By MIKE HUGHES
Special to The Hays Daily News
RPM Speedway in Hays, KS, kicked off the new racing season with a large field of cars from 8 states on hand for the Sunflower Classic Friday & Saturday, March 28-29.
In results on Friday, Jeremy Frenier of Fort Morgan, CO, took advantage of his outside pole starting position to jump to the lead of the 25-lap IMCA Modified feature, trailed by Jesse Taylor and David Murray. The lone caution waved on lap 6, bunching up the field on the restart. Frenier continued to lead the field at the halfway mark, followed by Iowa's Jesse Sobbing, Cody Gearhart and Murray. Then on lap 16, Sobbing got under Frenier coming out of turn 4 to take a lead he would not relinquish. Lapped traffic came into play but Sobbing held off Murray, who finished inches ahead of Gearhart for second. Frenier and Jeff Hunter rounded out the top five. Heat race winners were Sobbing, Frenier, Chris Bragg and Kevin Gray, with Clay Sellard and Travis Hatcher first to the checkers in the 2 B-features.
The IMCA Stock Car feature had the fans on the edge of their seats as the race was close throughout the pack. 'The Spiderman' Nick Tubbs jumped to the early lead with B.J. Wagoner, Justin Tiemeyer and Jeff Tubbs in tow. Nick continued to lead the field at the crossed flags of the 25-lap main event, with Mike Nichols, Kyle Vanover and Wagoner close behind. Then as the leaders caught up to lapped traffic, Nichols, of Harlan, IA, got past 'Spiderman' to take the lead. Vanover and Nick Tubbs made a late charge but Nichols hung on to win the Dirt Track Central Jax Sports Grille Great Plains Series race. Vanover held off Nick Tubbs for the runner-up spot, followed closely by Wagoner and B-feature winner Nolan Remus. Heat race winners included Jeff Tubbs, Vanover, Nick Tubbs and Tiemeyer.
'The Frye Man' Tyler Frye of Belleville picked up where he left off last year as he got past Collyer's Blaine Walt on lap 17 to win the 20-lap IMCA Northern Sport Mod main event and pick up a $500 winner's check. Walt led the first 4 laps before Ben Kates took a lead for a single lap before Walt regained the lead. After Frye took the lead, Walt stayed close but had to settle for second, with Daniel Gottschalk, Kates, and Jake Krone completing the top five. Heat race winners were Henry Henderson, Krone, Austin Carter, and Kates. Mark Franklin and Jimmy Ness were victorious in the 2 B-features.
Dillon Thompson of Hastings, NE, started on the pole of the IMCA Hobby Stock A-main and led all 20 laps to score the win and a $500 payday. Iowa's Chuck Madden chased Thompson most of the way but had to settle for the runner-up spot. Mike Traskowsky finished third, followed by Jason Fusselman and Kurt Hansen. Noah Ludwig, Brock Beeter, Thompson and Kyle Pfeifer were heat race winners, with 'Cheeseburger' G.W. Fuller and Oscar Runyon winning the B-features.
Ramsey Meyer of Pierce, NE, led all 15-laps in the IMCA Sport Compact feature. A caution on lap 14 set up a green-white-checkered finish but Meyer was able to beat heat race winners Art Herzog and Michael Smith to the checkers. Kirk Pfannenstiel was fourth and Richard Tegethoff fifth.
A field of 162 cars were on hand Saturday that saw some new faces in victory lane.
In the IMCA Modified A-feature, Iowa's Travis Hatcher led the first 8 laps before the first caution waved on lap 9. When the green flag reappeared, both 'Dynamite' Dylan Sherfick and 'The Iceman' David Murray of Oberlin shot past Hatcher to first and second. But as the field came out of turn 4 to the halfway mark, Murray got under Sherfick to take the top spot and drive away for a $1,000 payday. Sherfick was second, followed by Cody Gearhart, Jesse Taylor, and Hatcher. Heat race winners were Kyle Rohleder, Hatcher, Kevin Gray and Chris Bragg. Jeremy Frenier and Anthony Roth won the B-features.
In another Dirt Track Central Jax Sports Grille Great Plains Series IMCA Stock Car feature, Mike Nichols of Harlan, IA, won his second feature in as many nights. After a first lap mishap, the race went 25 caution free laps and Nichols made his way to victory lane for another $750 payday. Polesitter Angel Munoz finished second and Jason Rogers third. Heat 2 winner Nick Tubbs was fourth and fourth heat winner Kyle Vanover fifth. B.J. Wagoner and Scot Granzella also won heat races.
