Grand opening event held at Saltcity Racing

Warren Huffman topped the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod feature Friday during the grand opening show at Saltcity Racing. (Photo by Carl Larson)

By Sheldon Wickwar

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (April 26, 2024) – Dakota Sproul, Cody Williams, Warren Huffman, Tathan Burkhart, and Taylor Velasquez all picked up historic first IMCA feature wins at Saltcity Racing located at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson.

Sixty-five race teams checked into Hutchinson, and the packed grandstands saw some great opening night IMCA racing action, along with the United Rebel Sprint Series.

The 15-lap IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature started with a front row of Craig Miller and Tathan Burkhart. Miller was in front early but down the backstretch Burkhart grabbed the race lead. Meanwhile his father Troy was battling for fourth place with William Nusser.

Tathan Burkhart built a big lead right away as Miller and Mike Petersilie were nose to tail for second and third place. At halfway, Tathan Burkhart entered lapped traffic while still holding a big lead over Miller but lap seven saw a caution for a car stopped on the front stretch

Miller surrendered second place to Petersilie off the restart. Tathan Burkhart pulled away late and went on to win ahead of Petersilie and Scott Miller.

IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars following the URSS were second on the program and their 20-lap feature started with a front row of Velasquez and Steven Richardson.

Velasquez grabbed the early race lead and paced the field from the bottom groove. The field singled out with Velasquez leading around the bottom. At halfway, Velasquez led over Richardson and Brian Herbert, with Velasquez moving the field up to the top groove right against the wall.

Velasquez continued to lead while Jeremy Campbell jumped to third and battled Richardson for second. Velasquez maintained his lead to pick up his first feature win of the season and become the fourth different feature winner in four races for the United Rebel Sprint Series.

Second was Richardson and third was Campbell.

Taylor Velasquez became the latest United Rebel Sprint Series winner of the season, when the tour for IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars made its first visit of the season to Saltcity Racing. (Photo by Carl Larson)

IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks were next and started with a front row of Blake Holmes and Garrit Caswell and Cody Williams and Dillon Richards got to the front following the third attempt to start the race.

After five laps Williams held a slight advantage over Richards, with both cars running identical lap times, while Tyler Heath was hanging out in third place, trying to close in on the lead battle.

Over the final five laps Williams was able to hold off a very fast Richards. Third went to Heath.

Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods started with a front row of Jimmy Brozek and Huffman. 

Huffman grabbed the early race lead as Brozek settled into second and Justin Lampe into third. Lampe jumped to the second position and started chasing down Huffman while Brozek lost third to a charging Eddie Ingram.

Laps wound down for Huffman as he drove to the comfortable checkers ahead of Lampe and Ingram.

Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds finished the night with a 20-lap main event.

Pole starter Sproul gained a four-car length advantage right away while Randy Wilson settled into second and Casey Jo Gemmill sat in third.

Sproul led the field to a restart with 16 laps to go and easily built a big lead before cautions on laps seven and eight. He’d lead the field to a restart with nine laps to go and go onto the win ahead of Gemmill and Wilson.

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