Kasey Kahne in victory lane at Huset's Speedway. (Tylan Porath photo)

Kasey Kahne Conquers Huset’s Speedway

BRANDON, S.D. — Kasey Kahne threaded the needle during a late-race pass on Sunday evening to earn his first feature victory at Huset’s Speedway since June 1999.

J.J. Zebell and Jay Russell also hustled to Ace Ready Mix Night victories at the high-banked dirt oval.

Kahne emerged on top of a spirited Buffalo Wild Wings Northern Outlaw Sprint Ass’n and Cressman Sanitation 410 Outlaw Sprint Cars feature, which began with Christopher Thram leading the first eight laps.

Ryan Timms took the lead on lap 9 with a slide job in turns one and two as the front runners were in traffic. He comfortably held onto the point in traffic and following restarts on lap 13 and lap 18. Traffic appeared for the final time on lap 23 and allowed Kahne to quickly close in on the leader.

Timms slid out of the rubber in turns three and four coming to the white flag and Kahne pounced, squeezing his car between the berm on the bottom of the track and Timms, who was trying to navigate back to the favored lane. The two were nose to tail down the frontstretch and as Kahne slowed to hit his marks on the bottom entering turn one, Timms turned his race car sideways to avoid running into the back of Kahne. Timms spun and collected Thram, who was running third.

Kahne pulled away following the green-white-checkered restart to win by 1.315 seconds — his first triumph at the track only a few weeks shy of the 24-year mark.

“I remember ’99 well,” he said. “That was an unbelievable night; Sunday night show here with a packed house. I remember it really well. Tonight I think Ryan had the better car. He was doing a great job and just got a little above the rubber once it came down trying to lap those guys. I was able to take advantage of that.

“Racing at a place like this on Memorial Day with this big of a crowd is always pretty cool. I’ve been fortunate to win some big races on Memorial Day and this is one of them. Overall it feels good to win. I haven’t won anything in a long time so it’s pretty nice to win a race.”

Brooke Tatnell maneuvered to a second-place result for the second straight race to start the season at Huset’s Speedway.

“We keep putting ourselves up here, but we’re here for wins,” he said. “We’ve got a win streak record that I want to keep going. We’ve got to get the wins on the board and seconds don’t do it. There’s no disgrace running second behind this team and one ahead of Tim (Kaeding).”

Tim Kaeding rounded out the podium with Matt Juhl placing fourth and Kerry Madsen fifth after starting 13th.

Zebell dominated the 18-lap Nordstrom’s Automotive Late Model Street Stocks A Main, which went non-stop as he charged to a 4.430-second triumph. It marked his fourth career win at the track and first since August 2002.

“It’s been a long time, a long time coming,” an emotional Zebell said in a post-race interview on the frontstretch. “I don’t know what to say. It’s been so long since I’ve been here I don’t know what to say.”

Shaun Taylor was the runner up with Colby Klaassen finishing third. Tim Dann was fourth and Zach Olivier ended fifth.

Russell led all 20 laps of a caution-free Wyffels Hybrids RaceSaver Sprint Car Series main event to score his first career win at Huset’s Speedway.

“I’ve seen a lot of videos on this place,” he said. “My dad’s been here to watch before I was even born. I always said I wanted to come here and race before I quit. Who knows how much I’ve got left in me so I’m here and I’m standing in victory lane. It’s crazy.”

Russell stayed on the preferred bottom groove throughout the race. Traffic emerged on Lap 8 and allowed drivers to close on Russell in the final laps, but Russell held on to win by .552 seconds over John Lambertz. Cole Vanderheiden finished less than a tenth of a second behind Lambertz with Shon Pointer and Luke Nellis placing fourth and fifth, respectively.