From Lonnie Wheatley
DODGE CITY, Kan. (May 5, 2018) – After leading much of the way before briefly losing the point in traffic, hometown shoe Brian Herbert cashed in on a late opportunity to win Saturday night’s season-opening 20-lap Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Car feature atop the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park clay oval.
While Herbert scored his second season-opening win in the past three years, other opening night winners included Kevin Gray in IMCA Modifieds, Jeff Kaup in IMCA Sport Modifieds, Troy Burkhart in IMCA Stock Car action and Duane Wahrman in the IMCA Hobby Stocks as a total of 89 cars filled the pit area.
Herbert gridded the Sprint Car feature outside the third row and rallied into second behind Tyler Knight by the sixth round. Herbert went to work on Knight on the low side and put the Dodge City Concrete/Myers Racing Engines No. 97 entry in the lead by the sixth round.
Knight closed back in as traffic became a factor over the final rounds and slipped around Herbert to take command on the 16th round. The lead was short-lived however when his left front tire flew off the car going through turns three and four to bring out a final caution.
Herbert took off on the final restart to secure the win ahead of Ray Seemann with J.D. Johnson, two-time and defending track champion Taylor Velasquez and Tracey Hill rounding out the top five.
“I hated to see that happen to Tyler Knight. He got us there in traffic, I wasn’t gonna get out of the groove and get freight-trained,” Herbert said afterward. “I thought before the race that I could roll the top early to move forward. But I’m a bottom feeder so I got to the bottom as soon as I could.”
In the 20-lap IMCA Modified feature, Ulysses’ shoe Kevin Gray battled into the lead on the fifth circuit then held off Arizona’s R.C. Whitwell over the closing rounds to post his first DCRP win since August of 2015.
Gray gridded the feature outside the front row, but it was pole starter Ryan Heger gunning into the lead at the drop of the green flag. Gray kept the heat on and raced back into the lead on the fifth lap.
While Gray slipped away, Whitwell worked his way into second just past the midway point and closed in to challenge over the final circuits. Whitwell poked his nose under Gray in turns three and four on the white flag lap and then took a shot on the high side on the final round, but Gray held steady to post the win.
“I didn’t really hear much,” Gray said. “I just kept my eyes open and my ears closed.”
Joel Lane filled out the podium behind Gray and Whitwell with Kale Beavers and Jack Kirchoff rounding out the top five.
Four-time and defending IMCA Sport Modified track champion Jeff Kaup opened things up in a familiar way by racing to victory lane in the 20-lap feature for his 17th DCRP score since the 2012 season.
The Woodward, OK, shoe fired off from the front row but fell to third behind Toby Witthuhn and Brian May at the outside. “I’ve never started on the front row here, so I didn’t know what to do,” Kaup said. “I completely botched both of those original starts.”
Kaup took advantage of May to take over second on the ninth round and then pounced on Witthuhn for the point on a lap 13 restart. Kaup opened up his advantage to a half-straightaway by the time the checkered flag flew with Witthuhn, May, 16th-starter Daylon Bergeron and Bart Baker filling out the top five.
Recently back into the seat after a layoff of more than 15 years, Hays racer Troy Burkhart wired the field to take the win in the 20-lap IMCA Stock Car feature.
Burkhart raced into the lead at the outset from the pole position but had his hands full much of the way fending off Ulysses’ Ron Hartman for the lead. Burkhart survived a final caution with just two laps to go to preserve the win ahead of Hartman with Shannon Maughlin, Dustin Witthuhn and Travis Baird rounding out the top five.
Pratt’s Duane Wahrman picked up where he left off last season by winning the 20-lap IMCA Hobby Stock feature.
Wahrman, who added his third win of the 2017 season in the season finale, led all 20 laps to take the victory. Defending track champion Reagan Sellard closed in midway through though and kept the pressure on the rest of the way.
Wahrman was up to the task, holding off Sellard for the win with Dan Rogers, Tathan Burkhart and Matt O’Hair rounding out the top five.
Action resumes at Dodge City Raceway Park with on Saturday night, May 19, with the Sixth Annual Modified Stampede that features a $750 winner’s share for the IMCA Modifieds along with a full card of Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars, IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA Hobby Stocks. The event is a makeup of the card originally slated for April 21.
Dodge City Raceway Park – Season Opener
May 5, 2018 Results:
Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars:
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 11k-Tyler Knight, 2. 98-J.D. Johnson, 3. 0-Steven Richardson, 4. 21x-Taylor Velasquez, 5. 18-Brandon Sprott, 6. 24-Cody Hays, 7. 7-Shane Sundquist. DNS: 45-Kolt Washburn.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 97-Brian Herbert, 2. 72-Ray Seemann, 3. 49x-Luke Cranston, 4. 10-Jordan Knight, 5. 28-Tracey Hill, 6. 911-Ty Williams, 7. 8J-Brandy Jones, 8. 1-Nick Haygood.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 17x-Kade Hagans, 2. 51r-Ross Essenburg, 3. 33-Koby Walters, 4. 95-Brandon Tubbs, 5. 49-Kris Moore, 6. 4-Todd Plemons, 7. 1x-Cody Lampe.
