Quick on the Draw at DCRP – Season Opener Saturday!
Lonnie Wheatley, DODGE CITY, Kan. (April 13, 2017) – Being quick on the draw has historically been an imperative key to success in survival in the southwest Kansas locale of Dodge City.
Likewise, busting out of the gates quickly at Dodge City Raceway Park is critical when eying a potential track championship at the state-of-the-art 3/8-mile clay oval.
It all begins Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. with the opening round of championship chase action for the Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA Hobby Stocks.
Along with a full slate of white knuckle racing action is an Easter Egg Hunt for children eight and under.
While an opening night win doesn’t necessarily pave the road to a championship, it can certainly make for a smoother road on down the line. And a top-five finish at the worst sets the stage for a potential championship campaign.
Over the past five seasons at DCRP, only four opening night winners have gone on to win the season championship in their respective division among the five current classes.
However, 19 of 22 (86.4%) track champions over the past five seasons managed a top-five finish on opening night.
A look by division at prospective paths to the title….
Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars:
Going into the third full year of DCRP Sprint Car competition, the two past champions have both finished among the top five on opening night with Luke Cranston racing to a third-place finish in 2015 and then Taylor Velasquez kicking off his title run with a fourth-place showing last year.
Opening night winners in the DCRP Sprint Car ranks have included Brian Herbert in 2016 and Ty Williams in 2015.
Over the past five seasons, not a single opening night winner has gone on to capture the title although three runner-ups have gone on to the crown. Reigning champion Nick Link earned a runner-up finish in last year’s season-opener as did 2015 champion Austin Allen and 2012 champ Brendon Gemmill. Allen kicked off the first of three consecutive title drives with a fourth-place finish in 2013 before a seventh-place run to open the 2014 season.
Recent opening night winners among the IMCA Modifieds include Cody Gearhart (2016 and 2013), Clay Sellard (2015), Van Gemmill (2014) and David Murray (2012).
IMCA Sport Modifieds:
Four of the past five Sport Mod champs have finished among the podium on opening night, though none of have topped the lidlifter. Defending champ Kevin Tabor posted a runner-up finish in last year’s opener, matching Jeff Kaup’s second-place finish that launched his 2014 title drive. Kaup’s first of three straight titles kicked off with a third-place run in 2013, matching 2012 champ Bart Baker’s third-place opening night showing. Kaup’s third title opened with him in a hole after an 11th-place finish to open the 2015 season.
Recent opening night winners in the IMCA Sport Modified ranks include Dakota Sproul (2016), Jeremy Sigler (2015), Michael Shenberger (2014), Clay Sellard (2013) and Brian LaRiviere (2012).
IMCA Stock Cars:
The Stock Car ranks are the one division that an opening night win seems to be a positive indicator with three of that past five opening night winners going on to win the championship including Perry Misner in 2012 and 2014 and then Michael Pepper in 2015. Billy Phelps claimed the 2013 title after finishing third on opening night while Pepper earned his second straight crown last year after beginning the season with a third-place run.
Opening night winners in the IMCA Stock Cars over the past five years include Tyler Tipton (2016), Michael Pepper (2015), Perry Misner (2014 and 2012) and Shannon Maughlin (2013).
IMCA Hobby Stocks:
Evolving from Thunder Cars to IMCA Hobby Stocks in recent years, the eventual champion has finished among the top five on opening night on four of five occasions. Cody Davis kicked off his 2015 championship run with an opening night win while Matt O’Hair (2016), Dustin Walker (2013) and Dan Rogers (2012) all went on to claim titles after earning runner-up finishes to open the season. O’Hair bounced back from an 11th place opening night showing to capture the 2014 crown.
Recent opening night winners among the IMCA Hobby Stock ranks include Shannon Anderson (2016), Cody Davis (2015, 2014 and 2012) and Scott Messino (2013).
Tickets to Saturday night’s season opener that includes an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids are just $15 for adults with children 11 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Pit passes are $30.
The 2017 season at Dodge City Raceway Park consists of 14 total nights of racing action, culminating with the return of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car series for the “Boot Hill Showdown” on October 27-18. The complete 2017 schedule of events at Dodge City Raceway Park is available at http://www.dodgecityraceway.com/schedule/.
Driver registration is available as well at http://www.dodgecityraceway.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DCRP-2017-Registration.pdf for those planning to compete at Dodge City Raceway Park in 2017.
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.