Lonnie Wheatley, DODGE CITY, Kan. (April
13, 2017) – Being quick on the draw has historically been an
imperative key to success in survival in the southwest Kansas
locale of Dodge City.
Likewise, busting out of the gates quickly
at Dodge City Raceway Park is critical when eying a potential
track championship at the state-of-the-art 3/8-mile clay oval.
It all begins Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
with the opening round of championship chase action for the
Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA
Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA Hobby Stocks.
Along with a full slate of white knuckle
racing action is an Easter Egg Hunt for children eight and
While an opening night win doesn’t
necessarily pave the road to a championship, it can certainly
make for a smoother road on down the line.
And a top-five finish at the worst sets the stage for a
potential championship campaign.
Over the past five seasons at DCRP, only
four opening night winners have gone on to win the season
championship in their respective division among the five current
However, 19 of 22 (86.4%) track champions
over the past five seasons managed a top-five finish on opening
A look by division at prospective paths to
Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars:
Going into the third full year of DCRP
Sprint Car competition, the two past champions have both
finished among the top five on opening night with Luke Cranston
racing to a third-place finish in 2015 and then Taylor Velasquez
kicking off his title run with a fourth-place showing last year.
Opening night winners in the DCRP Sprint
Car ranks have included Brian Herbert in 2016 and Ty Williams in
Over the past five seasons, not a single
opening night winner has gone on to capture the title although
three runner-ups have gone on to the crown.
Reigning champion Nick Link earned a runner-up finish in last
year’s season-opener as did 2015 champion Austin Allen and 2012
champ Brendon Gemmill. Allen kicked off the
first of three consecutive title drives with a fourth-place
finish in 2013 before a seventh-place run to open the 2014
Recent opening night winners among the
IMCA Modifieds include Cody Gearhart (2016 and 2013), Clay
Sellard (2015), Van Gemmill (2014) and David Murray (2012).
IMCA Sport Modifieds:
Four of the past five Sport Mod champs
have finished among the podium on opening night, though none of
have topped the lidlifter. Defending champ
Kevin Tabor posted a runner-up finish in last year’s opener,
matching Jeff Kaup’s second-place finish that launched his 2014
title drive. Kaup’s first of three straight
titles kicked off with a third-place run in 2013, matching 2012
champ Bart Baker’s third-place opening night showing.
Kaup’s third title opened with him in a hole after an 11th-place
finish to open the 2015 season.
Recent opening night winners in the IMCA
Sport Modified ranks include Dakota Sproul (2016), Jeremy Sigler
(2015), Michael Shenberger (2014), Clay Sellard (2013) and Brian
IMCA Stock Cars:
The Stock Car ranks are the one division
that an opening night win seems to be a positive indicator with
three of that past five opening night winners going on to win
the championship including Perry Misner in 2012 and 2014 and
then Michael Pepper in 2015. Billy Phelps
claimed the 2013 title after finishing third on opening night
while Pepper earned his second straight crown last year after
beginning the season with a third-place run.
Opening night winners in the IMCA Stock
Cars over the past five years include Tyler Tipton (2016),
Michael Pepper (2015), Perry Misner (2014 and 2012) and Shannon
IMCA Hobby Stocks:
Evolving from Thunder Cars to IMCA Hobby
Stocks in recent years, the eventual champion has finished among
the top five on opening night on four of five occasions.
Cody Davis kicked off his 2015 championship run with an
opening night win while Matt O’Hair (2016), Dustin Walker (2013)
and Dan Rogers (2012) all went on to claim titles after earning
runner-up finishes to open the season. O’Hair
bounced back from an 11th place opening night showing
to capture the 2014 crown.
Recent opening night winners among the
IMCA Hobby Stock ranks include Shannon Anderson (2016), Cody
Davis (2015, 2014 and 2012) and Scott Messino (2013).
Tickets to Saturday night’s season opener
that includes an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids are just $15 for
adults with children 11 and under admitted free when accompanied
by an adult. Pit passes are $30.
The 2017 season at Dodge City Raceway Park
consists of 14 total nights of racing action, culminating with
the return of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car series for the
“Boot Hill Showdown” on October 27-18. The
complete 2017 schedule of events at Dodge City Raceway Park is
Driver registration is available as well
for those planning to compete at Dodge City Raceway Park in
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