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Seemann wins URSS national crown

DODGE CITY — He entered the final weekend trailing by two points.

But on the final night of a two-day show at Dodge City Raceway Park, Ray Seemann had done what he needed to to be leading the national points race in the United Rebel Sprint Series. That left him in the driver's seat for Saturday's season finale.

The Jetmore driver then proceeded to stay the course to win his first URSS national title by finishing fifth Saturday night at DCRP, two spots ahead of Dodge City's Brian Herbert.

“This has got to be one of the hardest championships to win,” Seemann said. “It's a long year, a lot of races all spread out over different states. We missed some races when we went to Knoxville and wasn't really thinking about it. If I would have to do it all over again, I'd probably go to those races to make it a little easier.”

Entering Saturday night's final race of the season, Herbert — who won the national title in 2008 — had to beat Seemann by four spots, or win the race and beat Seemann by three spots.

But Herbert struggled in his heat race, finishing third after starting fifth. That sent him into one of the two B-mains.

Seemann, on the other hand, started sixth in his heat and finished third, earning enough passing points to go directly into the A-main.

“It was a hard one to chuck, having to run the B,” Herbert said. “You have 25 races to get your best ones, and Ray got the best ones. My hats off to Ray and his crew. They did a good job. We'll see what we're going to do next year, and we'll get them again. I'm not done by any means yet.”

Herbert won his B-feature and started 11th in the A-main and a row behind Seemann.

“I was trying to stay in front of Herbert and not crash at the same time,” Seemann said.

The two drivers were stuck mid-pack for a large portion of the race on the slick track. But Herbert made things interesting on lap 12 when he got by Seemann into seventh place. On lap 14, Gavin Stout would get by Seemann into eighth, leaving Herbert two spots ahead of the Jetmore driver.

“I was a lot more comfortable tonight than I was (Friday) night,” Seemann said. “Last night, I was thinking we had to get through the night to go for it tomorrow. I was more comfortable, but when Herbert got in front of me, I thought, ‘Here we go. My nightmare is going to play out.’ ”

Herbert would stay two spots ahead of him until lap 17, when Seemann moved back into eighth. He'd eventually get by Herbert and finished fifth. Herbert went on to finish ninth.

“I knew realistically we had a chance, but at that point I was going to have to go forward and pass more cars because I knew everybody pretty much behind me was going to stay right there,” Herbert said. “He was right there, too. I kind of got tickled and thought maybe we'll get up there and get some guys, but it just didn't work out. It's been a good season.”

A driver's top 25 finishes, along with a select number of Kansas-Colorado shows, accounted for a competitor’s final points.

“The car has been great, never broke down all year,” Seemann said. “We had a problem with the motor that caused us to fall out at Hays. But other than that, we've been blessed with everything good. It's an excellent crew, works so hard. There's no way I could do this without a good crew.”

Seemann joined the likes of Jon Johnson, Smokey Fairbank, Herbert, C.J. Johnson and  Ty Williams as national champions in the series.

He also notched the Kansas Region championship, while Patrick Bourke won the Colorado Region.


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