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Hererra, Kenny, Whitehead score USNDTC wins @ TMS Dirt Track

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8th Annual US National Dirt Track Championships @ Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, 9/9-10/16
By JM Hallas

Ft. Worth, TX.,(Sept. 10Th, 2016)After a full night of racing in the Limited Modifieds and Factory Stocks, Eight drivers from each class had already claimed their starting spots for the USNDTC event. Brandon Kenny took the win, easily outdistancing the field after taking command at the one-third point. Kale Westover, Gabe Tucker, Derick Grigsby, Tracy Denby jr., Robert Vetter, Dustin Robinson and Jacob Pirkle also finished in qualifying spots for Limited Modifieds.

In the Factory Stocks it was Justin Whitehead getting the victory while Jimmy Day, Bo Day, Chris Davis, Jamey Lough, Jason Gore, Casey Lyles and Tim Clonch scored the other transfer spots on from Friday night. The biggest news was two-time winner, Taylor Carver, who had problems while leading, failing to qualify on night one. He'll have his work cut out tonight if he plans on completing the three-peat.

The remaining starting spots would be filled through qualifiers and last chance races, with two drivers getting provisional's from a blind draw of pre-registered entrants.

The ASCS Red River Region Sprint Cars would run a full program of heat races(taking the top 16 in passing points) and B-mains(top x transfer) to fill their 24-car field for the big 25 lap, $3,000 to win A-main.

Brandon Hanks rolls into the weekend 168 points ahead of defending tour champion, Kade Morton. With only four races left on the schedule, this weekend could easily determine the championship standings. Fred Mattox holds third in points with Jake Greider and Mickey Walker rounding out the top-five.

Herrera Hot for TMS Trophy
Johnny Herrera(Albuquerque, NM) was on fire Saturday night going wire to wire for US National Dirt Track Championship win. Herrera, who drew the pole, jumped out front on green and quickly distanced himself from John Carney. Carney was able to reel Herrera in during laps in traffic, but Herrera could pull back away. A late restart would put Danny Jennings on Herrera's tail. Jennings stumbled on green and Herrera was gone, on his way to the TMS trophy 'cowboy hat.'

As the 21-car ASCS Red River Region feature fired off it was Herrera getting out front. Carney was able to get past Wayne Johnson for second, with Brandon Long and Blake Hahn in the top five. Jennings, making an early charge, put a slide job on Hahn but made slight contact with Long. Both got straightened out and continued on. Jennings then picked off third from Johnson.

By lap 5 Herrera was already up on traffic giving Carney the chance to close in. The two ran nose to tail dicing through slower cars while Johnson, Hahn, Long and Brandon Hanks battled for fourth. At halfway it Herrera, pulling away again, Carney, Jennings, Hahn and Johnson. Herrera was quickly back in traffic with Carney lurking until Herrera ran the middle of two lappers leaving Carney.

As Carney got hung in traffic, Jennings ran him down and was looking inside. Jennings finally got by Carney for second, a half straight behind Herrera, while Hanks took fifth from Johnson. With five to go Caleb Martin made contact with Ryan Padgett, who looped it in turn 4 for the races only caution. The yellow erased Herrera's huge lead.

With Jennings now on Herrera's tail the green waved. Jennings got sideways, had to correct to miss the restart cone and Herrera was gone. Jennings was now left fighting with Carney for second. Jennings held him off with Hahn now challenging Carney. At the checkers it was Herrera in the Mesilla Valley Transportation, Champion Brands, Semi Crazy Truck Wash, Morton Excavating, Eaton Powder Coating, Ostrich Race Engines powered Maxim Chassis scoring the win.


"This is awesome, I love coming to Texas," said Herrera. "Starting on the pole helps a lot, but you always have some tough guys out there. Wayne Johnson started outside of us, and Blake Hahn was up there. There's six or seven good guys that could win this race. Track position was good, but we had a really good car. The longer we ran, the further away we got until that caution. We've run second here several times. I've always wanted to win here and finally got it."

"You never know about starting up front. Sometimes the track can change. In turns 1-2 you could move around there, but (turns)3-4 it was mainly around the bottom. I just hoped that I was making the right choices. I didn't ever hear anybody. When you start getting in lapped traffic you try to judge them. If you run in the corner and a lapped car can get away, you better be checking what's there. You have to pay attention to the track and run as hard as you can."

"I get little hand signals from my crew that let me know if I'm good where I'm at under caution. Then I know to keep doing what I'm doing if he shows me that I'm good. I just keep doing that and it worked out."

"I've run here some with the World of Outlaws when they raced here. I ran all the shows they had here. So I've had a lot of laps here. I've run OK here, had a little success but never could get the win. Tonight we finally we got it done."

