Ziehl Tops Freedom Tour Finale at DCRP!August 25, 2013
Lonnie Wheatley, DODGE CITY, Kan. (August 24, 2013) – Rick Ziehl was in the right place at the right time to take the $2,500 winner’s share in Saturday night’s Inaugural Freedom Tour finale for the USAC Southwest Sprint Cars atop the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park.
The Las Cruces, NM, shoe took advantage of opportunity when race leader Josh Pelkey suffered mechanical woes six laps shy of the checkered flag in the 30-lapper and then paced the final rounds to become the only repeat winner of the four-race mini-series.
Ziehl took the checkered flag ahead of lady racer Jordan Weaver and Friday night winner Charles Davis, Jr., with Michelle Decker making it a pair of ladies among the top four finishers.
While Ziehl took top non-wing Sprint Car honors, a pair of first time winners reached victory lane in DCRP championship chase action as Cole Traugott topped the IMCA Modifieds and Randle McRoberts bested the United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds.
For the second night in a row, Ziehl picked up a $100 bonus from Sunoco Fuels by winning the Dash to earn the pole starting position for the feature event. And, for the second night in a row, Ziehl gunned into the early lead only to surrender the point along the way to Pelkey. The rest of the script deviated though, as this time Ziehl came out on top.
Outgunning fellow front row starter Shon Deskins for the lead at the drop of the green flag, Ziehl set the early pace in front of fourth-starter Pelkey while Davis, Jr., lost several positions in the opening corner after starting fifth.
While Ziehl and Pelkey raced away from the field, Davis, Jr., worked his way back up to third by the ninth round and closed the straightaway gap on the lead duo when the caution flew after 13 laps for Chris Bonneau in turn four.
A Ziehl bobble in turn four soon after the restart opened the door for Pelkey, who took command on the 15th lap and had the race well in hand until he pulled to the infield with a broken rear end with just over five laps to go.
Ziehl capitalized by keeping the No. 41w entry out front over the final circuits to secure the win. “He (Pelkey) had the better car, but it looked like he broke something,” Ziehl commented. “I don’t really like to win ‘em that way but I’ll sure take it.”
After starting eighth, Woodward, Oklahoma’s Jordan Weaver rebounded from a wild flip the night before to snare runner-up honors with the Ochs No. 1x tailtank on her regularly-numbered No. 92 Sprint Car.
Weaver took the second position away from reigning Arizona Sprint Car champion Charles Davis, Jr., on the 25th round and kept Ziehl within sight. “We started getting a really bad vibration towards the end, so I don’t know that I could have done much with the leader,” the 22-year-old commented afterward. “We were just happy to be able to be here after last night.”
Davis, Jr., rebounded from a rough opening lap to claim the show position, with Guthrie, Oklahoma’s Michelle Decker taking the fourth position in front of Arizona shoe Tye Mihocko. Michael Curtis, Deskins, Jeff Lowery, Koby Barksdale and Tom Lee completed the top ten.
Starting third, Traugott chased front row outside starter Jack Kirchoff the initial three rounds before taking command and holding steady the rest of the way.Traugott weathered a checkered flag with just three laps remaining to take the checkered flag ahead of Kirchoff with Rick Taylor, 14th-starter Troy Gemmill and Kevin Gray rounding out the top five.
Likewise, Dodge City’s Randle McRoberts wired the United Wireless IMCA Sport Modified for his first score in the Sport Mod ranks atop the DCRP clay oval.
Gunning into the lead from the pole position, McRoberts held a comfortable lead until the closing stages of the 20-lapper as lapped traffic came into play. Toby Witthuhn moved in to challenge and pulled alongside with two laps to go.
McRoberts fought off the challenge and then survived a pair of white-flag lap cautions to take the win ahead of Witthuhn with Bart Baker in third. Current points leader Jeff Kaup rebounded from an opening lap spin to take fourth with David Young rounding out the top five.
Dodge City Raceway Park is back in action next Saturday night with a full slate of championship chase action including IMCA Modifieds, United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars, Thunder Cars and Hornets.
