McGehee Wins Second Late Model Hutch Nationals Championship HUTCHINSON, Kan. (Aug. 5, 2005) -- The drivers in the O'Reilly/NCRA Late Model Series feature must have enjoyed the beautiful August evening so much they didn't want the race to end.
McGehee Wins Second Late Model Hutch Nationals Championship
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (Aug. 5, 2005) -- The drivers in the O'Reilly/NCRA Late Model Series feature must have enjoyed the beautiful August evening so much they didn't want the race to end. For a while, it looked like it never would because it looked like it never would get started in to begin with.
Before the 20 drivers could complete a single lap of the 25 scheduled circuits, there was a red flag and two yellows. But once they actually completed the initial lap, it was smooth sailing for Wichita's Frank McGehee as he ran a history-making race to finally capture his second Hutchinson (Kan.) Nationals championship.
McGehee's second championship came in the 49th Annual Hutchinson Nationals, presented by Hambelton-LaGreca Chevrolet Oldsmobile, and was his first O'Reilly/NCRA late model victory. His first late model Nationals championship was back in 1991 before it was a NCRA sanctioned event. No other driver in any division in the history of the Hutchinson Nationals had gone more than 13 years between wins.
McGehee started the feature to the outside of pole sitter Ryan McAninch, also from Wichita, Kan. With the initial green, four cars got together in turn one, bringing out a yellow flag. That was shortly changed to a red as two of them had contacted the wall and had to be towed from the scene.
On the second start attempt, another yellow came out for a pair of spinning cars in turn one. The third time looked good as everyone cleared the first two turns. But a spinner on the backstretch brought out the second yellow.
Finally, a clean start saw McGehee drop low in front of McAninch for the lead he would never relinquish. Charlie Randolph Jr., Mike Conkwright and Delbert Smith rounded out the top five.
McGehee held the inside line with McAninch right on his heels. Ryan tried the high side several times in the first few laps but just couldn't make it work as Frank continually held him at bay. Unfotunuately for McAninch, he cut a left front tire half-dozen laps into the race which kept him competitive but unable to make a serious move towards McGehee.
On the restart for the final yellow on lap 10, McAninch slipped to the inside of McGehee coming out of turn two. There was slight contact and McAninch slowed in order to maintain control of his racecar. That was all the bobble that Randolph Jr. needed to slip by McAninch into second. Ryan recovered to slide into third place.
Three laps later Randolph had closed on McGehee and was pressuring for the lead. The pair broke away from the rest of the field for a two-man battle.
But McGehee, who had taken several years off from racing for health reasons, was more than equal to the task as he took the checker by three car lengths over Randolph, whose father Charlie Sr. had won the late model Nationals in 1982.
McAninch's left front held out long enough for him to finish third, with Conkwright and Smith, a two-time Nationals winner, right behind in fourth and fifth, repsectively.
Cherokee Casino and Resort Heat 1:
1. Ryan McAninch, Wichita, Kan.; 2. Charlie Randolph Jr., Muskogee, Okla.; 3. Dave Conkwright, Manhattan, Kan.; 4. Delbert Smith, Wichita, Kan.; 5. Darrick Klima, Belleville, Kan.; 6. Doug Clark, Wichita, Kan.; 7. Earl Kinderknecht, Salina, Kan.; 8. Tyler Gottschalk, Benton, Kan.; 9. Brett LaFollette, Kansas City, Kan.; 10. Rob Bencken, Oakley, Kan.; 11. Rusty Miller, Norcatur, Kan.
Cherokee Casino and Resort Heat 2:
1. Frank McGehee, Wichita, Kan.; 2. Garry Riley, Wichita, Kan.; 3. Greg Larson; 4. Steve Foster, Abilene, Kan.; 5. Dean Moore, Grand Junction, Colo.; 6. Dan Topliff, Manhattan, Kan.; 7. Al Purkey, Coffeyville, Kan.; 8. Kelly Boen, Henderson, Colo.; 9. Ronnie Warman, Wichita, Kan.; 10. Kelly Brown, Salina, Kan.
Cherokee Casino and Resort Heat 3:
1. Brad Fortney, Wichita, Kan.; 2. Mike Conkwright, Manhattan, Kan.; 3. Steve Kosiski, Papillion, Neb.; 4. Gary Dechant, Northglenn, Colo.; 5. David Brack, Great Bend, Kan.; 6. Johnny Bone Jr., Pea Ridge, Ark.; 7. Bud Longpine, Drumright, Okla.; 8. Eric Main, Hutchinson, Kan.; 9. Chris Mayes, Hutchinson, Kan.; 10. Justin Kinderknecht, Salina, Kan.
B feature #1 (top 5 transfer):
1. Steve Foster; 2. Darrick Klima; 3. Gary Dechant; 4. Johnny Bone Jr.; 5. Dan Topliff; 6. Chris Mayes; 7. Earl Kinderknecht; 8. Brett Lafollette; 9. Tyler Gottschalk.
B feature #2 (top 5 transfer):
1. Al Purkey; 2. Doug Clark; 3. David Brack; 4. Eric Main; 5. Kelly Boen; 6. Rob Bencken; 7. Ronnie Warman; 8. Justin Kinderknecht; 9. Bud Longpine; 10. Dean Moore.
A feature (25 laps):
1. Frank McGehee; 2. Charlie Randolph Jr.; 3. Ryan McAninch; 4. Mike Conkwright; 5. Delbert Smith; 6. Steve Kosiski; 7. Al Purkey; 8. Darrick Klima; 9. Eric Main; 10. Johnny Bone Jr.; 11. Kelly Boen; 12. Garry Riley; 13. Dan Topliff; 14. Dave Conkwright; 15. Greg Larson; 16. Gary Dechant; 17. David Brack; 18. Doug Clark; 19. Brad Fortney; 20. Steve Foster.