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Pfannenstiel notches his first stock car win at RPM Speedway

9/5/2012

By NICK SCHWIEN

By NICK SCHWIEN

nschwien@dailynews.net

Luke Pfannenstiel was used to winning. Maybe not all the time, but the Hays driver had plenty of success in the hobby stock class during the last couple of seasons.

But this year, Pfannenstiel made the leap into the stock car class, and success didn't follow.

Well, until Saturday night at RPM Speedway in Hays.

Pfannenstiel bested the field to claim his first stock car feature win of his career.

"It's been frustrating all year long," Pfannenstiel said. "I've just been trying to find a setup that I like. I never thought it would be this hard going from a hobby stock to a stock car, but it's been tough. I finally got her to where she's working good."

Pfannenstiel won his heat race, then started inside the second row of the 20-lap feature. He wasted no time showing he was ready for the challenge.

He took the lead on the second lap before Pat Bedore got by him into the top spot on lap three.

What ensued was a side-by-side battle between the two drivers for the majority of the race.

"It wasn't too bad. I've been in that position before,"  Pfannenstiel said. "Racing with Bedore, it was just back and forth the whole time. It was a helluva lot of fun."

While Pfannenstiel and Bedore battled up front, Nick Tubbs -- the track points leader -- found himself stuck back in traffic after starting ninth. Tubbs slowly chipped away at the front-runners. And on lap 17, he pulled right behind Bedore into third.

Pfannenstiel would lead the way on lap 18 before the lone caution flew. He paced the field back to the green for the final two laps, followed by Bedore and Tubbs. Tubbs was side-by-side with Bedore as the two took the white flag, closely behind Pfannenstiel in his Bart Chassis ride.

"I didn't know he was there until we come out of two right after that restart," Pfannenstiel said about Tubbs. "I saw his nose, and I just told myself I had to go now."

Pfannenstiel slowly inched ahead during the final lap to claim the win, and Bedore edged by Tubbs for second.

"I was really impressive (Pfannenstiel)," Tubbs said. "I was impressed with how smooth he was. He got pressured the whole race and was able to hold on for the win. That's where a lot of talent comes and where you get your seat time when you have those moments when you have to get by adversity."

Josh Hudson, who started 12th, made it all the way up to fourth.

* Shyla Hughes started last in the 15-car sport compact feature and ended up first, passing Trevor Schmidt on the final lap. Vincent Jasper also got by Schmidt at the stripe for second, and Art Herzog was fourth.

* Daniel Irwin grabbed the lead in the hobby stock feature early and held on for the win in a caution-filled race. Ron Wehling was second, with Brian Stich in third and G.W. Fuller in fourth.

* Clay Money won the sport mod feature after starting outside the front row. Blaine Walt was second, followed by Trenton Kleweno and Daniel Gottschalk.

* Travis Sherfick, who started 11th, grabbed the lead on lap 12 of the modified feature en route to the win. David Murray Jr. was second, followed by Dylan Sherfick and Shannon Maughlin.