Colorado Driver wins Wheatshocker Nationals

By Tiger Media Network

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Jake Bubak

     A night earlier, Jake Bubak needed a few more laps.  On Sunday night, the sprint car driver from Colorado had plenty of laps to work with enroute to winning his second Wheatshocker Nationals title.

    Bubak was able to claim the top prize - $2,000 - and another new Pit Boss Pellet Grill donated by Lance Pittman of S & W Supply in Hays that went to the top pointer-earner from the two day event.  Bubak became only the second multi-time winner of the event, taking the other crown in 2014.  It was his second straight year winning the new grill.

     "Especially since Lance started donating that grill," Bubak said about the excitement of taking the win and another grill.  "We 've won several nights of this and didn't win (the grill) until last year.  To win it back-to-back is really cool.  I think we're the only one other than C.J (Johnson) to do it, and he's got the most main event wins in this series.  That's really cool.

     Bubak started eighth and didn't crack the top five until lap 12.  In the early going, it was pole-sitter Luke Cranston leading the first six laps before Jed Werner got by him to hold down the top spot.  "I was anticipating the bottom to be the place to go, "said Werner, a 2018 KAMS graduate at Fort Hays State University.  " Up high was fast the first couple of laps, but then it started to go away and the bottom was where it was at.  So I just dove in there and was able to by him."

     After a restart on lap 11, Quinter's Zach Blurton was able to get by Cranston to slip into second, and on lap 12, Bubak passed Ty Williams to move into fifth.  A lap later, Bubak slipped by Brian Herbert to sit fourth. Meanwhile, Werner had started to distance himself a bit from the field.  Cranston started to fall in the wrong direction, and bubak eclipsed him for third on lap 14.  "When they rework the track like that, it's kind of hard the first few laps because it's kid of one-lane," Bubak said.  "But if they don't rework the track, then it just takes rubber and it's just follow the leader.  Thankfully they reworked the track and gave us an awesome track."

     Blurton tried to hold off the hard-charging Bubak, but the two were nearly even at the end of the 19th lap - and both were making ground on Werner at the front.  Two laps later, Bubak used the high line to be neck-andneck with Werner at the stripe.  "He did a good job, but the bottom kind of went away a little bit there and it slowed him down enough," Bubak said.  "Luckily, that's where we were.

     "I knew he was coming from the beginning," Werner said.  "I expected to see that black-and-green car".  From there, Bubak distanced himself from the field to claim the win.  A night earlier, Bubak started eighth as well but didn't get into second place behind eventual winner Jeremy Huish until there were only five laps remaining.  He closed quickly Saturday night as the two eree about to reach lap traffic, only to have the 25-lap feature end with Huish taking the checkered flag by only a few car lenghts.

     "We ran him down really quick once we got to second, "Bubak said about Saturday night's race.  "The yellow with five or six to go really hurt us because he got in clean air.  I was really hoping we would get to lap traffic, but at that point, we couldn't.  Even one more lap I would have liked to see what we could have done.  We were close, but he did a great job.  They're a great family, and it's really cool to see them get a win.

     On Sunday, though, Bubak reached second with 12 laps remaining in the 30-lap feature.  "It's real nice.  This is the third time in the car and our second win, so it's really cool, "Bubak said.  "He's a great car owner, great equipment, and it's just fund to be out here. Thankfully he lets me drive his car."

     Werner held on to finish second, and Cranston - who dropped to fifth at one point - rallied back to finish third.  I was just trying to run the best line that I thought looked good, "Cranston said.  "Our car, we had so much fuel in it that it didn't start working really good until about the last 10 laps.  Then it really started working well.  But I was just trying to do what I could.  I guess it wasn't enought."  Cranston said he wished there were a few more laps Sunday night after his car started working well late.  "I think if we would have had a yellow at the end we would have been pretty good," Cranston said.  "I kind of found that the top was taking a little bit of rubber through there, and I do't think those guys in front of me had found it yet.  But we've had a hard time gtting this car to work on slick tracks, so we'll take third.  That's not bad for us"

     Steven Richardson, who started 12th and blew up an engine the previous night in the feature, methodically worked his way through the field to claim fourth.  Blurton rounded out the top five.  "We've won quite a few races and been very successful with Rick Salem's series and won some ASCS races also," said Bubak, who was second at last year's Wheatshocker.  "I'm surrounded by great people and have great car owners.  That's a huge help."


     Colorado's Eddie Belec led the majority of the laps in Sunday night's modified feature.  But the drivr had to rally in the final few laps to snag a victory from veteran racer David Murray, Jr.  Belec grabbed the lead on the first lap and was pressured heavily by Murray and Daniel Gottschalk.  Gottschalk appeared to take the lead on an early restart, only to have the yellow flag fly before a lap was completed.  that allowed Belec to reclaim the top spot.  But on lap 10 Murray was battling Belec for the lead at the stripe.  Murray edged by him to take the top spot, while Belec held steady in second.  But with three laps remaining, Belec used a strong run through thurns three and fourt to sneak by Murray.  He'd lead the final three laps for the victory.  Murray was second, followed by seventh-starting Tanner Black and Gottschalk.


     Several drivers gave the RPM fans a treat in the stock car feature Sunday night, with three different drivers holding the lead at one point in the tight battle.  Nick Tubbs led the first four laps before his brother, Jeff Tubbs, took the lead on lap five.  Kyle Pfeifer, who started 10th, moved by Nick Tubbs on lap eight, only to be passed by Mike Petersilie a lap later.  The top three battled for several laps before Pfeifer eventually pullled even with Jeff Tubbs on lap 15.  A lap later, Pfeifer fully had the lead and would hold off the field the rest of the 20-lap feature.  Jeff Tubbs was second, followed by Petersilie and B.J> Wagoner.


URSS 305 Sprints

     Ty Williams led for more than half of the race until Jerey Huish got by him on lap 15.  A caution two laps later would bunch the field up again, but Huish was able to get the jump on the restart and win the first night of the Wheatshocker Nationals.  Jake Bubak rallied from eighth to take second and was closing in quickly on Huish for the top sport.  Williams was third, followed by Koby Walters.  

Northern SportMods

     Blaine Walt and Dakota Sproul battled for the final eight laps Saturday night, with Walt coming out on top.  Shay Simoneau led the first few laps before Shelby Frye pulled alongside him.  walt and Cory McGann would make it a four-way battle on lap four before Walt dove to the bottom entering turn three and took the lead.  Sproul worked his way to second on lap 13 and began pressuring Walt.  After a restart, Sproul slightly edged ahead of Walt at the strip, but Walt came back strong to lead again.  The two exchanged several slide-jobs before Walt eventually closed out the win.  Sproul was second, follwed by brett Berry and McGann.

Hobby Stocks

     It took only few laps for Brady Bencken to gain the lead Saturday night, getting by Tristan Grape.  But Bencken was pressured early for numerous laps by Tathan Burkhart, as the two drove side-by-side through lap 12.  But Burkhart got too high in turn three ad lost momentum, dropping to fourth.  Eighth-starting Garrett Hager made his way through the pack to move into second with three laps remainging.  Grape was third, follwed by Burkhart.

Sport Compacts

     Toby Schwien and Monte Honas battled at the front of the feature Saturday before Schwien claimed the win.  Zach Cardwell was third, followed by Otto Schutte in fourth.

     Racing returns to the speedway on Aug. 10 with the IMCA modifieds, stocks, sportmods, hobby stocks, sport compacts and cruisers.