Austin Carter shot to the top spot at the drop of the green in the IMCA Northern Sport Mod A-main, but the 'Money Man' Clay Money of Penokee took control on lap 9 and led the remaining distance for the trip to victory lane. Carter held on to second, followed by polesitter Blaine Walt, Cory Struckhoff and Brenden Damon. Carter, Tyler Frye, Jake Krone and Daniel Gottschalk were all victorious in their heat races, with Austin Walker and Mike Appel claiming the wins in the B-features.
Over 40 IMCA Hobby Stocks checked in Saturday night, making for an exciting main event. Iowa's Chuck Madden started pole and jumped to the lead followed by 'The Wild Child' Garrett Hager and Dillon Thompson, who was looking for his second win in a row. Hager took the lead on lap 3 but Madden regained the top spot on lap 6. The final half of the 20-lap race went caution free and set up an exciting finish. As the leaders went into the final turn on the final lap, third place running Adam Armstrong of Beatrice, NE, shot to the lead and held on over Madden and Thompson. 'Cheeseburger' G.W. Fuller had the drive of the night as he started 24th and finished fourth, with Jason Fusselman rounding out the top five. Heat race winners included Thompson, Fusselman, Brian Stich, Brock Beeter, Mike Traskowsky and 'Bam Bam' Cody Graham. B-feature winners were Iowa drivers Corey Madden and Noah Ludwig.
In the IMCA Sport Compact feature, first heat winner and hometown driver Kirk Pfannenstiel led all 15 caution free laps. Second heat winner Ramsey Meyer finished second, with Kiowa Higdon, Michael Smith and Art Herzog finishing out the top five.
The weekend's race sponsors were Xtreme Motorsports and D & B Motors, both of Great Bend.
The regular season will kick off Saturday, April 12, at 7:00 p.m. with the school buses joining the regular 5 divisions in action.
Heat race winners: Jesse Sobbing, Jeremy Frenier, Chris Bragg, Kevin Gray.
B-Feature #1 (top 4 advance): 1. Clay Sellard, 2. Dylan Sherfick, 3. Tim Watts, 4. Jeremy Zorn, 5. Jason Haug, 6. Eddie Edwards, 7. Tyler Sutton, 8. Matt Henke, 9. Grant Florence, 10. Randy Wilson (DNF), 11. Paul Jones (DNF).
B-Feature #2 (top 4 advance): 1. Travis Hatcher, 2. Ryan Heger, 3. Ronnie Hill, 4. Van Gemmill, 5. Michael Wadel, 6. Anthony Roth, 7. Nick Link, 8. Jesse Richter, 9. Mike Petersilie, 10. Troy Plummer, 11. Daniel Krieger (DNF).
A-Feature: 1. Sobbing, 2. David Murray, 3. Cody Gearhart, 4. Frenier, 5. Jeff Hunter, 6. Bragg, 7. Brendon Gemmill, 8. Jesse Taylor, 9. Mike Densberger, 10. Sherfick, 11. Eddie Belec, 12. Kyle Rohleder, 13. Corey Burch, 14. Gray, 15. Heger, 16. Joe Cleveland, 17. Watts, 18. Hatcher, 19. Jason Schoenberger (DNF), 20. Sellard (DNF), 21. Hill (DNF), 22. Zorn (DNF), 23. Corey Lagroon (DNF), 24. V. Gemmill (DNF).
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat race winners: Jeff Tubbs, Kyle Vanover, Nick Tubbs, Justin Tiemeyer.
B-Feature (top 8 advance): 1. Nolan Remus, 2. Casey Woken, 3. Michael Pepper, 4. Chris Meis, 5. Geoff Jermark, 6. John D. Sieg, 7. John A. Sieg, 8. Jason McIntyre, 9. Wes Baier (DNF), 10. Dustin McClurg (DNF), 11. Cody Williams (DNF).
A-Feature: 1. Mike Nichols, 2. Vanover, 3. N. Tubbs, 4. B.J. Wagoner, 5. Remus, 6. Angel Munoz, 7. Tiemeyer, 8. J. Tubbs, 9. Scot Granzella, 10. Lance Borgman, 11. Jason Rogers, 12. Woken, 13. Perry Misner, 14. Pepper, 15. Kyle Clough, 16. Mark Zorn, 17. Jermark, 18. Meis, 19. Robert Rutherford, 20. John D. Sieg, 21. John A. Sieg, 22. Chad Borgman, 23. Tyler Tipton (DNF), 24. McIntyre (DNF).
IMCA Northern Sport Mods
Heat race winners: Henry Henderson, Jake Krone, Austin Carter, Ben Kates.
B-Feature #1 (top 4 advance): 1. Mark Franklin, 2. Jeremy Couse, 3. Andy Barton, 4. Ryan Moser, 5. Josh Appel, 6. Thomas Nelson, 7. Pat Bedore, 8. Toby Witthuhn, 9. Kenny Schmidt, 10. Dustin Daniels (DNF).
