Franz Wins Second Straight in O'Reilly/NCRA Modified Series PARK CITY, Kan. (July 2, 2005) -- Sometimes you just have to make lemons out of lemonade. With just one racing groove working in the feature, Brian Franz was able to find just ...
Franz Wins Second Straight in O'Reilly/NCRA Modified Series
PARK CITY, Kan. (July 2, 2005) -- Sometimes you just have to make lemons out of lemonade.
With just one racing groove working in the feature, Brian Franz was able to find just enough of a second groove, for just enough laps, early in the race. Because of this Franz was able to enjoy his lemonade afterwards and win his second straight race in the O'Reilly/NCRA Modified Series presented by Hoosier Racing Tires at 81 Speedway.
Franz started third in the A feature behind the front row of Greg Stephens (inside) and Brian Powers (outside). Powers grabbed the early lead and eased down to the bottom in front of Stephens to lead the first lap.
As Franz put it afterwards, he kinda fell asleep on the first lap and "woke up" realizing that Jason Schiepp had taken third from him on the initial circuit. With only one racing line, Franz decided to see if he could find another and move to the front. Otherwise, he felt relegated to a fourth-place finish.
"I got a bad start and dropped back to fourth," Franz said, "I thought, 'well, I'll try right above them,' and there was actually something there."
That "something" was just enough of a groove for Franz to retake third from Schniepp on the second lap, and to move around Stephens into second on lap three.
Up front, Powers was just trying to stay on the bottom, as he thought that was the place to be. When Franz caught the leader on lap five, Powers tried to move up the track a bit but his racecar was a little too loose up there so he wasn't able to stay.
"We could get into the corners pretty good but he (Franz) snuck around in the middle of the track, right to my outside." Powers said. "I didn't know how he was going to pull it off but he did and then he drove off."
Once on the bottom, Franz stayed there. Despite four restarts, no one had anything for the two-time defending season champion as he cruised to his second win of the season and the 15th of his career.
Franz made all three passes coming off of turn four as he could drive deeper into the corners than the others, who were all braking earlier than Brian.
"I just was patient, worked up past all of them and then moved back to the bottom," he said.
After losing the lead Powers realized he couldn't keep up. Then it was a matter of just how wide could Powers make his racecar the rest of the way.
"I figured we'd just stay on the bottom until I saw another nose," Powers said. "We'd just try and stay and do what we were doing"
Fortunately for Powers, the single groove worked to his advantage the rest of the race and he didn't see any other noses to his outside. Powers held on to second for his best finish of the season. Stephens remained third, followed by Schniepp and Marc Robe.
Franz has rebounded from a last place finish in the June 17 B feature to win the next two races and unofficially take over the points lead.
"We've got this new car really figured out and it's pretty awesome," Franz said to the chagrin of his competitors.
"Our racing program has really stepped up the last two months and we're really looking forward to the rest of the year."
One driver who's definitely looking forward to the next race is Chad Wheeler, who had held the points lead since winning the first race of the season. Wheeler qualified for the A feature from the B, but could only finish 14th in the A as he just couldn't move up.
Powers, Marty Curry, Travis Govern and Jason Friesen all captured wins in the Cherokee Casino and Resort heat races. Scott Green won the C feature while Richard Wilson came out of top in the B.
The O'Reilly Finish Line
Cherokee Casino & Resort Heat #1 (8 laps):
1. Brian Powers, Wichita, Kan.; 2. Zach Wood, Wichita, Kan.; 3. Brian McGowen, Wichita, Kan.; 4. Darren Moses, Valley Center, Kan.; 5. Chad Wheeler, Muskogee, Okla.; 6. Dave Hardesty, Minneapolis, Kan.; 7. Brandon Barnhart, 8. Scott Green, Derby, Kan.; 9. Gary Chambers, El Dorado, Kan.
Cherokee Casino & Resort Heat #2 (8 laps):
1. Marty Curry, Haysville, Kan.; 2. Alan Dix, Stockton, Kan.; 3. Kevin Kemp, 4. Dena Wilson, Coweta, Okla.; 5. Dustin Briley, Goddard, Kan.; 6. Bo Key; 7. Zach Wood, Wichita, Kan.; 8. Camron Winter, McPherson, Kan.; 9. Johnny Whitmore, Wichita, Kan.
Cherokee Casino & Resort Heat #3 (8 laps):
1. Travis Govern, Wichita, Kan.; 2. Marc Hurd, Wichita, Kan.; 3. Jason Schniepp, Wichita, Kan.; 4. Jason Roe, Wichita, Kan.; 5. Richard Wilson, Wichita, Kan.; 6. Jim Johnson, Derby, Kan.; 7. Clint Smith, Hutchinson, Kan.; 8. Jim Graves, Liberal, Kan.; 9. Shannon Gilchrist, Derby, Kan.
Cherokee Casino & Resort Heat #4 (8 laps):
1. Jason Friesen, Sutton, Neb.; 2. Greg Stephens, Wichita, Kan.; 3. Brian Franz, Newton, Kan.; 4. Brent Burkhart, Hutchinson, Kan.; 5. Todd Myers, Newton, Kan.; 6. Mike Jarvis, Wichita, Kan. 7. Joe Cleveland, Bennington, Kan.; 8. Kevin Newell, Wichita, Kan.; 9. Conner Ward, Wichita, Kan.
Pole Dash #1:
1. Greg Stephens; 2. Brian Franz; 3. Alan Dix; 4. Jason Friesen; 5. Marty Curry; 6. Marc Hurd; 7. Kevin Kemp.
Pole Dash #2:
1. Brian Powers; 2. Jason Schniepp; 3. Marc Robe; 4. Travis Govern; 5. Dena Wilson; 6. Brian McGowen; 7. Jason Roe.
C feature (8 laps -- top 10 transfer):
1. Scott Green; 2. Joe Cleveland; 3. Conner Ward; 4. Shannon Gilchrist; 5. Camron Winter; 6. Zach Wood; 7. Clint Smith; 8. Gary Chambers; 9. Jim Graves; 10. 11. Rick Davis; 12. Kevin Newell; 13. Johnny Whitmore.
B feature (15 laps -- top 10 transfer):
1. Richard Wilson; 2. Chad Wheeler; 3. Brent Burkhart; 4. Shannon Gilchrist; 5. Conner Ward; 6. Scott Green; 7. Todd Myers; 8. Dave Hardesty; 9. Mike Jarvis; 10. Dustin Briley; 11. Darren Moses; 12. Camron Winter; 13; Bo Key; 14. Jim Graves; 15. Clint Smith; 16. Gary Chambers; 17. Zach Wood; 18. Brandon Barnhart; 19. Joe Cleveland; 20. Jim Johnson.
A feature (25 laps):
1. Brian Franz; 2. Brian Powers; 3. Greg Stephens; 4. Jason Schniepp; 5. Marc Robe; 6. Jason Friesen; 7. Brian McGowen; 8. Marc Hurd; 9. Richard Wilson; 10. Brent Burkhart; 11. Conner Ward; 12. Travis Govern; 13. Mike Jarvis; 14. Chad Wheeler; 15. Dustin Briley; 16. Shannon Gilchrist; 17. Scott Green; 18. Todd Myers; 19. Marty Curry; 20. Kevin Kemp; 21. Alan Dix; 22. Dena Wilson; 23. Jason Roe; 24. Dave Hardesty.