No Water, No Worries: URSS heads to $1,000 payout in Liberal


LIBERAL, Kan. -- A lack of water in the water table from the city of Beaver wasn't about to dry up the hopes of promoter Glen Thompson.

So Thompson kept his nose to the grindstone and found a new home to provide sprint car fans in southwest Kansas and the Oklahoma panhandle region with a place to race.

Now, that upheaval has spawned life into the inaugural URSS Spring Thaw 305 Shootout on April 19 at Liberal Fairgrounds Speedway.

Due to ongoing drought conditions, Beaver officials informed Thompson the racetrack wouldn't be able to water the surface due to lack of water. That put the two-day Cow Chip Nationals that were wildly popular last year in Beaver in jeopardy.

So Thompson worked his magic and decided to move the show approximately 30 miles away in Liberal. The show has been trimmed down to one day, April 19, but Thompson couldn't be more pleased about what the Friday night show will offer -- the winged warriors of the United Rebel Sprint Series.

Friday night's races, set for 7 p.m. with pit gates opening at 4:30 p.m., will headline the Rebels of the URSS. Rick Salem's sprint car series has competed six times at Beaver County Raceway, including three times last year.

At Liberal, the Rebels have a storied history. The URSS has competed nine times at the track, but not since 2010. That's when Ray Seemann, the 2011 URSS national champ, claimed the feature win.

Jason Martin won the first day of the Cow Chip Nationals last year in Beaver, followed by a breakout performance by Hill City's Jeff Radcliffe the next night. Martin also won the final race last year at Beaver in late July.

The Spring Thaw 305 Shootout will feature a $1,000 payout to the winner, with a $200 payout to drivers who make the A-main. "It's a great race to start our 2013 season with and I have to thank Glen Thompson for all the hard work he has put into it to keep it alive " URSS promoter Rick Salem said.

"We're going to kick it off, blow it out," Thompson said.

The night will have a monster truck as the pace car, and monster trucks will compete the next night.

Liberal Fairgrounds Speedway is a 3/8-mile reverse D-shaped track, with a long sweep on the backstretch.

The April 19 event is the "official" start of the URSS portion of the season. The Rebels return a week later on April 27 to Liberal to compete.

For more information about the United Rebel Sprint Series, visit For more information about Liberal Fairgrounds Speedway or Beaver County Raceway, visit