By Phil Whipple,
RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer
GREENWOOD, Louisiana (Nov. 4, 2021) — Veteran Modified pilot Kale Westover, open-wheel sensation Rowdy Day and stock car master Dalton Faulkner all won features in their respective classes, as officials hosted Night No. 1 of the USRA Southern Nationals on Thursday at Boothill Speedway.
Westover powered to victory in a 30-lap A Main for the USRA's American Racer Modified Series (ARMS); Day prevailed in a hotly-contested tilt for Limited Modifieds, while Faulkner dominated the 20-lap Factory Stock feature.
Steven Bevills (USRA Tuners) also notched a feature victory on a clear but cold night for racing.
Westover, of Blair, Oklahoma, held off a hard-charging Rodney Sanders for top honors and a $2,000 payday. Sanders, the 2021 Texas Short Track Driver-of-the-Year/touring series, started eighth on the 24-car grid and steadily worked his way into contention. Series points leader Triston Dycus finished third to expand his lead in the overall standings.
Joe Duvall (Claremore, OK) and Kenny Gaddis (Diana, Texas) completed the top five. Westover's margin of victory was a scant .441 seconds over the 'Happy Texan,' a four-time USMTS champion.
“I have to give a big shout out to David Tanner for this one,” Westover said in Victory Lane. “I broke a motor in a my own car about a month ago, and I just called it quits. David called me and told me to hop into his car. It's a Western Flyer; I know these cars well. I appreciate the opportunity to drive this thing.
“I also want to thank Dennis Knowles, as well. That was a blast. I knew Rodney was there the whole time. It kept getting treacherous in Turns 1 and 2, and every time I screwed up, I could see him pull up beside me. So I got after it a little bit there and made it happen. I was set up to run the top tonight.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the ARMS feature were Jack Sartain, Justin McCoy, Sean Gaddis, Manuel Williams Jr. and Kevin Rutherford. Six cautions slowed the pace, while two brought out the red flag for scary-looking incidents.
Tye Clampitt was a little shaken up after hitting the barriers outside of Turn 2 at lap 10, while Tyler Townsend rolled his machine up onto its side just five laps later on the outside of Turn 1. Fortunately, neither driver was seriously injured and racing resumed shortly after both incidents.
Sartain, Max Eddie Thomas and Duvall won their respective qualifying heats, while Dillon McCowan won the B-Main. Thomas, who came into the night 53 points behind Dycus, was trying to close the gap at Boothill. Sadly, his night ended before a single lap of the feature was run after hitting the wall.
Day, of Greenville, Texas, led all 20 laps of his Limited Modified contest. Derrick Grigsby gave chase throughout yet settled for second, while Sanders (doing double duty) filled out the podium. Kevin Sustaire (Emory, TX) and Adam Roy (Hooks, TX) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“I saw them show their nose to me a couple of times,” Day said. “That's quite a wall down there (in Turns 1 & 2) you have to jump up on, man-up, and hope it turns left. I knew they were fast, I just tried to hit my marks and be consistent. My visor fogged up, so we were fighting all kinds of battles.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Limited Modified A Main were Stephen Guidry, Bo Day, Joe Findling, Coty Tupper and Barron Prince. Three cautions slowed the pace, all for minor incidents. Day's margin of victory over Grigsby was 1.420 seconds, a comfortable gap as he closed the deal.
Faulkner, of Cut and Shoot, Texas, drove around the outside of Bo Perry coming off Turn 4 to take control of his feature at lap five. With just a brief caution two laps earlier for Bubba Jones' spin, the legendary wheel-man was free to toss the keys on the counter and literally check out on the field.
Bo Perry, the 2021 Louisiana Dirt Track State Champion, settled for a distant second, while Shawn Graham crossed the stripe in third. Joshua Daugherty (Bossier City, La.) and Ricky Ingalls (Longview, TX) rounded out the top five.
“I couldn't see very well behind me, but right off at the beginning of the race I knew I had a good car,” Faulkner said. “I didn't really know how it was going to go; you had Bo Perry and Shawn Graham up there and they held their own for a little bit. Roxy just did her thing; she's been a hell of a car this year.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Factory Stock A Main were Chris Davis, Jerad Herring, Neil Kemp, Cody Myers and Caitlin Leonard. Faulkner's margin of victory was a whopping 5.588 seconds, and came less than one week after winning a big Halloween Special at 105 Speedway in Cleveland, Texas.
A strong field of cars turned out for Night 1 of the 4th annual USRA Southern Nationals, with just under 100 cars in the pit area. The popular Factory Stocks led the way with 36 entries, while Limited Mods and the ARMS series each had 27. Only eight cars competed in the USRA Tuners division.
Night No. 2 kicks off at Boothill tonight (Friday, Nov. 5) beginning at 6 p.m. CST. A full card of racing is on tap once again, only with a little more money on the line. The ARMS teams will be competing for $3,000-to-win and are sure to put on another fabulous show.
You can replay all of the action from Night 1 of the USRA Southern Nationals at Boothill Speedway with a subscription to SpeedPass at RaceOnTexas.com. With over 100 Live events already shown Live in 2021, it's the most high-quality content available anywhere in the Deep South.
Subscribers choose their favorite (or local) track upon sign-up, then half of their monthly payment goes directly to that track. It's a chance to support short track racing when you can't attend in person while gaining access to tons of great Live and on-demand content form Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.