By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
Eric "Easy E" Jones went six weeks before earning his first feature win, but on Saturday night, he picked up two more, including his first IMCA Stock Car win of the year and second straight Street Stocks trophy.
Keith White and P.J. Egbert won their fifth feature races of the year as the three IMCA class points leaders all dominated the winner's circle, though Jones' win was overshadowed by a six-caution, controversial I-Stock feature.
"I feel pretty depressed about the race," Jones said. "I spun one guy around and had someone cut me off, so I know next week someone's going to come after me. I know I didn't run the cleanest race and some other people didn't race it clean either. It wasn't the way I'd imagined winning my first one."
Jason Batt and Shad Stevens raced a 1-2 battle for three laps before an 11th lap caution. Stevens got the jump on Batt around turn four on the re-start and took the lead on the grandstand's straightaway. Just out of turn two, Batt pushed the nose of his car into Stevens' bumper and spun the No. 23 car.
Stevens and Batt were pushed to the back for the altercation and David Dunn and Jones were left up front for the final four laps.
Jones took his first lead around turn two on lap 12 and raced a single lap up front when Batt spun Stevens again down the front stretch on lap 14 forcing a green-white, checker finish out of the race's sixth caution. Batt was black-flagged for rough driving and Stevens' car was finished for the night.
Jason Bogard, last week's I-Stock champion, settled in behind Jones on the single-file re-start with an efficient outside strategy but Jones got the better jump and Bogard never got close enough in the final lap to attempt the pass.
"I was kind of happy (re-start) because Bogard probably would've ended up beating me if there would've been one more lap," Jones said.
Jones started the Street Stocks feature on the outside of the pole and never trailed to easily win his second straight feature in that class.
White won his fifth IMCA Southern SportsMods feature at Texas Thunder a day after winning the same race at Elm Mott's Heart 'O Texas Speedway. He currently leads the state, region and nation in the class.
"(Last year) this was a brand new car," White said of his late success. "It took six weeks to get out the bugs and then it went on a tear. We made a few changes before the season, but we didn't have to break in the new car."
White led 12 of the 15 laps, with Tomlinson moving into second on turn four of lap nine around Mike McDougal, but White was too far out in front for anyone to make a move.
"He got up there before I could," Tomlinson said. "If there would've been a caution, I would've had something for him."
While White has finished first in five of the seven races at Texas Thunder this season, Tomlinson has only bested White twice and won just a single feature and trails the two-time national champion 276-271 in the points.
"Our national championships is based off points and wins and track championships," White said. "We want to win two track championships, this one and Heart O' Texas."
Egbert's IMCA Modified feature win was his fifth this season and fourth-straight and he had to outduel his cousin Trevor Egbert to get that.
Trevor led seven laps, split by P.J.'s one-lap lead on lap 11, before P.J. took the final lead around turn 2 and the back straightaway on lap 14 to the end.
With 40 Texas Twisters registered to race Saturday night, the cars had to be split into three feature races with Aaron Headrick, Randy Doyle and T.J. Yagalla all winning.
T.J. Jacobs, who finished second behind Yagalla, leads Doyle by a single point in the track championship race. Yagalla is third, nine points off the lead and Headrick is fourth.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.