Veteran Delbert Smith stayed calm during several early-race cautions and led flag-to-flag in claiming the season opener for the National Championship Racing Association of Park City, Kansas presented by Precise Racing Products Crate Late Model feature Saturday night at 81 Speedway.
Two-time and defending series champion Chris Kratzer and Smith started on the front row for the twenty lap feature and after several cautions, took the lead as the green flag finally fell.
While Smith opened a ten car length lead, Kratzer had his hands full with Dan Smith for the runner-up position. Both drivers continued their battle for second most of the race before Dan Smith got sole position with ten laps to go when Kratzer got too high entering turn two.
But Dan couldn’t catch Dad, Delbert, as “the Ice Man” would go on to claim the half-stretch victory.
Kratzer held on for third while tenth-starting Loren Dauer came home fourth. Lyle Shepard rounded out the top five.
The two, eight lap heat races for the sixteen car field were won by Kratzer and Delbert Smith.
NCRA Late Models
81 Speedway/Park City, Kansas
May 27, 2017
1st Heat: 1-Chris Kratzer 2) Adam Popp, 3) Dan Smith, 4) Dusty Leonard, 5) Loren Dauer, 6) Jeremy Petty 7) Brandon Conkwright 8) Robert Shepard
2nd Heat: 1) Delbert Smith, 2) Lyle Shepard, 3) Dustin Bolster, 4) Rob Day, 5) Jimmy Seagraves, 6) Jeremy Bishop, 7) Jim Melton, 8) Eric Caudell
A Feature (20 Laps): 1) Delbert Smith, 2) Dan Smith, 3) Chris Kratzer, 4) Loren Dauer, 5) Lyle Shepard, 6) Jimmy Seagraves, 7) Dusty Leonard, 8) Adam Popp, 9) Dustin Bolster, 10) Robert Shepard, 11) Jeremy Petty, 12) Eric Caudell, 13) Brandon Conkwright, 14) Rob Day, 15) Jeremy Bishop, 16) Jim Melton
by David Smith Jr.
Photo by Dusty Wiegert