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Hale roars to win in late models during big night of racing at Route 66


Amarillo's Trey Hale took the lead late after a caution and cruised to victory in the late model class Saturday night at Route 66 Speedway. Hale maintained his lead atop the point standings. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]

Less than a month into the full 2021 racing season, Route 66 Speedway had its most intriguing night on the track so far Saturday night.

On the first special night of the season, the Southern Touring Late Model Series made a stop in Amarillo as some of the circuit’s top drivers showed their skills in front of about 1,500 fans, who attended despite the threat of bad weather. But that still couldn’t quite overshadow some of the regularly scheduled weekly events involving the usual local drivers.

In the limited late models class, the evening’s penultimate main event, Amarillo’s Trey Hale showed why he’s the series points leader by rallying for victory in the last third of the race. Hale, who entered the evening with a 17-point lead in the standings, now has 391 points and a 49-point lead.

For much of the 20-lap race, Hale and the rest of the field were chasing Canyon’s Teddy Lindsey, who held the lead heading into a caution with about seven laps to go. Hale had moved up to second after starting the race in the fourth position, and after the caution was lifted for the green flag, he saw a chance.

“I got up there a couple of times around the top of the race track,” Hale said. “The car seemed to like it a little bit more and I just figured I’d give it a shot and run up for a few laps and see what happens and we started getting some runs on (Lindsey) and finally I just let her go and she liked it.”

Hale took the lead by passing Lindsey and held on to it doggedly, as the race was his to lose after that.

“It’s a lot easier leading because you don’t have to work around so many cars,” Hale said. “It was more that I could get the line that I wanted and was comfortable with. The car felt great.”

Being in front is something Hale is used to as a Route 66 veteran. He’s a former series points champion at the track and has established himself as the one to beat in late models this year.

It’s a position Hale has come to enjoy.

“I enjoy the competition out here,” Hale said. “Everybody in our class seems to get along. I have a great time with the people I race with. I know that I’m not going to race them dirty and they’re not going to race me dirty.”

Earlier in the evening in the touring series, Katy’s Colton Horner won the featured event, cruising to victory in the fastest class of the evening. The trip to the Panhandle was worth it for Horner, who took home a $2,000 winner’s check.

Amarillo drivers, however, won the last two events of the night. Following Hale’s win, Carson Spitler ended the evening by winning the street stocks.

Only one class had a new leader at the end of the night, as Amarillo’s Dee Gossett moved into the lead from second place in the modifieds.

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