RECAP: Sanders cruises to Outlaw Modified win at inaugural Texas Monday Series event

Gallery provided by Speedway Shots

By Mike Spieker

NO LIMITS, Texas (July 5, 2021) – The inaugural event of the Texas Monday Series at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track brought a big field of 122 cars among four divisions. Two separate rain showers hampered the night, causing a two-hour delay in the middle of heat race action. The XR Events staff battled through the adversity to not only get the track back in shape, but provide a smooth multi-groove surface.

Feature wins went to Rodney Sanders in the Outlaw Modifieds, Jeffrey Abbey in the Factory Stocks, Wally Beaty in the Southern Limited Mods, and Justin Zimmerman in the ASCS Elite Non-Wing Sprint Cars. The Texas Monday Series returns on July 19th.

Happy, Texas racer Rodney Sanders started on the pole and dominated the 25-lap, $2,500-to-win Outlaw Modified main event.

“Track position was pretty critical,” said Sanders in victory lane. “We are just trying to be eligible for that $25,000 (during the Texas Dirt Nationals in September). Tonight is a good start for that, but we have a lot more to run.”

Other than a brief challenge from Chris Huckeba, Sanders cruised to the win with ease.

“I was really worried. I knew I didn’t have a good lead… I didn’t feel really good out there,” said Sanders. “But like I said, track position was key and we got lucky with a good draw tonight.”

Huckeba, Jacob Gallardo, Kale Westover, and Fito Gallardo rounded out the top five.

Justin Zimmerman took the point on the opening circuit of the 20-lap ASCS Elite Non-Wing Sprint Car feature from his front row starting position. Zimmerman withstood challenges on several restarts to lead every lap and claim the win in the series’ debut at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

When asked in victory lane what it took to get around the semi-banked four-tenths mile oval on the fresh track following the rain delay, Zimmerman responded, “A whole lot of gas with just a little bit of brake.”

The win for Zimmerman was his second of the season and the 11th of his career with the Elite Non-Wing Sprint Series. Coming home second 0.770 seconds behind Zimmerman was Wesley Smith. Third went to Cody Price, as Chase Brewer charged from eighth to finish fourth. Keith Martin completed the top five.

The Southern Limited Modified feature got underway with a great battle for the lead. Scott Prather led Wally Beaty, but Beaty appeared to have the faster car early on. Stalking Prather from the drop of the green flag, Beaty made a move to take the point on lap four. Once out front, Beaty never looked back. The driver of the No. 75 opened up a 3.5 second lead over Prather in six laps. Beaty continued to open up his lead late in the race until a caution with four to go erased his 6.6 second advantage.

Beaty hung on to claim the win.

“I just tried to make myself be consistent and hit my marks,” said Beaty of the pair of restarts with under five to go. “I was kind of worried, those guys kept blowing up and laying down oil but this IRP car was phenomenal tonight. It’s pretty cool to win at this place.”

Billy Vest held the point early in the Factory Stock finale with Abbey all over him in second. Abbey pulled alongside of Vest coming out of turn two on lap four, but didn’t have the momentum to clear him for the lead. Vest continued to lead until his car pushed out of turn four and made heavy contact with the outside retaining wall. 

That handed the lead over to Abbey; one he would not relinquish.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get around (Vest) until he messed up,” said Abbey of the battle for the lead. “He pushed coming out of (turn) two early, but we had a yellow and I got into him. He held the lead for a little while, then he messed up a little bit coming out of (turn) four and I was able to get back around him.”

Despite damage to the right side of his machine, Vest made the battle for the lead interesting in lapped traffic, but Abbey claimed the win by 1.2 seconds. The win kept Abbey a perfect three-for-three in 2021 at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

Vest, Ricky Ingalls, Phil Dixon, and Jason Gore completed the top five.

The replay of night one of the Texas Monday Series can be seen at www.racexr.plus with a plus subscription.