On the seventh day of the eighth month, the strangest main event of what might be the strangest year ever concluded with somebody who is no stranger to victory lane in the 2020 Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s.
No matter how you look at it, Tanner Mullens finding the finish line first in USMTS action may be the “new normal” after he snagged his fourth win in 17 starts Friday night. Meanwhile, the top three points chasers all failed to crack the top ten for the first time in 26 shows.
Four lead changes in 40 laps—including three different leaders in the final seven laps—made for an exciting feature race for the fans at the Humboldt Speedway and those watching the 14th Annual USMTS Summer Fling presented by VP Racing Fuels live on RacinbDirt.TV.
The 52nd United States Modified Touring Series main event held at ‘The Hummer’ saw Darron Fuqua beat polesitter Kyle Thompson to the flagstand to lead the opening lap over the 24-car field.
Plagued by six cautions, the first occurred on the third lap when four-time series champ Jason Hughes limped to a stop at the top of turn two. Currently third in the standings, he was the first to retire from the race and failed to score his series-best 14th win in Humboldt.
Fuqua, seeking his first USMTS triumph, held the top spot for five laps before Hunter Marriott blasted around the outside in turn two to take control of the race.
Last year’s Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year remained the leader as he navigated lapped traffic like a veteran while Dereck Ramirez gave chase. Ramirez, however, suddenly suffered mechanical problems and exited the race on lap 31.
Marriott remained the leader for another two laps as he enjoyed sparred with Tyler Wolff for control of the event. Wolff finally took charge on lap 34 and Marriott was out of the race one lap later with technical issues of his own.
Another two laps went by before Wolff slowed on the racing surface with a flat left rear tire, bringing out the final caution of the race—but not the last fender bender.
Tanner Mullens (02) battles with Dereck Ramirez early in the main event.
A pass of Fuqua two laps earlier for third place proved to be fruitful for Mullens who assumed the lead for the restart with four laps to go.
Fuqua, who never drifted farther back than third throughout the race, could not muster the strength to knock off Mullens though as the 27-year-old from Wichita, Kansas, took the checkered flag with two car lengths to spare over his fellow Sunflower state speedster.
It was the fourth win of the season for Mullens whose breakthrough win came earlier this spring at the Lucas Oil Speedway—the site of the next USMTS race. He’s the 20th different driver to win at Humboldt.
Behind Fuqua at the finish line, Terry Phillips was third after starting 11th on the grid. The third Kansas racer in the top five, Tyler Davis finished fourth while New Mexico long distance traveler Jake Gallardo earned the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award by passing ten cars to come home fifth.
Although not officially one of the feature’s yellow flags, the caution light shined on the final lap when Thursday night’s winner, Rodney Sanders, looped his machine in the final corner and was joined by six others in a pileup that blocked the track from bottom to top.
It was the first time this year that Sanders did not finish among the top ten.
Calvin Iverson pocketed a sixth-place paycheck while Thompson, Cody Jolly, Dustin Robinson and Carlos Ahumada Jr. rounded out the top ten on the final score sheets.
Slick Mist Show-Me Shootout Saturday: After a spectacular mid-week show earlier this summer, the USMTS makes its traditional August return to Lucas Oil Speedway on Saturday for the 11th annual Slick Mist Show-Me Shootout presented by Foley Equipment.
A big night of action is on tap with $3,000 going to the winner of the feature. Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods, O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks and American Racer will also compete, as well as the American Racer USRA Stock Cars as a special guest class running in a $400-to-win feature.
Tanner Mullens of Wichita, Kansas, earned his first career USMTS feature win at Lucas Oil Speedway on June 3, taking command when race leader Terry Phillips suffered a mechanical issue with four laps remaining. Phillips, who has 32 career USMTS victories, is the only two-time winner of this event.
Dereck Ramirez earned the Show-Me Shootout victory at Lucas Oil Speedway one year ago. Rodney Sanders won this event in 2019 and Stormy Scott won a thriller here in 2018 one year after the 2017 show was rained out. Zack VanderBeek, Johnny Scott, Ryan Gustin, Jeremy Payne, Jason Krohn and Kelly Shryock have also won with the USMTS at the “Diamond of Dirt Tracks.”
The Lucas Oil Speedway is a 3/8-mile semi-banked clay oval located 0.2 mile south of US 54 on SR 83, then east. The physical address is 18842 Speedway Dr, Wheatland, MO 65779. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.
Twenty-one VIP luxury suites, HD Jumbo-Tron screen, stadium-style Musco Sports Lighting, a Bose Sound System, go-kart slick track, the Diamond Bar, Track Treasures Gift Shop, the best track food in the country and paved pits are a few of the spectacular amenities setting the Diamond of Dirt apart.
Gates open at 4 p.m. with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:05. Admission for adults (16+) is $20 while seniors (62+) and military get in for $17. Youth (6-15) are $10 and kids 5 and under are free. A family pass is only $40. Pit passes are $40.
Along with regular ticket options, fans have the “Beat the Heat and Get a Suite” opportunity with individual tickets $40. Spectators can sit in air-conditioned comfort or view the action from seats outside, overlooking the front stretch.
