Taylor Velasquez won his first URSS race of the year and secured his second consecutive Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Car championship by adding another Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship win in Saturday night’s 25-lap DCRP vs. URSS Sprint Car main event atop the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park clay oval.
In the 25-lap DCRP vs. URSS Sprint Car feature, Turpin, Oklahoma’s Velasquez took advantage of a mid-race caution to preserve his second win of the season aboard the Fronk Oil Co./Bearcat Well Service No. 21x Maxim.
“That caution was a blessing,” Velasquez commented in victory lane. “I kept working the bottom, but I was getting tighter and tighter and wondered if the topside was coming in. Then I saw him (Luke Cranston) up there.”
With Steven Richardson and Ray Seemann leading the way to the green flag, Velasquez shot into the lead on the opening round. Seemann battled back, with the duo trading the lead on consecutive laps from the eighth to 11th circuit until Velasquez moved to the bottom portion of the track.
With Velasquez and Seemann working the low line, Luke Cranston was rallying on the top side and was poised to race past both for the lead when the race’s only caution flew for a turn four Lance Davis spin with 14 laps in the books.
Velasquez moved back to the top on the restart to keep Cranston at bay, putting the race in the bag when he made quick work of a pack of six lapped cars with just a handful of laps remaining.
Velasquez’ ninth DCRP Sprint Car win since 2013 and third Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship event triumph was worth $750, courtesy of Comfort Suites. Velasquez beat Cranston to the line, with Richardson launching off the final corner to secure the show position. Seemann crossed the stripe fourth with Brandy Jones rounding out the top five.
URSS point leader Zach Blurton’s night started off bad as a blown engine in hot laps sent him scurrying in the pits to install a new power plant. Blurton would miss his heat but returned to start 23rd in the feature and ran it up to a sixth place finish to earn the Keizer Aluminum Wheels Hard Charger Award and maintain the point lead.
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 97-Brian Herbert, 2. 21x-Taylor Velasquez, 3. 50-Jed Werner, 4. 72-Ray Seemann, 5. 18-Brandon Sprott, 6. 45-Monty Ferriera, 7. 51r-Ross Essenburg, 8. 33k-Aaron Ploussard.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 11-Keefe Hemel, 2. 28-Tracey Hill, 3. 8J-Brandy Jones, 4. 0-Steven Richardson, 5. 49-Kris Moore, 6. 11k-Tyler Knight, 7. 17r-Scott Rhoades. DNS: 2J-Zach Blurton.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 49x-Luke Cranston, 2. 33-Koby Walters, 3. 10-Jordan Knight, 4. 17x-Craig Jecha, 5. 1x-Cody Lampe, 6. 95-Buddy Tubbs, 7. 74T-Howard Van Dyke. DNS: 9d-Lance Davis.
“A” Main (25 Laps): 1. 21x-Taylor Velasquez, 2. 49x-Luke Cranston, 3. 0-Steven Richardson, 4. 72-Ray Seemann, 5. 8J-Brandy Jones, 6. 2J-Zach Blurton, 7. 45-Monty Ferriera, 8. 50-Jed Werner, 9. 97-Brian Herbert, 10. 28-Tracey Hill, 11. 11-Keefe Hemel, 12. 49-Kris Moore, 13. 10-Jordan Knight, 14. 95-Buddy Tubbs, 15. 11k-Tyler Knight, 16. 51r-Ros Essenburg, 17. 9d-Lance Davis, 18. 17r-Scott Rhoades, 19. 17x-Craig Jecha, 20. 1x-Cody Lampe, 21. 33k-Aaron Ploussard, 22. 74T-Howard Van Dyke, 23. 18-Brandon Sprott, 24. 33-Koby Walters (DQ).