Dunn Breaks Through In Baytown
BAYTOWN, Texas – If the next two nights of the seventh annual Lecolift Texas Winter Nationals presented by 4s Motorsports are anything like Thursday night’s kick-off, then race fans are in for an incredible ride at the Royal Purple Raceway.
Opening night for the annual open-wheel clash saw 64 of the USMTS Modifieds on hand, along with 61 USRA Limited Mods signed in at the state-of-the-art three-eighths-mile high-banked clay oval just outside of Houston.
Six lead changes took place during the 30-lap feature. The final top spot swap came with three laps to go when Clyde Dunn Jr. flew around Zack VanderBeek coming to the flagstand to complete lap 28.
John Webb beat polesitter Eddie Martin to the flagstand to lead the first lap of the Allgayer, Inc., “A” Main and held the point until the fourth go-around when 2013 USMTS Rookie of the Year Trevor Hunt scooted ahead.
Hunt paced the field for the next four laps before giving up the position to 2012 USMTS Rookie of the Year Stormy Scott.
Dunn grabbed the lead on the 17th lap from Scott, who was back behind the wheel of the Rowland Racing #20r for the first time since July. Six laps later, VanderBeek snuck underneath Dunn to take command of the race.
Relegated to second, Dunn moved to the extreme high side of the racing surface and found some real estate that no other driver on the track was using. He reeled in VanderBeek five laps later and took the lead back with a little more than a mile to go.
After several top-five finishes and near-misses over the years, the career-first USMTS win for Dunn earned the Sunnyvale, Texas, pilot $2,000 for his efforts.
VanderBeek, who started 12th, finished a half-car-length behind Dunn and had to settle for the $1,500 runner-up paycheck while Steve Whiteaker Jr. took third.
Scott wound up fourth. Nine-time USMTS national champion Kelly Shryock was fifth. Sixth through tenth were reigning USMTS national champ Rodney Sanders, Jake O’Neil, Corey Babbitt, Ricky Thornton Jr. and Bryan Rowland.
In the USRA Limited Mod main event, John O. Whittington took the $500 win ahead of Whiteaker, Paul White, Shane Hebert and Garrett Higgins.