By LONNIE WHEATLEY
Special to The Hays Daily News
DODGE CITY, Kan. (July 22, 2013) - The Sprint Cars of the United Rebel Sprint Series take to the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park clay oval on the Fire & Safety / EMS Appreciation night that kicks off the Dodge City Days festival this Friday night.
Along with the URSS Sprint Cars ranks, the track's championship chase divisions of IMCA Modifieds, United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds and IMCA Stock Cars will be in action on the special Friday night card that goes green at 7:30 p.m.
Friday will mark the third appearance of the season for the URSS 305 Sprint Cars after defending series champion Brian Herbert of Dodge City topped the first event on May 11 and then Turpin, Oklahoma's Taylor Velasquez reached victory lane on June 29.
While Herbert and Velasquez have enjoyed DCRP victory honors, Jetmore's Ray Seemann holds the URSS points lead after posting finishing of third and second in the previous pair of Dodge City events.
Seemann is 82 points ahead of rookie contender Zac Taylor with Richie Dewell, Luke Cranston and Herbert filling out the current top five.
In track championship chase action, Austin Allen, Jeff Kaup and Billy Phelps lead the way into Friday night's action.
Hailing from Goddard, KS, Allen escaped from this past weekend's Modified Stampede competition with the IMCA Modified points lead after previous leader Cody Gearhart missed the feature cut on both nights.
After posting a runner-up finish in Saturday's Modified Stampede finale, Allen holds a slim five-point lead over Woodward, Oklahoma's Jon Herring, Jr., with Jesse Smith, Gearhart and Beau Davis rounding out the top five in a hotly contested title chase.
Woodward's Jeff Kaup opened up a 62-point advantage over Clay Sellard during this past weekend's twin bill with Matthew Crowell, Toby Witthuhn and Josh Appel filling out the top five.
Despite suffering his first DNF of the year on Saturday night, Mooreland, Oklahoma's Billy Phelps still holds an 81-point advantage in the IMCA Stock Car chase that has offered up eight different winners in as many events. Marlin Hogie is 15 points ahead of Brett Copeland in the battle for second with Mel Law and Justin Temaat also in the top five.
Tickets to Friday's Fire & Safety / EMS Appreciation Night featuring the URSS Sprint Cars along with Modifieds, Sport Modifieds and Stock Cars are just $12, with children 11 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
Just four of 18 scheduled nights of competition in 2013 at DCRP remain after this weekend's Dodge City Modified Stampede including USAC Southwest Sprint Cars on August 23-24, championship chase action on August 31 and the season ending Jerry Soderberg Championship Memorial Event on September 28.
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.