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 97-Brian Herbert, 2. 72-Ray Seemann, 3. 98-J.D. Johnson, 4. 21x-Taylor Velasquez, 5. 28-Tracey Hill, 6. 911-Ty Williams, 7. 49x-Luke Cranston, 8. 33-Koby Walters, 9. 0-Steven Richardson, 10. 10-Jordan Knight, 11. 95-Brandon Tubbs, 12. 18-Brandon Sprott, 13. 1-Nick Haygood, 14. 49-Kris Moore, 15. 1x-Cody Lampe, 16. 4-Todd Plemons, 17. 51r-Ross Essenburg, 18. 7-Shane Sundquist, 19. 24-Cody Hays, 20. 11k-Tyler Knight, 21. 17x-Kade Hagans, 22. 45-Kolt Washburn. DNS: 8J-Brandy Jones.
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 25-Kale Beavers, 2. A2-Randy Wilson, 3. 71-Jesse Hoskins, 4. 57-Joel Lane, 5. 7n-Wiliam Nusser, 6. 71T-R.C. Whitwell, 7. 1n-Nick Link, 8. 26-Tom Beavers, 9. 27-Grant Florence.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 3h-Ryan Heger, 2. 44-Mike Lunow, 3. 16-Kevin Gray, 4. 05-Rick Taylor, 5. 88J-Jack Kirchoff, 6. 36-Travis Simmons, 7. 01-Jesse Smith, 8. 06-Chad Taylor, 9. 12-Kevin Tabor.
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 16-Kevin Gray, 2. 71T-R.C. Whitwell, 3. 57-Joel Lane, 4. 25-Kale Beavers, 5. 88J-Jack Kirchoff, 6. 1n-Nick Link, 7. 7n-William Nusser, 8. 44-Mike Lunow, 9. 05-Rick Taylor, 10. 36-Travis Simmons, 11. 26-Tom Beavers, 12. 3h-Ryan Heger, 13. 01-Jesse Smith, 14. 06-Chad Taylor, 15. A2-Randy Wilson, 16. 12-Kevin Tabor. DNS: 27-Grant Florence, 71-Jesse Hoskins.
IMCA Sport Modifieds:
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 92-Jeff Kaup, 2. 2-John Newton, 3. 8-Brian May, 4. 10T-Toby Witthuhn, 5. 83-Matthew Shenberger, 6. 1k-Brandon Wise, 7. 12d-Brad Johnson, 8. 62-Marvin Ward, 9. 4p-Daylon Bergeron.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 08-Dakota Sproul, 2. 18-Kyle Wiens, 3. 7-Jarett Lunow, 4. 56m-Mike Appel, 5. 10-Alex Wiens, 6. 37-Bart Baker, 7. 65-Kohl Ricke, 8. 21-Joey Maupin.
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 92-Jeff Kaup, 2. 10T-Toby Witthuhn, 3. 8-Brian May, 4. 4p-Daylon Bergeron, 5. 37-Bart Baker, 6. 18-Kyle Wiens, 7. 1k-Brandon Wise, 8. 10-Alex Wiens, 9. 65-Kohl Ricke, 10. 21-Joey Maupin, 11. 2-John Newton, 12. 12d-Brad Johnson, 13. 62-Marvin Ward, 14. 7-Jarett Lunow, 15. 08-Dakota Sproul, 16. 56m-Mike Appel, 17. 83-Matthew Shenberger.
IMCA Stock Cars:
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 10-Dusty Witthuhn, 2. 57-Will Bauer, 3. 25x-Troy Burkhart, 4. 22-Donald Kaup, 5. 771-Steve Blunk, 6. 20-Tyler Walker, 7. 88k-Brandon Kuker, 8. 22w-Mike Warta.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 52-Larry Baird, 2. 17m-Shannon Maughlin, 3. 55h-Ron Hartman, 4. 89-Gregg Schell, 5. 97x-Ondre Rexford, 6. 52T-Travis Baird, 7. 3-Chris Oliver, 8. 33-Marlin Hogie.
“A” Main (15 Laps): 1. 25x-Troy Burkhart, 2. 55h-Ron Hartman, 3. 17m-Shannon Maughlin, 4. 10-Dusty Witthuhn, 5. 52T-Travis Baird, 6. 97x-Ondre Rexford, 7. 771-Steve Blunk, 8. 57-Will Bauer, 9. 33-Marlin Hogie, 10. 20-Tyler Walker, 11. 88k-Brandon Kuker, 12. 52-Larry Baird, 13. 22w-Mike Warta, 14. 3-Chris Oliver, 15. 89-Gregg Schell. DNS: 22-Donald Kaup.
IMCA Hobby Stocks:
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 68-Garrett Hager, 2. 2s-Reagan Sellard, 3. 57-Chad Kelley, 4. 250-Tathan Burkhart, 5. 81d-Mike Davis, 6. 24b-Sheri Berger, 7. 55-Jacob Huse, 8. 69-Danny Schulte.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 22r-Dan Rogers, 2. 17w-Daniel Wahrman, 3. 19-Brett Copeland, 4. 2m-Matt O’Hair, 5. 7-Tom Reed, 6. 2J-Jason McClung, 7. 34-Timothy Davis.
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 17w-Duane Wahrman, 2. 2s-Reagan Sellard, 3. 22r-Dan Rogers, 4. 250-Tathan Burkhart, 5. 2m-Matt O’Hair, 6. 57-Chad Kelley, 7. 19-Brett Copeland, 8. 81d-Mike Davis, 9. 7-Tom Reed, 10. 68-Garrett Hager, 11. 34-Timothy Davis, 12. 69-Danny Schulte. DNS: 24b-Sheri Berger, 2J-Jason McClung, 55-Jacob Huse.