B-Feature #2 (top 4 advance): 1. Jimmy Ness, 2. Jeremy Sigler, 3. Cody Pancake, 4. Fred Traskowsky, 5. Steven Lewis, 6. Dakota Sproul, 7. Kamron Gruber, 8. Mike Appel (DNF), 9. Rick Julian (DNS).
A-Feature: 1. Tyler Frye, 2. Blaine Walt, 3. Daniel Gottschalk, 4. Kates, 5. Krone, 6. Cory Struckhoff, 7. Clay Money, 8. Kurtis Pihl, 9. Brendon Damon, 10. Shane Meeks, 11. Nate Ginest, 12. Carter, 13. Ness, 14. Bryan Herrick, 15. Franklin, 16. Traskowsky, 17. Moser, 18. Couse, 19. Clough, 20. Pancake, 21. Henderson, 22. Barton, 23. Eric Pfeifer, 24. Sigler.
IMCA Hobby Stocks
Heat race winners: Noah Ludwig, Brock Beeter, Dillon Thompson, Kyle Pfeifer.
B-Feature #1 (top 4 advance): 1. G.W. Fuller, 2. Luke Pfannenstiel, 3. T.C. McKain, 4. Toby Schield, 5. Travis Coop, 6. Robert Emmons, 7. Brady Bencken, 8. Irvin Earl, 9. Trevor Schmidt, 10. Jason Sucky (DNF), 11. Lyle Russell (DNF).
B-Feature #2 (top 4 advance): 1. Oscar Runyon, 2. Tommy Fose, 3. Darren Unrein, 4. Russ Specht, 5. Colton Pfeifer, 6. Sean Marcotte, 7. Al Emmons, 8. Jason McClung (DNF), 9. Chip Broaddus (DNF), 10. Shay Simoneau (DNS), 11. Aaron Gray (DNS).
A-Feature: 1. Thompson, 2. Chuck Madden, 3. Mike Traskowsky, 4. Jason Fusselman, 5. Kurt Hansen, 6. Fuller, 7. Beeter, 8. Garrett Hager, 9. Cody Graham, 10. Specht, 11. Pfannenstiel, 12. Ludwig, 13. Brian Stich, 14. K. Pfeifer, 15. Schield, 16. Andrew Sabastian, 17. James Pittman, 18. Corey Madden (DNF), 19. Ron Wehling (DNF), 20. Unrein (DNF), 21. Runyon (DNF), 22. Fose (DNF), 23. H.J. Colburn (DNF), 24. McKain (DNF).
IMCA Sport Compacts
Heat race winners: Kiowa Higdon, Art Herzog.
Feature: 1. Ramsey Meyer, 2. Herzog, 3. Michael Smith, 4. Kirk Pfannenstiel, 5. Richard Tegethoff, 6. Madison Reed, 7. Mike Wagner, 8. Andrew Soderlund, 9. Justin Rohr, 10. Higdon (DNF).
Heat race winners: Kyle Rohleder, Travis Hatcher, Kevin Gray, Chris Bragg.
B-Feature #1 (top 4 advance): 1. Jeremy Frenier, 2. Eddie Belec, 3. Corey Burch, 4. Ronnie Hill, 5. Randy Wilson, 6. Clay Sellard, 7. Jesse Richter, 8. Marty Clark, 9. Tim Watts, 10. Daniel Krieger (DNF), 11. John Fose (DNF), 12. Nick Link (DNS), 13. Grant Florence (DNS).
B-Feature #2 (top 4 advance): 1. Anthony Roth, 2. Travis Sherfick, 3. Craig Colgin, 4. Ryan Heger, 5. Jason Haug, 6. Tyler Sutton, 7. Joe Cleveland, 8. Brian Calhoon, 9. Paul Jones, 10. Troy Plummer, 11. Eddie Edwards, 12. Danny Cancelman, 13. Mike Petersilie (DNF).
A-Feature: 1. David Murray, 2. Dylan Sherfick, 3. Cody Gearhart, 4. Jesse Taylor, 5. Hatcher, 6. Bragg, 7. Jeremy Zorn, 8. Frenier, 9. Jeff Hunter, 10. Michael Wadel, 11. Colgin, 12. Belec, 13. Van Gemmill, 14. Hill, 15. Jesse Sobbing (DNF), 16. T. Sherfick (DNF), 17. Roth (DNF), 18. Rohleder (DNF), 19. Jason Schoenberger (DNF), 20. Brendon Gemmill (DNF), 21. Heger (DNF), 22. Burch (DNF), 23. Mike Densberger (DNF), 24. Gray (DNF).
