Photo by Sara Foster, Story by John Rittenoure, MUSKOGEE, Okla. (April 22, 2022) - Misfortune has kept Kip Hughes from winning races during the first four 2022 Complete Well Testing Sooner Late Model Series events.
But Hughes may have turned that around with his victory at Thunderbird Speedway on Friday.
Hughes inherited the lead on a lap 14 of the 20-lap main event and held on to capture his first CWT Sooner Late Models series win of the season.
Ross, who already has two wins on the Thunderbird Speedway half-mile this season, shot into the early lead and quickly put daylight between himself and the rest of the field. Hughes won a three-car battle for the runner-up position midway through the race, but Ross appeared to far gone to catch.
However, on lap 14 Ross suffered a cut left rear tire and coasted to a stop which brought out the caution flag. Hughes restarted with the lead and raced to victory.
“Seems like it has been a long time coming this year because we have been plagued with bad luck,” the four-time defending champion said of his past four races. “We have had four years of good luck, so I guess you have to take the bad with the good.
“It is bad for the 66 (Hayden Ross). We will take it as we get them.
“I have been doing this long enough that I know everyones luck runs out at some point.”
Hughes luck did not runout this time even though Ross was right behind him at the finish.
Ross restarted on the rear and charged into third place by lap 16. Two laps later Ross climbed into second and was closing on Hughes. But time ran out and Ross settled for second. Brandon Hunter, driving in his first Sooner Series event, came from eighth starting to finish third. Eddie Martin and Jace Parmley finished fourth and fifth.
Hughes was happy to just finish the race without mechanical problems plaguing him.
“We have just crazy motor problems,” Hughes said. “One motor started eating the bearing up. The other motor was brand new and broke a lifter. Maybe things have turned around.”
Complete Well Testing Sooner Late Model Series
Thunderbird Speedway, Muskogee, Okla.
April 22, 2022
Complete Well Testing A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 60-Kip Hughes; 2. 66-Hayden Ross; 3. 1/4-Brandon Hunter; 4. 51-Eddie Martin; 5. 82-Jace Parmley; 6. 0-Bubby Morgan; 7. 14-Ron Brown; 8. 1-Eddie Tidwell; 9. 88S-Richard Shepler; 10. 23-Kerney Weaver; 11. (DNS) 81-Troy Bynum
O’Reilly Auto Parts Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 82-Jace Parmley; 2. 23-Kerney Weaver; 3. 0-Bubby Morgan; 4. 88S-Richard Shepler; 5. 14-Ron Brown; 6. 81-Troy Bynum
Design One Racewear Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 66-Hayden Ross; 2. 60-Kip Hughes; 3. 51-Eddie Martin; 4. (DNF) 1/4-Brandon Hunter; 5. (DNS) 1-Eddie Tidwell.
Lap Leaders: Hayden Ross 1-13, Kip Hughes 14-20. Margin of victory: 0.923.
Top 10 Standings: 1. Hayden Ross 2290; 2. Kip Hughes 2130; 3. Troy Bynum 2075; 4. Brett Hansen 1820; 5. Kerney Weaver 1790. 6. Kaleb Roach 1555; 7.Eddie Martin 1485; 8. Gary Lowe 1445; 9. Dustin Allen 1440; 10. Bubby Morgan 1420.
2022 Winners: 3/25 - Hayden Ross (Thunderbird Speedway); 3/26 - Brett Hansen (Thunderbird Speedway). 4/2 - Brett Hansen (Enid Speedway); 4/15 - Hayden Ross (Thunderbird Speedway); 4/22 - Kip Hughes (Thunderbird Speedway).
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.