NICK SCHWIEN â ¢ Hays Daily News Marty Clark (8) and Jerry Teel (6T) battle for the lead during a modified heat race as the sun begins to set Saturday night at RPM Speedway in Hays.
By NICK SCHWIEN
He joked with his friends about not knowing which pedal to push to make the car go.
But when it came time for the feature event Saturday night at RPM Speedway in Hays, Marty Clark knew what to push and when en route to a modified victory.
"The one on the right makes it go; the one on the left makes it stop," Clark said about joking with his friends. "I didn't race for about three weeks. I'm just happy."
The Russell driver started on the pole of the 20-lap modified main and led the first eight laps. But Salina's Corey Lagroon got by Clark after a restart on the first caution.
"Any time you can get a win, it's good -- no matter where you start at," Clark said. "These guys are all fast, and there's good guys out there that can win any night. I got to start on the pole, and that was nice. But somebody had to start there. It might as well be me."
But Clark, who suffered through myriad car issues this season, held his ground. Lagroon led through two more cautions, but it was after the restart of the final one when things started to slip away.
"I think I would have been all right if we didn't have the yellow flags. It was a pretty hammer-down track," Lagroon said. "I can't believe guys were spinning out on it. I don't know how big of a lead I had, but I was getting into a groove and felt like I was going good."
Lagroon worked his way out to a sizable advantage, only to have the caution flag fly each time. He led a lap after the final restart before Clark pulled beside him at the line on lap 17.
"I was like, 'I think I can do this. I think I can do this,' " Clark said. "But it was a clean race. I don't think I crowded him, and he certainly didn't crowd me."
Lagroon got high in turn two, and Clark capitalized, taking the lead down the backstretch.
"We had that (first) caution, and I didn't need that," Clark said. "I was out there by myself, or I felt like I was. Then Corey got by me, and I thought I would have to settle for second because he got away from me for a little bit. Then I started changing my entrance into (turn) three, coming across the rough, and I could gain back on him. ... Then we had that last caution, and we had another shot at him. It worked out well."
Clark led the final laps to take the win, his first this season.
"He beat me," Lagroon said. "He got back around me. After I got around him, I thought I would be all right. I felt pretty comfortable. I kept missing my entry into (turn) one a little bit and skating up a little bit. Then a couple times I hit the rough and upset the car and had to get out of the throttle."
Lagroon finished second for the second night in a row -- he also was second at Salina Speedway in the previous night -- and Brian Calhoon was third.
Rodger Peck, who started the race nearly a half lap behind the entire field, rallied all the way from the back to fourth. Jerry Teel was fifth.
* Monte Honas started ninth in the sport compact feature but led by the end of the first lap while taking his fifth win in a row at RPM. Michael Smith was second, with Tanner Chapin in third and Art Herzog in fourth.
* T.C. McKain won his first hobby stock feature at RPM after an intense battle with Colton Pfeifer early. Kent Tammen was second, with G.W. Fuller in third and Ron Wehling in fourth.
* Tyler Frye won a caution-filled Northern sport mod feature, his fourth of the season at the track. Frye took the lead from Daniel Gottschalk on lap 11. Blaine Walt snuck by Gottschalk on lap 13 to finish second, and Gottschalk was third. Clay Money was fourth.
* Jason Rogers kept his hot streak alive in Hays, taking the lead at the halfway point of the stock car feature while winning his second race at RPM. Casey Werkmeister was second, with Jeff Tubbs in third and Arnold Williams in fourth.
* Racing returns to RPM on July 13 and 14 during the Ellis County Fair.