Dodge City Raceway Park Results – Saturday, August 24, 2013
USAC Southwest Sprint Cars:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 50-Charles Davis, Jr., 2. 7-Michelle Decker, 3. 16-Mike Martin, 4. 20-Shon Deskins, 5. 41w-Rick Ziehl, 6. 22-Koby Barksdale, 7. 5-Tye Mihocko, 8. 11c-Michael Curtis.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 78-Chris Bonneau, 2. 74-Josh Pelkey, 3. 1x-Jordan Weaver, 4. 55-Tony Everhart, 5. 45-Jeff Lowery, 6. 53-Tom Lee, 7. 22k-Kevin Barksdale.
Dash (6 Laps): 1. 41w-Rick Ziehl, 2. 20-Shon Deskins, 3. 16-Mike Martin, 4. 74-Josh Pelkey, 5. 50-Charles Davis, Jr., 6. 7-Michelle Decker, 7. 78-Chris Bonneau, 8. 1x-Jordan Weaver.
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 41-Rick Ziehl, 2. 1x-Jordan Weaver, 3. 50-Charles Davis, Jr., 4. 7-Michelle Decker, 5. 5-Tye Mihocko, 6. 11c-Michael Curtis, 7. 20-Shon Deskins, 8. 45-Jeff Lowery, 9. 22-Koby Barksdale, 10. 53-Tom Lee, 11. 74-Josh Pelkey, 12. 16-Mike Martin, 13. 78-Chris Bonneau, 14. 22k-Kevin Barksdale, 15. 55-Tony Everhart (DNS).
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 25-Kale Beavers, 2. 3h-Ryan Heger, 3. 18-Austin Allen, 4. 16-Kevin Gray, 5. B21-Chadd Brown, 6. 98-Danny Keller, 7. 7n-William Nusser, 8. 3c-Casey Jo Gemmill (DNS).
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 9-Cole Traugott, 2. 88j-Jack Kirchoff, 3. 21-Van Gemmill, 4. G3-Brendon Gemmil, 5. 721-Troy Gemmill, 6. 36-Travis Simmons, 7. 96jr-Jon Herring, Jr.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 02-Tyler Wilson, 2. 01-Jesse Smith, 3. 05-Rick Taylor, 4. 1n-Nick Link, 5. 22k-Brad Keller, 6. 01x-Beau Davis, 7. M15-Mike Martin.
“A” Feature (20 Laps): 1. 9-Cole Traugott, 2. 88j-Jack Kirchoff, 3. 05-Rick Taylor, 4. 721-Troy Gemmill, 5. 16-Kevin Gray, 6. 18-Austin Allen, 7. 02-Tyler Wilson, 8. 1n-Nick Link, 9. 25-Kale Beavers, 10. 96jr-Jon Herring, Jr., 11. 01x-Beau Davis, 12. 7n-William Nusser, 13. 01-Jesse Smith, 14. B21-Chadd Brown, 15. M15-Mike Martin, 16. 36-Travis Simmons, 17. 22k-Brad Keller, 18. 3h-Ryan Heger, 19. G3-Brendon Gemmill, 20. 21-Van Gemmill, 21. 98-Danny Keller, 22. 3c-Casey Jo Gemmill (DNS).
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 22-Randle McRoberts, 2. 10T-Toby Witthuhn, 3. 4p-Daylon Bergeron, 4. 33-Jason Lunow, 5. 65j-Josh Appel, 6. 39-Brian May, 7. 67-David Young, 8. 33m-Lucas Miller, 9. 12-Kevin Tabor.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 37-Bart Baker, 2. 92-Jeff Kaup, 3. 15b-Andy Barton, 4. 31-Raymond Blackburn, 5. 44-Austin Walker, 6. 7b-Brian Peitz, 7. 40d-Steve Dent, 8. 2c-Matthew Crowell.
“A” Feature (20 Laps): 1. 22-Randle McRoberts, 2. 10T-Toby Witthuhn, 3. 37-Bart Baker, 4. 92-Jeff Kaup, 5. 67-David Young, 6. 4p-Daylon Bergeron, 7. 33m-Lucas Miller, 8. 31-Raymond Blackburn, 9. 33-Jason Lunow, 10. 7b-Brian Peitz, 11. 12-Kevin Tabor, 12. 39-Brian May, 13. 15b-Andy Barton, 14. 44-Austin Walker, 15. 65j-Josh Appel, 16. 2c-Matthew Crowell (DNS), 17. 40d-Steven Dent (DNS).