DODGE CITY, KS (May 28, 2004) - The NCRA modified division made its first visit to the "new" Dodge City Raceway Park and treated the crowd to a Western-style shootout in the first day of a two-day show. When the smoke cleared, Wichita's Brian ...
DODGE CITY, KS (May 28, 2004) - The NCRA modified division made its first visit to the "new" Dodge City Raceway Park and treated the crowd to a Western-style shootout in the first day of a two-day show.
When the smoke cleared, Wichita's Brian Powers was the last driver standing, having gunned down defending series champ Brian Franz and Oklahoma's Eddie Martin, to claim his first series win.
"This is our first NCRA win and we're real excited," Powers said. "The competition is so tough with NCRA - this is what we work for and this is where it pays off."
Powers started the A feature on the outside of the first row and jumped in front of pole sitter Zach Wood at the green with Martin and Franz in tow. Powers was running strong and broke away from the field early, building up a nice lead just two laps into the 20-lap race.
"You try to get to the right place on the race track but you never know. You watch the features before to see where the guys are running," Powers said.
But then Martin and Franz quickly reeled in the leader. Just a few laps later, Powers could feel the heat as the real show was just beginning. And for the fans it was right in front of them as most of it took place coming out of turn four onto the front straight.
"I guess I just got a little conservative in the lead," Powers said.
For several laps Powers and Martin treated everyone to some great side-by- side racing. Brian was trying to maintain the lead while Eddie was trying his best to wrest the lead coming out of turn four, but Brian was able to shut the door each time.
It all started on lap seven when Martin dropped low and stuck the nose of his racecar inside of Powers. But Powers beat back the charge and pulled away on the front straight. Martin tried again on laps 8-10 with the same results as Powers pulled away on the front.
When they came around to complete the 11th circuit, Powers had dropped low to protect the line coming out of turn four. This plan almost backfired as it forced Martin up the track where he was able to pull even with Brian as they crossed start/finish side-by-side before Powers again pulled away.
On laps 12-14, Martin again tried the low line through turn four with Powers holding the lead each time.
"I could hear the motor coming and I could see his nose a couple of times," he said. "The car seemed to work pretty good through the middle, maybe a little better on the bottom."
For Martin, it was a matter of getting used to new tires.
"I'm not used to running the Hoosiers and didn't know for sure what they could do," he said. "I didn't know that I could run into the corners harder than I did and couldn't ever make the pass stick."
But then things began to change coming out of turn four. All this time that Powers and Martin battled each other, Franz had stayed within striking distance. As they came around to finish lap 15, Powers still had the lead but not by much. Going three-wide through turns 3 & 4, Powers held a slim lead over Martin on the inside and Franz on the outside.
While Powers and Martin battled on lap 16, Franz was finally able to slip by them both for the lead.
"Powers and I both slowed down so much that allowed Franz to close the gap on us," Martin said. "Franz closed the gap and I'm sure he just stayed right in it, instead of slowing down to our pace."
"When Franz got by me I thought we were in trouble because you usually don't pass him back," Powers said.
But Franz's lead was short-lived as the only caution of the race came out on lap 17. Powers got a great restart and took the lead back from Franz, with Martin third.
"I thought, if Franz goes back on the top I'll try the bottom, I got nothing to lose," Powers said. "I still can't believe it stuck and Franz didn't get back around and win the race."
They ran nose-to-tail for the remaining four laps. Franz and Martin crossed start/finish side-by-side to complete lap 18 before Martin pulled away for second. But later on the lap Martin got the car loose, allowing Franz to retake second place.
On the last lap, Franz went low for one final try but couldn't get close enough to make the pass as Powers held on for the win.
Franz finished second and Martin third. Rounding out the top five were Steve Stults and Brian McGowen. Pole sitter Wood was never a factor as he completely missed the setup and finished 12th.
The D feature saw Marty Curry win from the pole, followed by Jim Armstrong and Tommy Weder who started second and third, respectively.
Kenny Sweet Jr. started the C feature from fifth and took the checker first. Richard Wilson was second and Greg Stephens third.
