Race fans at Saturday's season championships at Dodge City Raceway Park had to wait through cautions in every start of the night, but they were treated to some of the fiercest racing of the season while the cars could race cleanly.

    The Dodge City Harley Davidson Sprint Series main event that saw Dodge native Brian Herbert take hold of his first season championship with a sixth-place finish also bore witness to one of the most spectacular crashes of the season at DCRP.

    As the pack screamed down the back straight-away and headed into turn three during the first of 25 laps, Liberal's Ty Williams somersaulted end over end and collected Darren Bowman's No. 9B and the No. 9DJ of Lance Davis in a wreck that mangled all three cars and took more than 15 minutes to clean up. DCRP crews were literally hauling twisted chunks of the cars' bodies and wings in efforts to get the race under way again.


Race fans at Saturday's season championships at Dodge City Raceway Park had to wait through cautions in every start of the night, but they were treated to some of the fiercest racing of the season while the cars could race cleanly.
    The Dodge City Harley Davidson Sprint Series main event that saw Dodge native Brian Herbert take hold of his first season championship with a sixth-place finish also bore witness to one of the most spectacular crashes of the season at DCRP.
    As the pack screamed down the back straight-away and headed into turn three during the first of 25 laps, Liberal's Ty Williams somersaulted end over end and collected Darren Bowman's No. 9B and the No. 9DJ of Lance Davis in a wreck that mangled all three cars and took more than 15 minutes to clean up. DCRP crews were literally hauling twisted chunks of the cars' bodies and wings in efforts to get the race under way again.
    "It was nobody's fault," DCRP operator Ed Beckley said. "It was a racing accident. Everyone got a little aggressive going into turn three."
    All three drivers somehow walked away from the crash, but Williams was taken to the hospital at the end of the event when he complained of a sore back and a loss of feeling in his fingers.
    Beckley said that Williams was released early Sunday morning.
    "Everyone who's been in a crash knows what he's going through," Beckley said. "He probably pinched a nerve or something, but he's going to be OK."
    Fellow Liberal native Jason Martin won the race that saw heated battles for position throughout. He said he had once suffered a broken neck in a crash, but he did not know it until emergency medical technicians convinced him to go to the hospital and his CAT scan results came back.
    "I'm glad we were able to win with one of the cars," Martin said as EMTs took Williams away on a stretcher. "Ty's father puts a lot of time and money into the cars, but obviously we're concerned for Ty right now."
    Dodge City's Kris Moore led the field to the green flag in the main event, with Barry Crane sitting on the outside of the first row. Crane took the early lead after the restart from the three-car pile-up.
     Two laps in, Steve Dalton's 12D spun to a stop between turns one and two, causing another caution. Tanner Mullens crept up to second place by going outside of Smokey Fairbank around turn two after the ensuing restart.
    With 20 to go, Martin began to make his move. He slid into third on the high side of turn one, briefly going three-wide with Fairbank and Taylor Velasquez.
    With 15 to go and lapped traffic becoming a part of the equation, Martin used the low side of the track to get by Mullens and flew back up to the high side on the next lap to take the lead. Martin led with 12 to go, with Crane, Mullens, Velasquez and Fairbank rounding out the top five.
    Moore's engine blew along the back stretch as he drifted back into the middle of the pack with eight laps remaining. Velasquez made the move to third with six to go and another around Crane for second with five to go.
    Crane and Velasquez traded spots twice more before the race was over, but in the end, Martin built a lead that could not be challenged in the last eight laps. He took his third checkered flag at DCRP in 2008, while Velasquez, Crane, Tony Corpening and Keefe Hemel rounded out the top five.
    Herbert, the 2008 season champion in the division, said that he was ready for a break after next week's Winter Nationals.
    "I'll probably take the first couple months off from doing anything with my cars," Herbert said. "But I'll just need a month or two after that to have everything ready for next season."

Winning a season title
    Dale Wonger of Fort Supply, Okla., put the finishing touches in his IMCA Monster Modified season championship with a third-place finish in the mods' main event Saturday as well. Mike Lunow took the checkered in the 20-lap affair, with Mike Martin, Wonger, and brothers Trevor and Jesse Smith rounding out the top five.
    Five cautions halted the race's momentum, but Martin and Wonger sliced up the field and came from fourth-row starting positions to finish second and third.
    Lunow took the lead from Martin with six laps remaining after an acrobatic series of moves that put the 44 car on the inside of Martin's M15 coming down the front stretch.
    "I just enjoy getting to come up here and race with these dudes," Wonger said. "I'm just tickled to death winning the season championship."
    Both Dale and his daughter, Casey Jo Wonger, race in the division. Casey Jo finished the season ninth in the points race.
    The United Wireless Stock Series season championship was sewn up by Dodge's Bart Baker and his second-place main-event finish. Baker's last points championship came in 1991.
    "It means everything to get that championship again," Baker said.
    Pole-sitter Greg Stone won the main event in a wire-to-wire walk-off, but Baker cut through eight other cars and came from the fifth row to place second in the 12-lap dustup.
    Baker said knowing he had the points championship sealed did not alter his approach to the race.
    "You're always looking to win any race you enter," he said.
    Brothers Tommy and Michael Phelps took first and second place in the NAPA Thundercar main event Saturday, but Dalton Bauer's fourth-place finish was good enough to solidify his season championship in the series.
    Justin Schulte was the only season champion to win his or her feature race Saturday. With his win in the Hornet Series feature, he put a lid on his first season championship.
    "You've got to be consistent out here every week to get it done," Schulte said. "I think it's great."
    DCRP's Winter Nationals on Saturday, Oct. 4, and Sunday, Oct. 5, will end the 2008 racing season. Races will start at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.