ARDMORE, Okla. (May 1-2) – After winning his heat race, R.C. Whitwell knew he’d be going into Friday’s Corona Kicker IMCA Modified feature with a fast car.
And after leading start to finish of the main event at Southern Oklahoma Speedway, the Tucson, Ariz., driver collected a $1,250 check for his latest Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying victory.
Fifty-six Modifieds contested at the opening night show in Ardmore and nine states were represented in the evening’s headline event. Pole starter Whitwell ran the bottom most of the 20-lapper, going to the top in the second set of turns to work through lapped traffic and outrunning Ethan Braaksma to the checkers.
“The car was pretty decent in the heat race handling-wise. We didn’t make any changes for the feature,” said Whitwell, who’d made just two previous starts at Southern Oklahoma, in 2017 and last year. “Our setup was good, we had a fast car and it ended up working pretty good for us.”
Matt Guillaume, Josh McGaha and Chris Elliott completed the top five. Hard charger Jeff Taylor started 16th and ended in sixth.
More than 140 IMCA drivers ran at Ardmore with Saturday wins going to Jeffrey Abbey in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Dean Abbey in the Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods.
Jeffrey Abbey, a former Modified track champion at Ardmore, was back on the track for the first time in most of two months and held off his older brother in getting the Stock Car win. William Gould, the 19th starting Guillaume and Ryan Powers were next across the stripe.
“I got a good draw and got out to a good lead early,” he said. “Dean showed me his now with five or six to go. I moved down and held him off.”
Dean Abbey got the lead back from Tate Butler after a restart after running second most of the 20-lap feature for the Southern SportMods, which also saw 50-plus entries.
Kyle Robinson started 14th and finished second. Butler, Chase Vineyard and 21st starting Tyler Bragg rounded out the top five.
“It was a good feeling to get back to racing,” said Abbey, who plans to be a regular at Ardmore this season. “It was good to get back to a little normalcy.”
Modifieds – 1. R.C. Whitwell; 2. Ethan Braaksma; 3. Matt Guillaume; 4. Josh McGaha; 5. Chris Elliott; 6. Jeff Taylor; 7. Ken Schrader; 8. Chris Bragg; 9. Mike Hansen; 10. Glen Hibbard; 11. Jon White Jr.; 12. Kelsie Foley; 13. Ashton Wilkey; 14. Jeffrey Abbey; 15. Wesley Veal; 16. Travis Mosley; 17. Larry Adams; 18. Josh Cain; 19. Tyler Stevens; 20. P.J. Egbert; 21. Justin Whitehead; 22. Mark Adams; 23. Curtis Allen; 24. Tanner Black.
Stock Cars – 1. Jeffrey Abbey; 2. Dean Abbey; 3. William Gould; 4. Matt Guillaume; 5. Ryan Powers; 6. Tommy Fain; 7. Dennis Bissonnette; 8. Cary White; 9. A.J. Dancer; 10. Aaron benedict; 11. Dustin White; 12. Todd Decker; 13. Rob Moseley; 14. Jeramey Bradley; 15. Kenny Merritt; 16. Sam Spadaro Jr.; 17. John Hobbs; 18. Troy Burkhart; 19. Marcus Hahn; 20. Shelby Williams; 21. Erik Miles; 22. Bobby Miller; 23. Jason Batt; 24. Landon Mattox.
Southern SportMods – 1. Dean Abbey; 2. Kyle Robinson; 3. Tate Butler; 4. Chase Vineyard; 5. Tyler Bragg; 6. Matthew Day; 7. Kaden Honeycutt; 8. Blaine Shives; 9. Tommy Dove; 10. Trevor Foley; 11. Casey Brunson; 12. Ryan Thomas; 13. Matt Beasley; 14. Cullen Hill; 15. Shawn Graham; 16. Zack Oliva; 17. Trey Willoughby; 18. Austin Bonner; 19. Justin Cox; 20. Brandon Watson; 21. Jared Baird; 22. Shelby Williams; 23. Tyler Honeywell; 24. Chase Raymond.