ASCS Red River Region Sprint Cars
45x Johnny Herrera, 1j Danny Jennings, 52 Blake Hahn, 11x John Carney II, 84 Brandon Hanks, 2c Wayne Johnson, 3 Raven Culp, 2 Mickey Walker, 02 Brandon Long, 8m Kade Morton, 51 Caleb Martin, 2x Tucker Doughty, 26m Fred Mattox, 20g Jake Grieder, 98 Ryan Padgett, 3g Brian Gramm, 44 Jared Sewell, 58 Gary Floyd, 55 Brad Queen, 2k John Kelly, 05m Charles McManus

ASCS RRR heats
Heat 1; 52 Blake Hahn, 2 Mickey Walker, 45x Johnny Herrera, 26m Fred Mattox, 51 Caleb Martin, 98 Ryan Padgett, 3g Brian Gramm

Heat 2; 84 Brandon Hanks, 2c Wayne Johnson, 2k John Kelly, 2x Tucker Doughty,58 Gary Floyd, 44 Jared Sewell, 8m Kade Morton

Heat 3; 1j Danny Jennings, 11x John Carney II, 02 Brandon Long, 3 Raven Culp, 55 Brad Queen, 20g Jake Grieder, 05m Charles McManus

Kenny Kapitalizes on Kaution for Limited Modified Kash
Brandon Kenny(Woodward, Okla.) didn't lead every lap, or the most laps, but used a late caution to grab the lead from past TMS Dirt Track champ, Tracy Denby jr. Kenny hung on with Denby through the majority of the 30-lapper before losing some ground. On a restart, with five to go, Kenny began pressuring Denby, while trying to hold off Chris Dawson. Kenny and Denby ran wheel to wheel for the lead until Kenny finally secured the spot, and the victory.

Twenty-four cars started the Limited Modified feature, three abreast, with Denby getting the jump from the pole. Kenny fell in line second trailed by Gabe Tucker, Kale Westover and Derick Grigsby. Last years runner-up, Nick Clinkenbeard was looking high on Grigsby when Kevin Simpson made contact. Clinkenbeard went around and collected Dustin Robinson for an early caution.

On the restart, Dawson got a good jump on both Grigsby and Westover for fourth. A multi-car tangle on lap 7 sent Mickey Helms into David Tanner and into the wall in turn 4. Once back to green, Kenny was putting the heat on Denby trying the outside. Kenny got along side Denby, but had Tucker looking inside too. After a couple laps the trio got back in line gapping Dawson and Grigsby at the midway point..

Denby began to creep away from Kenny and Tucker, but was coming up on traffic. Tucker got loose in turn 4 giving up spots to Dawson and Grigsby. Denby had just got out to a quarter straight lead when Tanner lost a motor and stopped for a lap 25 caution. On the restart, Denby, Kenny and Dawson got away, while Grigsby lost spots to Westover, JJ Jennings and Brandon Ball.

Kenny went up a groove on Denby, with Dawson looking low. Denby slipped in turn 4 with Kenny doing a slider and getting the nose out front on lap 28. The two stayed tied at the rub rails as the white flag waved and it looked like there might be another photo finish. Kenny, in the Boom Test Well Service, Mid West Refrigeration, OAID Design, Mud Hogs, Roach Body Shop, Geddis powered, Ramirez Race Cars had Denby's right front at his door as he eked out the big win.

"This is pretty cool," exclaimed Kenny on getting the TMS cowboy hat. "It's my first tool box for a trophy too. About midway I didn't feel like I had the fastest car. With a couple laps to go he pushed real bad and gave me a shot. We gave her hell from there. I have to give it to all my crew, my sponsors."

"This actually isn't even my primary car. I build cars for Ramirez Race Cars and this is a customers car. Five races ago he told me I could drive it, and I haven't lost in it yet. We may have to work out a deal for it to become my car."

"I really wasn't thinking about what I was going to do under that late caution. When I'm on the track my mind is blank. I'm not really thinking about anything, like what moves I might try. I didn't really have a plan. I was just going to run my same line I was in. I was going to settle in for second until he opened the door."

"I was not worried about him a bit when we were side by side. I knew that he would hit his line and I was shooting for mine. So I wasn't ever worried about rubbing doors with him."

