By David Smith, Jr., OKTidbits
SALINA, Kan. (May 23) – Two-time and defending tour champion Zach Blurton picked up right where he left off last season, taking advantage of late-race lapped traffic to capture the exciting season opener for the Lucas Oil POWRi United Rebel Sprint Series presented by Mel Hambelton Ford Racing opened their 2020 race season in front of a near-capacity crowd at Salina Speedway on Saturday night.
J.D. Johnson and Blurton started on the front row for the 25-lap IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car feature with Johnson taking the lead as the green flag fell. Johnson kept Ty Williams behind him for the first several laps before Blurton passed Williams for second on lap five.
Blurton stayed glued to Johnson’s rear bumper and at the race’s midway point on lap 13 it was still Johnson, Blurton, Williams, Jason Danley and 16th starting Toby Chapman the top five. The leaders approached slower cars on lap 17 and that’s when Johnson picked the wrong line to lap Howard Van Dyke. Blurton took advantage and got around both the lapped car and Johnson to take the lead.
Blurton had Johnson glued to his rear bumper before putting another slower car between himself and Johnson on lap 20. Johnson settled for second while Danley came home third and Williams held on for fourth.
Chapman earned the features Keizer Aluminum Wheels hard-charger award.
Feature results – 1. Zach Blurton; 2. J.D. Johnson; 3. Jason Danley; 4. Ty Williams; 5. Toby Chapman; 6. Brian Herbert; 8. Steven Richardson; 9. Cale Cozad; 9. Kyler Johnson; 10. Koby Walters; 11. Kaden Taylor; 12. Jack Potter; 13. Howard Van Dyke; 14. Tyler Knight; 15. Buddy Tubbs; 16. Shane Sundquist; 17. Jeremy Huish; 18. Tyler Drueke; 19. Taylor Velasquez; 20. Jordan Knight.