Boen Runs Away in O'Reilly/NCRA Late Model Opener DONIPHAN, Neb. (May 27, 2005) -- If you've ever wanted to see a late model run the high side, you should have been at Mid-Nebraska Speedway tonight to watch Kelly Boen sweep the season opener of...
Boen Runs Away in O'Reilly/NCRA Late Model Opener
DONIPHAN, Neb. (May 27, 2005) -- If you've ever wanted to see a late model run the high side, you should have been at Mid-Nebraska Speedway tonight to watch Kelly Boen sweep the season opener of the O'Reilly/NCRA Late Model Series presented by Hoosier Racing Tires.
The Henderson, Colo., hot shoe was second in points last year but started the 2005 season in grand style. Boen won his heat and the first pole dash, which put him on the pole for the A feature. The start of the feature was one of the few times you would see him on the low side of this 3/8ths-mile track as he found the high road to his liking.
"Once I got up on the top, I didn't really want to get off the top because that was where the good race track was," he said.
But the top initially belonged to the reigning champion, Al Purkey from Coffeyville, Kan., who won the second pole dash and started alongside Boen on the front row. They took the green and went into turn one side-by-side before Purkey powered by on the top to lead coming onto the back straightaway, followed by Boen and Delbert Smith.
"He (Purkey) started in the fast lane and I didn't have much for him down on the bottom," Boen said. "He had more than I did at the start of the race so I just tried to fit in behind him, without cutting anybody off, and follow him around a little bit."
It was Purkey, Boen and Smith for the first three laps before Kelly saw a chance to take the lead.
"Al made just a little bit of a bobble getting into turn one so I just run it in under him and was able to slide up in front of him," Boen said.
Boen and Purkey raced side-by-side down the backstretch before Kelly took the lead coming off the high side of turn four to complete lap four.
"Kelly was probably a little bit better so we kind of settled in there and ran second," Purkey said, "trying to figure out if we could get any better, get as good as him."
They briefly distanced themselves from the pack until the first of only two cautions on the night came out three laps later to bunch the field two-by-two behind the leader.
On the restart of lap seven, Boen was followed by Purkey, Al Humphrey, Smith and John Anderson. Kelly stayed up top on the restart and got a jump on the field but Purkey ran into problems.
Running in the middle of several drivers coming off of turn two, Purkey and Humphrey got together. Purkey got out of the throttle dramatically in order to save the racecar but lost several spots in the running order.
"This double-file restart just killed us," said a disappointed and frustrated Purkey afterwards. "I don't really know what was going on."
At the end of that lap, Anderson had inherited the runner-up spot while Humphrey had kept his foot into it and took over third. Smith was fourth with Steve Kosiski in fifth. Purkey recovered to move up to sixth, taking fifth from Kosiski on the next lap.
Boen pulled away from the pack and encountered traffic on lap 12 before another caution pulled everyone back together again. But Kelly again stayed up high on the restart and got another great jump.
"There was some cushion there if you had the car kinda jacked sideways and if you run up on it with your rear tires, you were good," explained Boen about his restarts.
"You want to make sure you didn't get off there crooked because you'd stick your car in the wall. I about run into the wall once and I run off the other end of the racetrack trying that."
After the second and final restart, it was "Kelly-bar-the-door" as he quickly moved out to a commanding lead over Anderson for the remaining 20 laps of the 30-lap feature. Boen easily took the checker a half-lap ahead of Anderson, who never challenged for the lead and finished second, mired in traffic.
Humphrey was third and Smith fourth. Kosiski, who had fallen to seventh on lap 13, got back by Purkey on lap 21 to finish in fifth.
"Everything went my way tonight," Boen said. "I just don't know any other way to put it."
Besides a really fast racecar, a key for Boen tonight was concentration.
"I've been spending a fair amount of time focused on just my driving," he said. "I've had good cars last season, this season, and I've driven them incorrectly."
"I've got to make sure I don't make mistakes behind the wheel because we really have had a pretty good car. It's kind of frustrating when I do that (make mistakes) but tonight I think I did a pretty good job (of driving)."
Although Purkey started out strong, he's not sure if he would have had anything for Boen had he been able to avoid trouble.
