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Crane wins first URSS feature

LIBERAL, Kan. — For a few seconds, there was a feeling of deja vu for Barry Crane.

The race was shaping up like the early season race a year earlier. He was leading the pack and coming up on lap traffic. That night ended with a vicious wreck that destroyed his sprint car and ended his 2012 season.

On Saturday night, though, things went differently, and Crane piloted his United Rebel Sprint Series sprint car into victory lane — capturing his first URSS career victory.

“It was a nice way to start off, especially with the way we started off last year,” Crane said.

Crane was leading the second night of the Cow Chip Nationals last year in Beaver, Okla, when he tangled with a lap car, ending his chances at his first victory — and eventually his season.

“It was the horribly longest offseason of my life,” Crane said. “I was more than ready, but I was really nervous, too.”

Crane started on the pole, but the win didn't come easy. He battled side-by-side with Taylor Velasquez early, then had to hold off a hard-charging Luke Cranston for the win.

He even had to work his way through lap traffic.

“I gave them a little bit extra space until I could make my move,” Crane said. “That wall comes up fast. I didn't want to pin myself between the wall and the other car. It taught me some patience.”

Crane was the class of the field last year while leading the race at Beaver before the accident. On Saturday, he was the class of the field again by holding on for the win.

“There's none of these guys who are going to just give you a race,” Crane said.

When he saw there was only one lap remaining in the feature, he knew the end was near.

“I just thanked God it was over,” Crane said. “I stood up on the tank, and I was pretty happy. We ran 25 laps, and it seemed like 100. I've never been so happy to see that white flag.”

Cranston finished second, followed by Velasquez in third and Ray Seemann in fourth. Herbert, last year's URSS national champ, was fifth.

Heat race winners were Kaden Taylor, Herbert and Ty Williams.

Feature results

1. Barry Crane, 2. Luke Cranston, 3. Taylor Velasquez, 4. Ray Seemann, 5. Brian Herbert, 6. Richie Dewell, 7. Kris Miller, 8. Koby Walters, 9. Kris Moore, 10. Jerry Caldwell, 11. Zac Taylor, 12. Cody Caldwell, 13. Ty Williams (DNF), 14. Tyler Knight (DNF), 15. Kaden Taylor (DNF).

The Keizer Aluminum Wheels "Hard Charger Award" went to # 33, Kris Miller, moving up 8 spots to claim 7th place.


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