NICK SCHWIEN â ¢ Hays Daily News Dylan Sherfick (66D) takes the low line around Jesse Richter during a modified heat race Saturday at RPM Speedway in Hays.
By NICK SCHWIEN
Dylan Sherfick is no stranger to success on the dirt tracks of northwest Kansas.
But this summer, victory seemed to stay at arm's length of the modified driver from WaKeeney.
On Saturday night, though, Sherfick got exactly what he was looking for in winning the modified feature at RPM Speedway in Hays.
"I didn't know if I was going to get here this summer," Sherfick said. "It seemed like I've been struggling. I've been in the top five, but just couldn't get over the edge. I got rid of my car, and here I am in Travis' car."
The car he piloted? It belonged to his older brother, Travis, a perennial power in the modified ranks who has raced sparingly this summer.
Sherfick sold his car a few weeks ago and since has been piloting his brother's ride. The third night in it, he drove it to victory lane.
"Got one heat race on it last race here before the rain-out," Sherfick said. "Ran Holyoke, Colo., and didn't do good out there. I kind of struggled a little bit in the heat race (Saturday), and it wasn't where it needed to be. Travis came over tonight and kind of bounced some ideas off about what I should try. We threw it out, and sure enough, it ended up working."
Marty Clark led the first lap before Chris Heim -- who won the makeup feature from Aug. 2 earlier in the night -- took control.
On lap six, Sherfick bolted past Heim on the low line coming out of turn two to take the lead.
"At the start of the race, I didn't know if the top would be the place to be or the bottom," Sherfick said. "I kind of just stuck to the bottom and held it and got around him."
By that time, Kyle Rohleder had moved to fourth. He was third by lap eight, then passed Heim on a restart to take the runner-up spot on lap 11 -- bringing with him longtime friend Cody Gearhart hot on his bumper.
"He was really consistent down there," Rohleder said. "You have to give it to Dylan, when he runs a line, he doesn't move. He's a veteran."
Rohleder tried to make a run at Sherfick, only to see Sherfick drive away from him each time out of turn four.
"That was probably the only thing that saved me was the little patch of moisture coming out of the bottom," Sherfick said. "Or I might not have been here in victory lane."
"I was trying anything, but in three and four, I couldn't stick to the bottom like he could," Rohleder said. "He just had so much more drive off the bottom. These cars here are more momentum cars. They're not geared to have a bunch of drive."
Rohleder held on to take second. Eddie Belec, who didn't crack the top eight until lap 14, began a late charge.
He began picking off drivers in the final laps, moving all the way to third.
"I knew the car was really good," said Belec, who started 12th. "I knew a couple of the guys had figured it out you had to be down there. It's just one of those things where we had to come from deep in the field. The car was good enough."
Gearhart finished fourth, and Troy Plummer rounded out the top five after starting 15th.
Heim was followed by Jesse Richter, David Murray and Corey Lagroon in the makeup feature.
* Kirk Pfannenstiel led the first five laps of the sport compact feature, only to see Kiowa Higdon muscle his way to the front to win the race. Pfannenstiel was second, followed by Art Herzog and Michael Smith.
* A wild-and-crazy hobby stock feature went to Garrett Hager. Hager started 11th and was caught up in an early mishap by other drivers. That sent him to the hot pits for repairs, and he restarted 21st. He worked his was back through the field and took the lead from Brady Bencken on lap 12. Adam Armstrong challenged Hager late before cutting down a right-rear tire and finishing sixth. Travis Coop drove his way to second, followed by Bencken and Colton Pfeifer. Hager's win and Armstrong's flat tire gave Hager a slim lead for the track points title with one race remaining for the hobby stocks.
* Kurtis Pihl led the first five laps before a lap car tangled with him, ending his night in the sport mod feature. Then Tracy Holloway drove to the front and led the rest of the way for the win. Clay Money finished second, followed by Daniel Gottschalk and Brenden Damon.
* Tyler Tipton got his first stock car feature victory, holding off Jeff Tubbs. B.J. Wagoner was third, with Nick Tubbs fourth. Nick Tubbs won the makeup feature earlier in the night, leading every lap. Angel Munoz was second, followed by Jeff Tubbs and Wagoner.
* Racing returns to RPM Speedway on Aug. 30 with the URSS sprints and NeSmith late models taking center stage.