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat race winners: B.J. Wagoner, Nick Tubbs, Scot Granzella, Kyle Vanover
Feature: 1. Mike Nichols, 2. Angel Munoz, 3. Jason Rogers, 4. N. Tubbs, 5. Vanover, 6. Wagoner, 7. Perry Misner, 8. Jason Davis, 9. Jeff Tubbs, 10. Lance Borgman, 11. Chad Borgman, 12. Casey Woken, 13. Tyler Tipton, 14. Dustin McClurg, 15. Michael Pepper, 16. Granzella, 17. Kyle Clough, 18. John D. Sieg, 19. Robert Rutherford, 20. John A. Sieg, 21. Mason McIntyre, 22. Justin Tiemeyer (DNF), 23. Mark Zorn (DNF), 24. Shannon Maughlin (DNF), 25. Geoff Jermark (DNF), 26. Wes Baier (DNF).
IMCA Northern Sport Mods
Heat race winners: Austin Carter, Tyler Frye, Jake Krone, Daniel Gottschalk.
B-Feature #1 (top 4 advance): 1. Austin Walker, 2. Josh Appel, 3. Henry Henderson, 4. Cody Pancake, 5. Steven Lewis, 6. Brandon Clough, 7. Jeremy Couse, 8. Fred Traskowsky, 9. Kenny Schmidt, 10. Bentley Pywell, 11. Thomas Nelson (DNF), 12. Rick Julian (DNS).
B-Feature #2 (top 4 advance): 1. Mike Appel, 2. Ryan Moser, 3. Kamron Gruber, 4. Dakota Sproul, 5. Chad Markley, 6. Toby Witthuhn, 7. Pat Bedore, 8. Eric Pfeifer, 9. Kaid Calhoon, 10. Jeremy Sigler (DNF), 11. Andy Barton (DNF).
A-Feature: 1. Clay Money, 2. Carter, 3. Blaine Walt, 4. Cory Struckhoff, 5. Brenden Damon, 6. Dustin Daniels, 7. Frye, 8. Nate Ginest, 9. Kurtis Pihl, 10. Gottschalk, 11. Trenton Kleweno, 12. Krone, 13. Walker, 14. Bryan Herrick, 15. Henderson, 16. M. Appel, 17. Moser, 18. J. Appel, 19. Gruber, 20. Pancake, 21. Jimmy Ness, 22. Sproul, 23. Shane Meeks (DNF), 24. Ben Kates (DNF).
IMCA Hobby Stocks
Heat race winners: Dillon Thompson, Jason Fusselman, Brian Stich, Brock Beeter Mike Traskowsky, Cody Graham
B-Feature #1 (top 3 advance): 1. Corey Madden, 2. Mike Giesenhagen, 3. James Pittman, 4. Kurt Hansen, 5. Tommy Fose, 6. Kenny Schmidt, 7. Oscar Runyon, 8. Al Emmons, 9. William Bauer, 10. Jason McClung, 11. Monte Honas, 12. Shay Simoneau (DNF), 13. Justin Meserve (DNS).
B-Feature #2 (top 3 advance): 1. Noah Ludwig, 2. Luke Pfannenstiel, 3. G.W. Fuller, 4. Aaron Gray, 5. Darren Unrein, 6. Russ Specht, 7. H.J. Colburn, 8. Robert Emmons, 9. Lyle Russell , 10. Trevor Schmidt (DNF), 11. Chip Broaddus (DNF), 12. Sean Marcotte (DNS).
A-Feature: 1. Adam Armstrong, 2. Chuck Madden, 3. Thompson, 4. Fuller, 5. Fusselman, 6. Jeromy Wagner, 7. Ron Wehling, 8. Stich, 9. Corey Madden, 10. Andrew Sebastian, 11. Pfannenstiel, 12. Pittman, 13. Ludwig, 14. Travis Coop, 15. Kyle Pfeifer, 16. Jason Sucky, 17. Giesenhagen, 18. Toby Schield (DNF), 19. Garrett Hager (DNF), 20. Roy Armstrong (DNF), 21. Beeter (DNF), 22. Brady Bencken (DNF), 23. Traskowsky (DNF), 24. Graham (DNF).
IMCA Sport Compacts
Heat race winners: Kirk Pfannenstiel, Ramsey Meyer.
Feature: 1. Pfannenstiel, 2. Meyer, 3. Kiowa Higdon, 4. Michael Smith, 5. Art Herzog, 6. Andrew Soderlund, 7. Richard Tegethoff, 8. Madison Reed, 9. Brandon Lobdell, 10. T.J. Janousek, 11. Justin Rohr, 12. Shaun Woods (DNF).