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By the URSS

BEAVER, Okla. - Luke Cranston remembers the first time he raced a 305 sprint car.
He'll especially remember his last race as well.  The Plains driver won the 2011 
season-opener of the United Rebel Sprint Series on Sunday night at Beaver County Raceway 
in Beaver, Okla.  In the early years of the URSS, Cranston pieced together a sprint car and
had a motor put together by Craig Myers of Myers Engine Service.
"I was pretty sad the very first year of it," Cranston said. "Now it's grown
to what it has."
The series, in its sixth season, debuted Sunday at Beaver's 3/8-mile dirt
oval and put on a heck of a show for the fans in the stands.
It was capped by Cranston's first-ever URSS victory as seventeen cars
started the A-main.
Cranston, who grew up in Ness City, started on the pole alongside Kaden
Taylor. Cranston would bolt to the lead and eventually lead every 
lap of the 25-lap feature.  But it didn't come easy with a host of talented drivers 
nipping at his heels.
Taylor would hold down the second spot until lap eight. That's when
Liberal's Jason Martin, who started outside the fourth row, had worked 
his way up to pressure Cranston as Taylor settled into third and 2008 national
champ Brian Herbert was fourth and Mike Woodruff was fifth.
Woodruff would move up to fourth on the next lap and into third on lap 11.
The lone caution came when 2010 national champ Ty Williams flew off the
track in turn 1, relegating him to the back on lap 15. Woodruff ran 
into bad luck on the same lap, hitting an inside tire on the track and
hurting his ride enough to end his night.
Cranston held down the lead, followed by Martin, Herbert, Taylor and
Jetmore's Ray Seemann.  Seemann got by Taylor on lap 16 to move into fourth, 
and the top four would remain the same until the checkered flag waved on lap 25.
The only movement in the top five came in the form of Steve Milton, who
passed Taylor on lap 18 to move into fifth - where he would finish.
URSS founder Rick Salem said the race was a good start to the 2011 season.
"It was a good race," Salem said. "Martin was coming. If there wouldn't have
been a caution, he might have got him. That put him back on Cranston's bumper, 
and he made him stay there with him the rest of the way."  Martin picked up the Keizer 
Aluminum Racing Wheels Hard-Charger award, moving from eighth to second.
But the winner's check went to Cranston, who plans to compete in enough URSS
events this season to make a run at a potential national championship if things pan out.
Hill City's Jeff Radcliffe, Martin and Williams each won a heat race.
The Rebels return to Beaver on May 8.
. . .
For more information about the United Rebel Sprint Series, contact Rick
Salem at (785) 475-7010 or email [email protected], or visit 
the URSS online at www.unitedrebelsprintseries.com.
Feature results
1: Luke Cranston; 2. Jason Martin; 3. Brian Herbert, 4. Ray Seemann; 5.
Steve Milton; 6. Kaden Taylor; 7. Barry Crane; 8. Jeff Radcliffe; 9. Zach 
Blurton; 10. Ty WIlliams; 11. Tyler Knight; 12. Jerry Caldwell; 13. Mike
Spear; 14. Lance Davis; 15. Jordan Randalls; 16. Mike Woodruff; 17. Keefe Hemel.

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