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Whitener Earns $5,000 in Street Stock World Championship

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Whitener Earns $5,000 in Street Stock World Championship

Whitener Earns $5,000 in Street Stock World Championship

By Brian McLeod

COCHRAN, Ga. (March 13) — Pole position starter Patrick Lyon of Gastonia, N.C., led the first 30 laps of the Crate Racin’ USA-sanctioned Street Stock World Championship Saturday night at Cochran Motor Speedway, and did so handily in the 50-lap event at the Chris and Joni Martin-promoted oval.

Those laps were remarkably completed without pause for a caution flag as Lyon stretched a comfortable lead, but the complexion of the race changed uponthe appearance of the first yellow flag, and it was Mark Whitener of Middleburg, Fla., who provided the most interruption to Lyon’s supremacy on the restart.

Whitener Earns $5,000 in Street Stock World Championship

Whitener, who restarted in the outside lane, moved quickly to the lead on the high side. He rolled away to victory over a 24-car field to claim a $5,000 victory in the race that was postponed on New Years’ weekend due to rain, and subsequently rescheduled at the newly-resurfaced facility.

Whitener, who was behind the wheel of a Mac Lipthratt-owned machine and started second on the grid, led the rest of the distance and crossed the stripe ahead of Lyon, first-time track visitor Bo Minor, local favorite Wil Herrington and Cameron Metts.

The handling on Whitener’s car sent the 40-year-old driver searching for the right line, and he finally found it at the top of the racetrack, running against the concrete off turn four because that’s where his car handled best. It also played into the eventual pass for the lead, when Whitener lined up on the outside of a double-file restart and stuck to his newly-found chosen line, sweeping into the lead on the high side past Lyon and taking a lead he never again relinquished.

“Our car was too tight, and when I found that top I was pretty much married to it for the rest of the night,” Whitener said. “I was overdriving the car down lower in the black, and he was actually better than me down there in the black. That restart gave me a little advantage, because I had already been running the top, and had found out we were pretty good up there.”

Lyon, who had finished his previous four races with either a win or second-place finish, including a major victory in the Crate Racin’ USA Street Stock portion of the Ice Bowl held Jan. 10 at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, Ala., was a bit disappointed after leading the first 30 trips around the 3/8-mile facility.

“I really wanted that big trophy,” Lyon said. “It was a huge trophy, and we had our eyes on it. This is a big deal to win, and it’s a race that means a lot to the guys in this division. He got us on that restart, and at the time the bottom lane wasn’t there for us no more. It changed for us just that quick. We had made slight contact with the No. 1 car [Bo Minor] at one point, and it affected my car’s handling a little bit, but it was just good, clean racing. I felt like I could have defended my spot without that happening, but we still had a blast. It was a good one for the books, and we learned a lot racing here.”

Whitener, who became the fourth different winner of the event, was glad to post the victory for his car owner, who is also a former driver in the Late Model ranks.

Whitener Earns $5,000 in Street Stock World Championship

“Mac [Lipthratt] has done a lot for me in my career, and this is a really meaningful race for us to win together,” Whitener said. “It means a lot for me to see him get this victory as a car owner. It’s becoming a really big and prestigious race in this division, and I’m glad to be part of seeing him reach the winner’s circle as a car owner. He works really hard on these cars.”

Whitener’s No. 514 entry was sponsored by First Coast Hydraulic Repair, ML Motorsports, BRW Construction Group, SSR Graphics, and was powered by a motor from H&R Race Engines.

Street Stock World Championship: 1. Mark Whitener, 2. Patrick Lyon, 3. Bo Minor, 4. Wil Herrington, 5. Cameron Metts, 6. Justin McRee, 7. Tyler Sanders, 8. Calob McLaughlin, 9. Shaun Washam, 10. Kyle Livingood, 11. Andy Stewart, 12. David Gentry, 13. Brandon Carter, 14. Garrett Shurling, 15. Earl Petty, 16. Bradley Frakes, 17. Jason Floyd, 18. Josh Nelms, 19. Tuck Trentham, 20. Chris Keller, 21. Charles Christian, 22. Bobby Oglesby, 23. Dean Watson, 24. Andrew Stone.

PC: Brian McLeod

By Brian McLeod | Crate Racin’ USA Street Stock Division

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