WaKEENEY — The strategy for Jed Werner was simple: Hold your line and keep the hammer down.
It worked perfectly Sunday night at WaKeeney Speedway as he bested the field to win his first URSS 305 sprint car feature of the year.
“This sure is up there,” said Werner, who will attend the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science at Fort Hays State University next year. “It’s great to get a win this year because we’ve been struggling with the car so far. It feels pretty good now, and I’m getting more confident.”
Sunday night’s feature was no struggle at all for Werner. He started on the pole of the 20-lap feature and led every lap.
“Just keep your line. I was trying to stay right in the middle of the track so no one would get under me and around me,” Werner said. “I just tried to keep my line. I didn’t know where they were at. I thought they were right behind me, so I kept doing it and it turned out good.”
Werner’s competitors were nowhere in sight, though. The closest they would come was on two restarts.
But each time, the young driver would pull well ahead of the pack to create a comfortable distance.
“It felt like they were right behind me, but I really had no idea,” Werner said. “Starting on the pole sure helped out a bit.”
While Werner held down the top spot throughout the feature, the pack behind him was dicing for positions.
Hill City’s Jeff Radcliffe held down the runner-up spot for the first 12 laps. Quinter’s Zach Blurton moved into third on the second lap, with Luke Cranston following closely behind.
The top four would stay that way until the final restart. That’s when Cranston bolted around the high side in turns one and two and around Radcliffe and Blurton.
“I knew it would stick up there, but I didn’t know if I was going to be able to carry that momentum coming out of two,” Cranston said. “I knew we had a shot at it, but I didn’t know if we were going to be able to make it work or not.”
Blurton got by Radcliffe on lap 14 but never could get close enough to pressure Cranston for the runner-up spot.
“We were really good on the short runs,” Cranston said. “Restarts were really good for us. We got this Myers Engine that takes off really well. I would have liked to have another shot at the end. I was telling Kirk (Reinert) on that red I was hoping we would get into some lap traffic so we could do some racing. We were so spread apart. I think if we could have gotten into some lap traffic, we could have diced it up a little bit more. It is what it is, and we’ll take second. That’s not too bad.”
All Werner had to do from that point on was hit his marks and keep the pedal pushed to the floor.
“It was real nice to be able to hold it wide open,” Werner said. “You could hold it in a straight line. There was no sliding or nothing. It was a great track.”
Cranston finished second, followed by Blurton and Radcliffe.
• In other features, Colton Pfeifer passed Cody Ghumm with two laps remaining in the hobby stock feature for the win, and Ryan Wark won the stock car feature. Billy Turner was the top finisher in the sport compact main event.