NICK SCHWIEN â ¢ Hays Daily News David Murray uses the low line to pass Tim Watts during a modified heat race Saturday night at RPM Speedway in Hays.
NICK SCHWIEN â ¢ Hays Daily News Kenny Schrader pilots his modified during a heat race Saturday night at RPM Speedway in Hays.
By NICK SCHWIEN
Fishing is what he wanted to be doing.
Thanks to his friends, though, David Murray was talked into racing.
What he reeled in was his third win this season at RPM Speedway on Saturday night.
"We needed one for a morale booster," Murray said. "You have a little bad luck and then think you want to go fishing. That's what I tried to do today. I called a couple of my buddies and told them, 'Let's go fishing.' They said, 'No. Let's go racing.' I told them I really wanted to go fishing. They talked me into going racing."
Murray started the modified feature in 10th, one spot ahead of NASCAR legend Kenny Schrader, who was in town as part of S&W Supply's 80th anniversary celebration.
But Murray was able to get to the front and through traffic first, while Schrader got held up as he battled other drivers in the competitive field.
"We redrew an 11, so we knew we were in trouble with this field of cars," Schrader said. "They've just got good cars here. ... But I'm not really hanging my head. It's just tough cars here, tough competition. You have really good cars that run here weekly. This is only the third time we've ran our IMCA car this year, so we're not really hanging our heads too much."
Tim Watts led the first two laps before Corey Lagroon took the lead. He'd lead until lap 13, when Murray made the pass for the front spot.
Two laps later, as Lagroon was peeking his nose down low in turns three and four on Murray, the caution flew.
"That's part of racing, those yellow flags," Lagroon said. "They usually hurt me more than they ever help me. But I knew Dave would be coming. He's got his big-boy motor in now, and the track was fast. I figured he would be coming."
Kyle Rohleder got around Lagroon for second on lap 16, then reeled in Murray. But as soon as the WaKeeney driver threatened, Murray closed the door. A caution with three laps remaining spoiled any chance Rohleder had.
"If that last caution wouldn't have came out, maybe we would have had something for him," Rohleder said. "I knew if I would have shown my nose too early today, he would have taken it away from me. He's too good."
Murray, despite facing motor problems after the restart, was able to hold on during the final three laps to win.
"On that last restart, it took off good on the front stretch," Murray said. "Then on the back, it got lazy like I lost a cylinder or something. Now it's revved up and won't idle. Probably some valve problem. But it finished, so we can fix it."
Lagroon got back into second, only to have Rohleder pass him on the final lap to take the spot. Dylan Sherfick finished fourth.
Schrader battled his way through the field, finishing seventh. It was his third time competing at RPM in recent years.
"That's the neat thing about this class," Schrader said. "Everybody runs hard all the time. They want to beat us, and we want to beat them. But we usually have a good time."
* Kiowa Higdon won his fourth race in Hays this year in the sport compact class. But Higdon failed post-race inspection and was disqualified. That allowed Michael Smith to grab the win. Art Herzog was second, with Amber Bird third and Madison Reed fourth.
* Garrett Hager won his second hobby stock feature in a row. He grabbed the lead on lap 10 from Trevor Schmidt and pulled away. Schmidt was second, followed by Adam Armstrong -- using a backup car after his failed following his heat race -- and Cody Graham was fourth.
* Four different drivers in the sport mod feature had the lead at one point, starting with Kaid Calhoon. Calhoon was passed by Kurtis Pihl on lap three before Tyler Frye took the top spot on lap 11. Blaine Walt, who started seventh, rallied to pass Frye coming out of turn two on the next-to-last lap and held on for the win. Frye was second, followed by Daniel Gottschalk and Trenton Kleweno.
* The action back in the pack was hotly contested in the stock car feature. That allowed Casey Werkmeister to pull away for the win. Michael Pepper was second, with Tyler Tipton third and Scot Granzella fourth.
* Racing returns to RPM Speedway on Saturday with the URSS 305 sprint cars and the inaugural appearance of the NeSmith Late Models. Sport compacts, buses and cruisers also will be competing.