HUMBOLDT, Kan. — Mitch Keeter recorded his first ever United States Modified Touring Series victory Thursday against what may have been the strongest field of competitors he’s ever been a part of.


Starting on the front row of the 40-lap main event next to polesitter Cade Dillard-a five-time USMTS winner already this season-Keeter never flinched as he led all 40 laps while holding off Dillard and defending USRA Modified national champion Lucas Schott on opening night of the King of America VII Modified Nationals presented by Summit Racing.


Dillard was likely licking his chops as the leaders approached heavy lapped traffic, but the race’s first caution on lap 16 gave Keeter a clear track ahead for the remainder of the race.


The win was worth $3,000, but the winner’s circle at the Humboldt Speedway has become a familiar landing spot for the veteran racer from Webb City, Mo., who had racked up wins in three of the first four nights of racing here in 2017.


While Dillard and Schott settled for second and third behind Keeter, Josh Angst finished fourth behind his fellow Minnesota driver and Dereck Ramirez rounded out the top five while earning the Wehrs Machine “Trick Move of the Race” Award.


Terry Phillips came from twelfth to get sixth at the finish line, Johnny Scott passed ten cars en route to a seventh-place finish, defending USMTS national champ Jason Hughes was eighth, Brad Dierks took the ninth spot and Stormy Scott completed the top ten.


Bryan Rowland, who finished eleventh, garnered his second KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award of the year after passing 13 cars from his 24th starting spot in the MSD Central Region lid-lifter.


The King of America VII Modified Nationals presented by Summit Racing continues Friday and Saturday.


On Friday, each driver will compete in three heat races from three different starting positions, and passing points will be combined for all three heats with the top 12 in overall points locked into Saturday’s $10,000-to-win, $1,000-to-start “A” Main.


The next 12 drivers will be locked into Saturday’s “B” Main, the next 12 into Saturday’s “C” Main and the remainder will run in “Last Chance” races on Saturday.


The Iron Man Challenge featuring Out-Pace USRA B-Mods will run a complete show of heat races and main events both days, racing for $1,500 to win Friday and $1,000 to win Saturday.


Tickets on Friday are $20 while Saturday’s show is $25. Youth ages 6-12 get in for $5 Friday and $10 on Saturday. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge all weekend.


Gates open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7:30 on Friday. Saturday’s start time is 6:30.


1. (2) 1 Mitch Keeter, Webb City, Mo., GRT/Yeoman, 40, $3000.
2. (1) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., MBCustom/ASI, 40, $1600.
3. (4) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., MBCustom/Sput’s, 40, $1200.
4. (5) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn., MBCustom/Sput’s, 40, $800.
5. (8) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., LG2/Cornett, 40, $800.
6. (12) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 40, $700.
7. (17) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Durham, 40, $600.
8. (15) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $550.
9. (3) 29d Brad Dierks, Clarence, Iowa, MasterSbilt/Sperry, 40, $425.
10. (18) 2s Stormy Scott, Cameron, Mo., GRT/Mullins, 40, $450.
11. (24) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla., BlackWidow/ProPower, 40, $425.
12. (9) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustom/Hatfield, 40, $400.
13. (20) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo., Rage/GMPP, 40, $375.
14. (21) 49jr Jake Timm, Winona, Minn., MBCustom/Sput’s, 40, $350.
15. (6) 2x Brady Gerdes, Villard, Minn., SSR/Sput’s, 40, $275.
16. (11) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D., MBCustom/Durham, 40, $300.
17. (26) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Sput’s, 40, $300.
18. (16) 9 Kent Arment, Aberdeen, S.D., MasterSbilt/Mullins, 40, $250.
19. (14) 4 Dan Powers (R), Wichita, Kan., BillsBuilt/KBS, 39, $300.
20. (22) 81 Mike Densberger, Lincoln, Neb., Jet/Speedway, 39, $300.
21. (7) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., LG2/ProPower, 33, $250.
22. (25) 99 Jesse Sobbing, Malvern, Iowa, Jet/GMPP, 19, $300.
23. (13) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan., Venom/Driskell, 19, $250.
24. (10) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Harcourt, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, 16, $300.
25. (19) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustom/Hatfield, 12, $300.
26. (23) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla., Hughes/Geddes, 10, $300.


-USMTS Press Release

-Photo Credit: Todd Boyd

Keeter Claims First Career USMTS Win at Humbolt