A shift to Friday night racing is in store for southwest Kansas this weekend with Dodge City Raceway Park hosting the popular "Driver Appreciation Night" event that features a full card of championship chase racing action.

And this year’s edition features a new twist with a $500 bonus up for grabs for one of the six drivers that has the most tickets redeemed at the front gate.

This Friday’s action that features Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars along with IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA Hobby Stocks will fire off at 7:30 p.m.

A packed grandstand should be expected with all drivers awarded a number of tickets to distribute to family, friends and sponsors for Friday’s racing action.

Tickets that are returned to the front gate on Friday night will make those drivers eligible for all variety of product prizes including the grand prize Hinchman Racing Suit along with additional prizes supplied by Precise Racing Products, BMI, Pistons Auto/Diesel Repair, A&J Trucking, Quint Transportation, Carquest and more that will be drawn for. 

Only drivers that have competed in at least 80 percent of this year’s DCRP events will be eligible for the grand prize while all drivers on hand will walk away with something in hand.

Additionally, the six drivers that have the most tickets turned in at the front gate by 8:15 p.m. will be eligible for a cash drawing of $500.  Again, drivers must have competed in 80 percent of this year’s events to be eligible for the cash drawing.

Leading the way into Friday’s tilt atop the 3/8-mile clay oval are Taylor Velasquez, Clay Sellard, Jeff Kaup, Angel Munoz and Duane Wahrman.

After picking off his first Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Car win of the year, Velasquez holds a 32-point edge over Tyler Knight while past Sport Mod track champ Sellard has a 73-point advantage over defending track champ Nick Link in the IMCA Modified title chase.

Kaup is gunning for a third IMCA Sport Modified track title with a 116-point lead over Kyle Wines, Munoz has a healthy 126-point margin over Ondre Rexford in the IMCA Stock Car title chase and Wahrman is a mere eight points ahead of Reagan Sellard in the IMCA Hobby Stock battle.

Just two more nights of championship chase action remain after Friday’s "Driver Appreciation Night" including the Fourth Annual Sport Modified Mayhem event on Aug. 19 and the Fifth Annual Jerry Soderberg Memorial Championship event on Sept. 16 before putting the wraps on the 2017 season with the return of the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars on Oct. 27-28.

While a large number of free tickets to Friday’s card will be distributed by drivers, additional tickets to the "Driver Appreciation" night event will be available at the gate for 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 scheduled racing action, culminating with the return of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car series for the "Boot Hill Showdown" on October 27-28.  The complete 2017 schedule of events at Dodge City Raceway Park is available at www.dodgecityraceway.com/schedule/. 

Dodge City Raceway Park is located on the south edge of Dodge City 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 out www.dodgecityraceway.com.