By LONNIE WHEATLEY
Special to The Hays Daily News
DODGE CITY, Kan. (March 30, 2013) - Cody Gearhart cracked victory lane in the headliner 20-lap IMCA Modified feature event in Saturday's season opening card atop the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park clay oval.
While Gearhart was the modified ace, other opening day winners included Clay Sellard (United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds), Shannon Maughlin (IMCA Stock Cars), Scott Messino (Thunder Cars) and Jarett Lunow (Hornets) as 89 cars filled the pit area in the 2013 lidlifter.
Hailing from Turpin, OK, Gearhart moved from his fourth starting position into second at the outset and then overtook race-long leader Mike Lunow on the 12th round and went on to post the win in front of Lunow, 12th-starter Kyle Rohleder, Austin Allen and Randy Wilson.
"I wasn't sure if I was gonna be able to get around him, he moved up some and I had to work for it," commented Gearhart, who picked off one win at DCRP last season.
A track champion in the United Wireless IMCA Sport Modified ranks two years ago, Clay Sellard raced from the pole position to win the Sport Mod feature in wire-to-wire fashion in front of Josh Appel, who made a move from fifth to second in the opening rounds and held the position the rest of the way. After scratching from his heat race, Jeff Kaup rallied from 17th for the show position with Matthew Crowell and Daniel Gottschalk.
Shannon Maughlin took the lead as the white flag flew to emerge atop a hard-fought 20-lap IMCA Stock Car feature. While Maughlin worked forward from ninth, Mike Kennedy held off Billy Phelps and Brandon Fisher over the opening half dozen circuits before Fisher took command.
Maughlin worked through a host of challengers before finally edging ahead of Fisher for the win on the final lap, with Phelps, Josh Crombie and Kennedy filling out the top five.
Dustin Walker rebounded from an early tangle in the 20-lap Thunder Car feature only to surrender the point in the final handful of circuits to Scott Messino, who snared the win after starting ninth.
Cody Davis paced the initial eight rounds of the Thunder Car feature before Toby Schield battled into the lead only to pull to the infield with race-ending mechanical woes under a lap 15 caution. Walker assumed the point after rallying from the tail only to have Messino battle into the lead for keeps with Walker, Bryan Habiger, Davis and Matt O'Hair in the top five.
Jarett Lunow picked up right where he left off in the Hornet ranks. After topping last year's season finale, Lunow battled past Marci O'Hair halfway through the 10-lap main event on the inner asphalt oval and went on to pick up the win in front of Brandon Bogner and O'Hair.
Next on the slate at Dodge City Raceway Park is the TORC Off Road Trucks on Friday and Saturday, April 12-13. Tickets to the TORC event are available at http://torc.eventbrite.com/#.
Dodge City Raceway Park Season Opener - March 30 Results:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 88j-Jack Kirchoff, 2. A2-Randy Wilson, 3. 96jr-Jon Herring, Jr., 4. 0-Kyle Rohleder, 5. 98-Danny Keller, 6. 32-Jason Edwards, 7. 1n-Nick Link.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 25-Kale Beavers, 2. 44-Mike Lunow, 3. 47-Barry Maupin, 4. 22k-Brad Keller, 5. 01-Jesse Smith, 6. 3h-Ryan Heger, 7. B21-Chadd Brown.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 1m-Cody Gearhart, 2. 01x-Beau Davis, 3. 96-Jon Herring, 4. 38-Scott Brown, 5. 02-Tyler Wilson, 6. 7n-William Nusser, 7. 42-John Fabrizius.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 6-Jason Schoenberger, 2. 18-Austin Allen, 3. 36-Travis Simmons, 4. 22T-Trent Gray, 5. 16-Kevin Gray, 6. 52-Clayton Hogie.
"B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 0-Kyle Rohleder, 2. 22k-Brad Keller, 3. 01-Jesse Smith, 4. 22T-Trent Gray, 5. 98-Danny Keller, 6. 02-Tyler Wilson, 7. 1n-Nick Link, 8. 42-John Fabrizius, 9. 7n-William Nusser, 10. B21-Chadd Brown, 11. 3h-Ryan Heger, 12. 38-Scott Brown (DNS), 13. 32-Jason Edwards (DNS), 14. 16-Kevin Gray (DNS), 15. 52-Clayton Hogie (DNS).
"A" Feature (20 Laps): 1. 1m-Cody Gearhart, 2. 44-Mike Lunow, 3. 0-Kyle Rohleder, 4. 18-Austin Allen, 5. A2-Randy Wilson, 6. 25-Kale Beavers, 7. 22T-Trent Gray, 8. 96-Jon Herring, 9. 42-John Fabrizius, 10. 98-Danny Keller, 11. 01-Jesse Smith, 12. 1n-Nick Link, 13. 47-Barry Maupin, 14. 02-Tyler Wilson, 15. 01x-Beau Davis, 16. 36-Travis Simmons, 17. 88j-Jack Kirchoff, 18. 6-Jason Schoenberger, 19. 22k-Brad Keller, 20. 96jr-Jon Herring, Jr. (DNS).
