ODESSA, Mo. — Luke Cranston already has the Belleville 305 Nationals crown to his credit this season.
Now, the Ness City, Kan., racer is seeking to add another feather to his cap with this weekend’s United Rebel Sprint Series-sanctioned fifth annual Lubbock Wrecker Service 305 Sprint Car Nationals atop the I-70 Motorsports Park clay oval.
He is off to a strong in that pursuit by racing to victory lane in Thursday night’s 20-lap preliminary main event that kicked off the three-night tilt that culminates with Saturday night’s $3,000-to-win championship finale.
Cranston chased Kyler Johnson for the opening dozen rounds before battling into the lead in traffic and then beat Zach Blurton to the checkered flag with Johnson settling for the show position.
“It was really a blessing to start up front in that one,” Cranston said. “I’m looking forward to the next two nights, hopefully we can keep it out front.”
While Cranston took the opening night win, Blurton escaped as the night’s top point earner to give him an inside track to Saturday’s dash that will include the top six in point after Friday’s preliminary event.
Johnson gunned into the lead from the pole position and kept Cranston and Bubak at bay. The trio diced for the point at the midway mark as heavy lapped traffic was in play. Cranston and Johnson crossed the stripe on the 12th side-by-side with Cranston completing the race-winning in the next pair of corners.
Blurton followed suit a lap later, making his way past Johnson for second but was unable to mount a charge on Cranston as the checkered flag flew with.751-second difference separating the lead duo.
Johnson was third with Ty Williams and Toby Chapman rounding the top five.
Williams posted the night’s fastest lap of 15.386 seconds.
Feature (20 Laps): 1. 20-Luke Cranston (2), 2. 2J-Zach Blurton (4), 3. 45x-Kyler Johnson (1), 4. 911-Ty Williams (3), 5. 7c-Toby Chapman (5), 6. 76-Jay Russell (14), 7. 88J-Jeremy Huish (6), 8. 5x-Jason Martin (7), 9. 63-Randy Martin (20), 10. 15-Jack Potter (17), 11. 4-Josh Poe (8), 12. 43-Jake Greenwood (11), 13. 20d-Jacob Dye (18), 14. 19-Alfred Galedridge, Jr., (21), 15. 26b-Mattew Fox (15), 16. 1-Greg Murry (16), 17. 38-Kevin Frisbie (19), 18. 45-Monty Ferreira (9), 19. 38c-Camdin Couch (24), 20. 75-Cash Beeson (13), 21. 1p-Curtis Evans (12), 22. 36-Chris Couch (23), 23. 92J-J.R. Topper (22), 24. 9-John Webster (10), 25. 91-Steven Russell (DNS).