NICK SCHWIEN • Hays Daily News B.J. Wagoner drives through turn one during a stock car heat race Saturday night at RPM Speedway in Hays.
By NICK SCHWIEN
For the majority of the race, B.J. Wagoner saw nothing in front of him.
In a split second on the final lap, he saw everything coming straight for him.
But track officials ruled Wagoner was spun by the second-place car on the backstretch, giving him his first stock car feature win at RPM Speedway on Saturday night.
"I had a good feeling all week long about coming down here," Wagoner said. "It's good to get out of here with a win."
Wagoner, from Colby, hadn't had the best luck at Hays' dirt track in the past. And he thought, for a while, his luck had run out once again like it had every other race at RPM.
Wagoner started outside the second row and tucked in behind leader Shaylon Holloway through the first seven laps. Then he made his move and inherited the lead.
He'd pull out to a comfortable lead, only to see the second yellow flag of the race when Jeff Tubbs was sent to the back by track officials for causing Geoff Jermark to spin in turn four.
"I felt like the first 15 laps ... I was pretty much checking out," Wagoner said. "Then I started counting laps, and I knew we were at halfway. ... I knew when the yellow came out, we had six or seven to go. When we got to four, I wasn't driving the car near as hard as I was the first 15 laps of the race. I just wanted to make it through the corners and finish."
That allowed Scot Granzella, who moved by Holloway into the runner-up spot, a chance at the win.
Wagoner held his ground, though, keeping Granzella at bay until the final lap.
Coming out of turn two, Granzella got into the back of Wagoner, causing him to spin.
"I felt him down the front straightaway at the white flag," Wagoner said. "Then when we went into (turn) one, I could feel him on the bottom and I buried into it. But when I did that, I caught a little bit of a hole and got tight, and it pushed me up the track a little bit. I basically stopped the car and turned it back down so he couldn't get under me. We were pretty much out of (turn) two by the time he got into me. I didn't feel like I came down across his nose or anything."
Wagoner kept on the gas, spinning his car around as the rest of the field closed in and Granzella pulled away.
Tubbs, who rallied from the back, and Pat Bedore got by Wagoner before he got back up to speed.
Granzella crossed the line first, followed by Tubbs and Bedore. But officials disqualified Granzella for the rough driving, giving Wagoner the win.
"I left my foot in it," Wagoner said. "About halfway around, I thought, 'This is not the good thing to do,' because normally when you leave your foot in it you get wadded up. I really was pretty much shocked it was happening. I was pretty hot after the checkers. I was mad. But they made it right with me."
"Second isn't bad, and I'm glad B.J. won," Tubbs said. "That was a bad deal he got turned on the last lap. I really wish things would have changed a little different, because I would have given him a run for his money."
Jason Davis rounded out the top four.
* Monte Honas won his eighth sport compact feature in a row at RPM, although he had to work a little harder for this one. Honas didn't take the lead until lap 11, then led the rest of the race. Andrew Soderlund was second, followed by Kirk Pfannenstiel and Michael Smith.
* Ron Wehling got the win in the hobby stock feature, his first this year at RPM. Wehling started on the pole and took the lead from T.C. McKain on lap three. Jeromy Wagoner was second, followed by Leon Pfannenstiel and Garrett Hager.
* Clay Money won his third feature in the sport mod class. He led all but the first lap. Tyler Frye was second, with Cory Struckhoff in third and Jake Krone in fourth.
* Brothers Travis and Dylan Sherfick staged a battle up front in the modified feature. But older brother Travis was able to hang on for the win, becoming the first driver to win multiple races in the class this year at RPM. Dylan was second, with Corey Lagroon third and Rodger Peck fourth.
* Racing returns to RPM Speedway on Aug. 24 for the Greg Close Memorial Race.