LOCUST GROVE, Ark.—Terry Phillips drew first blood Friday night as the United States Modified Touring Series kicked off the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s National Championship at the Batesville Motor Speedway.

Zack VanderBeek and Dereck Ramirez led the field to the green flag for the start of the 35-lap main event with Ramirez taking command at the end of lap 1, but Jeremy Payne squirted out of the second row and assumed control one lap later.

Payne held the top spot for the next 25 laps but his former teammate, Phillips, was methodically working his way to the front from the ninth starting spot.

Using lapped traffic to his advantage, Phillips roared past Payne in turn 3 and led for the first time with 28 laps in the books.

A caution with three laps to go set up a short-distance shoot-out to the finish line, but Phillips was up to the task and sailed away for the victory and a $3,000 payday.

It was the 18th career USMTS victory for Phillips, which ties him on the all-time list with Payne.

VanderBeek snuck past Payne on the restart but Payne battled back and captured the runner-up spot while Rodney Sanders saw his eight-race win streak come to an end with a fourth-place finish.

Rick Beebe opened up ‘The Hunt’ with a fifth-place finish while Scott Crigler, Joe Duvall, Jeff Wells, Ramirez and Chad Wheeler rounded out the top 10.

Sanders, who started 12th after advancing from the first Real Racing Wheels “B” Main, earned the Mesilla Valley Transportation Hard Charger Award and grabbed the lead in the point standings after Stormy Scott struggled to a 13th-place finish after needing a provisional to earn a berth in the feature race.

Sanders leads Scott by 10 points (182 to 172), while Kelly Shryock is just another nine markers back in third with 163 points. Daniel Hilsabeck (161), Johnny Scott (160), Ramirez (153), VanderBeek (150), Duvall (126), Bryan Rowland (122) and Beebe (116) complete the top 10 in the rankings after round 1 of the championship grind.

Action continues Saturday as the USMTS Modifieds return to the Springfield Raceway in Springfield, Mo., after a four-year hiatus. Last time at Springfield, Phillips and Payne were still teammates and Payne held off Phillips for the win in front of their hometown fans.

Weekly Springfield USRA Modified racers like four-time track champion Jackie Dalton, Jody Tillman, Brian Green, and Bobby Pearish will be a few of the locals that will strap in and go up against the traveling big guns.

Support classes will include USRA B-Mods, Midwest Mods and Legends Cars. Tickets for the event are $20 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and children 5 and under are free. Pit gates open at 4 p.m. and grandstand gates open at 5:30 with hot laps starting at 6:50 and the first heat race hitting the track at 7:30 p.m.

For more information on Springfield Raceway, log onto www.springfieldraceway.com.

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.comonline or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts or check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Modified Touring Series
The Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s National Championship – Round 1 of 20
Batesville Motor Speedway, Locust Grove, Ark.
Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won. The top 12 drivers in passing points accumulated in the heat races were locked into the “A” Main, with the top 8 re-drawing for starting positions 1-8.

C&R RACING HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (6) 1 Jeff Wells, Truman, Ark.
2. (1) 21 Robby Arnold, Marmaduke, Ark.
3. (4) 88 Chad Wheeler, Muskogee, Okla.
4. (5) 2 Kenny Gaddis, Hallsville, Texas.
5. (2) 21t Lance Town (R), Louisburg, Kan.
6. (3) KEG1 Jeremy Russell, Jonesboro, Ark.
7. (7) 7c Mike Cook, Conway, Ark.
8. (8) 5* Alan Davis, Conway, Ark.
9. (9) 57j Freddy Hogrefe, Cameron, Okla.

JRi SHOCKS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
2. (4) 12 Scott Crigler, Alton, Mo.
3. (6) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
4. (7) J17 Jake Gallardo (R), Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (8) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa.
6. (2) 2 Grant Junghans, Manhattan, Kan.
7. (5) 7 Sean Gaddis, Hallsville, Texas.
8. (3) 5 Jordan Turner, Batesville, Ark.

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (2) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
2. (3) 22b Rick Beebe, Shawnee, Kan.
3. (6) 99h Trevor Hunt, Kearney, Mo.
4. (7) F1 Tyson Franks, Batesville, Ark.
5. (8) 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan.
6. (1) 7d Austin Theiss (R), Hockley, Texas.
7. (5) 97 Cade Dillard (R), Robeline, La.
8. (4) C4 Leon Cloninger, Plumerville, Ark.

