By Rick Salem
Hays, Kansas – June 13, 2020 – Jed Werner got a run on race-long leader Shane Sundquist down the backstretch with just three laps to go to claim the opening night Mike Hughes Memorial/Sunflower Classic as the Mel Hambelton Ford Racing POWERi United Rebel Sprint Series invaded Rolling Plains Motor Speedway in Hays, Kansas on Saturday night.
Werner and Sundquist started on the front row for the 25-lap feature with Sundquist jumping into the early lead as the green flag fell. Werner, Howard Van Dyke, Jeremy Huish and Jordan Knight were top five after the first lap was complete.
Sundquist opened up a six car-length lead before approaching slower cars on lap six allowing Werner to close the distance. The leaders stayed in lapped traffic through the caution-free feature and at the races midway point it was still Sundquist leading Werner, Van Dyke, Huish and ninth-starting JD Johnson the top five.
Werner got a run on the leader running low coming out of turn to and got beside Sundquist down the backstretch, but the Nebraska driver stayed out front to continue his lead.
Only two car lengths separated the top two with just five laps to go with the leaders still having to work through slower cars. Lap twenty-three saw Werner get a run on the top side coming out of turn two and stormed past Sundquist down the back stretch to take the lead.
Werner would go untouched the rest of the way to claim his first series victory since June 12 of 2016 (Wakeeney Speedway) and the $1000 pay check.
Huish got past Sundquist on the last lap to claim second while Johnson finished fourth. Twelfth-starting Ty Williams rounded out the top five, and claimed the Keizer Wheels Hard Charger Award.
The three, eight lap heat races for the 27-car field were won by Sundquist, Werner and Taylor Velasquez.
The URSS will do it all over again tomorrow (Sunday) night at RPM Speedway for night two of the Mike Hughes Memorial/ Sunflower Classic.
United Rebel Sprint Series
RPM Speedway/Hays, Kansas
June 13, 2020
1st Heat: 1) Shane Sundquist, 1) Jeremy Huish, 3) J.D. Johnson, 4) Steven Richardson, 5) Ty Williams, 6) Tyler Knight, 7) Brady Skrdlant, 8) Tom Belsky
2) Heat: 1) Howard Van Dyke, 2) Nate Berry, 3) Monty Ferriera, 4) Zach Middleton, 5) Ross Essenburg, 6) Mark Wallinder, 7) Scott Cochran, 8) Koby Walters
3rd Heat: 1) Taylor Velasquez, 2) Jordan Knight, 3) Ray Seeman, 4) Kyler Johnson, 5) Zach Blurton, 6) Cale Cozad, 7) Mike Woodruff, 8) Keith Rauch, 9) Fred Holz
A Feature (25 Laps): 1) Jed Werner, 2) Jeremy Huish, 3) Shane Sundquist, 4) JD Johnson, 5) Ty Williams, 6) Taylor Velasquez, 7) Zach Blurton, 8) Steven Richardson, 9) Jordan Knight, 10) Cale Cozad, 11) Mike Woodruff, 12) Kyler Johnson, 13) Keith Rauch, 14) Ray Seeman, 15) Tyler Knight, 16) Ross Essenburg, 17) Howard Van Dyke, 18) Brady Skrdlant, 19) Fred Holz, 20) Zach Middleton, 21) Tom Belsky, DNS Nate Berry, Koby Walters, Chad Salem
Lap Leaders: Sundquist 1-22; Werner 23-25