Down to the Wire at DCRP
Lonnie Wheatley, DODGE CITY, Kan. (September 23, 2016) – Dodge City Raceway Park puts the wraps on the 2016 racing season with Saturday night’s Fourth Annual Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship event.
And, in at least one class, the title chase is literally coming down to the wire with no fewer than five drivers still in the hunt for the IMCA Modified championship.
While the top spot in the Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars, IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA Hobby Stocks seems to be a foregone conclusion barring some highly unusual circumstances, there are still plenty of positions among the top ten in each points race very much up for grabs in Saturday’s finale along with bragging rights for topping the season finale.
Leading the way into Saturday’s event that fires off at 7:00 p.m. are Taylor Velasquez, Ryan Heger, Kevin Tabor, Michael Pepper and Matt O’Hair.
A look at the title chases going into the Fourth Annual Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship event…
Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars:
With an eighth-place finish on July 3 his only finish outside the top five in eleven events, Taylor Velasquez is just one night away from sealing his first DCRP Sprint Car championship. He can put it away for keeps with a finish of 22nd or better as only Mike Peters has a chance to spoil the party. Jordan Knight is just one point ahead of Kris Moore in the battle for fifth while Brandon Sprott holds down tenth by just ten points over Jeremy Huish.
Feature Winners: Taylor Velasquez 4, Luke Cranston 2, Brian Herbert 1, C.J. Johnson 1, Tyler Knight 1, Jason Martin 1, Koby Walters 1.
Current Top Ten in Points: 1. Taylor Velasquez (Turpin, OK) 1,562, 2. Mike Peters (Wichita, KS) 1,509, 3. Luke Cranston (Ness City, KS) 1,423, 4. Tyler Knight (Spearville, KS) 1,393, 5. Jordan Knight (Wright, KS) 1,284, 6. Kris Moore (Dodge City, KS) 1,283, 7. Brian Herbert (Dodge City, KS) 1,245, 8. Koby Walters (Liberal, KS) 1,170, 9. Tracey Hill (Liberal, KS) 1,086, 10. Brandon Sprott (Dodge City, KS) 1,009.
For the first time this year, Ryan Heger is atop the point charts. Not by much though, as his advantage going into the finale is just points over Nick Link and William Nusser, who are tied for second. A finish of third or better assures Heger of at least a share of the title. Fourth on back and it’s time to break out the calculators. Joel Lane and Kale Beavers both have an outside shot as well, though they would likely need the lead trio to wipe each other out to have a legitimate shot. Stranger things have happened though.
Feature Winners: Cole Traugott 5, Brendon Gemmill 2, Cody Gearhart 1, Mike Lunow 1, William Nusser 1, Clay Sellard 1.
Current Top Ten in Points: 1. Ryan Heger (Hugoton, KS) 1,378, 2. Nick Link (Rolla, KS) and William Nusser (Larned, KS) 1,369, 4. Joel Lane (Ulysses, KS) 1,334, 5. Kale Beavers (Pierceville, KS) 1,332, 6. Mike Lunow (Dodge City, KS) 1,297, 7. Tom Beavers (Pierceville, KS) 1,275, 8. Tracy Link (Rolla, KS) 1,256, 9. Jesse Smith (Dodge City, KS) 1,247, 10. Jack Kirchoff (Garden City, KS) 1,208.
IMCA Sport Modifieds:
Smooth and steady has been the name of the game for Kevin Tabor, who has posted 12 top-ten finishes in as many features to take a 42-point advantage over three-time and reigning track champion Jeff Kaup. Tabor can seal the deal with a finish of 15th or better. Kaup ranks as the only driver with multiple wins, but some DNF’s along the way have proven costly in chasing points.
Feature Winners: Jeff Kaup 4, Daylon Bergeron 1, Robert Elliott 1, Daren Hacker 1, Kaleb Roach 1, Mike Roach 1, Jeremy Sigler 1, Dakota Sproul 1, Toby Witthuhn 1.
