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Moran survives pair of late race challenges to win USL Hero 100 at Red Dirt Raceway

Moran survives pair of late race challenges to win USL Hero 100 at Red Dirt Raceway
Moran survives pair of late race challenges to win USL Hero 100 at Red Dirt Raceway
Moran survives pair of late race challenges to win USL Hero 100 at Red Dirt Raceway

(Images by SNP Photography, Mike Howard photography) story by John Rittenoure

MEEKER, Okla. (March 30, 2024) - Rees Moran had never run a 100-lap race before and did not know what to expect before Saturday’s Ortco Inc. United Sprint League presented by Same Day Auto Repair Hero 100 at Red Dirt Raceway. But he soon found out.

Moran led most of the way in the 100-lapper then held off late challenges from Ty Hulsey and Andrew Deal to win the non-wing, non-point USL season opener.

Moran experienced his strongest challenge in the final ten laps when Hulsey passed Deal for second and challenged Moran. Deal then went up high and drove back around Hulsey for second on lap 97 and tried to pass Moran. But Moran held his ground leaving Deal with second just ahead of Hulsey in third.

“Ty (Hulsey) came at me on the bottom and I was shocked,” said Moran of the final laps. “I guess the rubber was coming in down there. I just rolled the bottom and got as protective as I could be. I did not want him to get his nose in there. I could feel him on my bumper.

“Andrew (Deal) jumped out on the top the last lap or two, I could hear him coming so I jumped across the straightaway. It was one of the closest finishes I think we have had.”

Jack Hall led the first 14 laps then hit the turn three wall and turned over. Moran took over the lead and felt he might be a sitting duck running out front that early.

“I knew these guys were going to make some adjustments and get better and better because we were too good out the gate,” Moran said. “We were going to get a little free and they were going to get better. I knew it was going to be close at the end, but did not expect it to be that close. I was hoping we could get to the last 40 or so laps in without a caution as in my mind I thought if we could put some distance between them they would not catch me. But it got a little too close for comfort.”

Moran also found the long distance to be challenging from physical stand point.

“It was definitely a little more tiring than I thought it was going to be,” said Moran. “Luckily we had a ten minute intermission in the middle to catch my breath and come down a little. It definitely a lot more stressful. Not because I was getting tired and cramping up. You don’t know how long your tires are going to last or if you are going to have a parts failure.”

Defending USL champion Johnny Kent set fast time with a time of 13.960 and would have started on the pole. But a fan re-draw pill of eight put Kent starting outside fourth row. Kent however did work his way to a fourth place finish. Brock Cottrell rounded out the top five.

United Sprint League Results
Red Dirt Raceway, Meeker, Oklahoma
March 30, 2024

Ortco Inc A Feature (100 Laps): 1. 22M-Rees Moran[1]; 2. 15D-Andrew Deal[5]; 3. 24H-Ty Hulsey[16]; 4. 55-Johnny Kent[8]; 5. 5B-Brock Cottrell[7]; 6. 79-Tim Kent[12]; 7. 20-Noah Harris[3]; 8. 24C-Craig Carroll[13]; 9. 4C-Robert Sellers[4]; 10. 38-Jimmy Forrester[19]; 11. 75-Blayne Buntin[9]; 12. 08E-Elizabeth Phillips[20]; 13. 33-Justin Patocka[6]; 14. 33M-Michael Merrell[22]; 15. 39-Joshua Tyre[18]; 16. 50-Cody Whitworth[24]; 17. 69-Greg York[15]; 18. 57P-Peter Walker[21]; 19. (DNF) 23A-Brett Wilson[11]; 20. (DNF) 8R-Ryker Pace[10]; 21. (DNF) 5X-Matt Sherrell[17]; 22. (DNF) 37-Jack Hall[2]; 23. (DNF) 7A-Jimmy Smith[14]; 24. (DNF) R2-David Stewart[23]

Same Day Auto Repair Qualifying (2 Laps): 1. 55-Johnny Kent, 00:13.960[19]; 2. 5B-Brock Cottrell, 00:14.054[18]; 3. 33-Justin Patocka, 00:14.382[6]; 4. 15D-Andrew Deal, 00:14.431[8]; 5. 4C-Robert Sellers, 00:14.481[11]; 6. 20-Noah Harris, 00:14.485[24]; 7. 37-Jack Hall, 00:14.537[4]; 8. 22M-Rees Moran, 00:14.558[9]; 9. 75-Blayne Buntin, 00:14.704[20]; 10. 8R-Ryker Pace, 00:14.704[21]; 11. 23A-Brett Wilson, 00:14.709[16]; 12. 79-Tim Kent, 00:14.719[2]; 13. 24C-Craig Carroll, 00:14.765[10]; 14. 7A-Jimmy Smith, 00:14.784[14]; 15. 69-Greg York, 00:14.805[12]; 16. 24H-Ty Hulsey, 00:14.812[7]; 17. 5X-Matt Sherrell, 00:14.929[3]; 18. 39-Joshua Tyre, 00:14.968[22]; 19. 38-Jimmy Forrester, 00:15.016[23]; 20. 08E-Elizabeth Phillips, 00:15.152[1]; 21. 57P-Peter Walker, 00:15.220[15]; 22. 33M-Michael Merrell, 00:15.345[13]; 23. R2-David Stewart, 00:15.399[5]; 24. 50-Cody Whitworth, 00:15.439[17]

Lap Leaders: 1-14 Jack Hall, Rees Moran 15-100.
Margin of Victory: 0.092.

Next event: April 13, Creek County Speedway.

About United Sprint League
Owned by Michael Tyre, the USL sanctions 360 two-barrel / 305 non-wing sprint car events throughout Oklahoma and surrounding states with goals of supporting sponsors and providing fans the the opportunity to enjoy the excitement of non-wing sprint car racing.


About Ortco Inc.
Ortco Inc. manufactures qualify oilfield parts from American made bar and shaped steel on computerized CNC machinery. Products are then Heat Treated, coated for rust prevention, and warehoused for shipments across the globe. Ortco also utilizes high quality investment castings for safety clamps and various tongs.


United Sprint League Marketing Partners
Ortco, Inc., Same Day Auto Repair, Speed Stix Shocks, D&G Contracting, DFR Discount Tire, Passing Points Podcast, Kent Fireworks, Hoss Media.

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