Luke Cranston opened the 2019 season at Dodge City Raceway Park by racing to victory lane in the 25-lap Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Car vs. United Rebel Sprint Series feature event atop the three-eight-mile clay oval.
While Cranston bested the Sprint Car ranks, other opening-night winners included Clay Money in IMCA Modifieds, Dakota Sproul in IMCA Sport Modifieds, Angel Munoz in IMCA Stock Cars and Tathan Burkhart in IMCA Hobby Stocks as 108 cars filled the pit area.
In the 25-lap DCRP Sprint Car vs. URSS feature, Ness City native Cranston gridded the feature inside the third row as Brian Herbert and Koby Walters led the way to the green flag but it was fourth-starter Ty Williams battling into the early lead.
Vying for his third DCRP opening night win in the last five years, Williams paced the opening eight rounds before looping it in turn three to hand the lead over to Walters with Cranston on his tail tank.
Walters kept Cranston at bay for 10 rounds before Cranston finally found the opening he was looking for in traffic and battled into the lead on the 19th circuit. Cranston led the rest of the way, taking the checkered flag ahead of Walters with two-time track champion Taylor Velasquez racing to the third-place podium finish.
Herbert crossed the stripe fourth with Jake Martens rounding out the top five. Andy Shouse was sixth with defending track champion Steven Richardson, Jeremy Huish, Jed Werner and Tyler Knight completing the top 10.
The feature event was slowed by one red flag when Jordan Knight went for a hard ride on the fronstretch. Knight walked away from the incident.
Tyler Knight, Williams, Huish and Walters topped heat race action for the 28-car Sprint Car field with Richardson winning the “B” Main.
In the 20-lap IMCA Modified feature, Penokee’s Clay Money battled past Jesse Richter for the point on the seventh round and raced on to his first DCRP win in Modified competition to go along with several previous Sport Modified victories.
Richter spun from contention a half lap after surrendering the lead, leaving Money to fend off defending track champion Nick Link and then Clay Sellard over the final rounds to secure the win.
Money took the checkered flag ahead of Sellard, Link and Jesse Smith while Richter raced back through the field to round out the top five.
Hays racer Dakota Sproul kicked off the 2019 season at DCRP the same he finished off in 2018 by racing to victory lane in the 20-lap IMCA Sport Modified feature.
Sproul chased down early pacesetter Luke Stallbaumer and took command in traffic on the 13th round. Sproul worked traffic to perfection over the closing circuits with Stallbaumer setting for runner-up honors. Reigning track champion Jeff Kaup raced from ninth to third with Mike Lunow and Brian May rounding out the top five.
Lamar, Colorado’s Angel Munoz kicked off his IMCA Stock Car title pursuit by storming to victory lane in the 20-lap feature.
Munoz needed just seven laps to charge from 10th into the lead and paced the field the rest of the way, crossing the stripe ahead of Jason Rogers, early leader Gregg Schell, Mike Petersilie and Chris Oliver.
After topping three of last year’s final six IMCA Hobby Stock features, Hays’ Tathan Burkhart battled into the lead on the fourth lap and led the rest of the way to snare victory honors.
Burkhart held off Brady Bencken over the closing circuits with defending track champion Reagan Sellard, Cody Williams and Duane Wahrman rounding out the top five.
Action resumes at Dodge City Raceway Park next Saturday night, April 13, with the Seventh Annual Modified Stampede that features a $1,000-winner’s share for the IMCA Modifieds along with a full card of Precise Racing Products DCRP Sprint Cars, IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA Hobby Stocks.