NICK SCHWIEN •Hays Daily News Dylan Sherfick slides through turns one and two during a modified heat race Saturday night at RPM Speedway in Hays.
NICK SCHWIEN • Hays Daily News Cody Graham (10) takes the low line through turn one as Colton Pfeifer (71) and Garrett Hager (68) bump during a hobby stock heat race Saturday night at RPM Speedway in Hays.
By NICK SCHWIEN
Dylan Sherfick coasted around the top of the turn, his night coming to an end after a strong run that saw him at the front of the pack.
The only problem was the modified feature wasn't finished, and the smoke from Sherfick's car was an ever-telling signal his night had ended early. Another win this season wasn't in the cards.
A few days later, at RPM Speedway in Hays, Sherfick got back to the front of the pack and stayed there en route to the modified feature win.
"I was pretty down after that," Sherfick said about the race he was leading at WaKeeney Speedway earlier that week that ended with a blown engine. "I almost wanted to cry last week when I was leading it. That's the worst thing that could happen when that happens. But I'm glad I came back and ended up getting a win tonight."
Sherfick did it in his typical, workman-like fashion. He started 11th in the 19-car feature, which ended up being one of the weirdest races fans have seen at Hays' dirt track.
A first lap melee and a rough track sent several drivers throughout the 20-lap race into the pits. At the end, only seven cars took the checkered flag.
Troy Plummer started outside the front row. He led the first five laps, pulling away from the field until his car failed.
"After that first caution, I didn't know how many guys were out," Sherfick said. "I moved up a couple spots. I saw Plummer pull off and broke, and I didn't know if anybody else broke."
That left Rodger Peck inheriting the lead, which he quickly extended on the field.
But Sherfick continued to chip away at the field. He moved into third on lap seven, then was side-by-side with John Fabrizius for second on lap 11. He made the pass the next trip around.
"There was kind of a cushion up there, and I could find a groove right in the middle where there was a little bit of moisture," Sherfick said.
"That's where I could kind of get those guys. I stuck with it, and luckily enough he kind of bobbled a little bit and I got around him."
From there, Sherfick eyed Peck. The two staged a battle that ended when Peck got hung up behind a lap car on lap 15, allowing the driver of the No. 66D to skate into the lead down low.
Two laps later, Peck's night ended after a gear broke.
Fabrizius took of the runner-up spot and held off Brian Calhoon for the position the rest of the way.
"We finally got something close I could drive," Fabrizius said. "When you're not doing good, you start doubting everything. ... Tonight helps. We're not on Sherfick's level yet, but hopefully we can tweak it a little and maybe catch those guys yet."
Fabrizius started seventh and ran in the top five all night.
"If you got into the ruts, it would either hold you or throw you up a car," Fabrizius said. "It's hard to stay consistent when that happens. Everybody did a good job. I was surprised there wasn't more cautions. I was just sitting there waiting, hoping I would have had a shot at him. I just lost too much ground early to make it up."
Dave Solberg rounded out the top four.
"I'm real excited with my car," said Sherfick, who won for the first time this season at RPM. "We got it going really good. Hopefully we can keep the momentum up through the rest of the season."
* Jason Rogers passed Tyler Tipton out of turn two on lap 10 to take the lead in the stock car feature. He'd lead the rest of the way for the win. Nick Tubbs was second, with Jeff Tubbs in third. Tipton was fourth by a matter of inches ahead of Josh Hudson.
* Clay Money kept on the bumper of Cory McGann and avoided a wreck early in the race that could have ended his night. On lap 18, Money passed McGann in turn three for the lead and eventual win. McGann was second, with Austin Carter in third and Tyler Frye in fourth.
* Cody Graham won for the third time at RPM in the hobby stock class. He started ninth and took the lead from Colton Pfeifer on lap nine. G.W. Fuller was second, with Pfeifer in third and Aaron Gray in fourth.
* Ellis' Monte Honas won his third straight sport compact feature. Art Herzog was second, with Dean Herzog in third and Michael Smith in fourth.
* Racing returns June 15 with the regular five classes for the Pink 4 Life Night.