Race Recap: Gould, Cogburn, Dabney win at Heart O’ Texas

ELM MOTT, Texas (May 26, 2024) — Regional Modified stalwart William Gould; young open-wheel sensation Trevor Cogburn, and Stock car master Michael Dabney all won features in their respective divisions, as officials hosted the All Star Shootout on Sunday night at Heart O Texas Speedway. 

Gould powered to victory in a 25-lap battle for IMCA Modifieds; Cogburn prevailed in a talent-filled affair for IMCA Southern SportMods; while Dabney was triumphant in a hotly-contested tilt for Factory Stock teams. 

Jeb Sessums (RaceSaver Sprints); Benji Kirkpatrick (Outlaw Street Stock); Paul White (IMCA Stock Cars); and Cutter Bell (Jr. Limiteds) were also feature winners on a perfect night for racing in Central Texas. This was the final night of the three-race All Star Shootout Mini Series. 

Gould, of Calera, OK, started second on a 20-car grid, drove around the outside of Jacob Pirkle to take command at lap 14 and pulled away to earn top honors. Michael Marachick crossed the stripe in second, while Brandon Walsh drove up from 13th to fill out the podium. Drake Findley and John Webb finished fourth and fifth, respectively. 

“It’s better to be lucky than good,” Gould jokingly said in Victory Lane when told he was the three-night Shootout champion. “Jacob (Pirkle) is a good dude; and he has pretty eyebrows. He overdrives his car, and I can always go a little bit faster. So I really wasn’t worried about him.” 

Finishing sixth through 10th in the IMCA Modified A Main were Spencer Hartwick, Cameron Wilson, Gary Ray Spears Jr., Joe Whitehead and Troy Schaberg. Two cautions slowed the pace (laps 8, 22), all for minor incidents. Gould’s margin of victory was a comfortable 1.680 seconds. 

Jake Upchurch, Findley and Tidwell won their qualifying Heats, while Walsh won the B Feature. 

Cogburn, of Robinson, started 11th on a 24-car grid, drove to the outside of Trey Votaw to take command at lap 12 and hung on to earn top honors. Votaw gave chase throughout yet settled for the runner-up position, while Matt Lunsford filled out the podium. Votaw earned the overall Shootout title.

Kyle Wilkins drove up from 20th at the start to claim fourth, while Tommy Williams finished fifth. 

“I don’t know what happened to Paul (White) and Brandon (Geurin),” Cogburn said. “I know Brandon got in front of me; I broke a tie-rod and my car wasn’t turning well at all. I can’t thank my Dad enough for hauling me around on this whole tour this weekend. These Waco boys sure don’t play games.” 

Finishing sixth through 10th in the IMCA Southern SportMod feature were Paul White, Cutter Spalding, Ryan Reeves, Shawn Marquez Jr. and Camo Gaston. One caution flew at lap 1 when Paul White and Brandon Geurin got together. Cogburn’s margin of victory was a scant .918 of a second. 

Marquez, Williams, Josh Landers, Lunsford and Gaston won their respective qualifying Heats earlier in the evening, while eventual winner Cogburn and White won the two B Features. 

Dabney, of Kaufman, started sixth on a 24-car Factory Stock grid, drove to the inside of Jason Hood to take control at lap 12 and hung on to earn top honors. Ryan Hopkins wheeled all the  way up from 12th at the start to claim second, while Richard George Jr. had an outstanding run to third. 

HOT regulars Nate Dixon and Dillon Kidwell completed the top five with solid outings. 

“That was a tough race from start to finish,” Dabney said. “The track was Cowboy Up tonight, so I had to go elbows-up and drive the heck out of the car. I was just hoping I could hit all of the ruts the right way, and it would turn the car down the track and not bounce up to the top. We somehow got it done.” 

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Factory Stock A Main were Shannon Dulock, Jeff Blackwood, Brian Johnson Sr., Taylor Rawlinson and Michael Guenat. Three cautions slowed the pace, one for a slow rollover by Ty Maracle (not hurt). Dabney’s margin of victory was a minuscule .480 of a second. 

Dixon, Hopkins and Michael Bowles won their qualifying Heats, while Dulock won the B Feature. 

Sunday night’s All Star Shootout event at historic Heart O’ Texas Speedway drew a huge 186 entries spread among seven divisions. Led by the mighty SportMods with 46 teams on hand, there was big talent lurking in every corner of Selby Holder’s pit area on Sunday night. 

You can replay every lap of Sunday night’s All Star Shootout program at Heart O’ Texas Speedway 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. 

When you become a Member, choose your favorite (or hometown) track and start enjoying great content while supporting your local track even when you can’t attend in person.  

By Phil Whipple, Staff Writer