Photo by Randy Lane, story by John Rittenoure - PARK CITY, Kans. (August 13, 2022) - Dan Smith survived a wild final turn assault from runner-up Joseph Gorby to win his first Complete Well Testing Sooner Late Model Series feature Saturday at 81 Speedway.
With time running out in the 25-lapper and the checkered flag just two turns away, Gorby dived low in turn three and slid up in front of Smith entering four. But Smith turned back underneath to regain the lead with Gorby on his rear bumper and pushing him across the line at the finish. The margin of victory was 0.137 seconds.
“I saw him and he carried a little too much speed and missed the rubber,” explained Smith of Gorby’s turn four slide for the lead. “I let off enough to let the frontend turn and come back across the rubber and drag raced him.
“Sometimes you have to be a little aggressive to win these things.”
The track surface became a little dryer in the closing laps making traction a little challenging. It played into Gorby’s hands as he charged from fourth place into second on lap 23 and closed on Smith.
“I tried to be too careful and it just about bit me,” Smith said. “The crate (motor) is a big advantage when it gets slick like that. Just get the car straight and pedal it and it will go.
“I got a little too much front brake into it and got to diving the nose too much and about gave it away.”
It was the third race in four nights for Smith who was on his last motor after blowing an engine two nights earlier.
“This is the third night we raced and the first two did not go so well for us,” said Smith who raced in a two-day show in Stockton, Kansas. “We went to Stockton and broke the motor two nights in a row. We worked all night to put the last thing we had in. We got the notebook out and just went back to what we know.”
The feature got underway with series points leader Hayden Ross driving into the lead with Smith, Troy Bynum and Kip Hughes close behind. The pace remained unchanged until a lap 11 restart. A seven car pile up in turn one took out several cars including 4-time defending champion Hughes.
Ross continued to lead over Smith on the restart until the yellow waved again on lap 16. When the race restarted Smith challenged Ross and took away the lead at the start-finish line to close out lap 17. Dusty Leonard passed Ross for second as tire wear was getting the best of Ross. After Gorby passed Leonard for second Ross fell to fifth at the finish as Bynum got by for fourth.
The CWT Sooner Late Model Series returns to action on Friday, August 26, with a stop at Tulsa Speedway.
Complete Well Testing Sooner Late Model Series
81 Speedway - Park City, Kansas
August 13, 2022
Complete Well Testing A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 92S-Dan Smith; 2. 9-Joseph Gorby; 3. 7D-Dusty Leonard; 4. 81-Troy Bynum; 5. 66-Hayden Ross; 6. 7H-Brett Hansen; 7. 1M-Darren Moses; 8. 59-Brad Fortney; 9. 10 4-Adam Popp; 10. MC2-Clint McFadden; 11. 5R-Kaleb Roach; 12. B1-Dustin Bolster; 13. 88S-Richard Shepler; 14. 229-Damian Patocka; 15. 65-Eric Brill; 16. 49-Wylan Petrie; 17. 92-Delbert Smith; 18. 84-Gary Kilbourn; 19. 920-Braden Stoner; 20. 60-Kip Hughes; 21. 23-Kerney Weaver; 22. 14-Ron Brown; 23. 64-Roger Winters; 24. (DNS) 96-Jon Herring Jr; 25. (DNS) 1-Eddie Tidwell.
Matt’s ATV Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 60-Kip Hughes; 2. 92S-Dan Smith; 3. 7D-Dusty Leonard; 4. 23-Kerney Weaver; 5. 7H-Brett Hansen; 6. 229-Damian Patocka; 7. 84-Gary Kilbourn; 8. 920-Braden Stoner; 9. 49-Wylan Petrie
Design One Racewear Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 66-Hayden Ross; 2. MC2-Clint McFadden; 3. 92-Delbert Smith; 4. 9-Joseph Gorby; 5. 10 4-Adam Popp; 6. B1-Dustin Bolster; 7. 65-Eric Brill; 8. 14-Ron Brown
O’Reillys Auto Parts Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 88S-Richard Shepler; 2. 81-Troy Bynum; 3. 1M-Darren Moses; 4. 59-Brad Fortney; 5. 1-Eddie Tidwell; 6. 64-Roger Winters; 7. 5R-Kaleb Roach; 8. 96-Jon Herring Jr
Lap Leaders: Hayden Ross 1-16, Dan Smith 17-25.
Margin of victory: 0.137 seconds.
Top 10 Standings: 1. Hayden Ross 7540; 2. Kip Hughes 385; 3. Eddie Martin 5310; 4. Richard Shepler 5110; 5. Kerney Weaver 5090; 6. Brett Hansen 4760; 7. Eric Brill 4400; 8. Troy Bynum 4265; 9. Eddie Tidwell 4075; 10. Dustin Allen 3820.
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); 4/23 - Hayden Ross (Oklahoma Sports Park); 5/6 - Jamie Burford (West Texas Raceway); 5/7 - Jamie Burford (Route 66 Motor Speedway); 5/14 - Dustin Allen (Enid Speedway); 5/20 - Brett Hansen (Thunderbird Speedway); 5/21 - Hayden Ross (Thunderbird Speedway); 6/3 - Kip Hughes (Creek County Speedway); 6/4 - Dustin Allen (Enid Speedway); 6/11 - Brett Hansen (81 Speedway); 7/9 - Kip Hughes (Enid Speedway); 8/6 - Hayden Ross (Enid Speedway).; 8/13 - Dan Smith (81 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.