RPM opens with Community Giveback Night lidlifter

Gage Porter was the first feature winner of the season at RPM Speedway, topping the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact main event during the Community Giveback Night show at Hays. (Photo by Carl Larson)

By Sheldon Wickwar

HAYS, KAN. (April 13, 2024) – Seventy-nine race teams checked into the legendary RPM Speedway for opening night of the IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing point season.

Visiting victory lane were Dakota Sproul in the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds, Troy Burkhart in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Morgan Olmstead in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Hunter Smith in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods and Gage Porter in the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts.

Sport Compacts started the show off with Connor Schwien grabbing the early lead in their 15-lap feature. Kiowa Higdon got to second by lap two while Kevin Tremblay and Porter battled side-by-side for third.

Schwien lost the lead to Gage Porter behind a slowing car and Porter brought the field back to a restart with seven laps to go. The top five battled nose-to-tail for the next few laps. Schwien regained the race lead with two laps to go, but Porter battled back on the last lap and regained the lead out of turn four as Schwien went rolling through turns three and four.

Schwien was okay. Porter won, Jakob Schwien was second and third was Rileigh Flohrs.

Olmstead fought side-by-side with Tyler Heath for the early race lead while a six-car battle broke out for third in the Hobby Stock main. Olmstead grabbed the lead on lap three and started to pull away from the rest of the field after five laps.

At halfway Morgan still lead over his brother and defending national champion Zach. The duo ran side-by-side on lap 13 before Zach gained the race lead and tried to pull away.

A three-wide battle for the lead ensued on a lap 18 restart. Zach Olmstead had the lead at the white flag but down the backstretch the brothers ran side-by-side and at the checkered flag it was Morgan Olmstead winning after the duo hit the fence in a drag race. Hard charger in the event was Anna Minks, who gained 11 spots..

Ryan Kirchoff went to the top to for the lead early in the Northern SportMod feature. Smith got to second as Sage Dinkel dropped to third. By lap two, Blaine Walt had found a spot in third place. Lap four saw Smith take the lead from Kirchoff and Walt got to second over Kirchoff.

Lap 12 saw Smith enter lapped traffic and Walt start closing in, Lap 15 saw Terry Collins lose an engine to bring out the caution. Smith brought the field to a restart with just five laps remaining; Walt took the lead in one, but Smith crossed him back over for the race lead.

Smith led the field to a restart with three laps remaining, Walt grabbed the lead down the backstretch with two to go but the caution came out for a spinning car. Smith then brought the field to a restart with just one lap remaining and would held off Walt at the line to pick up the win. Third was Adam Weber.

Burkhart got the lead at the drop of the green and ran away with the Stock Car feature win. Second was Brandon Conkwright and third went to Garrett Hager. 

Modifieds closed out the program as Brett Berry grabbed the early lead and began to pull away. Dylan Sherfick found himself in second place on lap two, with Tim Watts sitting in third.

The halfway point saw Berry hold a one second lead over second place running Sherfick. A three-wide battle would follow for third between Tim Watts, Daniel Gottschalk and Sproul. 

The caution came out on lap 16 and Berry brought the field to a restart with four laps to go. Sproul grabbed second off the restart and had the race lead at the line. Sproul checked out with two laps to go and picked up the feature win. Second was Berry and third was Sherfick.

RPM will be back in action April 27 for the five IMCA classes. It is also a track sponsor BBQ night.

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