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Dusty Witthuhn competes during a stock car heat race during the second day of Fall Nationals last year at RPM Speedway in Hays. NICK SCHWIEN • Hays Daily News

Witthuhn has successful end to 2012 season

By NICK SCHWIEN

nschwien@dailynews.net

He says it has been all luck.

Perhaps Dusty Witthuhn might be right.

It might be more the fact he shed his bad luck from the previous seasons, though.

The IMCA stock car driver from Bazine won his third feature Saturday night at Dodge City Raceway Park.

"That's pretty cool to win on championship night," he said.

Witthuhn had been oh-so-close to winning a stock car feature the last few years, only to have something go wrong.

That kept him from reaching victory lane, a place he hadn't been since he raced a cruiser car years ago.

But in his sixth year in the stock class, things finally paid off for him. In fact, he won three feature races -- all at DCRP.

He also finished with several heat race victories.

That helped him finish second to Perry Misner in track points at Dodge City.

"By far, that's the best we've ran,"  Witthuhn said. "We've never placed in the top two before. We've been in the top five before, but not the top two."

Perhaps things started to change for Witthuhn when he won his first race. He was running third on the final lap, behind Misner and another driver.

But Misner and the other car got together in turn four, and both slid down into the infield.

"I just hammered it,"  Witthuhn said.

That elusive feature win finally was his.

"I felt our luck had run out several times in the past," Witthuhn said.

"I don't know how many times I ran second to Misner. I felt one day I would get him."

The stock car driver went on to add two more victories at the track, a venue he hadn't competed in regularly until this year.

"We usually had been running at Jetmore, but they didn't have very many races this year," he said. "I thought, 'Heck, let's run Dodge City.' We usually ran three or four times down there in the past."

Witthuhn credits the offseason for vast improvement this year.

"We spent a lot of time this winter trying to see what we could do better, how to make the car better and myself better," he said. "We did a lot of things we hadn't done before. And we had some better parts this year."

Witthuhn expects to make another trip to RPM Speedway in Hays next week for Fall Nationals VI. The two-day stock car event will feature many of the top drivers in the country battling it out for a large paycheck.

Witthuhn would love to add a solid run at that show to his 2012 portfolio.

If not, he's more than happy with what the season has provided -- especially the win Saturday.

"That's a nice way to finish the year going into Hays," he said.