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Herrington Wires Modoc 100

Herrington Wires Modoc 100

MODOC, S.C. (March 20) — Carrying some early-season momentum from last year’s championship season on the Newsome Raceway Parts-sponsored Crate Racin’ USA Dirt Late Model Series, Wil Herrington of Hawkinsville, Ga., closed out the Adairsville, Ga-based organization’s 2021 Winter Shootout Series with a $10,000 victory in the Modoc 100 Saturday night at Modoc Raceway.

Herrington led from start to finish at the Jim and Ann Cushman-owned facility, and crossed the stripe ahead of Mark Whitener, Corey Gordon, Jason Welshan and Joshua Bishop, while Dylan Knowles placed sixth and claimed the championship on the seven-race miniseries by a slim four-point margin over Welshan. The two title contenders started the 75-lap event lined up side by side in the third row of a 25-car field.

“In our case we were mostly focused on points racing tonight,” Knowles said. “The track was making it tough to do a lot of passing, and we wanted to make sure we had that inside lane on the restarts. We started out the season on this deal wanting to win the championship, and we hadn’t run a lot of these tracks, so now we’re going home with a title and a whole bunch of notes for the future. I’ve run for track championships and a couple little miniseries around home, but nothing on a national level like this Winter Shootout Series. I knew we had a good piece of equipment, and everything worked out.”

Herrington outdueled Whitener on the opening circuit after a brief side-by-side duel entering the first two corners, and held the advantage over the Middleburg, Fla., driver for the rest of the distance, holding back the 40-year-old competitor’s steady presence. Whitener, who mostly trailed by four to six car lengths except when traffic allowed him to close on the race leader, was sitting behind the wheel of a brand new Barry Wright Race Cars-built machine that he’d worked to complete at the famed chassis builder’s shops in Cowpens, S.C. during the week before the event.

Herrington battled through the lapped cars, and kept Whitener’s advances from getting too serious, although the challenger’s constant presence never went away very long. Herrington crossed the finish line 2.189 seconds ahead of Whitener, who also had a shot at the series championship but finished third in the standings after entering the weekend just 26 points behind Dylan Knowles in the title tilt that featured four different competitors. Jake Knowles was included in the group of championship contenders, but an incident earlier in the race cost him a slim mathematical shot at the crown.

“I knew he [Whitener] was there, and he’s so good that I knew I couldn’t mess up with him behind me,” Herrington said. “I had my crew guy Brian Green standing in turn three giving me signals, but I was having a hard time seeing him because I wear contacts, and the dust was really bothering my eyes. It was creating moisture in my eyes going down the backstretch, because it was real dusty off turn two, and the traffic was tough here tonight. It’s like nobody moves, nobody watches the flags, and we all probably need lessons. Air is so critical with these cars that when you get within two or three car lengths of the guy in front of you, it makes it so you can’t get past ‘em when they don’t move over if they’re a lapped car. It’s a huge problem due to the aerodynamics of these cars.”

Whitener was able to close on occasion, but not pass the race leader, and settled for a runnerup finish in a brand new car.

“He [Herrington] was just better than us tonight,” Whitener said. “The track was pretty difficult. We always like to say we can’t win the race on the first lap, but in this case he really did. Congrats to him, and we’ll keep working on our new ride. I had more front brake than rear, and we’ll get that worked out.”

On a night when passing was at a premium during the latter stages of the event, Corey Gordon slipped into third when Welshan, who was at the time running third and just two points behind Dylan Knowles in the championship duel, missed his entry point entering turn three.

“I had one bad corner entry, and Corey [Gordon] got by me,” Welshan said. “I got my right-rear tire out there in the fluff and gave up a spot, but at the time I knew we weren’t going to win the championship because Dylan [Knowles] was a spot or two ahead of me. It cost me a position, but not the championship. He was running sixth, and I already knew he was going to be ahead of us in the points.”

Herrington went the distance in a Rocket XR1 sponsored by Harvey Trucking, 5M Construction, Y Delta Inc. and Boswell Oil.

Ches Chester was the event’s fast qualifier with a lap clocked at 17.089 seconds, but two incidents in the fourth and final heat race held on Friday night hampered his efforts.

The economical aluminum head, steel block Chevrolet Performance 604 Circle Track Engine is utilized by competitors on the series. It’s in stock and available for free, next-day delivery from Newsome Raceway Parts in Hartsville, S.C.

The company gives a portion of the sales from each engine sold back to the series point funds in four different divisions. Each engine is built and sealed at the factory to prevent any expensive modifications. To place an order, call 1-877-497-3624.

For more information and rules about the series, visit the organization’s website at www.crateracinusa.com, or follow our extensive social media programs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Modoc 100: 1. Wil Herrington, 2. Mark Whitener, 3. Corey Gordon, 4. Jason Welshan, 5. Joshua Bishop, 6. Dylan Knowles, 7. Jimmy Thomas, 8. Pearson Lee Williams, 9. Layton Sullivan, 10. Cody Overton, 11. Kyle Hardy, 12. Walker Arthur, 13. Ahnna Parkhurst, 14. Johnny Collins, 15. Michael Brown, 16. Garrett Mosley, 17. Bob Robertson, 18. Carson Ferguson, 19. Braeden Dillinger, 20. Dennis Franklin, 21. Trynt Lloyd, 22. Jake Knowles, 23. Benjamin Cranford, 24. Jake Rainey, 25. Jody Knowles.

Winter Shootout Series (final points) 1. Dylan Knowles, 588; 2. Jason Welshan, 584; 3. Mark Whitener, 570; 4. Jake Knowles, 506; 5. Cory Hedgecock, 426; 6. Joseph Joiner, 402; 7. Drew Kennedy, 400; 8. Jake Rainey, 374; 9. Mack McCarter, 356; 10. Kyle Hardy, 338.

Total entries: 45
Boyd-Bilt Fast Qualifier: Ches Chester, 17.089 seconds
Provisionals: Jake Rainey, Johnny Collins, Jody Knowles
Lap leaders: Herrington, 1-75.
Cautions: 3
Margin of victory: 2.189 seconds
KRC Power Steering Heat Winners: Joshua Bishop, Mark Whitener, Corey Gordon, Wil Herrington
KRC Power Steering B-Main Winners: Bob Robertson, Walker Arthur