By Steven Young
CORPUS CHRISTI, Tex. (Dec. 12, 2020) – The weekend wrapped up with three more exciting feature races, as Iowa’s Shane Demey, New Mexico’s Zane DeVilbiss, and Texas native Jeffrey Abbey picked up feature wins on the second and final night of the inaugural STXR at the South Texas Speedway.
In the 35 lap Modified feature, Talon Minten and Shane Demey led the field to drop of the green. Demey walked away early, as Cory Davis pulled to the inside of Minten and took the spot, while bringing Rob Slott with him into the third position at the end of the opening round.
Cody Leonard took the third spot from Slott by a nose on the third circuit, as Demey continued to pull away up front.
Garrett Gregory was the next one to make moves inside the top five, as he moved past Slott for fourth at the conclusion of the fourth lap.
Gregory then reeled in Leonard for the final spot on the podium, eventually taking the spot at the end of lap eight, as Demey continued to set a torrid pace out front.
Demey then began to close in on lapped traffic at the ten lap mark. Chris Mills was the next to challenge Leonard for position, as he moved to the low side of the track. He was unable to take the spot, however, as Leonard moved back into third with thirteen laps in the books.
Demey started negotiating through lapped traffic with fifteen laps complete, but he was able to maneuver through the lappers without quelling his progress, even after abandoning the top side at the halfway point.
Mills and Leonard entered into a tight battle for third, but Leonard made contact with the frontstretch wall at the end of lap nineteen, bringing out the first caution of the race.
Mills and Davis battled for second on the restart, as Davis held the spot through the end of the lap.
It was then when Limited Modified feature winner Zane DeVilbiss moved into the top five, eventually improving to fourth through twenty-one laps.
DeVilbiss brought his teammate Scott Bloomquist into a three-wide battle with Gregory for fourth on the backstretch on the twenty-third circuit.
The trio remained three-wide on the following circuit, as Demey rebuilt his straightaway advantage as the race neared the ten-to-go mark.
Mills ducked back inside Davis for second shortly thereafter to no avail. The DeVilbiss duo of DeVilbiss himself and Bloomquist battled hard for fourth with seven to go.
Demey had a full straightaway on the field as Davis and Mills continued their dogfight for the runner-up spot with five to go.
Mills briefly took second, but a caution erased the pass with four to go.
Mills and Davis resumed their battle for second on the ensuing restart, but DeVilbiss capitalized, passing both for second as the field passed the stand for three to go.
One final caution set up a green-white-checkered finish. Mills, Gregory, and Bloomquist went three-wide on the final restart, with Gregory taking third as the field took the white flag. Mills suffered a flat tire, ending his evening.
Demey continued on to victory over DeVilbiss, Gregory, Bloomquist, and Davis.
“This thing was just awesome,” said Demey in victory lane at the end of the race. “We missed it the first day and worked on it, and we’ve been really happy since.”
We actually had a terrible year, terrible luck all year, but this is just great!”
Demey joined Friday night winner PJ Egbert as Duel in the Desert qualifing night winners that went on to win STXR main events.
In the thirty lap Limited Modified feature, Tryton Temple and Hunter Flanagan led the twenty-four car field to the initial drop of the green.
Johnny Torres, driving the Steven Whiteaker No. 89C made it three-wide through the first trip through turns one and two, but it was Flanagan that held the lead down the backstretch.
Torres, however, led at the flag stand at the end of the opening lap.
Eventual Modified winner Zane DeVilbiss used the low line to improve to the runner-up spot at the completion of the second circuit.
Flanagan’s Schury racing No. 38 got loose in turns three and four on the following round, but he recovered to keep the top three the same with three laps complete.
Torres built a lead of nearly a straightaway through five laps, as Cody Leonard chased down Flanagan for third with six in the books.
Jared Maupin briefly joined the battle for third, before the first caution flag flew at the conclusion of the seventh lap.
