A race within a race.
That’s what Saturday night’s modified feature at RPM Speedway came down to.
Kyle Rohleder held a one-point lead over Dylan Sherfick for the track title entering the night, and both started side-by-side in the 20-lap feature.
But Sherfick was able to get to the front first and had just enough drivers between him and Rohleder to notch the track championship with a second-place finish.
“It seems like the past two or three years, it’s been second place for me,” said Sherfick, who also won the track title at the shortened season at his hometown WaKeeney Speedway. “This year, we switched to a new car, and everything has gone real well for us. I’m glad to end up the season with a couple track championships.”
Sherfick started ninth and Rohleder 10th at the drop of the green flag, and Tim Watts held down the lead for the first six laps.
But Sherfick made his charge, moving into the runner-up spot behind Watts after six circuits.
“Any chance I knew that I had, I had to go,” Sherfick said. “He was going to be right there. I stuck her down there, and sure enough, we got to the front right away.”
Sherfick made the pass out of turn four on lap seven, taking the lead. Rohleder had moved up only to sixth.
Sherfick continued to hold off Watts and Clinton Hockersmith for the lead, building a small advantage.
Meanwhile, Rohleder would pick up a spot to move to fifth.
Cody Gearhart began to reel in Sherfick, making the pass for the lead with three to go after starting eighth.
“Once I got to second, I thought I could pull this off,” Gearhart said. “We’ve had problems with this brand new car. We went to Boone and had no brakes the whole time. So this was really the first night out on the car. We were hoping for a lot.”
Gearhart would go on to win the race, with Sherfick settling for second. But it was good enough to lift him to the track title.
“Those last five or so laps, I thought I could hear something,” Sherfick said. “But it’s one of those deals if it was the car or not. I figured he would be up there.”
Jesse Richter finished third, with Hockersmith fourth. Rohleder was fifth.
The runner-up finish gave Sherfick the track crown by two points.
“That one wreck we had here about three or four races ago hurt us pretty bad,” Sherfick said. “Lucky enough, we ended up getting back-to-back wins to put us back in the chase. I knew coming in to tonight it was going to be close. I’m just glad we came out ahead.”
• The Northern sport mod feature also helped crown a track champion in dramatic form. Clay Money led Jake Krone by four points entering the feature. The two started side-by-side in the sixth row. Money was ahead of Krone early in the race, only to have Krone get by him and work his way to the front of the field. Blaine Walt took the lead on lap 17 from Dakota Spoul and held on for the win. Krone worked into the runner-up spot with three to go and would finish there. Rodger Peck was third and Sproul fourth. Money edged Nate Ginest for fifth by inches, giving him the track title by a single point.
• Another highly contested title was in the sport compact class. Kiowa Higdon led Art Herzog by four points and Randy Murphy by six points. Murphy would lead all but the first lap to take the feature win, with Toby Schwien second, Kirk Pfannenstiel third and Higdon fourth — good enough to give Higdon the track crown.
• Garrett Hager basically had the title wrapped up in the hobby stock class entering the night’s feature. He got caught up in an early wreck and finished seventh. Colton Pfeifer took the lead on lap five after Monte Honas’ car had to be helped off the track while being caught up in a wreck while leading. Mike Traskowsky was second, followed by Shay Simoneau and Travis Coop.
• Perry Misner led the stock car feature before Jason Rogers took the top spot on lap five. Nick Tubbs would battle Rogers for the lead, taking it on lap 11 and holding on the rest of the way. Tyler Tipton was second, followed by Rogers and Tanner Portenier. Chad Sterling finished fifth. Rogers’ finish was enough to give him the track title by a point over Sterling.
• Jeff McQuade and Justin Schwien won the cruiser feature, leading all 12 laps. Austin Tammen was second, followed by Shaun Woods and Blaise Lehman.
• RPM Speedway will host Fall Nationals IX on Oct. 1 to 3.