By Lonnie Wheatley
DODGE CITY, Kan. (September 20, 2016) – Over each of the past two years, Taylor Velasquez has found himself in Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Car vs. URSS victory lane as the curtain has come down on the Dodge City Raceway Park season.
He’ll look to make it three in a row this Saturday night as DCRP wraps up the 2016 season with the Fourth Annual Jerry Soderberg Memorial atop the 3/8-mile clay oval in southwest Kansas with racing action going green at 7:00 p.m.
And if he can park it in DCRP victory lane once again, it will also put the wraps on the track championship, though he has to do little more than take the green flag in the feature event to secure the title.
His won’t be the only title determined on Saturday night, as a three-way duel for the IMCA Modified crown wages on between Ryan Heger, William Nusser and Nick Link with Kevin Tabor (IMCA Sport Modifieds), Michael Pepper (IMCA Stock Cars) and Matt O’Hair (IMCA Hobby Stocks) each holding healthier leads.
With the season-ending Soderberg Memorial Championship event triumph his lone score of the year over each of the past two seasons, Velasquez has picked his game up in pursuit of the Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Car title this year.
The Turpin, OK, racer has already racked up four wins among his ten top-fives and eleven top-tens in 11 events to build up a 53-point advantage over veteran racer Mike Peters of Wichita. Velasquez can secure the title with a finish of 22nd or better in Saturday’s finale.
While the DCRP title will slip out of defending champ Luke Cranston’s grasp, the Ness City native can still take the URSS National championship on Saturday night. Cranston enters the night with a 132 point advantage over Jed Werner with Dodge City native Brian Herbert another 14 points back in third. Cranston enters the finale third in DCRP points behind Velasquez and Peters with Tyler Knight and Jordan Knight also among the top five.
The IMCA Modified crown is up for grabs with Ryan Heger entering the night just nine points ahead of Nick Link and William Nusser. Heger can secure the crown with a finish of first or second and assure at least a share of the title with a finish of third. Anything fourth or back for Heger opens the door for all possibilities depending on where Nusser and Link finish. Heger topped the season-ender at DCRP in both 2012 and 2013.
With a 42-point advantage in the IMCA Sport Mod title chase, Kevin Tabor needs to just finish 15th or better to keep reigning champ Jeff Kaup at bay while Michael Pepper (IMCA Stock Cars) and Matt O’Hair (IMCA Hobby Stocks) can secure championships by simply showing up on Saturday night.
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.