United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 65j-Josh Appel, 2. 3d-Daniel Gottschalk, 3. 2c-Matthew Crowell, 4. 21j-Jeremy Sigler, 5. 75-Randle McRoberts, 6. 7b-Brian Peitz, 7. 3*-Adam Stenzel.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 44-Austin Walker, 2. 10T-Toby Witthuhn, 3. B4-Jared Baird, 4. 2-Colby Hagans, 5. 39-Brian May, 6. 37-Bart Baker, 7. 270-Robert Douthit (DNS).
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 85c-Clay Sellard, 2. 56m-Mike Appel, 3. 91-Donald Kaup, 4. 15b-Andy Barton, 5. 32-Jeremy Louse, 6. 92-Jeff Kaup (DNS).
"A" Feature (20 Laps): 1. 85c-Clay Sellard, 2. 65j-Josh Appel, 3. 92-Jeff Kaup, 4. 2c-Matthew Crowell, 5. 3d-Daniel Gottschalk, 6. B4-Jared Baird, 7. 56m-Mike Appel, 8. 21j-Jeremy Sigler, 9. 39-Brian May, 10. 2-Colby Hagans, 11. 10T-Toby Witthuhn, 12. 37-Bart Baker, 13. 91-Donald Kaup, 14. 75-Randle McRoberts, 15. 32-Jeremy Louse, 16. 3*-Adam Stenzel, 17. 270-Robert Douthit, 18. 44-Austin Walker, 19. 15b-Andy Barton, 20. 7b-Brian Peitz (DNS).
IMCA Stock Cars:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 20m-Perry Misner, 2. 45-Mike Kennedy, 3. 11m-Billy Phelps, 4. 33-Marlin Hogie, 5. 17m-Shannon Maughlin, 6. 55-Keith Riley, 7. 19-Brett Copeland, 8. 22-Michael Pepper, 9. 07-Justin Temaat.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 10-Dusty Witthuhn, 2. R0C-Cody Williams, 3. 57-Josh Crombie, 4. 14-Brandon Fisher, 5. 22a-Ruben Eichman, 6. 80-Rich Wadel, 7. 88-Mel Law, 8. 9-Derrick Sprott.
"A" Feature (20 Laps): 1. 17m-Shannon Maughlin, 2. 14-Brandon Fisher, 3. 11m-Billy Phelps, 4. 57-Josh Crombie, 5. 45-Mike Kennedy, 6. 20m-Perry Misner, 7. 55-Keith Riley, 8. 80-Rich Wadel, 9. R0C-Cody Williams, 10. 10-Dusty Witthuhn, 11. 22a-Ruben Eichman, 12. 19-Brett Copeland, 13. 88-Mel Law, 14. 33-Marlin Hogie, 15. 07-Justin Temaat, 16. 22-Michael Pepper, 17. 9-Derrick Sprott.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 31d-Dustin Walker, 2. 45p-Michael Penrod, 3. 8k-Kevin Tabor, 4. 7-Tom Reed, 5. 8-Will Bauer, 6. 56-Quinton Mead, 7. 50-Raymond Blackburn, 8. 22-Dan Rogers, 9. 25-Adam Duesing.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 91d-Cody Davis, 2. 72T-Toby Schield, 3. 007-Bryan Habiger, 4. 38-Scott Messino, 5. 39-Monte Spurgeon, 6. 11m-W.D. Matteson, 7. 006-Kim Frodin, 8. 2m-Matt O'Hair, 9. 67-Edwin Elliott (DNS).
"A" Feature (20 Laps): 1. 38-Scott Messino, 2. 31d-Dustin Walker, 3. 007-Bryan Habiger, 4. 91d-Cody Davis, 5. 2m-Matt O'Hair, 6. 006-Kim Frodin, 7. 8-Will Bauer, 8. 8k-Kevin Tabor, 9. 72T-Toby Schield, 10. 22-Dan Rogers, 11. 45p-Michael Penrod, 12. 67-Edwin Elliott, 13. 7-Tom Reed, 14. 56-Quinton Mead, 15. 11m-W.D. Matteson, 16. 39-Monte Spurgeon, 17. 50-Raymond Blackburn, 18. 25-Adam Duesing.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 3g-Gage Barton, 2. 11m-James Phelps, 3. 29-Brandon Bogner, 4. 17j-James Nightengale, 5. 10-Marci O'Hair, 6. 19c-Cheryl Copeland, 7. 7-Jarett Lunow (DNS).
"A" Feature (15 Laps): 1. 7-Jarett Lunow, 2. 29-Brandon Bogner, 3. 10-Marci O'Hair, 4. 11m-James Phelps, 5. 3g-Gage Barton, 6. 19c-Cheryl Copeland, 7. 17j-James Nightengale.