Too tight but Sproul makes things right with Sunflower checkers

His set up for the night was not perfect but Dakota Sproul scored the $1,000 Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature win on Saturday at RPM Speedway’s Sunflower Classic. (Photo by Carl Larson)

HAYS, Kan. (March 30, 2024) – He didn’t get any points for guessing right but Dakota Sproul did get $1,000 for his Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature win on night two of RPM Speedway’s Sunflower Classic.

Despite missing on his Saturday night setup, Sproul took the lead from Jace Whitt just after midway in the 20-lapper and outran Jeremy Frenier & Co. the rest of the way.

“We tightened the car for the feature and it seemed like I was fighting it the whole way,” said Sproul, nonetheless able to take advantage of a bobble by Whitt on a restart for the lead. “I was struggling before I passed Jace and Jeremy was right behind me. I didn’t know if I was going to be good enough to win but fortunately no one gave me trouble after I got to the lead.”

Dylan Sherfick, Eddie Belec and Clay Sellard completed the top five. Sproul was already eligible to qualify for the upcoming Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational.

“Every time we hit the track it was different. It never did what I thought it was going to,” said Sproul, a Sunflower Classic Northern SportMod winner in 2019. “After practice on Thursday night I was ready to not race at all but then we finished fifth (in the feature) on Friday.”

“This was a great wat to start the season. It definitely gives you a boost of confidence as a driver.”

Mike Nichols completed his weekend sweep of IMCA Sunoco Stock Car features at Hays while Colorado long tow Danny Concelman got a big boost of confidence of his own with the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod checkers.

Nichols $750 Stock Car win was the 11th of his Sunflower Classic career and sanctioned 629th. He’d also doubled up in the season-opening special in 2014 and 2016.

“Friday’s race was about as good as they come. You could have thrown a blanket over the top four cars the last eight or nine laps and I just happened to hit it right on the last lap,” Nichols said. “There was a big pileup on the first lap Saturday and I moved up to the second row to start.”

“I knew Kyle Pfeifer had a good car and was getting close, so I moved down a line in (turns) one and two and stayed on the top in three in four for the green, white, checkered finish,” he added. “The car felt really good but the race ended when it needed to for me.”

Kyle Pfeifer was second and Tristan Grape took third. Nichols had become B & B Racing Chassis All-Star qualifying eligible with his Friday win.

Concelman, from Pueblo, made his first visit to RPM in maybe five years with Barry Halley and Jeff Ray. He’d get stuck behind lapped traffic, get off and then back on the track and get the lead back from Blaine Walt to win “a pretty wild” career 113th feature.

“Being able to pass and beat Blaine kind of make me feel like a super star,” he said of the opening night winner. “”I’ve run second to him quite a bit. He’s the guy to beat.”

Walt and Hunter Smith completed the top three.

Danny Concelman “won a wild one” Saturday at the Sunflower Classic, his career 113th Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod victory. (Photo by Carl Larson)

Dillon Richards and Kaylee Richards both continued to their early season specials success begun at Beatrice Speedway’s Spring Nationals.

Dillon topped the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature ahead of Dillon Thompson and Brayden Hurley. Kaylee was best in the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact main, ahead of Johnny Thomas and Rileigh Flohrs.

IMCA.TV broadcast both nights of the Mike Hughes Memorial Sunflower Classic show, presented by Nutrien Ag Solutions and fueled by Casey’s.

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