DeVilbiss chose the outside on the ensuing double file restart, and took the lead for the entire lap until the field reached the finish line, but Torres continued to lead.
Torres pulled away a bit though lap twelve, as the majority of the field lapped around the cushion of the track.
Maupin tried to claim the third spot as his own, but was unable to best Leonard for the spot as the race neared the halfway point.
DeVilbiss challenged for the lead one lap later, but to no avail, as the top four remained nose to tail through lap eighteen. This coincided with the top four catching up to the rear of the field.
DeVilbiss broke loose in turns three and four, but saved it as Torres continued leading. At the same point, second through fourth could be covered with a blanket as the field completed nineteen circuits.
Heavy lapped traffic mixed up the top four, as DeVilbiss moved back into second. Leonard kept peeking to DeVilbiss’ inside, as Torres rebuilt his lead with nine to go.
Torres put more ground between himself and the second place battle, as that duo came past the line door-to-door with eight laps remaining.
DeVilbiss pulled away from Leonard before another caution restacked the field with six circuits left to complete.
The top three went three-wide for the top spot, as Leonard improved to second, while continuing on to challenge Torres for the lead. They ended the lap door-to-door with no change with five to go.
DeVilbiss tried for second on Leonard in one and two, as Leonard continued on to attempt to steal the lead from Torres with three to go, but no spots changed.
On the next lap, DeVilbiss made a hard charge to the lead in turns three and four as the field received the two to go signal.
Torres made a strong turn to the inside of DeVilbiss as the field prepared to come to the white flag, but Torres spun his mount, ending his hopes.
This put Anthony Gordon briefly into third, but he spun on the ensuing restart, ending his hopes of winning as well.
On the final restart, eighth starter Trent Beaver moved into second, holding off Leonard for the spot as DeVilbiss took the win. Tanner Whitmire and GW Hessong completed the top five.
“The car started to come in, and we put on a hell of a show there,” DeVilbiss said in victory lane post race. “I hope you all enjoyed it at home as much as we did.”
DeVilbiss’ win added to his successful fall, as he picked up the Duel in the Desert Stock Car championship one month ago.
In the twenty-five lap Factory Stock main event, Steve Grantz lined up Chuck Perry’s No. 115 on the pole, with Megan Dodson to his outside.
A three-wide battle concluded the opening circuit, as Grantz led the field to the stripe.
Jeffrey Abbey moved to the inside down the backstretch, taking the point at the end of lap two.
Grantz made an attempt to regain the top spot on the inside early on lap three, but as that went by the wayside, Cameron Starry was pursued by Friday night winner Donald Cain, Jr. for third.
Cain took the spot on the next lap on the high side, as Abbey began to pull away. Cain improved one more spot, taking the runner-up position through six circuits.
Dalton Faulkner tried to take second from Grantz with eight in, but his attempts fell short before the first caution flag flew with nine in the books.
Cain remained on the high side on the ensuing restart, as Starry remained on the final spot on the podium with ten laps complete.
Cain was on Abbey’s rear bumper down the backstretch on the eleventh lap, as Faulkner moved back into third.
The second caution of the race slowed the pace on lap eleven. Another caution on the ensuing restart saw Faulkner try to steal the top spot from Cain, as the former tried a slider that didn’t take. Cain used a crossover to remain the leader at the halfway point.
The top three remained the same through the ten to go marker, though Faulkner stalked Cain, and Cain tried to steal the lead from Abbey.
The top three pulled away from the rest of the field, before a pair of cautions around the five to go mark.
Faulkner and Cain made contact on a pair of restarts at that point, but it was Faulkner who was the one that earned the right to try to hunt down Abbey for the race win.
Faulkner tried one last slidejob on Abbey as the field came to the white flag, but Abbey spun to bring out the final caution of the race. The caution was charged to Faulkner, and that restacked the field for one final green-white-checkered restart.
Abbey was able to hold off Starry on the restart to win the race. Jacob Wilburn, Cain, and Memphis Villarreal rounded out the top five.