By LONNIE WHEATLEY
Special to The Hays Daily News
DODGE CITY, Kan. (July 15, 2013) - After hosting the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars for a pair of nights over Fourth of July weekend, Dodge City Raceway Park is set to close out the month of July in strong form with a pair of big events.
This weekend, the track hosts the Inaugural Dodge City Modified Stampede on Friday and Saturday with $1,200-to-win IMCA Modified feature events on both nights along with United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars and Thunder Cars.
The track will then close out the month next Friday night, July 26, with URSS Sprint Cars headlining the Fire & Safety/EMS Appreciation Night that kicks off the city's Dodge City Days festival. The track's championship chase divisions of IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and IMCA Stock Cars will be in action as well.
The first order of business is this weekend's Dodge City Modified Stampede, an event that postponed from its originally scheduled date in early May due to inclement weather. Both nights of action will get under way at 7:30 p.m.
With a $1,200 winner's share up for grabs on both Friday and Saturday night, the balance of the top five each night will earn $800, $600, $550 and $500 with $275 for tenth and $150 to start. Both nights will offer up track points as well as standard IMCA National and Regional points.
Each class has delivered unpredictable action thus far in 2013, including the headlining IMCA Modified class that finally landed a repeat winner last time out on June 29 when opening day winner Cody Gearhart of Turpin, OK, landed his second win of the year.
With the triumph, Gearhart opened up a 29-point lead over Woodward, Oklahoma's Jon Herring, Jr., in the DCRP track championship points chase with Goddard's Austin Allen, Dodge City's Jesse Smith and Hugoton's Ryan Heger rounding out the current top five.
While Gearhart owns a pair of wins, Herring, Jr., picked off a win on June 15 with Allen victorious on May 11. Other Modified feature winners at DCRP thus far in 2013 include defending track champion Brendon Gemmill on April 20 and Troy Gemmill on June 1.
Just like the Modifieds, the United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds landed a first-time repeat winner last time out on June 29 when Woodward's Michael Shenberger made it back-to-back wins.
While Shenberger guns for three wins in a row, the battle for the top spot on the Sport Modified point charts is between Woodward's Jeff Kaup and Bucklin's Clay Sellard with Kaup holding a slim 11-point advantage. The balance of the top five includes Dodge City's Josh Appel, Clearwater's Matthew Crowell and Garden City's Toby Witthuhn.
The IMCA Stock Cars have delivered six feature winners in as many events with Michael Pepper the most recent winner after the initial five main events went to Shannon Maughlin, Cody Zimmerman, Ruben Eichman, Angel Munoz and Marlin Hogie.
Though shut out of victory lane, Mooreland, Oklahoma's Billy Phelps holds an 87-point lead in the Stock Car points race over Ulysses' Hogie with Bazine's Dusty Witthuhn, Larned's Keith Riley and Fowler's Brett Copeland also in the top five.
Laverne, Oklahoma's Matt O'Hair topped the most recent Thunder Car feature event on June 15 to move into second in points behind Buffalo, OK, shoe Dustin Walker. While Walker holds a 17-point edge over O'Hair, the rest of the top five includes Bucklin's Cody Davis, Ingalls' Bryan Habiger and Mooreland, Oklahoma's W.D. Matteson.
Tickets to the Inaugural Dodge City Modified Stampede are $15 each night, with children 11 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
In addition to the World of Outlaws Boot Hill Showdown on July 5-6, 18 scheduled nights of action at Dodge City Raceway Park over the course of 2013 features several special events including the TORC Off Road Trucks in April, 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.