Stories

Monte Honas slides underneath Michael Smith for the lead during a sport compact heat race Saturday.

NICK SCHWIEN • Hays Daily News Eddie Belec drives his modified during hot laps Saturday night at RPM Speedway in Hays.

Late pass gives Belec victory at Hays

By NICK SCHWIEN

nschwien@dailynews.net

The lead was large and growing.

The last thing Dylan Sherfick wanted to see was a caution.

Hence his disappointment when the yellow flag flew with only four laps remaining Saturday night during the modified feature at RPM Speedway in Hays -- the first of a two-day show for the Ellis County Fair.

Sherfick's big lead was neutralized with the caution and allowed Eddie Belec an opportunity to steal the win -- which is exactly what he did at the stripe Saturday night.

"It's just one of those deals where you hope the caution never comes out because I knew my car was pretty good on the bottom," Sherfick said. "I didn't know how big the lead was, but that's the way it goes sometimes."

Sherfick took the lead from Rodger Peck on the second lap. He'd lead all the way until lap 16, when the final caution came out.

Two laps later, Belec, who was in second, pulled alongside Sherfick at the start-finish line, and the two remained that way for the next lap.

"I knew we were good in that second groove, but ol' Sherfick got a good lead out there, and I knew it was going to be tough to run him down," said Belec, from Arvada, Colo. "I knew we were going to need some help."

Sherfick stuck to the bottom line, while Belec tried to make things work a bit higher.

"I thought as long as I didn't over-drive the corner and let him get up in front of me, I had a good feeling about holding him down,"  Belec said.

That's exactly what happened, and Belec pulled off turn four with a slim lead he held all the way to the finish line on the final lap.

"It's a long time coming, and we've worked really hard on this thing," Belec said. "I can't think my dad enough, and my family. It's just a great night for all of us."

Sherfick said he was confident he could get around the bottom groove on the final lap to get the win.

"I thought I could, because I didn't think there was anything in the lane above me," he said. "But he made it work. That's the way it goes."

Corey Lagroon was third, with Brendon Gemmill in fourth.

* Monte Honas kept his streak alive in the sport compact feature, winning his sixth in a row. Michael Smith was second, followed by Tanner Chapin and Art Herzog.

* Kurt Hansen of Walnut, Iowa, took the lead on lap three of the hobby stock feature and led the rest of the way. Aaron Honas finished second, followed by G.W. Fuller and Kent Tammen.

* The Northern sport mod feature showcased three leaders in the 20-lap main. Clay Money led the first four laps before Kurtis Pihl took the lead. Blaine Walt, who started ninth, passed Pihl on lap 16 and held on for the win. Pihl was second, followed by Money and Daniel Gottschalk.

* It didn't take Kyle Vanover long to get to the front, and when that happened, he led the rest of the way. Vanover passed Justin Temeyer on lap five of the caution-filled feature. Jeff Tubbs rallied for a second-place finish, with Jason Rogers in third and B.J. Wagoner in fourth.