Ladies and gentlemen, start your guitars?

    For the first time at Dodge City Raceway Park, rock and racing convened for Rock N' Race Fest 2009 as part of the Dodge City Days celebration.

    Stock, modified and sprint cars took the track for three separate 10-lap features, followed by live performances from rock bands Pop Evil and Jackyl.

    The fest was an attempt by DCRP promoter Ed Beckley to bring rock fans over to the racing side and deliver a different genre of music to Dodge City.

    "This ain't Sunday school, and it sure as hell ain't a country concert," said the second-year promoter before introducing Pop Evil to the stage.


    Ladies and gentlemen, start your guitars?
    For the first time at Dodge City Raceway Park, rock and racing convened for Rock N' Race Fest 2009 as part of the Dodge City Days celebration.
    Stock, modified and sprint cars took the track for three separate 10-lap features, followed by live performances from rock bands Pop Evil and Jackyl.
    The fest was an attempt by DCRP promoter Ed Beckley to bring rock fans over to the racing side and deliver a different genre of music to Dodge City.
    "This ain't Sunday school, and it sure as hell ain't a country concert," said the second-year promoter before introducing Pop Evil to the stage.
    Kolten Droste, an 18-year-old Dodge native and a rock fan, said the collision of cultures was a good move by Beckley.
    "I think it'll work," Droste said. "I think it's a good idea. They got some good people."
    In a town where country music reigns supreme, many of the fans in attendance, including Dodge resident Caleb Hurdle, found it refreshing to experience a different genre live.
    "I've been here once," Hurdle said of his experience at the track. "And that was before it was dirt. I like rock music. Not everyone wants to listen to country all the time."
    The fest attracted numerous patrons, like Dodge's Amy Johnson, who admittedly probably wouldn't have come out to the track if it weren't for her son performing with his band Contingency.
    Contingency, along with rock group 3 Hours Easy, warmed up the crowd before the racing began. Then the two headliners hit the stage, which was set up in the infield.
    Fans like Dodge City resident Martin Garcia, who is equally a race and rock fan, said Beckley and his promotions team should make more of a commitment and bring bigger and better names to the track to attract a much larger crowd.
    "DCRP needs to bring bigger bands like Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, groups like that. Then everyone would come out here," Garcia said. "I think Dodge should just, as a whole, bring everyone here. Like the convention center or the rodeo grounds should get more advertising and try to get sponsors to get all the groups out here and bring more money to Dodge City."
    Before the fans took in the live music, they witnessed a trio of exhibition races.
    Dodge's Cole Wilson captured the checkered flag in the stock car race, while Sublette's Lance Davis topped the sprint car field on his birthday. Brothers Jesse and Trevor Smith went head to head in the modified car feature, with older brother Jesse taking the bragging rights.
    The cars will hit the track again at 7:30 p.m. today for the Dodge City Days Shoot-out.