PBM PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (1) 186 Jeremy Payne, Springfield, Mo.
2. (2) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla.
3. (6) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
4. (7) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
5. (5) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa.
6. (4) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (3) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (8) 41b Bryce Clark, Conway, Ark.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (2) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
2. (1) J17 Jake Gallardo (R), Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (4) 21t Lance Town (R), Louisburg, Kan.
4. (8) 97 Cade Dillard (R), Robeline, La.
5. (3) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa.
6. (7) 7c Mike Cook, Conway, Ark., GRT/Hatfield, $80.
7. (5) KEG1 Jeremy Russell, Jonesboro, Ark., DirtWorks/Mullins, $80.
8. (6) 7d Austin Theiss (R), Hockley, Texas, LG2/Durham, $100.
9. (10) C4 Leon Cloninger, Plumerville, Ark., Shaw/Kraft, $80.
10. (9) 5* Alan Davis, Conway, Ark., Shaw/Davis, $80.
11. (11) 57j Freddy Hogrefe, Cameron, Okla., Hughes/BMS, $80.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (4) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa.
2. (2) 2 Kenny Gaddis, Hallsville, Texas.
3. (3) 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan.
4. (8) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (1) F1 Tyson Franks, Batesville, Ark.
6. (6) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (5) 2 Grant Junghans, Manhattan, Kan.
8. (7) 7 Sean Gaddis, Hallsville, Texas, Harris/Brown, $80.
9. (9) 5 Jordan Turner, Batesville, Ark., Shaw/Mullins, $80.
10. (10) 41b Bryce Clark, Conway, Ark., BMS/Marks, $80

CASEY’S GENERAL STORES “A” MAIN (35 laps):
1. (9) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Hatfield, 35, $3000.
2. (4) 186 Jeremy Payne, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 35, $1500.
3. (1) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, LG2/Sput’s, 35, $1200.
4. (12) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustom/Geddes, 35, $1100.
5. (7) 22b Rick Beebe, Shawnee, Kan., MBCustom/Mullins, 35, $900.
6. (3) 12 Scott Crigler, Alton, Mo., Hughes/Patriot, 35, $700.
7. (8) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustom/Mullins, 35, $700.
8. (5) 1 Jeff Wells, Truman, Ark., TRE/Marion, 35, $550.
9. (2) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Ramirez/Cornett, 35, $600.
10. (11) 88 Chad Wheeler, Muskogee, Okla., GRT/Durham, 35, $450.
11. (13) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, Skyrocket/ASI, 35, $500.
12. (18) 97 Cade Dillard (R), Robeline, La., LG2/105, 35, $375.
13. (21) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., LG2/ProPower, 35, $425.
14. (19) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., Ramirez/Cornett, 35, $400.
15. (20) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, 35, $400.
16. (16) 21t Lance Town (R), Louisburg, Kan., Hughes/Driskell, 35, $350.
17. (17) 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan., GRT/Hatfield, 35, $250.
18. (15) 2 Kenny Gaddis, Hallsville, Texas, Hughes/PTS, 30, $250.
19. (10) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla., LG2/ProPower, 28, $400.
20. (6) 99h Trevor Hunt, Kearney, Mo., GRT/Spanel, 25, $300.
21. (14) J17 Jake Gallardo (R), Las Cruces, N.M., LG2/AOS, 24, $400.
22. (22) 2 Grant Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., FastMaster/Sput’s, 3, $300.
DNS – 21 Robby Arnold, Marmaduke, Ark., Bandit/Mullins, 0, $250.
DNS – F1 Tyson Franks, Batesville, Ark., Shaw/Brooks, 0, $250.

(R) = Rookie of the Year contender.

Lap Leaders: Ramirez 1-2, Payne 3-27, 28-35 Phillips.
Total Laps Led: Payne 25, Phillips 8, Ramirez 2.
Margin of Victory: 0.672 second.
Provisional Starters: S. Scott, Junghans.
Sybesma Graphics Pole Award: Wells.
Mesilla Valley Transportation Hard Charger: Sanders (started 12th, finished 4th).
Next Race: Saturday, Aug. 2, Springfield (Mo.) Speedway.
Hunt for the Casey’s National Championship Points: Sanders 182, S. Scott 172, Shryock 163, Hilsabeck 161, J. Scott 160, Ramirez 153, VanderBeek 150, Duvall 126, Rowland 122, Beebe 116.
Rookie of the Year Points: Gallardo 1736, Adam Penn 1436, Dylan Smith 1298, Dillard 1256, Theiss 890.
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year Points: ProPower 338, Sput’s 331, Geddes 302, Mullins 227, ASI 160.
Tiger Quick Change Manufacturers Championship Points: LG2 378, MBCustom 354, Ramirez 295, GRT 288, Hughes 243.

USMTS PR & Photo

9-to-1 for Terry Phillips at Batesville for USMTS