The most highly anticipated portion of the Johnson's Horsepower Garage Southern Sportsman Showdown was unquestionably the Holley Performance $50,000 64-Car Shootout, and every Stock and Super Stock driver on the property at South Georgia Motorsports Park (SGMP) knew that winning would come with massive bragging rights – along with the whopping check and a beautifully crafted trophy. Joel Warren was up for the challenge and dove right in, knocking out some of the best in the business to take home the biggest prize of the weekend.
Super Stock racer Warren, of Clinton, N.C., masterfully wheeled his SS/HA '98 Pontiac Firebird to a final round meeting with heavy-hitter Britt Cummings, who was a touch too efficient in getting to the finish line and broke out. Warren launched with a .034-second reaction time and put together a 9.604-second pass at 123.00 mph on his 9.57 dial to get the win over a .031 and breakout 9.889, 129.98 on a 9.89.
"I've been looking forward to this race for months," Warren said. "This was a blast. I knew with Jason [Line], Bo [Butner], and Dave [Connolly], this was a race I wasn't going to miss."
Warren scored an easy win in the first round when young Dylan Hough, competing in his first race, turned on the red light and left .003-second too soon.
The second round was one Warren won't soon forget, as he got to race friend and cousin-in-law Steve Foley. Foley, also making the trek to SGMP from Clinton, was off the starting line first with his C/SA '98 Camaro SS, but in this instance, that wasn't a good thing. Foley suffered a loss due to the "first or worst" rule, as his .006 red light matched Warren's precisely, but because Foley was first to offend, he was ousted from the match and Warren advanced.
"We race together a lot and he beat me last time we went bracket racing. I evened up with him this time," Warren said with a smile. "Running him was good. That was fun."
Next up for Warren was a third-round meeting with Jay Storey, whom he bested in a double-breakout. Warren was .027 on the tree with a 9.575 on his 9.58 dial, while Storey was .057 and 8.962 on an 8.97.
In the next round, Warren and Hayden Trumble were identical with their .047 reaction times, but again the round was a double-breakout, and again it was Warren with the win light. He clocked a 9.579 on his 9.58 dial to his challenger's 9.952, 9.97 and scored a heads-up SS/HA meeting with Jeff Longhany in the semifinals. The two were separated by just .002 as they left the starting line, and Warren's 9.466 at 138.24 over a 9.679, 132.32 got the respectable nod and set him on the path to victory.
"We never get a chance to race for this kind of money in Stock and Super Stock, and that's where my heart is," said Warren. "It's what I grew up around. Any shot to be able to win that kind of money at a race of this caliber, I didn't want to miss it."





The racers who will contend for the $50,000 Holley Performance 64-Car Shootout title have been locked in, and the special event is slated to round out a full day of racing on Saturday at the inaugural Johnson's Horsepowered Garage Southern Sportsman Showdown at South Georgia Motorsports Park. While the winner of the Holley-backed race will leave the event $50,000 wealthier, the 64-Car Shootout will also generously compensate drivers who reach the later rounds with payouts to the runner-up ($5,000) and semifinalists ($1,500).
"Holley has many brands, and the Sportsman racers have always been very supportive of them all, from ignition and fuel injection to exhaust and plumbing," said Robin Lawrence, Director of Motorsports for Holley Performance. "We really enjoy the opportunity to be part of the inaugural Southern Sportsman Showdown and give back to the racers who have been so good to us. There is a pent-up demand for places to race, and this event not only gives them that, but it also caters to the people who are the backbone of what we do."
Here are the racers who will be vying for the trophy and the big money in the Holley Performance $50,000 64-Car Shootout:
1 1778 Joe Santangelo
2 400C Slate Cummings
3 473 Slate Cummings
4 3909 Drew Skillman
5 378 / 3378 Tyler Bohannon
6 28 Marion Stephenson
7 3222 Chris Stephenson
8 1783 Allison Doll
9 2952 Jeff Longhany
10 3610 Leonard Mattingly
11 4404 Terry Emmons
12 395 Aaron Allison
13 2074 Brian Oakes
14 400B Britt Cummings
15 13 Matthew Lisa
16 2062 Todd Ewing
17 177 Herbie Null
18 2862 Edmond Ellison
19 16 / 1721 Joe Lisa
20 5169 Brad Koivisto
21 2400 Monty Bogan
22 2022 / P270 Ricky Pennington
23 10 Jerry Emmons
24 637 Dylan Hough
25 2980 Homer Carty
26 4731 Austin Ford
27 36 Andy Kronenbitter
28 4730 Heather Park
29 5388 Jay Storey
30 21 Mike Volkman
31 4403 Lee Zane
32 2530 Hugh Meeks
33 286 Jeff Adkinson
34 8 Jason McCandless
35 2115 Joel Warren
36 2780 Grant Lewis
37 4312 PB Candies
38 76 Mike Cotten
39 247 Mike Bell
40 4 Brett Candies
41 244 Jeff Taylor
42 1150 Russell Linke
43 2124 Jeff Strickland
44 24 Steve Foley
45 3 David Latino
46 25 Morgan Wilson
47 1781 / 1792 Dan Fletcher
48 22 Jeff Hairrington
49 2020 Brenda Grubbs
50 213A Anthony Bertozzi
51 2198 Stephen Yantus
52 2 Byron Worner
53 1 Bryan Worner
54 2004 Tyler Caheely
55 159 Victor Cagnazzi
56 5033 Rachelle Thibert
57 2931 Josh Barczy
58 5558 Jeff Chaney
59 C549 Dustin Nelson
60 3220 Randy Wilkes
61 427 Jarrod Granier
62 336 Lisa Stephenson
63 45 Hayden Trumble
64 49 Wes Neely
The Holley Performance $50,000 64-Car Shootout will begin after the first qualifying session on Saturday. The first round of the Shootout will be random pairings with no heads-up.

The first round of Saturday's Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels $20,000 race will take place directly after, and the second round of the 64-Car Shootout will follow, and it will be laddered off of index from round one and run to completion. The ladder will stand the remainder of the race, and heads-up races will be enforced.
After the conclusion of the Holley Performance 64-Car Shootout, round two of the Mickey Thompson $20,000 race will begin, and it will run until it is complete.
"This is great. When are you going to run for $50,000 in a Stock/Super Stock race?" said 64-Car Shootout competitor Drew Skillman, the 2013 NHRA Division 3 Stock champion and 2019 Factory Stock Showdown titlist. "I've been out of it for a little bit, but I still think I have a chance to win this thing. There's a lot of money on the line to win, and we have to give it a try. These guys out here are killers – they all are – you just have to be one, too."