By the URSS
NORTON — Luke Cranston called it one of the most fun races he’s ever competed in.
Cranston swept the two-day show at Norton’s Elmwood Park Speedway with a win Sunday night.
The victory was his fourth of the season in the URSS as he battles Jake Bubak for a possible national title.
“(Sunday) night was one of the most fun races of my life,” Cranston said. “The track had a nice cushion on top, and you could pull off some really wicked slide jobs. You could go right up to that cushion and shoot off it. It was a lot of fun.”
Cranston started 10th in the 25-lap feature on the half-mile dirt oval and moved into the fourth-place spot behind leader Richie Dewell, Kade Hagans and John Webster.
But by the time Cranston got to fourth, Dewell had checked out from the field — building nearly a half-lap lead.
“He was flying,” Cranston said of Dewell.
Cranston battled with Hagans and Webster until he made a slide job work to get around both drivers at the same time.
But Hagans spun after the move, and that put Cranston into third, back behind Webster.
It did bunch the field up, which Cranston used to his advantage — just not right away.
Webster and Cranston battled for the runner-up spot as Dewell extended the lead to nearly a straightaway.
As Dewell entered lap traffic, he got hung up behind a lap car, allowing Webster and Cranston to close in.
Cranston pulled off another successful slide job to get by both drivers and into the lead, propelling him to the weekend sweep.
“It’s just awesome,” Cranston said. “Those (wins) are really tough to get with the quality of cars and having to start back in the fifth row every time. Any time you can just finish up front, it’s a good deal.”
The bad luck would continue for Dewell, whose engine later would overheat, forcing him to not finish the race.
Steven Richardson was second, followed by Brian Herbert. Barry Crane and Zach Blurton rounded out the top five
Heat race winners were Darren Berry and Herbert.
The Keizer Aluminum Wheels Hard-Charger Award went to Cranston, who moved up nine spots for the win.
1. Luke Cranston, 2. Steven Richardson, 3. Brian Herbert, 4. Barry Crane, 5. Zach Blurton, 6. Patrick Bourke, 7. John Webster, 8. Darren Berry, 9. Zac Taylor, 10. Greg Reiners, 11. Jeff Radcliffe (DNF), 12. Richie Dewell (DNF), 13. Howard Van Dyke (DNF), 14. Kade Hagans, 15. Mike Madden (DNS).