Stories

Murray makes it happen at RPM

By NICK SCHWIEN

nschwien@dailynews.net

A night earlier, David Murray watched as one slipped away.

On Saturday night, the modified driver from Oberlin made sure it didn't happen again.

Murray took the lead on lap 15 Saturday night -- the second day of the Sunflower Classic -- at RPM Speedway en route to the victory.

On Friday night, Murray finished second by inches ahead of Cody Gearhart and winner Jesse Sobbing in an instant classic.

"There were a lot of good cars at the end," Murray said about Friday night, when Sobbing made a move out of turn four on the final lap to earn the win. "I hope it was exciting for everyone to watch. But first and second, I'll take that."

Murray and Gearhart figured into the mix for the second night in a row Saturday. Murray started sixth and Dylan Sherfick on the pole, while Gearhart started 14th. The driver from Turpin, Okla., was the only one to start that deep and finish in the top four.

"They would just have to slide up,"  Gearhart said. "And I was looking at my tire, and it's perfectly good. I probably could have ran harder, but I was hoping to get a caution and then would have been on the outside or inside lane and could have done something. They pretty much had to make a mistake, and we were good enough tonight to capitalize on it."

Sherfick took the lead on lap 10 before Murray grabbed the top spot on lap 15. He'd lead the rest of the way for the win, while Sherfick held on to second ahead of a hard-charging Gearhart.

"The car felt really awesome before that last caution," Sherfick said. "The car kind of went away a little bit. I knew with Murray behind me, he'd be knocking on the door pretty hard. I just over-drove it a little, I think."

"I had a little luck on my side,"  Murray said. "Boy, Dylan was fast. He was a little better in one and two, and I was a little bit better in three and four. I thought if I might be able to get by him and run my own line, it might be better. I was fortunate enough he missed the rubber a little bit getting into three and left me a little lane and I was able to get by him. If that wouldn't have happened, I probably would have ran second."

* The only driver to sweep the two-day event in Hays was Mike Nichols in the stock car class. Nichols led all 25 laps Saturday to take the checkers. Angel Munoz was second, followed by Jason Rogers and Nick Tubbs. Nichols passed Tubbs for the lead on lap 17 Friday night and held on for the win. Kyle Vanover was second, with Tubbs third. B.J. Wagoner was fourth.

* Clay Money made a daring move and pulled it off after a caution Saturday in the Northern sport mod class. He led the final 12 laps for his first win of the season. Austin Carter was second, followed by Blaine Walt and Cory Struckhoff. Defending track champ Tyler Frye won Friday's race, getting by Walt when the two entered lap traffic on lap 17. Walt was second, followed by Daniel Gottschalk and Ben Kates.

* Adam Armstrong led only one lap of Saturday's hobby stock feature, but it was the one that counted. He was third when leaders Chuck Madden and Dillon Thompson -- Friday night's winner -- bumped in turn four, allowing Armstrong to take the low line for the win. Madden was second, followed by Thompson and G.W. Fuller, who started 24th. Madden finished behind Thompson a night earlier, followed by Mike Traskowsky in third and Jason Fusselman in fourth.

* Kirk Pfannenstiel ran away from the field Saturday in the sport compact feature to win. Friday's winner, Ramsey Meyer, was second. Kiowa Higdon was third, and Michael Smith was fourth. Meyer led every lap of Friday's feature. Art Herzog was second, followed by Smith and Pfannenstiel.

* Racing returns to RPM on April 12.