Race Recap: Bettis, Hartline, Redmon win at Rocket Raceway

PARIS, Texas (May 11, 2024) — Popular North Texas racer Brandon Bettis; open-wheel veteran Shannon Hartline and regional stalwart Deaon Redmon all won features in their respective divisions, as officials hosted a full card of racing on Saturday night at Rocket Raceway Park. 

Bettis recorded his first career victory in the By-Line Surveying Factory Stocks; Hartline prevailed in a talent-filled affair for Coston & Son Ready Mix USRA Limited Modifieds; while Redmon continued his recent hot streak with a win in Eco-Mod action. 

Jesse Freelen (USRA Stock Cars) and Kason Capps (Jr. Limiteds) were also feature winners on a night when earlier-than-expected rain showers cut the program short by one feature. The headlining USRA Modifieds were set to run for $1,200-to-win when the rains came, forcing officials to pull the plug. 

Bettis, of Detroit, Texas, started on the pole of an 18-car grid and led all 15 laps (cut by five due to incoming weather) in convincing fashion. Always a threat in Factory Stock, Redmon crossed the stripe in second, while points leader Michael Smith filled out the podium. 

Marty Hicks (Powderly) and Richard George Jr. (Celina) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. 

“I would truly say we started from the bottom, and now here we are,” Bettis said when contacted after scoring his first big victory. “I truly have guys behind me who help and share tons of knowledge to get this done. Three of the four guys we pit with have already won this year. 

“I owe this first career victory to them and our great sponsors who fund this venture. Is was an amazing night I will never forget. They say that first win is pretty special, and they are dead-right on that fact.” 

Finishing sixth through 10th in the USRA Factory Stock feature were Wyatt Payne, James Proctor, Russ Malone II, Jeremy Fodge and Scottie Gipson. Two cautions slowed the pace (laps 4, 9), both for minor incidents. Bettis’ margin of victory over Redmon was a scant .656 of a second. 

Hartline, of Ivanhoe, started from the pole on a 15-car grid, powered past ageless veteran Skeet Amason on the opening lap and hung on to earn top honors. Amason settled for close second, while Greenville, TX, native Rowdy Day filled out the podium. 

Mason Day (no relation, of Farmersville) and Matthew Riskey (Commerce) completed the top five. 

“I put this car on the scales at 1:30 yesterday afternoon,” Hartline said on Sunday morning. “It hit the dirt for the first time in Hot Laps. It’s a 2024 Western Flyer from Curtis Allen. The last one I had took a pretty huge hit, and held up so I can still race.  I figured I better get another one, and have no regrets. 

“The motor is from our own Hartline Machine Shop, which makes the win even sweeter. The track was in great shape last night; Kevin and his guys are on top of it every week. So this one felt pretty special, to take a brand new car and put it into Victory Lane its first time out. I’ll thank all who made it happen.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Coston & Son Ready Mix USRA Limited Modified A Main were Kyle Whitworth, Bailey Dosser, Brian Orr, Jacob White and Brian Hopkins. With  no cautions to slow his pace, Hartline simply put his foot to the floor and focused on keeping Amason in his mirror. 

This week’s championship points program at Kevin Sustaire’s pristine facility drew a solid 83 entries spread across six divisions. It’s unfortunate that rain kept the mighty USRA Modifieds from running their feature, as 18 teams were on hand ready for battle. Their feature will be made up at a later date.  

You can replay every lap of Saturday night’s abbreviated program from Rocket Raceway Park with a Membership at Newly re-branded with a commitment to promote local racing, RaceON (formerly RaceON) has over 400 Live events on tap in 2024 from several states. 

By Phil Whipple, Staff Writer