By LONNIE WHEATLEY
Special to The Hays Daily News
DODGE CITY, Kan. (September 25, 2012) - They've battled it out over a dozen previous nights atop the 3/8-mile Dodge City Raceway Park clay oval. Now, it comes down to one final night this Saturday to determine the 2012 IMCA Modified track champion.
Only one point separates Cole Traugott and Brendon Gemmill in the Modified title chase entering Saturday's Championship Night event that brings the curtain down on the 2012 racing season at Dodge City Raceway Park.
Saturday's card will also consist of the season-ending event for the United Rebel Sprint Series (URSS) 305-ci Sprint Cars as well as the track's other regularly featured classes of United Wireless IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars, Poor Boy Kustomz Thunder Cars and Hornets.
Hailing from Ponca City, OK, Brendon Gemmill has had the hottest hand of late, winning the most recent pair of event to run his season total to five DCRP triumphs.
But, Traugott's consistency along with a pair of Gemmill absences moved the Woodward, OK, shoe to the top of the point charts. While Gemmill rallied from third to win on the final round on September 15, Traugott rebounded from an early spin down the backstretch to claim third and hold on to the points lead by one mere point.
Traugott will be trying to capture his first track title at DCRP on Saturday, while Gemmill is going for back-to-back Modified track championships.
Eighteen points off the lead pace, Beau Davis enters the finale ranked third with an outside shot at the top spot should both leading contenders run into major problems. Jesse Smith enters Saturday's event fourth in points, with Ryan Heger rounding out the current top five. Mike Martin, Van Gemmill, Kevin Gray, Nick Link and Austin Allen complete the current top ten.
Bart Baker holds a 26-point advantage over Josh Appel in the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Perry Misner has an insurmountable 74-point edge over Brett Copeland in the IMCA Stock Cars, Dan Rogers is virtually out of reach with a 38-point lead over Scott Messino in the Thunder Cars and Dwayne Bowman holds a narrow 6-point advantage over Jarrett Lunow in the Hornets.
Dodge City's Brian Herbert will also try to the put the finishing touches on the URSS National championship, entering the night 34 points ahead of Colorado's Jake Bubak, who topped the July 27 event at DCRP.
Tickets to Saturday's Championship Night season finale are just $15 for adults. Seniors and Military receive a $5 discount, with children 11 and under admitted free if accompanied by an adult. Pit passes are $30.
Racing action gets under way at 7:30 p.m.
Dodge City Raceway Park presents 14 nights of racing over eleven different weekends in 2012. In addition to the five regularly featured classes of competition, special events over the course of the year will include World of Outlaws Sprint Cars, USAC Midgets, ASCS National Tour, NCRA Sprint Cars, URSS 305 Sprints and BST Modifieds.
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.