Don Renfro led the B feature early from the pole with Darren DeLoach second. DeLoach finally got around Renfro for the lead on lap seven and pulled away for the win. On the last lap Bobby Joe Scott passed Renfro for second.
Eddie Martin went to the outside of Gary Chambers on the white flag lap to win the first heat.
Heat two saw Tommy Weder open a big lead over Zach Wood and Brian Powers on his way to an easy win. As Weder came through turn four on the last lap, checkered flag in sight, he spun and stopped in the middle of the turn. Powers slipped by on the inside with Wood on the outside as Powers beat Wood to the checker for what looked like the win. But Weder's spin brought out a caution, sending him to the end of the field for the green-white- checker restart with Wood leading and Powers second. Weder passed early and went to the inside of the cone on the restart, sending him to the pits. On the second restart, Wood easily held off Powers for the win.
Other heat wins went to Franz, Steve Stults and Marc Hurd.
NCRA Modified Series
Dodge City Raceway Park
Dodge City, Kan.
May 28, 2004
HEAT 1 - 1. Eddie Martin; 2. Gary Chambers; 3. Scott Green; 4. Darren DeLoach; 5. Tim Echevarria; 6. Brent Burkhart; 7. Jeff Erickson; 8. Jim Armstrong; 9. Derek Ramirez.
HEAT 2 - 1. Zach Wood; 2. Brian Powers; 3. Johnny Whitmore; 4. Shannon Gilchrist; 5. Ron Emerson; 6. Mike Ludlow; 7. Jason Roe; 8. Rodney Dodds.
HEAT 3 - 1. Brian Franz; 2. Doug Holzmeister; 3. Mike Roach; 4. Bobby Joe Scott; 5. Jason Schniepp; 6. Richard Wilson; 7. Jason Roe; 8. Barry Crane; 9. Jim Johnson.
HEAT 4 - 1. Steve Stults; 2. Brian McGowen; 3. John Schwab; 4. Don Renfro; 5. Larry Creider; 6. Kenny Sweet Jr.; 7. Rick Taylor; 8. Jim Graves; 9. Greg Burt.
HEAT 5 - 1. Marc Hurd; 2. Dave Hardesty; 3. Conner Ward; 4. Travis Govern; 5. Alan Dix; 6. Clay Oakes; 7. Martin Curry; 8. Cody Gearhart; 9. Glenn Thompson; 10. Danny Keller.
D FEATURE - 1. Curry; 2. Armstrong; 3. Weder; 4. Taylor; 5. Gearhart; 6. Burt; 7. Johnson; 8. Crane; 9. Ramirez; 10. Keller; 11. Graves; 12. Thompson.
C FEATURE - 1. Sweet Jr.; 2. Wilson; 3. Stephens; 4. Roe; 5. Burkhart; 6. Weder; 7. Curry; 8. Erickson; 9. Armstrong; 10. Taylor; 11. Ludlow; 12. Dix; 13. Johnson; 14. Oakes; 15. Burt; 16. Gearhart; 17. Campbell; 18. Crane; 19. Ramirez.
B FEATURE - 1. DeLoach; 2. Scott; 3. Renfro; 4. Sweet Jr.; 5. Emerson; 6. Govern; 7. Echevarria; 8. Gilchrist; 9. Stephens; 10. Wilson; 11. Schniepp; 12. Weder; 13. Creider; 14. Burkhart; 15. Roe; 16. Taylor; 17. Armstrong; 18. Erickson; 19. Curry; 20. Whitmore.
A FEATURE - 1. Powers; 2. Franz; 3. Martin; 4. Stults; 5. McGowen; 6. Schwab; 7. Green; 8. Hurd; 9. Scott; 10. Sweet Jr.; 11. Stephens; 12. Wood; 13. Hardesty; 14. Roach; 15. Echevarria; 16. Ward; 17. Emerson; 18. DeLoach; 19. Chambers; 20. Wilson; 21. Renfro; 22. Holzmeister; 23. Govern; 24. Gilchrist.
-Randy Fisher, guest writer