Limited Modifieds
21 Brandon Kenny, 15 Tracy Denby jr., 7x Chris Dawson, 7 Gabe Tucker, 44 Kale Westover, 26 JJ Jennings, b17 Brandon Ball, 69 Derick Grigsby, 141 Jacob Pirkle, 26t Jeff Autry, v8 Robert Vetter, 19 Clint Dosser, 86j Travis Johnson, 28j Justin Nabors, 14 Tim Frost, 10 Dustin Robinson, 84 Tom Lorenz, 662 Nick Clinkenbeard, 05 Nathan Pounds, d25 David Tanner, 20d Rowdy Day, 174 Mickey Helms, 561 Kevin Simpson, 18c Tim Clonch

Limited Modified Qualifiers(Top 3 to A-main)
Limited Modified Q 1; 561 Kevin Simpson, 20d Rowdy Day, 14 Tim Frost, 84 Tom Lorenz, 00 Tory Yant, 4r Kevin Rowland, 23n Steve Nabors, 18m Wayne Melton, 118 Robby Crabtree, 76 Jeff Rowland, 175 Bo Beckner, 771 Scott Fincher, 25 Tyler Box, 09 Jerry Rennick, 26b John Bonneau, 71 Jessie Hoskins, 05 Nathan Pounds, 29 Ross Malone, 325 Robert Hall

Limited Modified Q 2; 7x Chris Dawson, b17 Brandon Ball, 28j Justin Nabors, 174 Mickey Helms, 15 Curtis Allen, 39 Don, Reid, 88 RJ Stroman, 47x JoJo Wilhelm, 50 Brandon White, 37h Garrett Higgins, 13j James McCreery, 20x Ronnie Welborn, 0 Loni Richardson, 84 Devin Burgess, 8 Dennie Geiber, 18x Dale Melton, 4p Cole Traugott, 51w Thomas Walp, 23 Joel Garcia

Limited Modified Q 3; 86j Travis Johnson, 18 Tim Clonch, 26t Jeff Autry, 23m Jimmy Day, 662f Greg Frazer, 511 Cory Williams, 31 Shane Hartline, 70 George Egbert III, 99 Kasey Kuykendall, 33$ Slade Roach, 25d David Tanner, 1 Tim Linares, 20 Brent Tidwell, 78 Steve Graham, 2k Charlie Knight, 25w Jimmie Wright, 75m Cecil McCrary, 10t Greg miller, 51 Jeremy Henry

Limited Modified Q 4; 66 Nick Clinkenbeard', 26g JJ Jennings, 19 Clint Dosser, 33r Mike Roach, 63 Shane Hoefling, 12* Bailey Dosser, 90 Dustin Butcher, 717 GW Egbert IV, 4f Trevor Foley, 23r Bryan Root, 211 Chad Fitzgerald, 19r Shawn Stevenson, 1x Cullen Hill, j2 Josh Short, 75 Patrick McCoy , 4 Bo Day, 2z Zac Sydney

Limited Modified Last Chance Qualifier(Top 2 to A-main)
174 Mickey Helms, 84 Tom Lorenz, 63 Shane Hoefling, 12* Bailey Dosser, 4r Kevin Rowland, 90 Dustin Butcher, 31 Shane Hartline, 717 GW Egbert IV, 70 George Egbert III, 511 Cory Williams, 662f Greg Frazer, 39 Don Reid, 23m Jimmy Day, 00 Tory Yant, 88 RJ Stroman, 15 Curtis Allen, 33r Mike Roach, 23n Steven Nabors---dns, 18m Wayne Melton---dns, 47x JoJo Wilhelm---dns

Whitehead Works for Factory Stock Win
Justin Whitehead(Texarkana) took home the big Factory Stock win, but had his work cut out in the process. Whitehead was chased early by Chris Davis, until transmission issues sidelined him. Jason Gore took up the challenge and was able to sneak the bumper out front for a couple laps. After a late restart it was Taylor Carver, who made his way from mid-pack, giving Whitehead an unsuccessful try the final two laps.

As the 24-car, 30-lap Factory Stock rumbled to green three wide, it was Gore from the outside first into turn 1. Whitehead, from the middle, got off turn 2 with the lead with Davis snagging second from Gore, Bo Day and Nathan Sexton in line. B. Day got along side Gore for third and took the spot, with three wide racing still in the pack.

As the top five began to break away, Carver cracked the top ten in the pack fighting for sixth through fifteenth. B. Day made contact with Davis sending Davis around and B. Day to the pits with a flat. Davis was given his spot back for the restart that saw the top four get away and Davis looking low on Whitehead. Davis and Whitehead were side by side on lap 8.

Gore saw an opening on Davis and took second, as Davis began fading. Gore got a run on Whitehead getting the nose out front on lap 11. The two continued to run door to door until Whitehead got the lead back on lap 13. In the meantime, Sexton had closed the gap on both. Pole sitter, Jamey Lough who lost ground quickly, and Jimmy Day tangled in turns 1-2 for lap 14 caution.

