Drown Wins O'Reilly/NCRA 360 Sprint Car Series race at Hutchinson Nationals HUTCHINSON, Kan. (Aug. 6, 2005) -- Derek Drown just absolutely ran away and hide from everyone else and coasted to his first victory in the 49th Annual Hutchinson ...
Drown Wins O'Reilly/NCRA 360 Sprint Car Series race at Hutchinson Nationals
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (Aug. 6, 2005) -- Derek Drown just absolutely ran away and hide from everyone else and coasted to his first victory in the 49th Annual Hutchinson Nationals 360 Sprint Car division, an O'Reilly/NCRA Sprint Car Series points race.
Drown started fifth and finished second in his heat race, which put him on the first row for the feature alongside pole sitter Chris Parkinson, running in his first NCRA event. The start of the race was the last time Drown saw him until after the race as Derek got a huge jump on Chris and the field.
Drown looked like he was shot out of a rocket at the green and then it looked like his racecar was on a rail going around the track while the others battled for runner-up. First in line was Parkinson with Mike Peters, J.D. Johnson and Luke Cranston rounding out the early top five.
By the third lap, Drown had opened up a straightaway lead over Parkinson which just continued to grow. After six laps Drown was through turn one and entering turn two when Parkinson was just exiting turn four onto the front straight.
While Drown was off in his own little world, Parkinson and Peters hooked up in a great battle for second place early in the 20-lap feature. Peters tried the low side going through turn one to start lap 12 but Parkinson held him off.
Peters had shown it was just a matter of time as he made the bottom move stick a few laps later as he moved around Parkinson into second place
The final yellow of the race came out on a restart of lap 18. As the leaders entered turn two, Johnson spun in the middle of the track and three others tried to avoid him. A broken front spindle caused Johnson, who was running fourth, to spin and end his evening early.
Drown had first encountered lapped traffic on lap six but had slowed somewhat because he was having trouble getting around them. That had allowed Peters and Parkinson to gain some ground and now they had a chance to fight for the lead in a three-lap shootout.
But Drown quickly showed that he was the dominant driver and racecar tonight as he once again pulled away from the others on the restart. The 2000 NCRA 360 Sprint Car Rookie of the Year easily took the checker for his first win of the season and the fifth of his career.
Peters held on to finish second, followed by Parkinson, Cranston and Geoff Dodge in the top five. Series points leader Garry Lee Maier, a three-time winner at the Hutch Nationals, recorded a top 10 finish in sixth.
C.J. Johnson, who entered the night second in points, exited early and finished 20th. He is also a three-time winner at the Hutch Nationals
Drown was understandably all smiles after the race, thinking of what he had just accomplished.
"Man, this is a dream come true. I came up here with Scott Brown in (1993) when he won it and he got me hooked," he said. "I always wanted to race a sprint car and now I can put my name with his and Steve (King), C.J. (Johnson). Dennis (Park), Garry Lee (Maier) -- all of those fabulous drivers who are champions."
The O'Reilly Finish Line
Cherokee Casino and Resort Heat #1:
1. J.D. Johnson, Goddard, Kan.; 2. Derek Drown, Amarillo, Texas; 3. Geoff Dodge, Colorado Springs, Colo.; 4. Steve King, Jetmore, Kan.; 5. Preston Peebles, Lubbock, Texas; 6. C.J. Johnson, Quinter, Kan.; 7. Christi Passmore; 8. Shane Howard.
Cherokee Casino and Resort Heat #2:
1. Shane Bangerter, Dodge City, Kan.; 2. Mike Peters, Wichita, Kan.; 3. Brian Herbert, Dodge City, Kan.; 4. James Riner, Wichita, Kan.; 5. Larry Carter; 6. A.J. Selenke, Wichita, Kan.; 7. Mike Woodruff, Satanta, Kan.; 8. Gavin Punch, Collinsville, Okla.
Cherokee Casino and Resort Heat #3:
1. Chris Parkinson, Gladstone, Mo.; 2. Luke Cranston, Ness City, Kan.; 3. Jon Freeman, Salina, Kan.; 4. Garry Lee Maier, Cimarron, Kan.; 5. Dennis Park, Liberal, Kan.; 6. David Wheeler, Valley Center, Kan.; 7. Allan Unruh, Valley Center, Kan.
1. Brian Herbert; 2. Preston Peebles; 3. Steve King, ;4. C.J. Johnson; 5. Dennis Park;6. Mike Woodruff; 7. Shane Howard; 8. Christi Passmore; 9. David Wheeler; 10. Allan Unruh; 11. Gavin Punch; 12. Larry Carter.
1. Derek Drown; 2. Mike Peters; 3. Chris Parkinson; 4. Luke Cranston; 5. Geoff Dodge; 6. Garry Lee Maier; 7. Jon Freeman; 8. Steve King; 9. Dennis Park; 10. Gavin Punch; 11. Brian Herbert; 12. Preston Peebles; 13. Mike Woodruff; 14. Shane Howard; 15. Christi Passmore; 16. Allan Unruh; 17. J.D. Johnson; 18. Shane Bangerter; 19. James Riner; 20. C.J. Johnson; 21. David Wheeler.