PHOTO COURTESY OF IN THE DIRT PHOTOS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Hutchinson, Kansas – July 26, 2014 - The tradition which is the 58th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Hutchinson Grand Nationals presented by Mel Hambelton Ford has seen its share of memorable events full of twists, turns, family traditions and irony during its illustrious history. Saturday night, atop the famed half mile oval, they all happened over the course 25 laps as Dan Powers etched his name in the record books as the National Championship Racing Association of Park City, Kansas presented by Precise Racing Products modified division wrapped up two night’s of racing at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Starting alongside Friday night dash winner Joe Adams on the front row, Powers took the early lead and opened a six car length advantage over Adams as the green flag fell. Defending Nationals champion Brian Franz, Brendon Gemmill and Marc Hurd were your top five after lap one with Powers running the top side of the track.
One lap later Franz would get by Adams for the runner up position and was chasing down the leader when a lap three caution for Justin Moler’s spin in turns one and two slowed the pace.
Once racing action went green, Powers and Franz started side by side on the double file restart but it was third starting Gemmill who made the noise as he moved passed Franz and into the runner up position.
Despite another caution on lap six, Powers stayed out front of Franz while behind them; Josh Lanterman had worked his way up from his eleventh position to third. Powers lead would be short lived as Gemmill drove underneath the second generation driver down the front stretch to take the lead on lap nine.
Gemmill, looking to become just the second, third-generation driver to win the Hutch Nationals, quickly built up a fifteen car length lead over Powers. He looked to be on cruise control during the next three laps as Powers now had his hands full with Hurd right on his tail for the runner up position.
The pace slowed on lap twelve and so did the complexion of the race on lap twelve when the caution came out for another Moler spin, this time in turn three. Gemmill chose to start down low on this restart with Powers along side. Entering turns one and two, Gemmill got too low and hit the infield tractor tire and spun, allowing Powers to motor by. Gemmill fell back to fifteenth as the race stayed green while back up front, Powers held a ten car length lead over Franz – who had taken over second from Hurd on the lap twelve restart.
Powers continued to keep Franz behind him, still maintaining a ten car length lead before the night’s final caution waved on lap eighteen. Powers chose the top side with Franz relegated down low on the restart with Powers again opening up a comfortable advantage.
Tyler Davis, who had won the night’s first “B” feature earlier in the evening, started nineteenth and by this time had worked his way up into the third position. On the last restart he made quick work of Franz for the runner up position and looked to catch the leader who had now opened a fifteen car length lead.
In the end Davis ran out of time as Powers would go the final distance unchallenged to claim the biggest race of his young career and a $2000 pay check. To make his victory even sweeter and in an ironic twist, his Hutch Grand Nationals victory came ten years after his father, Brian Powers, accomplished the same feat.
Hurd would get by Franz late to claim third while Gemmill would come roaring through the field to round out the top five.
The next scheduled event for the NCRA modified division will be the annual trip to Route 66 Motor Speedway in Amarillo, Texas on Saturday night, August 23.
NCRA Modified Division
Kansas State Fairgrounds/Hutchinson, Kansas
July 25 – 26, 2014
Friday Night Results
1st Heat: 1) Jon Thompson, 2) Brian Franz, 3) Justin Moler, 4) Tad Davis, 5) A.J. Brochu, 6) Rodney Chaffin, 7) Robbie Simmons, 8) Chris Pitts, 9) Richard Wilson
2nd Heat: 1) Kirby Robe, 2) Josh Lanterman, 3) Kevin Newell, 4) Clint McFadden, 5) Bob Lane, 6) Richie Wilson, 7) Jeremy Mahoney, 8) Dustin Belcher, 9) JR Sandlian
3rd Heat: 1) Joe Adams, 2) Jason McGehee, 3) Scott Green, 4) Bill Siemers, 5) Jase Wadel, 6) Cuyler Calkin, 7) Don Morris, 8) Tyler Davis
4th Heat: 1) Dan Powers, 2) Ross Shipman, 3) Bobby Bills, 4) Clint Smith, 5) Johnny Whitmore, 6) Carson McKeen, 7) Gary Kilbourn, 8) Danny Evans
5th Heat: 1) Brendon Gemmill, 2) Tanner Mullens, 3) Tyler Davis, 4) Kyle Schmidt, 5) Troy Gemmill, 6) Don Hodge, 7) James Riner, 8) Bud Longpine
Saturday Night Results
1st B Feature: 1) Tyler Davis, 2) Bud Longpine, 3) Carson McKeen, 4) Clint Smith, 5) Jeremy Mahoney, 6) James Riner, 7) Bob Lane, 8) Dustin Belcher, 9) Robie Wilson, 10) Rodney Chaffin, 11) Gary Kilborn
2nd B Feature: 1) Troy Gemmill, 2) Ross Shipman, 3) Don Hodge, 4) Richard Wilson, 5) Don Morris, 6) Robbie Simmons, 7) Tad Davis, 8) Cuyler Calkin, 9) Danny Evans, 10) JR Sandlion
Championship A Feature: 1) Dan Powers, 2) Tyler Davis, 3) Marc Hurd, 4) Brian Franz, 5) Brendon Gemmill, 6) Bud Longpine, 7) A.J. Brochu, 8) Jason McGehee, 9) Jon Thompson, 10) Ross Shipman, 11) Jase Wadel, 12) Troy Gemmill, 13) Josh Lanterman, 14) Bill Siemers, 15) Joe Adams, 16) Johnny Whitmore, 17) Kirby Robe, 18) Clint McFadden, 19) Tanner Mullens, 20) Don Hodge, 21) Justin Moler, 22) Chris Pitts, 23) Bobby Bills, 24) Carson McKeen