When John Willington got to Victory Lane on the dirt track at Texas Motor Speedway, he looked right at home.Even if it was his first time there.Ive probably led more laps at this place than anybody here, and Ive probably finished second more than anybody here, he said Saturday night after winning the Limited Modfied title at the WinStar Port-a-Cool Dirt Track World Championships.No wonder he held the $2,000 ceremonial winners check, raised his arm and told the crowd, Without a doubt, this is my biggest win ever.Willington, like other dirt-track racers across the state and country, has been coming to TMS for the prestige of the championship.Ive won a lot more money in bigger races, but to come here and lead a lot and either get passed with a couple laps to go or be in the lead and break something, it was surreal to finally get this achievement, he said.Chris Brown, hes had it won a couple times and gotten it taken away from him, and he finally got his win here last year. Im sure it was great for him too. Its just a real fun place to come to. Its my favorite race of the year.This was Willingtons fifth year at this event, but the first time luck was on his side along with a fast car and the bottom groove that he said has always been favorable for him here. He had the lead from the green flag and never let it go, although he was challenged for the first half of the 30-lap race.But he left no doubt after a final restart with three laps to go.I know I had some heat behind me. I didnt want to mess up, he said. I wanted this one bad. Real bad.The 32-year-old from Vidor was also entered in the Modified Championship, so he went right from Victory Lane to the car waiting on him for the next race. He hardly had time to set aside the winners cowboy hat.But it was a pleasant chore. He was still smiling about his victory. He already had something to show for his night.I dont know if luck was on my side, or if everybody felt sorry for me and finally let me win one, he said.In the Modified Championship, Rodney Sanders of Happy won for his sixth victory this year to go with wins in Arizona and Florida.Not that he was expecting it. He wasnt even expected to be entered.We were actually going to New Mexico, but we broke down in Baytown, and weve been hanging out here all week, he said. So we stayed here and raced.Sanders, 23, said it was a good decision. He got a competitive race and more experience.This is a really racy track, he said. This is a big prestige race.Shane Hebert won the SUPR Late Model championship.
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez