By LONNIE WHEATLEY
Special to The Hays Daily News
DODGE CITY, Kan. (September 27, 2013) - Eight winners in the last eight times out atop the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park clay oval. That's the streak that is on the line when the United Rebel Sprint Cars take to the track on Saturday night for the Inaugural Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship event that closes out the 2013 season at DCRP.
While the URSS forces look for a ninth different winner in as many tries dating back to 2009, the IMCA Modifieds, United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars, Thunder Cars and Hornets finish out their respective 2013 championship point battles in the season finale that fires off at 7:30 p.m.
The URSS run of parity at DCRP dates back to July 4 of 2009 when C.J. Johnson made his way to victory lane, with Jason Martin and Jason Radcliffe splitting victory honors in the next URSS stop at the state of the art southwest Kansas racing facility to close out the 2011 season.
Last year, rookie shoe Jake Bubak topped the July 27 event before Mike Peters took top honors in the season finale on September 29.
The URSS Sprint Cars have made three previous visits to DCRP this season with three more drivers reaching victory lane including defending series champion Brian Herbert on May 11, Taylor Velasquez on June 29 and then J.D. Johnson on July 26.
The URSS car count at DCRP has climbed with each stop this season, beginning with 15 in May before climbing to 25 in June and then 29 in July. A healthy count is expected for Saturday night with National points on the line as well as both Kansas and Colorado Regional points.
Dodge City's Brian Herbert ranks as the only driver to finish among the top ten in all three previous events at DCRP this season with finishes of seventh and third following his triumph in May. Other drivers that have competed in all three previous URSS events at DCRP this season include Velasquez, Ray Seemann, Ty Williams, Richie Dewell, Keefe Hemel, Tyler Knight, Jerry Caldwell, Kris Moore and Koby Walters.
Entering tonight's card at Liberal before moving on to DCRP tomorrow, Colorado's Jake Bubak holds a slim 12-point edge over Ness City's Luke Cranston in the URSS National points battle. Bubak finished fourth in the most recent URSS event at DCRP while Cranston rallied from deep in the field for runner-up honors. Herbert is a close third in current points.
Cranston holds a 34-point edge over Herbert in Kansas Regional points while Adam Trimble is just four points ahead of Bubak in Colorado Regional points.
In DCRP championship chase action, Austin Allen, Jeff Kaup, Billy Phelps, Dustin Walker and Jarett Lunow lead the way into Saturday night.
Goddard's Allen has his first IMCA Modified DCRP track championship nearly within grasp as he enters Saturday's action with a 27-point lead over Dodge City's Jesse Smith with Woodward, Oklahoma's Jon Herring, Jr., just another eight points back in third. Kevin Gray and last year's championship finale winner Ryan Heger round out the current top five.
Woodward's Jeff Kaup has opened up a 54-point edge over Toby Witthuhn in the United Wireless IMCA Sport Modified ranks with Austin Walker, Matthew Crowell and Clay Sellard filling out the top five.
Billy Phelps has a commanding lead in the IMCA Stock Car ranks as Marlin Hogie and Brett Copeland battle it out for runner-up honors, Dustin Walker holds a slight advantage in the Thunder Car ranks over Cody Davis and Matt O'Hair, with Jarett Lunow an unstoppable Hornet force on the inner asphalt oval.
Admission to Saturday's Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship event is just $15 for adults with children 11 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
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.