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Hughes wires field in Sooner Late Model season opener

John Rittenoure - MUSKOGEE, Okla. (April, 14, 2023) - After a couple of weeks of rain delays the Complete Well Testing presented by Hayden Ross Motorsports Foundation Sooner Late Model Series season finally got underway Friday at Thunderbird Speedway and Kip Hughes was more than ready.

While it was the first race for most, Hughes has some early season races under his belt and it showed with a start-to-finish run to victory on the Thunderbird half-mile.

“We have been racing a little bit already, but it is nice to be on top again,” said Hughes who leads the Sooner Series win chart. “We have been expanding our horizons a little bit so it is nice to be back home again.

“We like the big fast race tracks like this place. This place is kind of like a second home to me besides Enid.”

Hughes started on the pole and felt the track condition helped him stay in the lead.

“It was really good, about the best I have seen it. It did not really get rubbered up. It stayed kind of slick and smooth and wide,” Hughes said of the track condition.

“It is tough starting on the front because you don’t know where to go but I searched around and found what I thought was a better line.”

Brett Hansen gave chase through out the race and made runs at Hughes after two restarts.

"I heard him once on a restart..” Hughes said of Hansen. “Brett is really good here and a real good race car driver. I felt comfortable with him being back there. He likes to charge the corner really hard and on that restart I heard him so I tried to protect the corner. I just wanted to seal him off.”

Richard Shepler moved into third on lap 15 but could not catch Hansen. Eddie Tidwell finished fourth and 14-year old rookie Eli Ross came home fifth.

Ross, who finished second in his heat race, has taken over the seat of the number 66 driven by his deceased brother and 2022 Sooner Series champion Hayden Ross and showed a lot of potential in his first night in competition.

Complete Well Testing, Hayden Ross Motorsports Foundation

Sooner Late Model Series Results

Thunderbird Speedway - Muskogee, Oklahoma

April 14, 2023

Complete Well Testing A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 60-Kip Hughes[1]; 2. 7H-Brett Hansen[3]; 3. 88S-Richard Shepler[4]; 4. 1-Eddie Tidwell[8]; 5. 66-Eli Ross[2]; 6. 65-Eric Brill[9]; 7. 31-Gary Lowe[10]; 8. 23-Kerney Weaver[5]; 9. 9XX-Dakota Dellinger[6]; 10. 22AD-Jacob Ulrich[12]; 11. (DNS) 27X-Ron Brown; 12. (DQ) 60P-Troy Bynum[7]

Hayden Ross Motorsports Foundation Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 60-Kip Hughes[2]; 2. 66-Eli Ross[1]; 3. 23-Kerney Weaver[6]; 4. 60P-Troy Bynum[5]; 5. 1-Eddie Tidwell[4]; 6. 31-Gary Lowe[3]

Hayden Ross Motorsports Foundation Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 7H-Brett Hansen[1]; 2. 88S-Richard Shepler[2]; 3. 9XX-Dakota Dellinger[3]; 4. (DNF) 22AD-Jacob Ulrich[6]; 5. (DNS) 65-Eric Brill; 6. (DNS) 27X-Ron Brown

Lap Leaders: Kip Hughes 1-20

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 as well.

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