Only 11 months separate Randy and Ryan Murphy in age.
On Thursday night at Fall Nationals IX at RPM Speedway in Hays, less than that separated the brothers at the finish line.
This time, the honors went to older brother Randy.
“You know that brotherly love; I couldn’t let him win,” Randy said.
The brothers dominated the sport compact feature race Thursday, combining to lead all but one of the laps. And younger brother Ryan actually led more of the race than Randy did.
But it was Randy who came out on top after a late pass on lap nine to lead to the victory.
“I got a real good run coming out of one and two there,” Randy said. “I got a chance to take it, and it was a lot of fun. It’s was good, so I can’t complain at all.”
“It was a good race, and of course when you go up against your brother, you get a little nervous,” Ryan said. “I think I got a little nervous in turn three and got a little loose, and he got around me.”
Randy led the final four laps to secure his first Fall Nationals title.
“It feels so good,” Randy said. “Having the opportunity to come out here every weekend and run and having the crowd come out, that means a lot to us. We like to keep the dirt tracks around here running. There’s a lot of them closing up, but as long as we can keep them running around here, that will be awesome.”
Ryan was pleased with the close second-place finish, especially since he season could have ended much differently a few weeks ago.
On the day of the final regular season show at RPM Speedway, Ryan had his car loaded on the trailer attached to a pickup. But the pickup, trailer and car were stolen from his house in Ellis only hours before races were set to start.
The pickup, car and trailer were located in Hays shortly afterwards, and Ryan had his car back right before races started.
“It’s awesome being able to get first and second,” Ryan said. “I’m really proud of my brother, and we couldn’t have a better night.”
Art Herzog finished third, and Brooke Russell was fourth.
Nick Schwien is managing editor at The Hays Daily News.