Race Recap: Theiss, Titzman, Leonard notch wins at Texana

EDNA, Texas (April 12, 2024) — Touring Late Model veteran Austin Theiss; rising open-wheel star Nathan Titzman and the ever-versatile Cody Leonard all won features in their respective divisions, as Owen Pittman and his staff hosted a full card of racing on Friday night at Texana Raceway Park. 

Theiss powered to victory in the 20-lap A Main for American Crate Late Model Series (ACLMS) Southern Region teams; Titzman prevailed in a talent-filled tilt for Limited Modifieds; while Leonard came out on top in a hotly-contested affair for Factory Stocks. 

Click Here To Replay Every Lap from Texana!

Tony Blankenship (Hobby Stocks); Brayden Tumlinson (E Mods); and Ashlynn Slough (Restricted Winged Micros) were also feature winners on Wicked Wrapz and Detailing Night at the Races. 

Theiss, of Brenham, started second on a 16-car grid and led all 20 laps in convincing fashion. Reigning series champion Beau Begnaud crossed the stripe in second, while Jared Maupin filled out the podium. Cody Leonard (doing double duty) and Kody Hardage (Seguin) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. 

“We ended up fifth overall in Time Trials, but the track was still a little greasy,” Theiss said via telephone early Saturday morning. “I wasn’t going to let that determine the night. We were able to get out front in our Heat race and pick up that win, which set us up nicely for the feature. 

“I think clean air was a good thing as fast as we were going. You hear guys talking about an aero push in traffic sometimes. I was able to get the jump on the start, and the car was strong enough for me to hold onto the lead. Now we’ll head for I-37 tonight and try to make it a clean sweep for the weekend.” 

Finishing sixth through 10th in the ACLMS southern Region A Main were Kevin Sitton, Jayden Pena, Rhett Starnes, Matt Fox and Donald Lehman. Four cautions slowed the pace, all for minor incidents. The Crate Late Models are always a thrill when they compete on the racy little oval at Texana. 

Titzman, of Corpus Christi, started on the pole of a 15-car Limited grid and led all 20 laps in fine style. Trent Beaver finished a distant second, while James Cole filled out the podium with a solid effort. Craig Oakes and Bobby Smith completed the top five. 

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Limited Modified feature were Joe Pontin Jr., Cooper Koliba, William Sellier, Logan Densman and Jett Garza. Two cautions slowed the pace (lap 0, 1), both for minor spins. Titzman’s margin of victory over Beaver was a comfortable 4.815 seconds. 

Leonard, of Sinton, started second on a 15-car Factory Stock grid, got a great initial start and set a fast pace for all 20 circuits. San Antonio powerhouse Allen Torres finished second, while local favorite Nathan Rachui was third with a strong run. Chase Sanchez and GW Hessong rounded out the top five.

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Factory Stock feature were Cord Beard (who, as owner has made a number of nice improvements to the facility), Johnny Westfall, Shannon Mauer, Makayla Trimble and Joseph Penney. Two cautions slowed the pace (lap 3, 6), both for quick spins by Mauer.  

This week’s program at Texana, headlined by the mighty American Crate Late Model Series/Southern teams, drew a respectable 74 entries between six divisions. Add the Karts that ran during intermission, and you’re just shy of 100 racers on hand. There was ample talent in the TRP pit area on Friday night. 

Officials cranked out Time Trials for the ACLMS Late Models and a dozen qualifying Heats before intermission, then hosted six entertaining features with little delay. Along with those noticeable and nice refinements to the facility, the show itself is well-presented at Texana and makes for a fun night. 

You can replay every lap of Friday night’s American Crate Late Model Series/Southern Region show at Texana 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. 

When you sign up today, choose your favorite track and start enjoying great content while supporting the sport, even when you can’t attend in person.  

By Phil Whipple, Staff Writer