By Rick Salem
Park City, Kansas – April 5, 2019 – Jake Martens of Fairview, Oklahoma took the lead on lap five and never looked back to claim the season opener for the Lucas Oil POWRi United Rebel Sprint Series presented by Mel Hambelton Ford Racing Friday night at 81 Speedway in Park City.
Buddy Tubbs and Andy Shouse started on the front row for the twenty-five-lap feature with Tubbs taking the lead as the green flag fell. Tubbs lead would be short lived, however, as he would bring out the features first caution when he spun in turn two.
Shouse inherited the lead on the restart but it was Lincoln, Nebraska’s Adam Guillion diving low into turns three and four to take the lead away from Shouse to lead lap two. Shouse, a three-time and defending Sprint Series of Oklahoma champion, would return the favor the next time around in the same fashion in turns three and four to retake the lead on lap three. Heading down the back stretch on lap four, Guillion would take the lead by ducking underneath Shouse to retake the lead.
The caution would appear on lap four when Steven Richardson spun in turns three and four. On the attempted restart, the caution would wave again when Cole Cozard spun in turns one and two.
When race action finally resumed, Guillion set the pace out front while fourth-starting Martens, Ty Williams, Shouse and Brian Herbert were the top five lined up behind the leader. Entering turns three and four after the restart, Martens would dive low in turns three and four to take the lead and set sail away from the field.
By lap eight, Martens had opened up a half-stretch lead over Guillion and kept the distance until the features final caution flag fell on lap fourteen when Jeremy Huish spun in turns three and four.
On the final restart, there was no stopping Martens as not even encountering slower cars on lap twenty could stop the Oklahoma veteran from claiming the URSS season opener and finally capturing a feature victory atop 81 Speedway after years of trying.
Guillion would settle for second while Shouse came home third. Williams finished fourth while Wayne Johnson, making a rare 305-ci appearance, brought home the races Keizer Wheels hard-charger award by coming from his fifteenth starting position to round out the top five.
The three, eight lap heat races for the twenty-three-car field were won by Tracey Hill, Shouse and Tubbs.
United Rebel Sprint Series
81 Speedway/Park City, Kansas
April 5, 2019
1st Heat (8 Laps): 1) Tracey Hill, 2) Jake Martens, 3) Jeremy Huish, 4) Cale Cozad, 5) Brian Herbert, 6) Jed Werner, 7) Jordan Knight, 8) Cody Hays
2nd Heat (8 Laps): 1) Andy Shouse, 2) Ty Williams, 3) Brandon Anderson, 4) Tanner Conn, 5) Cody Lampe, 6) Kade Hagans, 7) Dalton Webb, 8) Kirby Kyles
3rd Heat (8 Laps): 1) Buddy Tubbs, 2) Adam Guillion, 3) Steven Richardson, 4) Zach Blurton, 5) Aaron Ploussard, 6) Wayne Johnson, 7) ChadSalem
A Feature (25 Laps) 1) Jake Martens, 2) Adam Guillion, 3) Andy Shouse, 4) Ty Williams, 5) Wayne Johnson, 6) Tracey Hill, 7) Brandon Anderson, 8) Zach Blurton, 9) Steven Richardson, 10) Tanner Conn, 11) Jed Werner, 12) Kade Hagans, 13) Cale Cozad, 14) Brian Herbert, 15) Aaron Ploussard, 16) Dalton Webb, 17) Kirby Kyles, 18) Cody Hays, 19) Jeremy Huish, 20) Jordan Knight, 21) Cody Lampe, 22) Buddy Tubbs, DNS) Chad Salem
Lap leaders: Tubbs 1; Guillion 2, 4; Shouse 3; Martens 5-25