VIVIAN, La.—Jake Gallardo’s first USMTS triumph happened 875 miles from home Saturday night when he captured the feature win in the 5th Annual USMTS Cajun Clash presented by Horseshoe Bossier City.
Just five days shy of his 23rd birthday, the second-generation driver from Las Cruces, N.M., parlayed a front row start into a wire-to-wire win in the 50-lap finale at the Ark-La-Tex Speedway in Vivian, La.
“After the weekend we’ve had so far, this is sure a good way to end it,” said Gallardo, who failed to advance to the main event on Thursday or Friday. “We’ll take this one.”
A trio of early-race cautions slowed the momentum early on, but after the 13th lap the green remained out until the yellow returned with six laps to go when fifth-running Cade Dillard slowed with a flat tire.
After another quick caution before a lap could be completed, the race resumed with fellow New Mexico racers Stormy Scott and Johnny Scott trailing Gallardo and looking for a way around but Gallardo nailed a flawless restart and rode his momentum for the last six laps to score the $4,000 winner’s share of the prize money.
“The cautions actually helped me out quite a bit,” Gallardo admitted in victory lane. “I knew Stormy was right there and when we got to lapped traffic my line was so good I was worried about changing my lane to pass them. I think something broke on that final restart. I was just hanging on at the end.”
Sure enough, closer inspection revealed a broken pull bar on Gallardo’s No. J17 machine.
Stormy Scott, who dominated Thursday’s feature race, settled for the runner-up paycheck while twin brother Johnny remained third at the finish line.
Rodney Sanders was fourth and Chris Brown finished fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Ryan Gustin, Chris Henigan, Zack VanderBeek, Jason Hughes and Jason Ingalls.
An open practice session from 6-9 p.m. kicks things off next Wednesday, March 2, at the Southern Oklahoma Speedway in Ardmore, Okla., for the fourth and final tripleheader weekend of USMTS Winter Speedweeks. Admission to the grandstands is free with pit passes $20.
Racing begins Thursday at 7 p.m. USMTS Modifieds will be looking to take home a $2,000 winner’s share of the prize money with Limited Mods competing for $400 to win. Grandstands are $15 for adults and kids ages 6-12 are $5 with children 5 and under free. Pit passes are $35.
On Friday, the first heat race rolls onto the track at 7 p.m. with USMTS Modifieds racing for $3,000 to win, Limited Mods $500 to win and Hobby Stocks $300 to win. Grandstands are $20 for adults and kids ages 6-12 are $5 with children 5 and under free. Pit passes are $35.
Saturday’s USMTS Winter Speedweeks finale starts at 6 p.m. USMTS Modifieds race for $4,000 while Limited Mods pay $600 to win and Hobby Stocks $400 to win. Grandstands are $20 for adults and kids ages 6-12 are $5 with children 5 and under free. Pit passes are $40.
Jason Hughes was the winner in 2008 and 2009 at the former Lake Country Speedway, and picked up the most recent win here this past November to cap off his 2015 USMTS national championship season. Rodney Sanders and Stormy Scott each have three wins in Ardmore, Ryan Gustin has two and one-time victory lane visitors include Johnny Scott, Thomas Tillison Jr. and Triston Dycus.
The Southern Oklahoma Speedway is a semi-banked 3/8-mile clay oval located 0.7 mile east of I-35 (exit 29) on US 70, then 1.8 miles south on US 77. For more information, call 405-627-1766 or click www.southernoklahomaspeedway.com to visit the track’s official website.
For unfortunate fans unable to make one or more of these blockbuster events, every lap of every race at every event during USMTS Winter Speedweeks will be broadcast live via pay-per-view at www.RacinDirt.comm/LiveVideo.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts and Instagram at www.instagram.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv.
USMTS PRODUCTION JARS “A” MAIN Results (50 laps):
1. (1) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., LG2/AOS, 50, $4000.
2. (2) 2s Stormy Scott, Arroyo Hondo, N.M., Lethal/Mullins, 50, $2700.
3. (3) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., Lethal/Durham, 50, $1800.
4. (15) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustom/Geddes, 50, $1200.
5. (4) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas, LG2/Durham, 50, $900.
6. (5) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, 50, $800.
7. (14) 16 Chris Henigan, Marshall, Texas, MBCustom/Sput’s, 50, $700.
8. (9) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, LG2/Sput’s, 50, $650.
9. (13) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 50, $600.
10. (19) 12 Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas, IRP/PTS, 50, $550.
11. (6) 2 Casey Arneson, Fargo, N.D., GRT/Durham, 50, $500.
12. (10) 4w Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustom/Hatfield, 50, $450.
13. (17) 21 David Winslett, Bossier City, La., GRT/TwinCity, 50, $425.
14. (21) 2g Kenny Gaddis, Hallsville, Texas, Hughes/PTS, 50, $300.
15. (8) 12 Lucas Lee (R), Paris, Tenn., LLM/Hovis, 45, $375.
16. (22) 4m Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas, Rocket/LRE, 44, $350.
17. (7) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., MBCustom/ASI, 44, $400.
18. (24) C8 Timothy Culp, Sheridan, Ark., Hughes/Sput’s, 39, $300.
19. (26) 6 Brock Bauman (R), Eureka, Ill., GRT/Mullins, 36, $350.
20. (20) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustom/Wornhor, 35, $400.
21. (23) 14t Triston Dycus, Waxahachie, Texas, GRT/Wells, 31, $350.
22. (11) 5a Josh Beckham, Choudrant, La., GRT/Sput’s, 26, $300.
23. (18) 89c Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas, GRT/Durham, 25, $400.
24. (16) 10 Austin Arneson, Fargo, N.D., GRT/Durham, 14, $400.
25. (12) 8 Kyle Strickler (R), Mooresville, N.C., Harris/VED, 13, $350.
26. (25) 99 Jesse Sobbing, Malvern, Iowa, Harris/GMPP, 10, $400.
-USMTS Press Release & Photo