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Hughes survives for fifth Sooner Late Model victory

John Rittenoure - CANEY, Kans. (July 22, 2023) - Kip Hughes was behind the wheel of a different late model Saturday night at Caney Valley Speedway. Hughes unloaded his old car from last season and did not know what to expect.

However, in the end it did not matter as Hughes drove to his fifth Complete Well Testing Sooner Late Model Series presented by Hayden Ross Motorsports Foundation feature win of the season.

Hughes felt he needed a change after mechanical problems sidelined him in two non-Sooner Series events recently that he thought he was going to win.

“The last two races we had won, I felt like, and gave way to motor problems,” Hughes explained. “We brought out our old backup car. It is the first time in it in about a year and it felt good. We have some work to do on it, but it will be as good as the white car.

“I am really lucky to have the AFab equipment guys keeping me in good cars. It is a true blessing to have good equipment and good people behind you.”

With a redraw putting him outside front row, Hughes roared into the early lead and went the distance. However, the final lap was an eye opener for Hughes. The track was changing and the car was not working as well as it was early on.

“There was more moisture than I thought when we started and we were going good then the race track started slicking up and towards the end I thought I was a sitting duck.” Hughes said, concerned that someone would catch him. “I could hear them back there. I was just trying to make it wide and click off laps.”

His fears almost came true in the form of hard charging Joseph Gorby. Gorby, who started 10th, was in 8th by lap 4, 6th on lap 6 and in 4th on lap 12. On lap 14 Gorby passed Adam Popp for third then worked around Brett Hansen for 2nd on lap 19. Gorby closed on Hughes and pulled under him on the final turn. But Hughes was able keep the lead and crossed the finish line just 0.195 seconds ahead of Gorby.

“I kind of messed up down there and got a shot in the shorts,” smiled Hughes. “I was trying to be conservative, got tight and when I gassed it up I got loose and got sideways and lost all my forward drive.”

“His car was getting a little bit slower and mind was getting better.” Gorby said of his move for the lead.. “But it took me awhile to get up to second.”

Gorby has logged a first and two consecutive second places in the last three Sooner events. However, a win is what he is after and is what was expected at Caney, his home track.

“I would like to get back to the first,” grinned Gorby who earned the Marks Machine Shop Hard Charger award.

“The car was pretty good, and I have a lot of laps around this track. That helps too.”

Hansen finished third after running second for 16 laps. Dustin Dixon came from 9th to finish fourth, and Popp fell to fifth.

Complete Well Testing, Hayden Ross Motorsports Foundation

Sooner Late Model Series Results

Caney Valley Speedway - Caney, Kansas

July 22, 2023

Complete Well Testing A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 60-Kip Hughes[2]; 2. 9-Joseph Gorby[10]; 3. 7H-Brett Hansen[4]; 4. 078-Dustin Dixon[9]; 5. 10 4-Adam Popp[3]; 6. 25-Rob Powell[1]; 7. B1-Dustin Bolster[7]; 8. 66-Eli Ross[6]; 9. 88S-Richard Shepler[8]; 10. 10J-Lynn Jones[12]; 11. 26-Adrien Hickman[15]; 12. 65-Eric Brill[17]; 13. 31-Gary Lowe[13]; 14. 9XX-Dakota Dellinger[20]; 15. 7-Josh Hastings[19]; 16. 36-Jason Redman[5]; 17. 27X-Ron Brown[11]; 18. H1-Steve Hewitt Sr[21]; 19. 25K-Andrew Kimzey[18]; 20. 18B-Bob Bills[14]; 21. (DNS) 151-Theron Boswell

O’Reilly Auto Parts Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 7H-Brett Hansen[6]; 2. 36-Jason Redman[2]; 3. B1-Dustin Bolster[4]; 4. 9-Joseph Gorby[7]; 5. 31-Gary Lowe[3]; 6. 151-Theron Boswell[1]; 7. (DNS) 7-Josh Hastings

Gage Diamonds Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 10 4-Adam Popp[2]; 2. 66-Eli Ross[7]; 3. 88S-Richard Shepler[6]; 4. 27X-Ron Brown[3]; 5. 18B-Bob Bills[4]; 6. 65-Eric Brill[1]; 7. 9XX-Dakota Dellinger[5]

Hayden Ross Motorsports Foundation Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 60-Kip Hughes[2]; 2. 25-Rob Powell[3]; 3. 078-Dustin Dixon[1]; 4. 10J-Lynn Jones[7]; 5. 26-Adrien Hickman[4]; 6. 25K-Andrew Kimzey[6]; 7. H1-Steve Hewitt Sr[5]

Lap Leaders: Kip Hughes 1-25 Margin of Victory: 0.195 Marks Machine Shop Hard Charger: Joseph Gorby +8

Next Event: Enid Speedway, July 29.

2023 Winners

4/14 - Kip Hughes - Thunderbird Speedway

4/15 - Brett Hansen - Tulsa Speedway 4/29 - Brett Hansen - Monett Raceway 5/6 - Brett Hansen - Thunderbird Speedway 6/2 - Kip Hughes - Outlaw Motor Speedway 6/9 - Kip Hughes - Humboldt Speedway 6/10 - Kip Hughes - 81 Speedway 6/24 - Jace Parmley - Salina Highbanks Speedway 7/1 - Joseph Gorby - Enid Speedway 7/15 - Brett Hansen - Longdale Speedway 7/22 - Kip Hughes - Caney Valley Speedway

Top 10 Standings: 1. Brett Hansen 4620; 2. Eli Ross, 4330; 3. Richard Shepler, 4265; 4. Joseph Gorby, 3695; 5. Ron Brown, 3385; 6. Eric Brill, 3260; 7. Gary Lowe, 3240; 8. Dakota Dellinger, 3220; 9. Kip Hughes, 2825; 10. Kerney Weaver, 2550.

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.

Hayden Ross Motorsports Foundation

Hayden Ross Motorsports Foundation goal is to help grow both high school, trade school and college programs to start and or develop a motorsports program, club, or organizations at their school as well as individual motorsports programs. HRMF will provide financial grants, equipment, expertise, scholarships, and educational opportunities for these organizations and individuals. This program will allow students to overcome the hurdle of entering motorsports due to the high costs and specialized experience needed to get started. This program will allow these students the opportunity to be part of a team with one overall goal of success on the track, including budgeting, marketing, mechanical skills, logistics, and team building efforts. All while honoring the life lost to early of Hayden Diesel Ross, #forever66.

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

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