(Gary Cornelison photo) John Rittenoure - PARK CITY, Kans. (September 16, 2023) - Dusty Leonard fought his way to the front early then held off a challenge at the end to win Saturday nights Complete Well Testing Sooner Late Model Series feature at 81 Speedway.
It was Leonards second win in three races and his sixth overall with the Sooner Series.
Leonard started sixth in the 25-lapper and was quickly on the move driving into fourth on lap 3. Leonard then passed Brett Hansen for the lead on lap 7.
“I felt I had to get to the front early and take my opportunities,” Leonard explained of his quick run to the front. “I tried to move around a little bit and be opportunistic. I passed a couple of guys up high and some guys down low. The bottom became a little better towards the end of the race.
“The track was a little bit tricky, very line sensitive, but it made the racing a little bit better because you either hit it right or you hit it wrong Getting it right tonight was the key.”
Once out front Leonard soon learned it was going to be a battle to the finish. Jon Herring, Jr., who started beside Leonard in seventh, was on the move and charged into second on lap 9. Herring closed on Leonard and passed him for the lead on lap 12. However the lead was short lived as Herring spun in turn one of lap 13 bring out the yellow.
It was a break for Leonard.
“I was snoozing there and he showed up, so I figured I better start going again,” smiled Leonard who was standing next to Herring. “It would have been a fun race.”
“The steering locked up on me,” Herring said of his spin out of the lead. “I had to go from the back and start over again. The track was a little rough in the middle.”
But Herring was not done. Restarting on the rear in 12th spot, Herring charged back through the field passing Hansen for second on lap 22. Herring ran down Leonard but time ran out and Herring settled for second by 2.347 seconds. Hansen held on to third, Joseph Gorby picked up fourth and Dustin Bolster was fifth.
Both Leonard and Gorby were running different car numbers Saturday instead of 7D Leonard usually runs and the 9 for Gorby.
“Joe Gorby ran 36K and I ran 63K. We did it for Kent Taylor who has helped both of us a bunch,” Leonard said of number change. “We probably drive him up the wall most of the time but he keeps helping us out. And we got him a win.”
Bob Bills, who finished 7th, earned the Marks Machine Shop Hard Charger award for advancing seven positions from 14th starting.
Complete Well Testing Sooner Late Model Series Results
81 Speedway - Park City, Kansas September 23, 2023
Complete Well Testing A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 63K-Dusty Leonard; 2. 96-Jon Herring Jr; 3. 7H-Brett Hansen; 4. 36K-Joseph Gorby; 5. B1-Dustin Bolster; 6. 59-Brad Fortney; 7. 18B-Bob Bills; 8. 10 4-Adam Popp; 9. 65-Eric Brill; 10. H1-Steve Hewitt Sr; 11. 9XX-Dakota Dellinger; 12. 31-Gary Lowe; 13. 4X-Daniel Helm; 14. 1M-Darren Moses; 15. A2-Randy Wilson; 16. 151-Theron Boswell; 17. 93J-Jeff Carrell; 18. 88S-Richard Shepler; 19. (DNS) 27X-Ron Brown
O’Reilly Auto Parts Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 36K-Joseph Gorby; 2. B1-Dustin Bolster; 3. 96-Jon Herring Jr; 4. 59-Brad Fortney; 5. A2-Randy Wilson; 6. 93J-Jeff Carrell; 7. (DNS) 27X-Ron Brown
Gage Diamonds Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 7H-Brett Hansen; 2. 151-Theron Boswell; 3. 65-Eric Brill; 4. 4X-Daniel Helm; 5. 18B-Bob Bills; 6. 88S-Richard Shepler
Design One Racewear Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 63K-Dusty Leonard; 2. 1M-Darren Moses; 3. 10 4-Adam Popp; 4. H1-Steve Hewitt Sr; 5. 9XX-Dakota Dellinger; 6. 31-Gary Lowe
Lap Leaders: Brett Hansen 1-6, Dusty Leonard 7-11, Jon Herring, Jr. 12, Dusty Leonard 13-25
Margin of Victory: 2.347 Marks Machine Shop Hard Charger: Bob Bills +7
Next Event: Crawford County Speedway, Saturday, September 23.
4/14 - Kip Hughes - Thunderbird Speedway
4/15 - Brett Hansen - Tulsa Speedway 4/29 - Brett Hansen - Monett Raceway 5/06 - Brett Hansen - Thunderbird Speedway 6/02 - Kip Hughes - Outlaw Motor Speedway 6/09 - Kip Hughes - Humboldt Speedway 6/10 - Kip Hughes - 81 Speedway 6/24 - Jace Parmley - Salina Highbanks Speedway 7/01 - Joseph Gorby - Enid Speedway 7/15 - Brett Hansen - Longdale Speedway 7/22 - Kip Hughes - Caney Valley Speedway 7/29 - Brett Hansen - Enid Speedway 8/12 - Brett Hansen - Enid Speedway 8/19 - Joseph Gorby - Longdale Speedway 8/25 - Shayne Bailey - Tulsa Speedway 8/26 - Dusty Leonard - Caney Valley Speedway 9/09 - Darren Moses - Enid Speedway 9/16 - Dusty Leonard - 81 Speedway
Top 10 Standings: 1. Brett Hansen 7670; 2. Richard Shepler 6830; 3. Joseph Gorby, 6665; 4. Eric Brill, 5815; 5. Eli Ross 5745; 6. Dakota Dellinger, 5695; 7. Ron Brown, 5185; 8. Gary Lowe, 4840; 9. Steve Hewitt, Sr., 4610; 10. Kip Hughes 4220.
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.
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.