Leonard Takes Lead Late and Claims NCRA Late Model Opener!
Park City, Kansas – April 20, 2019 - Defending co-series champion Dusty Leonard took the lead with seven laps to go and would cruise the rest of the way to take the victory as the National Championship Racing Association of Park City, Kansas presented by Mel Hambelton Ford Racing crate late models opened their season Saturday night at 81 Speedway in Park City.
Touring rookie of the year contender Ross McCartney and Adam Schrag started on the front row for the thirty-lap-feature with McCartney taking the early lead as the green flag fell. Popp, Smith, Leonard and Cory Dumpert were the top five after the first lap was complete with McCartney quickly opening up a six-car-length lead.
Delbert Smith would pass Schrag for the runner-up position on lap five and set his sights on the leader. He would close to within three car lengths of the leader while on lap six while Dumpert moved into the third position on the same lap.
As McCartney worked the bottom all away around the three-eighths mile oval, Smith utilized the high side in turns one and two and down low in turns three and four. Entering turns one and two on lap eight, McCartney would collect the infield tire at the bottom of turns one and two while Smith would go around to inherit the lead.
McCartney would exit the track with front end damage and as the race stayed green, Dumpert would close on Smiths’ bumper and would make multiple attempts to take the lead but with no result.
The races only caution fell on lap thirteen when Dumpert slid high in turns three and four, got sideways and stalled.
On the final restart, Smith jumped out front while Leonard had worked his way up into the runner-up position. Schrag was third while Chris Kratzer and Travis Johnson were the top five.
Smith now would run the bottom of turns one and two and up top in three and four while Leonard stayed low all the way around the track and within three car lengths of the leader. The two co-champions of last year continued their battle for the victory for several laps before Leonard utilized the bottom of turns three and four on lap twenty-three and would out run Smith down the front stretch to take the lead on lap twenty-four.
From then on it was all Leonard as he would cruise the rest of the way to claim his third-career series victory.
Smith held on for second while Kratzer worked his way up to a third-place finish. Daniel Smith came home fourth while Schrag settled for fifth.
Next up for the NCRA Crate Late Model Series will be the famed Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kansas this coming Saturday night, April 27. Also on the racing program will be the series sprint and modified divisions.
NCRA Crate Late Models
81 Speedway/Park City, Kansas
April 20, 2019
1st Heat: 1) 42R-Ross McCartney, ; 2) 92-Delbert Smith, ; 3) 92S-Daniel Smith, ; 4) 55-Chris Kratzer, ; 5) 86J-Travis Johnson, ; 6) 2G-Brandon Givens, ; 7) 104T-Tyler Frye, ; 8) B1-Dustin Bolster, 
2nd Heat: 1) 199-Adam Schrag, ; 2) 7D-Dusty Leonard, ; 3) 77-Cory Dumpert, ; 4) 2X-Robert Shepard, ; 5) 1JR-Justin Kinderknecht, ; 6) 104-Adam Popp, ; 7) 84-Gary Kilbourn, 
A Feature: 1) 7D-Dusty Leonard, ; 2) 92-Delbert Smith, ; 3) 55-Chris Kratzer, ; 4) 92S-Daniel Smith, ; 5) 199-Adam Schrag, ; 6) 86J-Travis Johnson, ; 7) 104T-Tyler Frye, ; 8) 2G-Brandon Givens, ; 9) 2X-Robert Shepard, ; 10) 104-Adam Popp, ; 11) 77-Cory Dumpert, ; 12) B1-Dustin Bolster, ; 13) 84-Gary Kilbourn, ; 14) 1JR-Justin Kinderknecht, ; 15) 42R-Ross McCartney, 
Lap leaders: McCartney 1-7; Delbert Smith 8-23; Leonard 24-30