, I just hope we can do it again tomorrow night.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Limited Modified A Main were Joshua Martin, Tyler Parker, Joe Findling, Adam Roy and Wyatt Wilkerson. Four cautions slowed the pace, none for major incidents. Day barely nipped Roy at the line, with a scant .548-second margin of victory.

Faulkner, of Cut and Shoot, Texas, led all 20 laps of the Factory Stock tilt in convincing fashion. He started second alongside Ricky Ingalls on the 23-car grid, quickly jumped into the lead sailed off into the sunset. Neil Kemp, of Mineral Springs, AR, crossed the line in second, while Ingalls finished third.

Bo Perry (Bossier City, La.) and CJ Howell (Boyce, La.) rounded out the top five.

“I have to thank my wife for letting me do this all the time,” Faulkner said after yet another feature win. “I get friendly sometimes and try to help people out; try to make them more competitive. But I can't give away all of my secrets. I really like winning races, so I'll keep some of that knowledge to myself.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in Friday night's Factory Stock A Main were Doug Vick Jr., Kyle Blanton, T.J. Evans, USRA National points leader Walter Hamilton and Calvin Tucker. Only one caution slowed the pace when Josh Daugherty came to a stop in Turn 2. Faulkner, piloting the faithful, reliable car he built himself (Roxy), pulled steadily away in the closing laps. Some nights, it seems, he's untouchable.

Night No. 2 of the 4th annual USRA Southern Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment went off without a hitch. In fact, officials ran 18 qualifying races (13 Heats and five B Mains) and four A Mains completely in a neat-and-tidy three hours and 15 minutes. A job well done, indeed.

Car counts were strong once again (104 total entries), and the racing surface was very well prepared.

The Southern Nationals conclude tonight, highlighted by the ARMS teams running a 40-lap feature that will pay $5,000 to the winner. You can replay all of the action from Friday night's show at Boothill Speedway with a subscription to SpeedPass at RaceOnTexas.com.

With over 100 events already streamed Live in 2021, it's the best choice for online short track action anywhere in the Deep South. Sign up, choose your favorite track and support short track racing even when you can't attend the races in person. You'll also gain access to tons of great content in the process.     

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