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Seemann Tops URSS Field at Jetmore

JETMORE — Ray Seemann sat on his four-wheeler, watching track personnel work up the dirt oval during intermission Saturday night at the Great American Dirt Track at Jetmore Motorplex.  Later that night, Seemann was unsure just what to do.

His indecision and willingness to not make changes proved valuable as he bested the field on his hometown track to win his first United Rebel Sprint Series feature this season.

“I didn't know what to do. That track had me worried,” said Seemann, who competed on a wet, heavy track during the heat races. “Then we had those few cautions there (in the other classes), and I thought we might want to come back and change the tire. But I thought, ‘Let's just go with it.’ Thank God I did.”

Seemann started eighth, alongside Dodge City's Brian Herbert for the 25-lap feature, while Gavin Stout and Kris Moore started on the front row.

At the start, Josh Fairbank, who started sixth, jumped into third place, but a yellow flag for a spinning car set the field back for a double-file restart.

“That first caution, we were up to third and then the caution came out and had to go to the double-file restart,” Fairbank said. “That hurt me. They knew where exactly I wanted to go then, and they put their cars there and that kind of twisted me up coming off the corner. But once I got to the bottom, she was there.”

The second caution flew after the first lap, with Stout in the lead, followed by Barry Crane and Keefe Hemel. Fairbank was in seventh.

Crane would take the lead from Stout on lap three, with Seemann moving into second on lap four. Stout spun in turn two on lap six, and two laps after the restart, Seemann got on the gas and around Crane for the lead.

“After I got into the lead, I was tickled pink,” Crane said. “Then Ray passed me. I saw him come up beside me, and I thought I was going to stuff him into the wall but I wasn't going to give up my spot. Then he went right on around and passed me underneath, just like he always does.”

Seemann would continue to build a sizable margin the rest of the race as the feature went green until the checkered flag.

“It's like a ton of weight off my back,” Seemann said about the win. “You try not to think about it, but it's just been killing me. I’ve been passing cars and getting close, but just couldn't get there.”

While Seemann, who eventually would win by a full straightaway, cruised through lap traffic to win, the real battle was for the runner-up spot.

Luke Cranston tucked in behind Crane on lap nine, followed closely by Fairbank. Fairbank finally would get by Cranston into third on lap 16 before staging an epic battle with Crane for the runner-up spot.

“One and two at the bottom was good, and three and four the bottom wasn't good,” Fairbank said. “He'd come back around me. I just knew if I could get a car length ahead of him, I could put it in front of him down the straightaway. That lap car  played a pretty key role for us. We got by the lap car and Crane at the same time and was able to distance ourself.”

That happened on lap 22 after about six laps where Crane and Fairbank traded spots back and forth.

“That was intense,” Crane said. “That was some fun racing. I'd look down and see him get a run on me. Then I could get around him up top. He just kept whittling away at me and finally got me.”

Fairbank would go on to finish second, followed by Crane in third. Cranston was fourth, while C.J. Johnson finished fifth.

“I knew it was going to be a fast track, so whoever got in the lead first would have clean air,” Seemann said.

Heat race winners were CJ Johnson, Kris Moore and Josh Fairbank.

The Keizer Aluminum Racing Wheels Hard Charger Award went to Darren Bowman, who started 17th and finished eighth.

A total of 23 cars competed in Saturday's race.

Feature results

1. Ray Seemann, 2. Josh Fairbank, 3. Barry Crane, 4. Luke Cranston, 5. C.J. Johnson, 6. Brian Herbert, 7. Keefe Hemel, 8. Darren Bowman, 9. Mike Woodruff, 10. Zach Blurton, 11. Kirby Hagans, 12. Taylor Milton, 13. Kaden Taylor, 14. Lance Davis, 15. Cody Caldwell, 16. Jerry Caldwell, 17. Gavin Stout, 18. Kris Moore, 19. Conner Atkinson, 20. Tyler Knight (DNF), 21. Raymond Blackburn (DNF), 22. Jordan Randles (DNS), 23. Brian May (DNS).


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