By LONNIE WHEATLEY
Special to The Hays Daily News
DODGE CITY, Kan. (May 8, 2013) - While the United Rebel Sprint Series takes to the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park clay oval for the first time of the year this Saturday night, heated championship chase action in four of the track's five regular divisions only adds more excitement to a full slate of competition.
The URSS 305-ci Sprint Cars are joined on Saturday's card by the IMCA Modifieds, United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars and Hornets. Thunder Cars are idle this weekend and return to action at the track's next scheduled event on June 1.
Saturday's event marks the fourth round of competition for the URSS Sprint Car ranks with Barry Crane, Luke Cranston and Jeff Radcliffe victorious in the initial three rounds.
For the track's championship classes, it marks the first night of action since April 20 after this past weekend's Dodge City Modified Stampede was postponed to July 19-20 by weather.
Saturday's first official green flag flies at 7:30 p.m. General admission for adults is just $12, with children 11 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
Wichita's Randy Wilson is out to the early IMCA Modified track championship points lead with other early leaders including Clay Sellard (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Billy Phelps (IMCA Stock Cars), Cody Davis and Dustin Walker (Thunder Cars) and Jarett Lunow (Hornets).
Veteran modified shoe Randy Wilson, a Dodge City Raceway Park track champion in 2008, holds the early points lead by just two markers over Mike Lunow after Cody Gearhart and Brendon Gemmill topped the initial pair of events. Jesse Smith and Beau Davis, both among the top four in 2012 DCRP points, are third and fourth, respectively, with Danny Keller rounding out the current top five.
Feature Winners: Cody Gearhart 1, Brendon Gemmill 1.
Current Top Ten in Points: 1. Randy Wilson (Wichita, KS) 270, 2. Mike Lunow (Dodge City, KS) 268, 3. Jesse Smith (Dodge City, KS) 250, 4. Beau Davis (Cheney, KS) 248, 5. Danny Keller (Dodge City, KS) 246, 6. (tie) Trenton Gray (Ulysses, KS) and Jon Herring, Jr. (Woodward, OK) 241, 8. Austin Allen (Goddard, KS) 240, 9. Kale Beavers (Pierceville, KS) 238, 10. Jack Kirchoff (Garden City, KS) 226.
United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds:
Slipping to sixth in 2012 track points after claiming the 2011 championship, Clay Sellard is out to the early lead with a slim 4-point advantage over Jeff Kaup with Matthew Crowell and the father-son duo of Mike and Josh Appel rounding out the current top five. Defending track champion Bart Baker is currently ranked sixth.
Feature Winners: Jeff Kaup 1, Clay Sellard 1.
Current Top Ten in Points: 1. Clay Sellard (Bucklin, KS) 295, 2. Jeff Kaup (Woodward, OK) 291, 3. Matthew Crowell (Clearwater, KS) 270, 4. Mike Appel (Dodge City, KS) 264, 5. Josh Appel (Dodge City, KS) 259, 6. Bart Baker (Dodge City, KS) 257, 7. Brian May (Spearville, KS) 252, 8. Colby Hagans (Utica, KS) 243, 9. Donald Kaup (Woodward, OK) 232, 10. Toby Witthuhn (Garden City, KS) 226.
IMCA Stock Cars:
Seventh in 2012 track points, Billy Phelps is atop the point charts after the initial two events with a pair of podium finishes. Phelps holds a 13-point advantage over Josh Crombie with Mel Law, Brett Copeland and Keith Riley filling out the current top five. Law and Copeland were third and fourth in 2012 track points.
Feature Winners: Shannon Maughlin 1, Cody Zimmerman 1.
Current Top Ten in Points: 1. Billy Phelps (Mooreland, OK) 286, 2. Josh Crombie (Ness City, KS) 273, 3. Mel Law (Dodge City, KS) 255, 4. Brett Copeland (Fowler, KS) 248, 5. Keith Riley (Larned, KS) 245, 6. Dusty Witthuhn (Bazine, KS) 234, 7. (tie) Marlin Hogie (Ulysses, KS) and Justin Temaat (Dodge City, KS) 230, 9. (tie) Shannon Maughlin (Dighton, KS) and Cody Zimmerman (Dighton, KS) 150.
A tie at the top of the point charts between Cody Davis and Dustin Walker will remain until Thunder Cars return to action on June 1. Davis was runner-up to Dan Rogers (currently ranked sixth) in 2012 points while Walker was fifth in points last year.
Feature Winners: Scott Messino 1, Toby Schield 1.
Current Top Ten in Points: 1. Cody Davis (Bucklin, KS) and Dustin Walker (Buffalo, OK) 283, 3. Toby Schield (Sublette, KS), 4. Matt O'Hair (Laverne, OK) 267, 5. Scott Messino (Spearville, KS) 262, 6. Dan Rogers (Buffalo, OK) 261, 7. (tie) Bryan Habiger (Ingalls, KS), Kim Frodin (Cimarron, KS) and William Bauer (Ness City, KS) 255, 10. Kevin Tabor (Dodge City, KS) 246.
Out to the early lead after winning the initial pair of events of the season, Jarett Lunow picked off his first win in last year's season finale yet fell just three points shy of the championship.
Feature Winners: Jarett Lunow 2.
Current Top Ten in Points: 1. Jarett Lunow (Dodge City, KS) 300, 2. Brandon Bogner (Wright, KS) 290, 3. James Phelps (Mooreland, OK) 279, 4. Marci O'Hair (Laverne, OK) 276, 5. James Nightengale (Dodge City, KS) 267, 6. Gage Barton (Dighton, KS) 135, 7. (tie) Cheryl Copeland (Fowler, KS) and Andy Copeland (Fowler, KS) 132.
After Saturday's card, the track will sit idle for two weekends before firing back to life with another full card of championship action including IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars, Thunder Cars and Hornets on Saturday, June 1.
Eighteen overall nights of action at Dodge City Raceway Park over the course of 2013 includes several special events including the TORC Off Road Trucks in April, the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars on July 5-6, a pair of $1,200-to-win IMCA Modified tilts in July along with USAC Sprint Cars on August 23-24 and four rounds of URSS Sprint Car competition along the way.
Dodge City Raceway Park is located on the south edge of Dodge City, KS, on US 283, then 0.9 miles west on US 56, then 0.1 miles south. For more information, contact the track at 620-225-3277 or check www.dodgecityraceway.com.