Current Top Ten in Points: 1. Kevin Tabor (Dodge City, KS) 1,626, 2. Jeff Kaup (Woodward, OK) 1,584, 3. Kyle Wiens (Newton, KS) 1,500, 4. Brian May (Spearville, KS) 1,481, 5. Alex Wiens (Newton, KS) 1,428, 6. Bart Baker (Dodge City, KS) 1,323, 7. Jamie French (Hugoton, KS) 1,243, 8. Jeremy Sigler (Great Bend, KS) 1,065, 9. Toby Witthuhn (Garden City, KS) 1,043, 10. Tanner Brunson (Minneola, KS) 991.
IMCA Stock Cars:
It has been all Michael Pepper in the Stock Car ranks with the Lakin racer racking up eight wins in 11 events to open up a commanding 114 point lead. Pepper rides a six-race winning streak into the finale while only five points separate Marlin Hogie and Chris Oliver in the battle for second in points.
Feature Winners: Michael Pepper 8, Angel Munoz 1, Jason Rogers 1, Tyler Tipton 1.
Current Top Ten in Points: 1. Michael Pepper (Lakin, KS) 1,599, 2. Marlin Hogie (Ulysses, KS) 1,485 3. Chris Oliver (Holcomb, KS) 1,480, 4. Brett Copeland (Fowler, KS) 1,310, 5. Shannon Maughlin (Dighton, KS) 741, 6. Dusty Witthuhn (Bazine, KS) 691, 7. Ryan Grubbs 645, 8. Kyle Pfeifer (Hill City, KS) 481, 9. Angel Munoz (Lamar, CO) 433, 10. Ron Hartman (Ulysses, KS) 418.
IMCA Hobby Stocks:
Eight podium finishes in a dozen features has Matt O’Hair well within reach of the crown. Like Pepper, O’Hair can secure the title by simply showing up. Second-ranked Bryan Habiger is the only Hobby Stocker to be credited with a dozen top-ten finishes in as many events while only 17 points separates the trio of Duane Wahrman, Cody Davis and Reagan Sellard in the battle for third.
Feature Winners: Cody Davis 3, Matt O’Hair 3, David Berger 2, Reagan Sellard 2, Shannon Anderson 1, Bryan Habiger 1.
Current Top Ten in Points: 1. Matt O’Hair (Laverne, OK) 1,682, 2. Bryan Habiger (Ingalls, KS) 1,588, 3. Duane Wahrman (Pratt, KS) 1,541, 4. Cody Davis (Bucklin, KS) 1,530, 5. Reagan Sellard (Bucklin, KS) 1,524, 6. Tom Reed (Kalvesta, KS) 1,485, 7. Jacob Huse (Kinsley, KS) 1,476, 8. Tyler Walker (Dighton, KS) 1,467, 9. David Berger (Dodge City, KS) 1,143, 10. Tobby Schield (Sublette, KS) 901.
General admission for Saturday’s Fourth Annual Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship event is just $20 with children 11 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
Past Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship Winners:
2015 – Taylor Velasquez (DCRP vs. URSS Sprint Cars), Brendon Gemmill (IMCA Modifieds), Jamie French (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Angel Munoz (IMCA Stock Cars), Reagan Sellard (IMCA Hobby Stocks).
2014 – Taylor Velasquez (URSS Sprint Cars), Jesse Richter (IMCA Modifieds), Nate Ginest (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Ron Hartman (IMCA Stock Cars), Cody Davis (Thunder Cars), Jarett Lunow (Hornets).
2013 – Zach Blurton (URSS Sprint Cars), Ryan Heger (IMCA Modifieds), Josh Appel (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Ron Hartman (IMCA Stock Cars), Dan Rogers (Thunder Cars), James Phelps (Hornets).
The complete 2016 schedule of events at Dodge City Raceway Park is available at http://www.dodgecityraceway.com/schedule/.
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.