Velasquez Nabs First DCRP Sprint Car Win of the YearMay 22, 2016
Lonnie Wheatley, DODGE CITY, Kan. (May 21, 2016) – Saturday night’s 20-lap Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Car feature boiled down to a tense duel between the defending track champion and the current points leader atop the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park clay oval.
When the checkered flag finally flew on the full moon event, it was current points leader Taylor Velasquez getting the better of reigning champ Luke Cranston on a lap 14 restart to capture his first win of the year aboard the Bearcat Well Service/Fronk Oil Company No. 21x Sprint Car.
While Velasquez topped a wild nightcap, Cole Traugott extended his recent domination of the IMCA Modified ranks, Mike Roach emerged atop a hard-fought IMCA Sport Modified main event, Michael Pepper pounced on another IMCA Stock Car win and Cody Davis delivered another IMCA Hobby Stock victory.
After the initial four feature events of the night ran off in relatively smooth fashion, the full moon came into full effect when the Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars 20-lap feature hit the track.
“I think that’s the most yellows we’ve had out here all year combined,” Velasquez said after becoming the fourth different winner in as many DCRP Sprint Car events this season.
In this case, the cautions worked out in the Turpin, Oklahoma racer’s favor while to the detriment of Cranston.
“I had his starts pretty well figured out,” Velasquez said. “He was setting a pretty fast pace and I was liking that, I was really able to get my momentum up.”
The feature started off inauspiciously with a multi-car melee getting into the opening turn. Ray Seemann and Koby Walters got the worst of it with Craig Jecha and Barry Crane eliminated from action as well as all drivers walked away without injury.
On the second try to start the race, pole starter Cranston outdueled front row mate Brian Herbert for the early lead as Velasquez worked his way from the seventh starting position to fifth in the opening pair of laps before another caution flew.
Beginning a trend, Velasquez slid past Lance Davis for fourth on the lap three restart and then took advantage of both Herbert and second-runner Mike Peters to jump up to second on a lap five restart.
With the high line the fast way around, Velasquez chased Cranston and tried unsuccessfully after another pair of restarts along the way to slide by for the lead in turns three and four. And, after Cranston had denied the sliders, he was able to slip away.
A final caution for a harmless spin with six laps to go wasn’t so harmless for Cranston, as this time Velasquez tried the big slide in turns one and two and made it stick. Cranston tried to counter getting into turn three, but fell short.
Velasquez rode the cushion relentlessly the rest of the way for his first win since last year’s season-ending Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship event with Cranston settling for second. Veteran shoe Peters held third with Ty Williams and Herbert rounding out the top five.
Traugott needed just eight laps to chase down early leader Tom Beavers and then checked out on the field to convincingly capture his third triumph in the last four DCRP events in the non-stop affair.
Traugott built up a full half-lap advantage past the midway point as Beavers tried to tend off William Nusser and Troy Gemmill in a heated battle for second. Gemmill used the high side to surge into second in the final handful of laps and shaved off a portion of the lead, although Traugott still crossed the stripe with a healthy straightaway advantage as he worked heavy lapped traffic in the latter stages.
“I about lost the race a time or two in traffic there, it got pretty close,” Traugott commented.
Even with a close call or two, Traugott crossed the stripe with ample breathing room ahead of Gemmill as Nusser worked his way past Beavers for third. Beavers was fourth with David Solberg rounding out the top five.
Another Woodward shoe found victory lane as well with Mike Roach working his way from the tenth starting position to add his name to the list of IMCA Sport Modified feature winners at DCRP thus far in 2016.
Roach, who won last year’s Sport Modified Mayhem event at DCRP, worked his way to second by the time the caution flew after 14 laps and then pounced on nephew Kaleb Roach on the restart to snare the lead and the win in the 20-lapper.
While Mike Roach started a handful of rows deep, Daylon Bergeron led from the pole for eight laps before losing power and handing the lead over to Kaleb Roach. It soon became a three-car battle for the point between Kaleb Roach, Jeff Kaup and Brandon Kenny as Mike Roach worked his way towards the lead pack.
Kaup challenged Kaleb Roach for the point on the 14th lap only to spin after clipping an infield tire and incurring race-ending damage exiting turn two on the 15th round. Sitting second on the restart, Mike Roach took advantage and never looked back as he raced to the stripe ahead of Kenny, Darren Hacker, DCRP points leader Kevin Tabor and Austin Walker as Kaleb Roach slipped to sixth in the closing rounds.
Lakin’s Michael Pepper wasted little time moving to the front in the 12-lap IMCA Stock Car feature to capture his second win of the year.
Starting inside the second row, defending track champ Pepper used the low side to charge into the lead on the opening lap and then held off Dusty Witthuhn the rest of the way as Chris Oliver fought off Marlin Hogie the entire distance to secure show honors.
In IMCA Hobby Stock action, defending track champion Cody Davis raced around Tobby Schield on the third round and went on to become the first repeat winner of the season through five rounds of competition.
After taking the lead from Schield, Davis kept Matt O’Hair at bay over the closing circuits to secure the win with Shield setting for the show position.
Action continues at Dodge City Raceway Park on Saturday night, June 4, with the NCRA Late Models along with IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA Hobby Stocks.
