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Davis flies around top, lands URSS win at Jetmore


JETMORE — Lance Davis had been in the same situation before: Start up front and then slowly drop back. He was expecting the same thing when he led early, then fell a few spots.  But the Sublette driver found something, reversing the trend en route to winning Saturday night's United Rebel Sprint Series race at the Great American Dirt Track at Jetmore Motorplex — his first URSS career victory

“Usually when I start dropping, I keep dropping,” he said. “This was a lot of fun.” Davis found the fast line before anyone else, then did some nifty driving to stay up front after battling through a rough weekend and engine trouble a week ago at the fourth annual Wheatshocker Rebel Nationals at RPM Speedway in Hays.

Davis started outside the front row, along pole-sitter Jordan Randles. Davis jumped into the lead, pacing the field through the first two laps before Connor Atkinson spun in turn two to bring out the lone caution of the race. Zach Blurton followed Davis back to the restart, with Kirby Hagan, Ray Seemann and Darren Bowman in tow.

Davis would lead the next two laps before Seemann passed him for the lead after Hagan pulled off the track, and Blurton did, too.

“I thought we could have been gone, but this thing was tight again,” Seemann said. “It was the same thing that happened at Hays. We have something going wrong, and we've got to figure out what it is.”

Bowman followed Seemann's lead, relegating Davis to third on lap five. Davis continued to slip down the chain, eventually falling as low as fifth on the sixth lap.

“I tried the bottom, and the bottom wasn't there,” Davis said. “I moved up to the top, and the car got faster.”  Davis piloted his sprint car up to the top and found the fast groove. He moved back around Josh Fairbank and Randles to settle into third behind Bowman — who got into first for a lap — and Seemann. Davis passed Bowman on lap 11, then had a solid three-way battle with Seemann and Bowman for the top spot.

“The outside was definitely the fastest,” Seemann said. “If I would have got up into the groove where it was good, it just went straight and didn't want to turn. So I had to drop down. I figured someone was going to come up there.”

On lap 14, Davis made a move coming out of turn four, then powered this way through the next curve to take the lead.  “When I got passed, I moved up to the top,” he said. “The car liked it. Then it was a matter of keep looking forward.”

“I couldn't believe where Lance Davis came from,” Bowman said. “I was trying to run low, and I thought I was pretty good there but I couldn't get out of the corner good. Raymond, he could get out of the corner better, and I was still screwing around down there on the bottom. All of a sudden, Lance Davis came through there and I thought, ‘Man, I've got to go up.’ It wasn't bad. Then I could carry a ton of momentum.”

Davis would lead the rest of the way as he slowly distanced himself for the win.  “Just try to stay focused and keep looking straight ahead and finish strong,” Davis said about the remaining laps after he got into the lead.

While Davis created some cushion, the battle between Seemann and Bowman heated up. Bowman moved into second on lap 23 before Seemann retook the position a lap later, only to give it back on the final lap as the Kinsley driver finished second, with Seemann in third.

“(Davis) must have been searching for a line and found the fast one for us,” Bowman said. “Lap traffic kind of messed with us a little bit, but that's part of it — getting through there.”

Ty Williams, who was running fourth after starting 13th, spun in turn four on the final lap, allowing Fairbank to finish fourth and Brian Herbert to take fifth. Keefe Hemel, who spun in turn four during his heat race but kept the car going only to finish last in the heat, drove one of his best races of the season to move from the back of the field to sixth.

Heat race winners were Herbert, Seemann and Blurton.

The Keizer Aluminum Racing Wheels Hard Charger Award went to Hemel, who started 18th and finished sixth.

Feature results

1. Lance Davis, 2. Darren Bowman, 3. Ray Seemann, 4. Josh Fairbank, 5. Brian Herbert, 6. Keefe Hemel, 7. Jordan Randles, 8. Kris Moore, 9. Barry Crane, 10. Jared Kern, 11. Connor Atkinson, 12. Jerry Caldwell, 13. Steve Dalton, 14. Cody Caldwell, 15. Ty Williams, 16. Garth Griffith, 17. Ray Blackburn (DNF), 18. Zach Blurton (DNF), 19. Kirby Hagans (DNF).

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