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Mud, dust and fast cars: RPM wraps season with busy Fall Nationals

Mud, dust and fast cars: RPM wraps season with busy Fall Nationals

After a season of fighting with Mother Nature to get events on the track — including the cancellation of two key events after a massive storm destroyed buildings and pushed the grandstands off of their foundations — the Rolling Plains Motor Speedway roared back to life for the Briney Motorsports Fall Nationals. XIII fueled by Casey's.

A total of 257 race teams from 14 states including California, Wyoming, Texas and Arkansas and drivers from Canada were on hand for the two days of racing that started Friday.

But as if to say “not so fast,” Mother Nature once again intervened as the night’s events were cut short by rain.

Racing resumed early Saturday and ran for almost 12 hours, bringing disappointment for last year’s winner and national IMCA points leader in the Stock and Modified classes, Jordan Grabouski of Beatrice, Neb.

Before the feature events, Grabouski was feeling good about his chances.

“We qualified good,” he said. “I think we worked really hard in the off season last winter on our new modified program. The thing has been crazy good.”

But Grabouski knows things can change quickly in a race car.

“Everything’s clicking, but it can go in the other way in a big hurry,” he said. “You never know when your luck is going to run out.”

For him, that luck seemed to run out Saturday.

After leading the entire qualifier in the number 30 stock car and starting from the second position during the feature, Grabouski looked to be in position to win.

He quickly moved into first after the green flag dropped, but would get pushed back to third by lap 10 and would hit the wall, bringing out a caution and ending his night in the stock car.

After the restart, Mike Nichols, Harlan, Iowa, driving the 163 would move into the top spot after starting from ninth and hold it for the win and the $3,000 cash prize.

“Every time I have been out on this racetrack this weekend, it seems like I have had a bad draw, but the thing about RPM Speedway here and everybody putting in the good work on the race track is you know you are going to be on a good racetrack eventually,” Nichols said. “With all of the rain, I know we had a little bit of character.”

He said this was his best win yet at the Fall Nationals after winning in previous years.

With a second chance for a win, Grabousiki would not find luck in the number 30 modified either, starting from and finishing in the fifth spot.

Only 15 out of the 24 racers in the modified feature would finish the race, but track points leader Daniel Gottschalk, Ellis, would move from the seventh position to take the checkered early Sunday morning.

“I went up and followed him for a while, but I couldn’t make it work with momentum,” he said. “It was pretty rough down there and hard to hit a consistent line.”

But a caution with three to go provided him the opportunity to move into the lead.

“I guessed it timed out good, got a good restart and got underneath him and made it work,” he said. “I don’t know what to say, I didn’t figure I had a chance halfway through.”

He called the win and the $5,000 prize the “highlight of his career.”

Cody Thomspon of Sioux City, Iowa picked up the $2,000.00 IMCA Northern SportMod Feature and Oakley, Kansas hot shoe claimed his 2nd Golden Cup by capturing the IMCA Hobby Stock Feature win.

Article Credit: JAMES BELL Hays Post
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