Dodge City Raceway Park
May 21 Results:
Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 911-Ty Williams, 2. 11-Keefe Hemel, 3. 72-Ray Seemann, 4. 49-Kris Moore, 5. 11k-Tyler Knight, 6. 30c-Barry Crane, 7. 88J-Jeremy Huish, 8. 7r-Beau Ricke.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 9d-Lance Davis, 2. 21x-Taylor Velasquez, 3. 33-Koby Walters, 4. 3-Ryan Walters, 5. 17x-Craig Jecha, 6. 20J-Brandy Jones, 7. 67-Damien Cain.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 49x-Mike Peters, 2. 20-Luke Cranston, 3. 97-Brian Herbert, 4. 10-Jordan Knight, 5. 007-Jordan Randles, 6. 1x-Cody Lampe, 7. E85-Kade Hagans.
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 21x-Taylor Velasquez, 2. 20-Luke Cranston, 3. 49x-Mike Peters, 4. 911-Ty Williams, 5. 97-Brian Herbert, 6. 49-Kris Moore, 7. 9d-Lance Davis, 8. 11k-Tyler Knight, 9. 11-Keefe Hemel, 10. 88J-Jeremy Huish, 11. 10-Jordan Knight, 12. 3-Ryan Walters, 13. 1x-Cody Lampe, 14. 20J-Brandy Jones, 15. 7r-Beau Ricke, 16. 007-Jordan Randles, 17. E85-Kade Hagans, 18. 72-Ray Seemann, 19. 33-Koby Walters, 20. 17x-Craig Jecha, 21. 30c-Barry Crane. DNS: 67-Damien Cain.
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 7n-William Nusser, 2. 9-Cole Traugott, 3. 25b-Tom Beavers, 4. 88J-Jack Kirchoff, 5. 21-Troy Gemmill, 6. 3h-Ryan Heger, 7. 01-Jesse Smith, 8. 2L-Tracy Link, 9. 22k-Brad Keller, 10. 52-Clayton Hogie.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 7s-David Solberg, 2. 27-Grant Florence, 3. 16-Kevin Gray, 4. K98-Danny Keller, 5. 22T-Trent Gray, 6. 25-Kale Beavers, 7. 57-Joel Lane, 8. 1n-Nick Link, 9. 44-Mike Lunow.
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 9-Cole Traugott, 2. 21-Troy Gemmill, 3. 7n-William Nusser, 4. 25b-Tom Beavers, 5. 7s-David Solberg, 6. 27-Grant Florence, 7. 57-Joel Lane, 8. 1n-Nick Link, 9. 3h-Ryan Heger, 10. 22T-Trent Gray, 11. 16-Kevin Gray, 12. K98-Danny Keller, 13. 25-Kale Beavers, 14. 2L-Tracy Link, 15. 22k-Brad Keller, 16. 88J-Jack Kirchoff, 17. 52-Clayton Hogie, 18. 01-Jesse Smith. DNS: 44-Mike Lunow.
IMCA Sport Modifieds:
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 4p-Daylon Bergeron, 2. 37-Bart Baker, 3. 92-Jeff Kaup, 4. 33r-Mike Roach, 5. 56m-Mike Appel, 6. 12-Kevin Tabor, 7. 33h-Darren Hacker, 8. 3s-Adam Stenzel, 9. 40d-Steve Dent, 10. 10-Alex Wiens.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 5r-Kaleb Roach, 2. 18-Kyle Wiens, 3. 21b-Brandon Kenny, 4. 10T-Toby Witthuhn, 5. 44-Austin Walker, 6. 7J-Jamie French, 7. 33s-Slade Roach, 8. 8-Brian May, 9. 5-Claude Roach.
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 33r-Mike Roach, 2. 21b-Brandon Kenny, 3. 33h-Darren Hacker, 4. 12-Kevin Tabor, 5. 44-Austin Walker, 6. 5r-Kaleb Roach, 7. 37-Bart Baker, 8. 8-Brian May, 9. 10T-Toby Witthuhn, 10. 18-Kyle Wiens, 11. 33s-Slade Roach, 12. 3s-Adam Stenzel, 13. 5-Claude Roach, 14. 10-Alex Wiens, 15. 7J-Jamie French, 16. 40d-Steve Dent, 17. 92-Jeff Kaup, 18. 4p-Daylon Bergeron, 19. 56m-Mike Appel.
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 22-Michael Pepper, 2. 33-Marlin Hogie, 3. 11J-Justin Lewis, 4. 10-Dusty Witthuhn, 5. 3-Chris Oliver, 6. 86-Melvin Halling, 7. 19-Brett Copeland.
“A” Main (12 Laps): 1. 22-Michael Pepper, 2. 10-Dusty Witthuhn, 3. 3-Chris Oliver, 4. 33-Marlin Hogie, 5. 11J-Justin Lewis, 6. 19-Brett Copeland, 7. 86-Melvin Halling.
IMCA Hobby Stocks:
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 17w-Duane Wahrman, 2. 55-Jacob Huse, 3. 007-Bryan Habiger, 4. 91d-Cody Davis, 5. 72T-Tobby Schield, 6. 7-Tom Reed, 7. 20-Tyler Walker, 8. 2m-Matt O’Hair.
“A” Main (12 Laps): 1. 91d-Cody Davis, 2. 2m-Matt O’Hair, 3. 72T-Tobby Schield, 4. 17w-Duane Wahrman, 5. 55-Jacob Huse, 6. 7-Tom Reed, 7. 20-Tyler Walker, 8. 007-Bryan Habiger.