For ticket questions or information for any event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at [email protected] for more information.
For more information check out lucasoilspeedway.com. In addition, fans can get social on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Currently, the 2020 schedule for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s is highlighted by 44 nights of racing at 27 unique dirt ovals for the 22nd season of competition for the world’s Best of the Best in dirt modified racing.
To connect with the USMTS check out USMTS.com, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, check us out on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Keep up to speed by joining our email list
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United States Modified Touring Series
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s
14th Annual Summer Fling presented by VP Racing Fuels
Humboldt Speedway, Humboldt, Kan.
Friday, Aug. 7, 2020
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder and laps completed. The top 12 in heat race passing points advanced to the Casey’s “A” Main with the top-8 drawing for starting positions 1-8.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (7) 4w Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
3. (5) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis.
4. (8) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
5. (3) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
6. (9) 10W Hunter Wilbanks (R), Lakeland, Tenn.
7. (4) 8C Chris Clark, Jackson, Wyo.
8. (6) R63 Riley Whitworth (R), Humboldt, Kan.
9. (2) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
2. (6) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
3. (3) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (7) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
5. (8) 00 Cody Jolly (R), Jasper, Mo.
6. (2) G3 Brendon Gemmill (R), Goddard, Kan.
7. (5) 11N Gene Nicholas, Lowell, Ark.
8. (4) 7 Treyton Gann (R), Ponca City, Okla.
9. (9) 227 Chase Domer, Nevada, Mo.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (1) 292 Kyle Thompson, Joplin, Mo.
2. (3) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
3. (9) 65T Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan.
4. (4) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (2) 9D8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan.
6. (8) 27 Dave Cain, Corcoran, Minn.
7. (6) 18JR Chase Sigg, Iola, Kan.
8. (5) 88R A.J. Vasquez, Garden City, Mich.
9. (7) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
MSD PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (2) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
2. (6) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan.
3. (3) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
4. (7) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., Canutillo, Texas.
5. (1) 90 Terry Schultz, Sedalia, Mo.
6. (4) 10 Dustin Robinson (R), Post, Texas.
7. (5) 38C Jason Pursley, Hermitage, Mo.
8. (8) 2G Brandon Givens (R), Wichita, Kan.
9. (9) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (10 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., Canutillo, Texas.
2. (3) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (4) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
4. (2) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
5. (6) G3 Brendon Gemmill (R), Goddard, Kan.
6. (5) 90 Terry Schultz, Sedalia, Mo., MBCustoms/Mullins.
7. (11) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
8. (7) 8C Chris Clark, Jackson, Wyo., GRT/Cornett.
9. (8) 18JR Chase Sigg, Iola, Kan., MBCustoms/Sigg.
10. (10) 88R A.J. Vasquez, Garden City, Mich., Hughes/Farris.
11. (9) R63 Riley Whitworth (R), Humboldt, Kan., GRT/.
12. (12) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (10 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (2) 00 Cody Jolly (R), Jasper, Mo.
3. (6) 10 Dustin Robinson (R), Post, Texas.
4. (4) 9D8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan.
5. (12) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
6. (5) 27 Dave Cain, Corcoran, Minn., MBCustoms/KSE.
7. (10) 2G Brandon Givens (R), Wichita, Kan., Hughes/Mullins.
8. (3) 10W Hunter Wilbanks (R), Lakeland, Tenn., MBCustoms/Christian.
9. (9) 7 Treyton Gann (R), Ponca City, Okla., Skyrocket/Stoen.
11. (7) 11N Gene Nicholas, Lowell, Ark., Hughes/Kelly.
12. (11) 227 Chase Domer, Nevada, Mo., GRT/Schultz.
13. (8) 38C Jason Pursley, Hermitage, Mo., GRT/Midstate.
CASEY’S “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (6) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 40.
2. (2) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan., MBCustoms/Driskell, 40.
3. (11) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 40.
4. (7) 65T Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 40.
5. (15) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., GR2/ProPower, 40.
6. (10) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim’s, 40.
7. (1) 292 Kyle Thompson, Joplin, Mo., Shaw/Yeoman, 40.
8. (16) 00 Cody Jolly (R), Jasper, Mo., MBCustoms/Yeoman, 40.
9. (18) 10 Dustin Robinson (R), Post, Texas, CAM/OFI, 40.
10. (13) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., Canutillo, Texas, GRT/BMS, 40.
11. (14) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., GR2/ProPower, 40.
12. (23) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., Jet/Speedway, 40.
13. (9) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo., MBCustoms/Durham, 40.
14. (17) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 39.
15. (5) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustoms/Hill, 36.
16. (4) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 35.
17. (19) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustoms/BMS, 33.
18. (8) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., Lethal/Mullins, 32.
19. (3) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 31.
20. (20) 9D8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan., BillsBuilt/Crane, 30.
21. (21) G3 Brendon Gemmill (R), Goddard, Kan., VanderBuilt/Stoen, 21.
22. (22) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 14.
23. (24) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla., GRT/ChevPerf, 5.
24. (12) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 3.
-USMTS Press Release and Photo