DODGE CITY, Kan. – Taylor Velasquez took quick advantage of a Zac Taylor midrace miscue to race into the lead and charged on to United Rebel Sprint Series victory lane in Saturday night’s 25-lap feature event atop the three-eighths-mile Dodge City Raceway Park clay oval.
While Velasquez took top Sprint Car honors, Cody Gearhart and Mike Shenberger became the season’s first repeat winners in IMCA Modifieds and United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds while Michael Pepper became the sixth different winner of the year in IMCA Stock Cars.
With Velasquez starting the URSS feature outside the second row, front row outside starter Zac Taylor outdueled pole starter Darren Bowman for the lead on the opening round and set the pace in the early going with Velasquez battling past Bowman for second on the eighth lap only to have the move negated for a turn four tangle that eliminated Luke Cranston and Barry Crane.
Velasquez, a 22-year-old from Turpin, Okla., made quick work of Bowman for second on the restart and set his sights on rookie shoe Taylor. Reeling Taylor in, the door opened for Velasquez when Taylor nearly looped it coming off turn four on the 13th circuit. While Taylor saved it, Velasquez beat him in the dash to turn one and led the rest of way to snare the win aboard the Fronk Oil/Velasquez Pumping No 21x.
“I should thank him for that one,” Velasquez said of Taylor’s miscue.
Current URSS points leader Ray Seemann worked his way up to second over the final portion of the race but had nothing for Velasquez, with Ty Williams claiming the show position. C.J. Johnson climbed from tenth to fourth, with Taylor slipping to fifth in the final rounds.
In the IMCA Modified main event, Cody Gearhart battled into the lead on the sixth round and never looked back in the 20-lapper as he collected his second win of the year, extending his DCRP points lead in the process.
“I had a great car tonight,” Gearhart exclaimed as he climbed out of his No. 1m entry in victory lane.
While Gearhart started the feature in seventh, Randy Wilson raced from his fourth starting position into the lead on the opening round with Gearhart making his way into second by the third lap.