By Lonnie Wheatley
DODGE CITY, Kan. (May 26) – Just one weekend removed from a wild heat race flip, Taylor Velasquez bounced right back to win Saturday’s 25-lap United Rebel Sprint Series vs. Precise Racing Products Sprint Car Clash main event at Dodge City Raceway Park.
Velasquez put his IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car out front at the outset from the pole position and capitalized on a lap 20 caution that negated a Jake Martens pass for the lead to secure the win.
Given a reprieve, Velasquez burst out to a lead of several car lengths as the race restarted, but Martens closed back in and tried to slip under in the final pair of corners only to fall two car-lengths short at the stripe.
“This week has been blood, sweat and tears,” Velasquez explained. “I wasn’t really sure how I’d feel tonight. Getting through the heat race was the most important part of the night. After that, I got a lot more comfortable in the car.”
Gunning into the lead at the drop of the green flag, Velasquez gradually slipped away from opening night winner Brian Herbert and Martens in the early going. Martens made his way past Herbert for second on the 15th round and erased Velasquez’ advantage in short order then raced into the lead on the low side only to have the race’s only caution appear to put Velasquez back out front.
Martens settled for second with Herbert claiming the show position. Zach Blurton crossed the stripe fourth with Tyler Knight rounding out the top five.
Other Saturday night winners included Nick Link in the IMCA Modifieds, Daylon Bergeron in the IMCA SportMods, Shannon Maughlin in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Reagan Sellard in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.
Feature results – 1. Taylor Velasquez; 2. Jake Martens; 3. Brian Herbert; 4. Zach Blurton; 5. Tyler Knight; 6. Koby Walters; 7. Ty Williams; 8. Steven Richardson; 9. Ross Essenburg; 10. John Webster; 11. Tracey Hill; 12. Jordan Knight; 13. Kris Moore; 14. Jed Werner; 15. Chad Salem; 16. Kade Hagans; 17. Brandy Jones; 18. Aaron Ploussard.