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Woodruff snags URSS win in Hays

HAYS — Mike Woodruff had luck to start the 2011 URSS season.

Only problem was, it was bad luck for the Satanta driver.

But Friday night at RPM Speedway in Hays, Woodruff had things work in his favor en route to winning his first URSS feature since Sept. 5, 2009, in Norton.

"I’ve always said a long time ago that if a season starts off good, it ends bad. And if it starts out bad, it usually ends good,” Woodruff said. “All you've got to go is up from there. We're fortunate to be on track now.”

Woodruff started on the pole alongside Darren Bowman and took the lead, one he would hold the entire 25-lap feature.

But Woodruff was challenged for a good portion of the race.

On lap 11, Barry Crane edged by Bowman into second place and set his sights on Woodruff. And on lap 12, Crane had pulled right behind the leader.

Crane pulled alongside the leader coming out of turn two, but a caution flag froze the field.

The near pass proved to be a blessing in disguise for Woodruff.

“Actually, Barry kind of showed me the line when he stuck his nose up there,” Woodruff said. “And I just moved up in his line.”

Woodruff paced the field back to the green, followed by Crane, Bowman, Josh Fairbank, Brian Herbert, Jason Martin and Keefe Hemel.

Martin would get by Herbert on lap 14 and began challenging Fairbank for fourth, and Hemel would get by Herbert for sixth on lap 20.

Meanwhile, Woodruff slowly increased his lead, encompassing only minor slowdowns when battling with lap traffic.

“That's the problem starting up front is you don't know what everyone else is doing,” Woodruff said. “I could hear somebody there, so I decide I better look around the track a little bit. After that caution, I found a groove about a car-length up from the bottom. I knew it would be really tough for somebody to drive around me then. I just had to hit my marks and hold my line.”

While Woodruff comfortably held down the lead, the battles raged behind him. Bowman eventually got by Crane for second on lap 22, and Fairbank and Martin got by Crane on lap 24.

Bowman would finish second behind Woodruff, while Martin edged Fairbank for third, and Crane slipped back to fifth.

“Mike got out there quite a ways,” Bowman said. “Then in lap traffic, I kinda caught back up to him. I don't know what I would have had coming off the bottom with lap cars, but I would have had to pick a pretty good spot to get by him. I struggle with that a little more than I should.”

Heat race winners were Ray Seeman, Craig Jecha, Herbert and Martin.

The Keizer Aluminum Racing Wheels Hard-Charger award went to Bob Shaeffer who started 20th and finished13th.


Feature results

1. Mike Woodruff, 2. Darren Bowman, 3. Jason Martin, 4. Josh Fairbank, 5. Barry Crane, 6. Keefe Hemel, 7. Brian Herbert, 8. Ray Seemann, 9. Patrick Bourke, 10. Jordan Randles, 11. Zach Blurton, 12. Judd Shaeffer, 13. Bob Shaeffer, 14. Jeff Radcliffe, 15. Ken Lutters, 16. Craig Jecha, 17. Tyler Kraus, 18. Reed Bernbeck (DNF), 19. Kaden Taylor (DNF), 20. Jared Kern (DNF).



1. Zach Blurton, 2. Judd Shaeffer, 3. Jared Kern, 4. Jordan Randles, 5. Ken Lutters, 6. Kaden Taylor, 7. Tyler Kraus, 8. Reed Bernbeck, 9. Jeff Radcliffe, 10. Bob Shaeffer, 11. Michael Williams, 12. Lance Davis, 13. Chad Salem, 14. Mike Parker, 15. Steve Dalton, 16. Dan Brummet, (DNF), 17. Mike Spears (DNF), 18. Shawn Radcliffe (DNF), 19. Mark Wallender (DNS).


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