Kern Won’t Be Denied At Dodge City
DODGE CITY, Kan. – Jared Kern survived a last-lap bid from Zach Blurton among others in heavy traffic to win Friday night’s 25-lap United Rebel Sprint Series feature atop the three-eighths-mile Dodge City Raceway Park clay oval that headlined First Responders Night.
While Great Bend’s Kern captured his second career URSS score and first of the year, Danny Keller made a long-awaited return to IMCA Modified victory lane, IMCA Sport Modified points leader Jeff Kaup added his third win of the season, Angel Munoz fought off a late challenge from Perry Misner for IMCA Stock Car honors and Sonny O’Hair bounced back from a near-win one week earlier to take the Thunder Car victory.
In the URSS main event, pole starter Kern outgunned Kaden Taylor for the point at the drop of the green flag and fought off a challenge eight laps in from Koby Walters to retain command when the first of two cautions appeared after ten laps for Jake Bubak’s turn one spin.
With Kern out front, Luke Cranston and Zach Blurton made quick work of Walters to move up to second and third, respectively, before the next caution appeared three laps later for a Jeremy Huish spin in turn four.
Kern took off once again on the restart with Cranston trying the top side of the track, only to open the door for Blurton to scoot by on the bottom into second.
Approaching traffic as the final laps clicked off, Blurton and Cranston closed in on Kern’s tailtank as the white flag flew. Kern disposed of one lapped car then moved up the track coming off of turn four for the final time, with Blurton trying to squeeze by underneath to make it the second last-corner win in as many URSS events at DCRP.
Kern held on by a car-length to take the win ahead of Blurton with Cranston and Steven Richardson a close third and fourth in the last-lap scramble.
“I was getting close to those lapped cars, I was kind of trying to time it where I wouldn’t get to them before the race was over,” Kern explained in victory lane after becoming the 11th different winner in the last 12 URSS events at DCRP. “I knew someone was back there but I didn’t have any idea how close they were.”
Gavin Stout charged from 17th to round out the top five ahead of Brian Herbert and Jed Werner, with points leader Bubak rebounding from his early spin to salvage an eighth-place finish. Kevin Schramek and Kris Moore completed the top ten.
In the 20-lap IMCA Modified feature that finished off the night, Dodge City’s Danny Keller returned to DCRP victory lane for the first time in approximately eight years and did it with a ‘vintage’ Modified. “Not too bad for a 1989 car,” Keller laughed in victory lane.
Keller gunned into the lead at the drop of the green flag and ran the bottom portion of the track perfectly throughout, without anyone able to offer up any serious challenges along the way. Keller became the seventh different Modified winner in eight events ahead of Mike Martin, with Jack Kirchoff claiming the show position.
Casey Jo Gemmill crossed the stripe fourth with Nick Link rounding out the top five.