Rookie Junghans grabs first NCRA victory
By David Smith Jr.National Championship Racing Association
PARK CITY, Kan. (July 3) — Making just his fourth career Late Model start, modified ace Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., captured a $2,000 National Championship Racing Association victory at 81 Speedway.
The 19-year-old son of Greg Junghans, who fields Late Models for championship-winning driver John Anderson of Omaha, Neb., took the lead from Matt Johnson of Archie, Mo., midway through the feature and grabbed a victory.
“I have to thank my crew as the car ran perfect all night,” the younger Junghans said. “We were set up to run the bottom and I just took my time and waited for the opportunity to make my move.
"I kept telling my Dad I wanted to put a car together and finally I just started building one on my own. These cars are a lot of fun to drive, but I am not completely done driving my modified.”
Johnson settled for second while Gary Christian of Broken Bow, Okla., was third. Gary Gorby of Caney, Kan., and former NCRA champion Delbert Smith of Wichita, Kan., rounded out the top five.
Starting on the pole of the 25-lapper with Christian alongside, Johnson quickly used the top of the 3/8-mile oval to take the lead while the third-starting Junghans quickly dropped Christian to third.
Johnson maintained a three-length lead over Junghans, who was working the bottom of the track while Christian had his hands full with the fifth-starting Gorby.
The leaders reached lapped traffic after seven laps with Johnson followed by Junghans, Christian, Gorby, Smith, Tommy Weder Jr. and Clay Daly as those drivers battled throughout the caution-free feature.
On the 13th lap, Junghans drove low entering turns one and two and slid in front of Johnson to take the lead heading down the backstretch. The leader successfully handled lapped traffic the rest of the way in cruising to the victory.
Notes: Junghans drove a Jay Dickens-powered MasterSbilt Race Car sponsored by Shop Quik Convenience Stores and Peterson Fluid Systems. ... The event had a decidedly Western flavor with Clay Daly of Watsonville, Calif. (seventh), Jeep Berry of Grand Junction, Colo. (ninth), Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz. (12th) and Dave Deetz of Las Cruces, N.M. (15th) among feature starters ... Deetz’s teammate Garrett Alberson of Las Cruces failed to make the main event. ... Overall eight states were represented. ... Besides Alberson, among drivers failing to make the feature: Wylan Petrie, Chris Avery and Brad Fortney. ... NCRA competitors head to Enid (Okla.) Speedway for a Fourth of July event.
NCRA @ 81: (1) Chase Junghans, (2) Matt Johnson, (3) Gary Christian, (4) Gary Gorby, (5) Delbert Smith, (6) Tommy Weder Jr., (7) Clay Daly, (8) Chris Kratzer, (9) Jeep Berry, (10) Andrew Kosiski, (11) Dave Conkwright, (12) Ricky Thornton Jr., (13) Darrick Klima, (14) Rick Leatherman, (15) Dave Deetz, (16) Cliff Morrow, (17) Brian Bolster, (18) Dan Battaglia, (19) Brad Wagoner, (20) Ronnie Warman. Heat race winners (among 25 cars): Smith, Gorby, Junghans. Consolation winner: Klima.