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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Drivers prepare for tripleheader weekend

  • Things couldn't have gone worse for Luke Cranston last year in Hays. The Plains driver blew apart a rear end during the Wheatshocker Rebel Nationals, then had a line break and cause a small fire another race at RPM Speedway. This year, Cranston hopes things are different after a strong start to the 2012 United Rebel Sprint Series season.


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  • Things couldn't have gone worse for Luke Cranston last year in Hays. The Plains driver blew apart a rear end during the Wheatshocker Rebel Nationals, then had a line break and cause a small fire another race at RPM Speedway. This year, Cranston hopes things are different after a strong start to the 2012 United Rebel Sprint Series season.
         “The first couple of times when we raced there, we had good luck when we went,” Cranston said. “Last year, it was like we had a monkey on our back for some reason. It wasn't like we were doing bad, just had bad luck.”
         Tonight's races beginning at 7:30 p.m. at RPM Speedway will kick off a three-race weekend swing through western Kansas. The Rebels follow up the night in Hays with two days of racing at the Great American Dirt Track at Jetmore Motorplex for the fourth annual Steve King Memorial on Saturday and Sunday.
         Both tracks are close to the old stomping ground of Cranston, who grew up and graduated from Ness City, perhaps center ground between the two tracks.
         “I really look forward to racing those local tracks,” he said. “We have a lot of sponsors around the area, and we always have a lot of fun with people stopping by and talking after the races.”
         The 3/8-mile dirt oval in Hays has hosted the Rebels 20 times since 2006, with C.J. Johnson claiming eight wins during that stretch. Jason Martin won the last time the URSS raced in Hays. Cranston is coming off a runner-up finish Sunday night at Dawson County Speedway in Lexington, Neb., It was his second top-three finish of the season. He was third at the season-opener in Beaver, Okla.
         Riding on a high right now entering the weekend is Dodge City's Brian Herbert. Herbert won Sunday night in Nebraska, but he's never graced victory lane in Hays in his illustrious career.
         “I've never won a feature at Hays,” said Herbert, who has finished no worse than seventh in a race this year and was runner-up in the URSS national championship standings a year ago. “I'm looking forward to going up there. That's one of the tracks I haven't won at. “I'm ready to get a win there. I've finished second several times there, but I haven't won a feature there.”
         Saturday and Sunday the Rebels will head to the Great American Dirt Track in Jetmore for the Steve King Mmorial. The 3/8-mile dirt surface south of Jetmore has showcased several URSS races in the past and is one of the most traveled to tracks for the Rebels. Zach Blurton won the first night of the Steve King Memorial last year before Patrick Bourke won the second night.
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