by John Rittenoure - MUSKOGEE, Okla. (October 8, 2021) - Dustin Allen does not have a lot of experience running big racetracks, but that did not stop him from winning his fourth Complete Well Testing Sooner Late Model feature of the season Friday at Thunderbird Speedway.
Allen was able to work his way into second early then bided his time until he was able to pass Chris Kratzer with six laps remaining for the lead and eventual win.
“I love this place, but it is big,” Allen said when asked about racing on the Thunderbird half-mile track. “I prefer smaller tracks, but as far as big tracks this is my favorite.”
The 20-lap feature took the initial green with Eric Brill leading the way over Kratzer. Three laps later Kratzer passed Brill and started to pull away. Two laps later Allen moved into second and the chase was on.
Allen reeled Kratzer in as the laps wore on and made his move for the lead out of turn four on lap 14.
“We started off and got through some of the cars and Chris (Kratzer) got the early lead and I just had to watch him,” Allen said of his chase of Kratzer”. His car was getting upset in the ruts and we had to hit our lines and finally had to opportunity to get around him. Lapped traffic helped out a lot. He was fast.
“When I hit a rut I would have to be on the gas to not upset my car and push the frontend. We just kept doing it and getting a little better every lap.”
Finally Allen saw his opportunity.
“Down in (turns) one and two I just turned it and floored it when he pushed up and got around him,” Allen said.
Meanwhile Hayden Ross challenged Kratzer for second and passed him on lap 19. But Kratzer passed him back in time to finish second. Ross held on to third. Joseph Gorby and Rob Powell picked up fourth and fifth.
Besides the race for the win, the season points battle between Kip Hughes and Ross in the middle of the pack turned into a dramatic race of his own. Ross was trying to pick up needed points over Hughes and had a two spot lead on him when Hughes got squeezed on the front straightaway and spun on lap 7 to bring out a yellow flag. Hughes restarted on the rear and raced his way to fifth when he suffered a flat right rear and another yellow. Hughes went to the hot pits for a tire change and rejoined the race within the allotted two yellow flag laps. Hughes again started on the rear and worked his way to an eighth place finish.
The finish kept Hughes in the points lead by just 85 points over Ross. The two will settle the 2021 title chase Saturday at Thunderbird.
Complete Well Testing Sooner Late Model Series
Thunderbird Speedway - Muskogee, Okla.
October 8, 2021
O’Reilly Auto Parts Heat 1 (10 Laps)
1, 66-Hayden Ross. 2, 55K-Chris Kratzer. 3, 11-Dustin Allen. 4, 77-Zach Nickell. 5, 65-Eric
Brill. 6, 31-Gary Lowe. 7, 11J-Steve Johnson. 8, 88S-Richard Shepler. 9, 9-Joseph Gorby.
Design One Racewear Heat 2 (10 Laps)
1, 4-Kip Hughes. 2, 15A-Mike Anderson. 3, 25-Rob Powell. 4, 12-Cory Green. 5, 33-Steven
Hawkins. 6, 29S-Scott Donnell. 7, 1-Eddie Tidwell. (DNS). 8, 95-Mark Brill. (DNS).
Complete Well Testing A Feature (20 Laps)
1, 11-Dustin Allen. 2, 55K-Chris Kratzer. 3, 66-Hayden Ross. 4, 9-Joseph Gorby. 5, 25-Rob
Powell. 6, 77-Zach Nickell. 7, 11J-Steve Johnson. 8, 4-Kip Hughes. 9, 31-Gary Lowe. 10, 33-
Steven Hawkins. 11, 29S-Scott Donnell. 12, 65-Eric Brill. 13, 15A-Mike Anderson. 14, 12-Cory Green. 15, 95-Mark Brill. 16, 88S-Richard Shepler. 17, 1-Eddie Tidwell. (DNS).
About Complete Well Testing
Based in Oklahoma, Complete Well Testing is a family owned and operated company specializing in hydrostatic tubing testing and EMI tubing scanning.
About Sooner Late Model Series
The Sooner Late Model Series was formed in 2016 by Enid Speedway co-promoter Mark Brill. Brill felt there was not many opportunities for late model competitors to race in Oklahoma and the Sooner Late Model Series was formed. Now the series has grown beyond the borders of Oklahoma with events held in the neighboring states of Kansas, Texas and Arkansas as well.