DODGE CITY, Kan. (September 15, 2018) – Zach Blurton captured his second career Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship event win atop the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park by wiring the field in Saturday night’s 25-lap Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars versus United Rebel Sprint Series feature event.
Along with Blurton, other winners of the Sixth Annual Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship that closed the books on the 2018 championship season at DCRP included Brendon Gemmill in IMCA Modifieds, Dakota Sproul in IMCA Sport Modifieds, Chris Oliver in IMCA Stock Cars and Tathan Burkhart in IMCA Hobby Stocks.
In the 25-lap DCRP vs. URSS Sprint Car feature, Great Bend’s Blurton gunned into the lead from the pole position at the outset and led all the way, slicing through heavy traffic over the final half of the race for his lone DCRP win of the year.
“The car was perfect, I could put it anywhere and it would work,” Blurton said of the No. 2J entry.
“This one is special, it means a lot to me,” Blurton said after adding the Soderberg Memorial victory to the inaugural triumph in 2013. “I’m family with the Soderberg now and I wasn’t the first time.”
Following the race’s only caution after four laps, Blurton opened up a half-straightaway advantage in short order over Luke Cranston and Jake Martens with the latter working his way into second by the seventh round.
Blurton soon entered lapped traffic but maintained his advantage until encountering a cluster of cars with eight laps to go that allowed his chasers to temporarily close the gap.
But Blurton worked through the congestion diligently and slipped back out to a half straightaway advantage by the time the checkered flag flew.
In his wake, the battle was heated for position with Martens and Cranston dicing for second through traffic. Then, after climbing from sixth on the tenth round, Ray Seemann entered the mix for runner-up honors as well.
DCRP Sprint Car Nationals champion Martens prevailed in the battle for second in Blurton’s wake with Cranston rallying back around Seemann to take the show position. Taylor Velasquez rounded out the top five behind Seemann while Steven Richardson secured the DCRP Sprint Car championship by crossing the stripe in eighth.
In the 20-lap IMCA Modified feature, Ponca City, OK, native Brendon Gemmill charged into the lead on the high side from the eighth original starting position in just three laps and went on to capture his third DCRP win of the year.
Gemmill opened up a near straightaway advantage by the time caution flew after six laps and then gradually re-established that same lead only to have one final caution fly with two laps remaining.
The former track champion was unphased by the late caution, fending off Jesse Smith and Brandon Conkwright to secure the win. Rolla’s Nick Link put the finishing touches on his second track championship in three years by finishing fourth with Trent Gray rounding out the top five.
Ellis native Dakota Sproul battled into the lead on the ninth round of the 20-lap IMCA Sport Modified feature and then denied Mike Roach over the closing rounds to score his first DCRP win of the season.
Sproul worked his way past early pacesetter Mike Lunow and then survived some late traffic to hold off Roach for victory honors. Lunow settled for third with Troy Bynum in fourth while Jeff Kaup rounded out the top five to finish off his fifth track championship in six years.
After scoring his first career win just two months ago, Syracuse’s Chris Oliver celebrated his sixth wedding anniversary by adding his second triumph of the year in the 15-lap IMCA Stock Car feature.
Oliver raced from third into the lead on the opening round but had his hands full throughout. First, it was Gregg Schell that pestered him for the lead and then Troy Burkhart tried to work the top side of the track in the final laps to snare the win. Oliver held steady and survived the side-by-side duel for the win with Schell edging past Burkhart at the stripe for runner-up honors. Meanwhile, Dusty Witthuhn claimed the track championship with a fourth-place finish as Shannon Maughlin rounded out the top five.
Hays’ Tathan Burkhart finished off the IMCA Hobby Stock season with a dramatic last-lap move around Duane Wahrman through traffic to snare his third win of the year atop DCRP clay.
After dodging a pair of early skirmishes, Wahrman bolted into the lead on the second circuit of the 15-lapper and was well on his way to a fifth win of the season until encountering several lapped cars in the closing laps. Burkhart closed in from a handful of car-lengths back and rallied by on the high side of turns three and four to take the checkered flag by a nose with Wahrman settling for second.
Reagan Sellard bounced back from an early spin to capture third, finishing off his second track championship in as many years. Dany Schulte was fourth with Tom Reed rounding out the top five.
While the championship points season has concluded at Dodge City Raceway Park, there is more action to come with the BMI Racing Products Dodge City 200 Enduro next Saturday night, September 22, and then the return of the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars on Saturday, October 20.
Dodge City Raceway Park – Sixth Annual Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship Finale
September 15, 2018 Results:
Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars vs. United Rebel Sprint Series (URSS):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 48-Jake Martens, 2. 49x-Luke Cranston, 3. 21x-Taylor Velasquez, 4. 10-Jordan Knight, 5. 6-Kaden Taylor, 6. 50-Jed Werner, 7. 56-Chris Douglas.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 49-Kris Moore, 2. 2J-Zach Blurton, 3. 7-Shane Sundquist, 4. 97-Brian Herbert, 5. 33-Koby Walters, 6. 4s-Kevin Schramek, 7. 33k-Aaron Ploussard.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 72-Ray Seemann, 2. 98-J.D. Johnson, 3. 0-Steven Richardson, 4. 83-Austin McLean, 5. 11k-Tyler Knight, 6. 88J-Jack Kirchoff, 7. 51r-Ross Essenburg.
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 2J-Zach Blurton, 2. 48-Jake Martens, 3. 49x-Luke Cranston, 4. 72-Ray Seemann, 5. 21x-Taylor Velasquez, 6. 98-J.D. Johnson, 7. 83-Austin McLean, 8. 0-Steven Richardson, 9. 88J-Jeremy Huish, 10. 33-Koby Walters, 11. 10-Jordan Knight, 12. 7-Shane Sundquist, 13. 50-Jed Werner, 14. 97-Brian Herbert, 15. 49-Kris Moore, 16. 11k-Tyler Knight, 17. 51r-Ross Essenburg, 18. 4s-Kevin Schramek, 19. 33k-Aaron Ploussard, 20. 6-Kaden Taylor, 21. 56-Chris Douglas (DNS).