Henson Prize Bump Spices Up STN Weekend!
Lonnie Wheatley, TEXARKANA, Ark. (September 21, 2023) – With the 36th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires & Ark-La-Tex Lawn and Landscape just two weeks away, things are already getting more interesting.
The 16th Annual Ralph Henson Memorial that kicks off the event now at Texarkana 67 Speedway on Thursday, October 5, will now pay $4,646-to-win courtesy of Clifton Freight Services rather than the originally posted winner’s share of $2,500.
The Henson leads the way into the 36th edition of the Short Track Nationals that follows on Friday and Saturday. The top finisher among the top three in the Henson feature event that fails to race into the STN finale will receive a provisional starting position if needed for the $20,000-to-win STN championship feature.
The Ralph Henson Memorial kicked off in 2008 after the passing of the legendary Arkansas racer in October of 2007. Henson transitioned from racing motorcycles to Sprint Cars in 1965 and spent several decades as a top force in the I-30 Speedway and Mid-South Sprint Car scene, racking up six track championships at Little Rock’s I-30 Speedway alone.
Fittingly enough, STN and Sprint Car demigod Gary Wright topped that inaugural edition of the Henson in 2008.
Since that time, another ten drivers have scored Henson honors in that event that has previously taken place at the former I-30 Speedway. Most recently, Clute, TX, native turned Knoxville, IA, resident Aaron Reutzel bested a field of 74 entries to kick off last year’s final weekend atop the I-30 clay oval.
Marion, AR, shoe Derek Hagar has enjoyed the most Henson success with three triumphs, topping the 2021 edition after previous wins in 2016 and 2018. Zach Pringle and Tim Crawley are the only other two drivers to post multiple Henson wins.
All three multi-time Henson winners have ranked as perennial STN contenders as well over the years with Hagar posting a pair of preliminary feature wins and a half-dozen career top-ten finishes in the STN championship finale.
Pringle has made his way into four STN finales while Crawley made the cut for an all-time event best 25th STN championship final last year before shifting his attention to the promotional side at Texarkana 67.
Past Ralph Henson Memorial Winners:
2022 – Aaron Reutzel
2021 – Derek Hagar
2020 – Mark Smith
2019 – Tim Crawley
2018 – Derek Hagar
2017 – Tony Bruce, Jr.
2016 – Derek Hagar
2015 – Tim Crawley
2014 – Jordon Mallett
2013 – Cody Gardner
2012 – Dale Howard
2011 – Zach Pringle
2010 – Zach Pringle
2009 - Jeff Swindell
2008 – Gary Wright
This year’s 16th Annual Ralph Henson Memorial will again be a tremendous lead into two full nights of Short Track Nationals action at Texarkana 67 Speedway with all three nights available for viewing exclusively on Flo Racing for those unable to attend in person.
Pre-entries for the 36th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires & Ark-La-Tex Lawn and Landscape submitted by Monday, October 2, are $100 and include a free two-day driver pit pass. Entries after October 2 are $150 with no pit pass included. Entries may be submitted at https://www.67speedwayoftexarkana.com/driverinfo/.
There is no pre-entry for the Ralph Henson Memorial.
The Pertinent Info:
The What: 36th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires & Ark-Law-Tex Lawn and Landscape.
The Where: Texarkana 67 Speedway (Texarkana, AR). Texarkana 67 Speedway is located east of Texarkana to I-30 Exit 7, then 0.5 miles southeast on SR 108 then 2.6 miles northeast on US 67.
The When: October 5-7, 2023.
October 5 - Ralph Henson Memorial
October 6 – STN Preliminary action culminating with Twin 25-lap featues.
October 7 – STN Championship culminating with $20,000 to win finale.
The Mufflers: Leave ‘em at home, no mufflers required for the event.
The Format: Thursday’s Ralph Henson Memorial will be contested under standard ASCS Mid-South Region format with one of top three finishers eligible for Saturday STN provisional if needed.
Friday’s preliminary event will be contested under a derivative of the All Star Circuit of Champions format, with group qualifying establishing heat race lineups with an invert of four in each heat race. The Friday preliminary will conclude with Twin-25 lap features that each offer up $1,500 to win.
The top two from each of the Twin 25-lap features will be locked into Saturday night’s Pole Shuffle and the championship main event.
Friday events points accumulated will be carried over to Saturday night, with another set of heats utilizing passing points added to the Friday total to set the championship feature lineups. The top two in combined points from Friday night and the Saturday heat races with join Friday’s four lock-ins in the Pole Shuffle. The next eight in points will occupy STN championship feature positions 7-14 with the balance of the field in “B” and “C” Mains. Three will transfer from both “B” Mains to set the 20-car feature field. The 21st position is reserved for a top-three Thursday night finisher if necessary.
The Past Winners (All previous events contested at Little Rock’s I-30 Speedway):
2022-Sam Hafertepe, Jr.
2020–Sam Hafertepe, Jr.
2009-Tony Bruce, Jr.
2008-Tony Bruce, Jr.
The Feature Purse:
Thursday: 1. $4,646, 2. $1,250, 3. $1,100, 4. $800, 5. $700, 6. $600, 7. $500, 8. $400, 9. $300, 10. $250, 11. $250, 12. $250, 13. $250, 14. $250, 15. $250, 16. $250, 17. $250, 18. $250, 19. $250, 20. $250.
Friday (Twin Features): 1. $1,500, 2. $750, 3. $650, 4. $625, 5. $600, 6. $550, 7. $525, 8. $500, 9. $450, 10. $400, 11. $350, 12. $325, 13. $300, 14. $275, 15. $250, 16. $250, 17. $250, 18. $250, 19. $250, 20. $250.
Saturday: 1. $20,000, 2. $5,000, 3. $2,500, 4. $2,200, 5. $2,000, 6. $1,700, 7. $1,600, 8. $1,500, 9. $1,400, 10. $1,350, 11. $1,300, 12. $1,200, 13. $1,150, 14. $1,100, 15. $1,000, 16. $1,000, 17. $1,000, 18. $1,000, 19. $1,000, 20. $1,000.
Thursday: Pits $35. Grandstand for Adults $25, Military $20 (with ID), Kids 6-11 $5 accompanied by an adult and 5 and under free.
Friday: Pits $35. Grandstand for Adults $25, Military $20 (with ID), Kids 6-11 $5 accompanied by an adult and 5 and under free.
Saturday: Pits $40. Grandstand for Adults $30, Military $25 (with ID), Kids 6-11 $5 accompanied by an adult and 5 and under free.
Driver pit pass for Friday and Saturday is included in the $100 entry fee if submitted by the deadline.
Tickets will be available at the gate each day with gates with grandstands opening daily at 5:00 p.m. Debit/credit cards are accepted at the front gate and concessions.
Free camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis along the west side tree line with no water or electrical hookups.
The Broadcast: If you can’t make it to the STN to catch all the breathtaking action in person, no need to fret as you can catch it all live online at www.floracing.com.
For more information regarding the 36th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires at Texarkana 67 Speedway, check online at www.67speedwayoftexarkana.com, call 870-648-5688 or email email@example.com.
Submitted By: Bryan Hulbert