Whitehead got out on Gore, who had Sexton pressuring him for second. At halfway it was Whitehead, Gore, Sexton, Casey Lyles and Jeff Hauser in the top five while Carver took sixth. As Lyles and Hauser battled for fifth, Carver tried another line and moved past Lyles. With ten to go Sexton and Gore were side by side for second. Sexton lost a tire giving Carver the chance to get by Hauser for third.

Yellow waved to pick up debris from Sexton on lap 22. Whitehead bobbled a bit on the restart giving Gore a run. The duo were once again door to door with Gore edging ahead on the back stretch, but Whitehead holding off on the front straight. Whitehead finally got clear of Gore who now had Carver looking high and Hauser looking low.

Gore slipped in turn 4 giving Carver a chance to grab second, while Lyles and Hauser were side by side for fourth. Carver tried his best to run Whitehead down the final two laps, but couldn't challenge as Whitehead in his Thompson Motorsports, Harolds Transmissions, Murphy & Son Timber, Henrys Auto Salvage, DRS Racing Shocks, Spencer & Son Timber, Pro 1 Transmissions, Superior Graphix, Boderelon Septic Service, Best Engines, Outlaw Race Cars scored the win.

"A lot of this weekend was luck," replied Whitehead. "We drew the middle starting spot on the front row. We got by some people, a few (good) cars broke, it all just played to us this time. After the last race in May, I figured there was no more that go wrong for us than that weekend. It's about half luck and this weekend it was on our side. I really have to thank my wife for all she does and letting me do this."

"I could see the scoring board on the back stretch so I knew who was there the whole race. They're all really good friends of mine. I actually built Jason Gore's car. It's nice to be able to race with those guys and know you're not going to get run over."

"I knew Taylor Carver would get up there with me eventually. He's good and has a fast car. I was glad I could hold him off. We race some of the big races together and he's always fast. We've always raced each other hard. In last night's qualifier we knew we would redraw, but still raced hard. If he and I are close enough in hot laps we'll still race each other just as hard. It's our competitive nature."

Factory Stocks
36 Justin Whitehead, 340 Taylor Carver, 721 Jason Gore, 18 Jeff Hauser, 27 Casey Lyles, 10 Bobby Jordan, 85$ Dennis Bissonette, 96 Trey Smitherman, 7 Ricky Sessions, 5* Bryon Fletcher, 70 Kenneth Chamberlain, 1r Dustin Robinett, 55 Tim Clonch, 39 Jamey Lough, 5 Tim Pounds, 21b Kirk Martin, 220 Nathan Sexton, 45k Ray Kemp, 23m Jimmy Day,35b Scotty Nichols, 6 Chance Morris, 98 Chris Davis, 4 Bo Day, 8r Mark Ross

Factory Stock Qualifiers(Top 6 to A-main)
Factory Stock Q 1; 220 Nathan Sexton, 96 Trey Smitherman, 85$ Dennis Bissonette, 21b Kirk Martin, 8r Mark Ross, 5* Bryon Fletcher, 7 Ricky Sessions, 66 David Bonham, 70 Kenneth Chamberlain, $100 John Herring, 85 James Thompson, 68 Wade White, 70k Royce Jones, 35b Scotty Nichols, 55 Charlie Wilson, 25 Michael Gaunet, 4d Danny Brown, j27 Scotty Case, 7b Bobby Morphis, 12 Taylor Stadler, 40c Miranda Carver---dns

Factory Stock Q 2; 10 Bobby Jordan, 18 Jeff Hauser, 340 Taylor Carver, 6 Chance Morris, 1r Dustin Robinett, 5 Tim Pounds, 15 Greg Andrews, 20 Kadie Robinson, 21t Tracy Peters, 02x Brandon Sexton, 81t Jason Towner, 51 Rueben Broussard, 03 Tommy Pounds, 4* Mandy Bowen, 34k Ray Kemp, 22b Tracy Baker, 4d4 Blaine Simcik, 02 Matthew Berry, 189 Justin McNeil, 17x Kelly Lockey, 21p Walter Hamilton

Factory Stock Last Chance Qualifier(Top 2 to A-main)
7 Rickey Sessions, 70 Kenneth Chamberlain, 15 Greg Andrews, $100 John Herring, 85 James Thompson, 68 Wade White, 21t Tracy Peters, 51 Reuben Broussard, 81t Jason Towner, 20 Kadie Robinson, 02x Brandon Sexton, 70k Royce Jones, 35b Scotty Nichols, 45k Ray Kemp, 25 Michael Gaunet, 03 Tommy Pounds, 22b Tracy Baker, 55 Charlie Wilson, 4* Mandy Bowen, 66 David Bonham---dns

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