By DAVID SMITH JR.
Special to The Hays Daily News
Hutchinson, Kansas - July 13, 2013 - In one of the most exciting modified races in the events history, Brian Franz outlasted Tyler Davis to claim the National Championship Racing Association of Park City, Kansas presented by Precise Racing Products modified feature finale Saturday night atop the famed half mile oval at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kansas during the 57th running of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Hutchinson Grand Nationals presented by Midwest Ford/Toyota of Hutchinson.
It was an all-Enid, Oklahoma front row for the twenty-five lap feature as A.J. Brochu and Joe Adams paced the field and when the green flag fell it was Adams jumping out into the lead. The start was quickly aborted when third and fifth starting Kip Hughes and defending tour champion Marc Hurd got together in turn three.
On the complete restart Adams again jumped out into the lead with Brochu, fourth starting Davis and Franz giving chase. Adams would hold a five car length lead over Davis before Davis would close the gap to one car length on lap ten.
Lapped traffic would come into play at the races midway point and Davis took advantage, driving underneath the leader heading down the back stretch to take the lead on lap twelve. Franz would follow him into the runner up position dropping Adams back to third.
Davis would hold a slim two car length lead over the former five-time series champion and on lap eighteen, Franz would attempt to take the lead down low in one and two. But Davis would keep the point heading down the back stretch to lead lap eighteen. One lap later, Franz would pull even with Davis in turns one and two and take the lead heading down the back stretch.
Heavy lapped traffic awaited the front runners on lap nineteen which allowed Davis to stay on the leader's rear bumper. With two laps to go the race got real interesting as Davis would make a bid for the lead and coming down front stretch, passed Franz for the apparent lead. However a two car tangle on the front straightaway would abort the pass for the lead giving Franz the top spot with two laps to go.
On the final restart Franz, aboard his familiar #86 MMT Millennium/Precise Racing Products/Kaotic Wraps sponsored, Leon Dewitt powered GRT Race Car would get a good jump on Davis and despite getting crossed up coming out of turn four on the last lap, would hold on to take the three car length victory and his second career Hutch Nationals championship, this worth $2000.
"This one feels better than that first because my car worked really great tonight," said Franz. "Tyler drove a heck of a race. I knew at the start I couldn't hold back and had to get the lead as quick as I could. We were just real good tonight."
Adams would finish third with Jon Thompson and Brochu rounding out the top five.
Two sets of heat races were run on Friday night with points accumulated from both setting up Saturday nights "C, B and A" feature lines ups for championship Saturday night. The ten lap "C" feature was won by Dustin Belcher while Dan Powers claimed the twelve lap "B" feature.
The next scheduled race for the NCRA modified division will take place on Saturday night, August 17th in the tours second appearance ever at the Route 66 Motor Speedway in Amarillo, Texas.
Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, Kansas
July 13, 2013
C Feature: 1) Dustin Belcher, 2) Neil Dossie, 3) Johnny Whitmore, 4) Tim Eaton, 5) Clint Smith, 6) Ross Shipman, 7) Jeremy Mahoney, 8) Barry Gifford, 9) Bob Lane, 10) Jim Graves, 11) Jimmy Brozek, 12) Aron Rayl, 13) JR Sandalia, 14) Lucas Gibbs, 15) Don Hodge
B Feature: 1) Dan Powers, 2) Josh Lanterman, 3) Dustin Belcher, 4) Jason Wedel, 5) Kirby Robe, 6) Kevin Newell, 7) Neil Dossie, 8) Carson McKeen, 9) Ross Shipman, 10) Justin Moler, 11) Craig Miller, 12) Jeremy Mahoney, 13) Jim Graves, 14) Tim Eaton, 15) Brandon Miller, 16) Barry Gifford, 17) Johnny Whitmore, 18) Gary Kilbourn, 19) Clint Smith, 20) Bob Lane
A Feature: 1) Brian Franz, 2) Tyler Davis, 3) Joe Adams, 4) Jon Thompson, 5) A.J. Brochu, 6) Marc Hurd, 7) Josh Lanterman, 8) Kirby Robe, 9) Strawn Taylor, 10) Dan Powers, 11) Dustin Belcher, 12) Ross Shipman, 13) Justin Moler, 14) Jeremy Mahoney, 15) Jase Wedel, 16) Jason McGehee, 17) Jim Graves, 18) Tommy Miller, 19) Craig Miller, 20) Tim Eaton, 21) Neil Dossie, 22) Kevin Newell, 23) Carson McKeen, 24) Kip Hughes
Lap leaders: Adams 1-12, Davis 13-18, Franz 14-25.