"I think I could have kept Kelly in sight but passing him, probably not," he said. "I don't think anybody had anything for him tonight."
Winners of the Cherokee Casino and Resort heat races besides Boen were Smith, Kyle Berck and Anderson, while Johnny Bone Jr. and Bo Egge each won B features.
Cherokee Casino & Resort Heat 1 (10 laps):
1. Delbert Smith, Wichita, Kan.; 2. Al Humphrey, Giltner, Neb.; 3. T.J. Kuykendall, Warsaw, Mo.; 4. Steve Kempt, Shelton, Neb.; 5. Eddie Moore, Milford, Neb.; 6. Ken Brack, Johnstown, Colo.; 7. Mike Wiarda, Aurora, Neb.; 8. Frank McGehee, Wichita, Kan.; 9. Harold Schriner, Guide Rock, Neb.; 10. Mike Felton, Longmont, Colo. (DNF).
Cherokee Casino & Resort Heat 2 (10 laps):
1. Kelly Boen, Henderson, Colo.; 2. Al Purkey, Coffeyville, Kan.; 3. Johnny Bone Jr., Pea Ridge, Ark.; 4. Gary Gorby, Caney, Kan.; 5. Mike Conkright, Manhattan, Kan.; 6. Billy Murphy, Lincoln, Neb.; 7. Brent Lafollette, Kansas City, Kan.; 8. Mike Danburg, Council Bluffs, Iowa; 9. Alan Jordening, Blue Hill, Neb.; 10. Travis Dickes, Madison, Neb. (DNF).
Cherokee Casino & Resort Heat 3 (10 laps):
1. Kyle Berck, Marquette, Neb.; 2. Steve Kosiski, Papillion, Neb.; 3. Ted Martin, Bennington, Kan.; 4. Lyle Shepard, Manhattan, Kan.; 5. Chris Mayes, Hutchinson, Kan.; 6. Dave Garman, Milliken, Colo.; 7. Dave Conkright, Manhattan, Kan.; 8. Gary Dechant, Northglenn, Colo. (DNF); 9. Bill Koons, Omaha, Neb. (DNF).
Cherokee Casino & Resort Heat 4 (10 laps):
1. John Anderson, Omaha, Neb.; 2. Ronnie Wallace, North Platte, Neb.; 3. Jason Humphrey, Giltner, Neb.; 4. Bo Egge, Kearney, Neb.; 5. Dean Moore, Grand Junction, Colo.; 6. Alan Jordening, Blue Hill, Neb.; 7. Scott Daly, Elkhorn, Neb.; 8. Mike Fegter, Kearney, Neb. (DNF); 9. Casey Landers, Cairo, Neb. (DNS).
Pole Dash 1 (4 laps):
1. Boen; 2. Anderson; 3. Berck; 4. J. Humphrey; 5. Martin.
Pole Dash 2 (4 laps):
1. Purkey; 2. Smith; 3. A. Humphrey; 4. Kosiski; 5. Wallace.
B feature (12 laps -- top 5 transfer):
1. Bone Jr.; 2. Gorby; 3. M. Conkright; 4. E. Moore; 5. Wiarda; 6. Shepard; 7. D. Conkright; 8. Brack; 9. McGehee; 10. Schriner; 11. Koons; 12. Garman; 13. Dechant (DNS); 14. Dickes (DNS).
B feature (12 laps -- top 5 transfer):
1. Egge; 2. Murphy; 3. Kempt; 4. Kuykendall; 5. Daly; 6. D. Moore; 7. Mayes; 8. Lafollette; 9. Jordening; 10. Danburg; 11. Miller; 12. Felton; 13. Fegter (DNS); 14. Landers.
A feature (30 laps):
1. Boen; 2. Anderson; 3. A. Humphrey; 4. Smith; 5. Kosiski; 6. Purkey; 7. Berck; 8. Murphy; 9. Bone Jr.; 10. J. Humphrey; 11. Egge; 12. M. Conkright; 13. Kuykendall; 14. Wiarda; 15. Gorby; 16. Shepard; 17. Daly; 18. Wallace; 19. Martin; 20. Kempt.