By LONNIE WHEATLEY
Special to The Hays Daily News
DODGE CITY, Kan. (August 20, 2013) - Some of the top wingless Sprint Car drivers from the Southwest are set to sling the clay throughout Oklahoma and Kansas for four nights, with the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park hosting the final two rounds of action on Friday and Saturday night.
The Inaugural "Freedom Tour" featuring the wingless 360-ci Sprint Cars of the USAC Southwest series fires off on Wednesday night at Creek County Speedway near Tulsa, moves on to Wichita's 81 Speedway on Thursday and then concludes with two big nights of action at Dodge City Raceway Park.
All four nights of USAC Southwest "Freedom Tour" competition offer up a $2,500 winner's share with both legs of DCRP action firing off at 7:30 p.m.
The USAC Southwest Sprint Cars will be joined on Friday night's card by DCRP's stock car championship chase divisions of IMCA Stock Cars and Thunder Cars with Saturday's USAC Southwest tilt bolstered by the IMCA Modifieds and United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds.
The Southwest contingent will be led into Oklahoma and Kansas by reigning Arizona Sprint Car champion Charles Davis, Jr., of Buckeye, AZ. A multi-time champion in the Southwest, "Chargin' Charles" has picked off four series wins thus far in 2013 to rank second in points.
Yuma's Mike Martin, who bested USAC's National ranks with his 360-ci powerplant under the hood last fall, will be among the Southwest invaders as well while also providing a second entry for Lindsay, OK, female racer Harli White for the opening three legs of Freedom Tour action.
Among others leaving the deserts of Arizona in the rearview for a taste of Oklahoma and Kansas racing include Shon Deskins, Chris Bonneau and Josh Pelkey, each of whom rank among the top ten in USAC Southwest Sprint Car points, along with Tom Lee, Michael Curtis, Tye Mihocko, Tony Everhart and versatile Las Cruces shoe Rick Ziehl.
A number of local racers are expected to defend their home turf against the Southwest invaders over each round of Freedom Tour action as well.
In DCRP championship chase action entering the weekend, Austin Allen holds a 15-point edge over Jon Herring, Jr., in the Modified title chase with Jesse Smith just another six points back in third, Jeff Kaup is just 21 points ahead of Clay Sellard in the Sport Mod championship battle, Billy Phelps has amassed a 112 point advantage in the Stock Car ranks despite being shut out of victory lane and Matt O'Hair holds a 42-point lead in Thunder Cars.
Tickets for adults are just $12 for the Friday night portion and $15 for the Saturday Freedom Tour finale. Children 11 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
Only two of the 18 scheduled nights of competition at DCRP remain following this weekend's Freed Tour double including championship chase action on August 31 and the season ending Jerry Soderberg Championship Memorial Event on September 28 that includes URSS Sprint Cars along with each of the track's regular divisions.
Dodge City Raceway Park is located on the south edge of Dodge City, KS, 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 www.dodgecityraceway.com.