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Carl Stanley Kilgore Claims Battle of the States Belt

Carl Stanley Kilgore Claims Battle of the States Belt

MERIDIAN, Miss. (March 4) — Carl Stanley Kilgore has followed the results of the Battle of the States for the past decade without ever competing in the event, but like many drivers has cast a distant eye toward the gold wrestling-style championship belt awarded each season to the winner of the prestigious event at Whynot Motorsports Park.

The Greenville, Miss., driver paid a visit to the quarter-mile facility Saturday night, and hung that belt proudly over his shoulder in the winner’s circle, and later took it home to place in his trophy case. He earned $1,200 for the victory in a race that opened the season for the Shannon Hiers-promoted Mississippi Street Stock Series Presented By Jackson Industrial Services, which is co-sanctioned each season by Crate Racin’ USA.

“I’ve always wanted to come here and race for the belt,” Kilgore said. “It’s a cool trophy, and now we’ve got one. It’s our first time to race in this event, and to come here and win is a great way to kick off our season. It’s a pretty big win for me.”

Wheeling a car he’d only driven a handful of times, Kilgore led all but a single circuit in the 20-lapper en route to victory in a race slowed only once by a caution, and he stayed glued to the top side while establishing a 0.883-second advantage over runnerup finisher Chuck Thorne.

Completing the top five in the 24-car field were Landen Jackson, Lee Ray and Brock Love.

"The car is new to us, and we’ve only had it about five races,” Kilgore said. “We acquired it around the first of last August, and it’s a 2012 Franklin Chassis that we’ve updated over the winter. I’m happy with it, and I think we’ve got a fast piece for the season.”

Once he swept into the lead on the second circuit, Kilgore kept the car glued to the outside wall, using the high approach to keep all comers away from his rear bumper. He said the journey to the winner’s circle reminded him of racing at his home oval.

“It’s a pretty different racetrack than back home, but I love it when we have to run this place right up against the wall,” Kilgore said. “That reminds me of my home track. I grew up at Greenville Speedway, and it’s a hammer-down place that you’re often running right up against the outside wall. My parents run the place, and I’ve run there since I was 11 years old. I’ve raced 10 years in a full-bodied car. It seems kinda crazy being 21 years old, and already having 10 years in racing.”

His experience showed once he took the early advantage away from Stacy Herron, who faded to an eighth-place finish in a 24-car field. At that point Kilgore’s car was ready to be unleashed and roll, but some difficulties earlier caused a few moments of consternation for the family-operated team.

"The fan belt was halfway off during time trials, and we had to work on it,” Kilgore said. “It was something we didn’t catch over the winter. It wasn’t in line the right way, and we had to work on it again before the heat race.”

The problem proved to be only a small obstacle on the way to victory lane, and the winning car carried sponsorship from Elite Glass, Lee’s Body Shop, S&S Farms, Newman Motorsports Services, Corbin Dill’s Custom Harvesting & Planting, Small Change Racing, 28 Diner, Mize Hamburger House and Brady Heating & Cooling.

Kilgore also cited his uncle Bryan, uncle William and his Mom and Dad as major factors in his racing efforts.

While getting a Battle of the States championship belt was a nice start to the season, Kilgore has loftier goals at a track he runs infrequently. The facility is the well-known home of the Southern Street Stock Nationals, which annually draws over 100 competitors to its grounds. It’s a sacred pilgrimage for many of the highly-competitive division’s drivers, and is scheduled Aug. 17-19, 2023, at the high-banked track.

“We’ve been here a few times for that one,” Kilgore said. “That’s the race everyone wants to win. Hopefully we can come back here and get that one.”

Battle of the States: 1. Carl Stanley Kilgore, 2. Chuck Thorne, 3. Landen Jackson, 4. Lee Ray, 5. Brock Love, 6. Spencer Hughes, 7. Blake Comer, 8. Stacy Herron, 9. Caiden Jackson, 10. Johnny Stokes, 11. T.J. Herndon, 12. Michael Santangelo, 13. Jaxon Moore, 14. Josh Arabie, 15. Noah Daspit, 16. Shelby Sheedy, 17. Heath Minor, 18. Tod Hazel, 19. Hunter Runions, 20. Dale Nelson, 21. Chad Thrash, 22. Cole Stringer, 23. Mark Thorne, 24. Joe Hamm.

Entries: 33
Them Minor Boys Fast Qualifier: Carl Stanley Kilgore.
Lead changes: 1
Lap leaders: Stacy Herron 1, Carl Stanley Kilgore, 2-20.
Heat winners: Carl Stanley Kilgore, Chuck Thorne, Stacy Herron, Lee Ray.
B-main winners: Johnny Stokes, Dale Nelson.

Article Credit: Brian McLeod

Roger Dabbs Chevrolet

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