Phillips Draws First Blood in USMTS Texas Spring Nationals

Crandall, TX—The most anticipated opening night in the 23-year history of the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s finally took place Friday night and the 11th Annual USMTS Texas Spring Nationals at the RPM Speedway did not disappoint.

Following two weeks of some of the most destructive weather in a generation, race fans in North Texas flocked to the quarter-mile dirt bullring outside of Crandall to watch 71 fire-breathing USMTS Modifieds and 200 cars between all of the classes on the card.

Fito Gallardo of Las Cruces, New Mexico, led the 26-car field to the green flag for the start of the 50-lap main event but it was Terry Phillips of Springfield, Missouri, getting the advantage by the time they returned to the flagstand to complete the first lap.

Tyler Davis joined the action to make it a three-wide battle through the next corner, but Phillips was able to once again pull away as the field circled the racy, wide track again. He eventually increased his advantage to nearly a full straightaway by the end of the fifth lap.

Meanwhile, Gallardo and Davis continued their battle for second with Joe Duvall, Rodney Sanders, Dereck Ramirez, Jake O’Neil and Nathan Smith—who laid down the QA1 quickest qualifying lap earlier in the program—grappling for positions right behind the front trio.

Smith’s hot night turned to a simmer when he got sideways on lap 10 to bring out a yellow flag which sent him to the rear of the field for the restart. Two laps later, Gallardo smacked the backstretch wall and then veered straight into the outer concrete wall in turn three to bring out the race’s fourth caution and a tow truck to carry his injured machine back to the pit area.

With Phillips continuing to hold the point, Ramirez worked his way ahead of Davis for second place on lap 20 and then was gifted a yellow flag two laps later to put him on Phillips’ rear bumper for the restart.

To no avail, the 54-year-old Phillips left his pursuers behind as he streaked away from Ramirez and on to a $10,000 payday.

If a sixth caution had occurred in the final ten laps, Carlos Ahumada Jr. might very well have had something to show Phillips. Ahumada, who started tenth, passed three cars between laps 35 and 40 including O’Neil, Davis and Ramirez.

Despite shaving off nearly a half-second of Phillips’ advantage each of the final eight laps, the veteran “TP” was flawless up front as he moved in and out of lapped cars en route to his 34th career USMTS victory.

“Had no clue where to go,” Phillips said after his wire-to-wire performance. “I figured they was all over me. Just when I caught traffic there it got so rough down there on the bottom that they didn’t have nowhere else to go.

“Car was pretty good. Threw a little different stuff at it over the winter here and it seems like it helped. I was off a little bit in the heat but got a good, lucky draw. Anyway, car was awesome. GRT (Race Cars) hanging in there and building winners.”

Ahumada, meanwhile, clawed his way to a career-best runner-up finish and a $5,000 prize. Davis bested Ramirez for third and fifth-starting O’Neil was fifth. Sixth through tenth were Sanders, Lucas Schott, Duvall, Tyler Wolff and Lance Mari.

A frequent visitor to RPM Speedway’s Honeycutt Sand & Gravel Victory Lane, Tommy Davis Jr. finished 13th after starting 24th and copped the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award while taking the initial lead in the Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Award points.

The Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s will bang wheels again Saturday with another $10,000-to-win main event on tap for the second night of the 11th Annual USMTS Texas Spring Nationals.

This weekend’s 11th Annual USMTS Texas Spring Nationals was slated to be a two-track affair but due to oversaturated grounds from heavy rain this week, officials at the Superbowl Speedway have announced that the track will not be able to host Saturday’s event. Therefore, both days are now back at the RPM Speedway in Crandall, Texas, where they were planned to be prior to the snow and ice of the previous weekend.

USRA Limited Mods, USRA Factory Stocks, USRA Tuners and Eco Mods will share the spotlight. Pits open at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 4 and racing starts at 6 p.m.

For those unable to attend in person, you can catch every lap of every race in every division both nights at https://www.racindirt.tv.

The RPM Speedway is a 1/4-mile semi-banked dirt oval located southeast of Crandall on US 175 E to CR 4106 (Bud Stoy Rd. exit) to the intersection of CR 4104. The physical address is 1267 Co Rd 4106, Crandall, TX 75114. For more information, check out http://rpmdirt.com.

USMTS TAKING DIRT TO NEW LEVEL IN 2021

The 2021 campaign for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s features 36 nights of racing with the winners of those main events set to take home over $300,000 in earnings from more than $1 million in prize money earmarked for those shows. Twenty-six of the 36 race nights will pay at least $10,000 to win while the other 10 carry a $5,000 top prize.

As if that were not enough, more than $230,000 is committed to the top ten finishers in the 2021 points standings with a record $70,000 reserved for the 2021 USMTS National Champion.

Visit usmts.com for schedulespointsphotossouvenirsvideos and more. Follow our social media channels on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTubeClick here to get USMTS news delivered to your inbox.

RESULTS

1. (2) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, MO, GRT/Durham, 50, $10,000.
2. (10) 65x Carlos Ahumada Jr, Canutillo, TX, Hughes/BMS, 50, $5,000.
3. (4) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, KS, Hughes/Mullins, 50, $3,000.
4. (7) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, OK, Hughes/Cornett, 50, $2,000.
5. (5) 0 Jake O’Neil, Tucson, AZ, LG2/Cornett, 50, $1,700.
6. (8) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, TX, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 50, $1,500.
7. (15) 19s Lucas Schott, Chatfield, MN, MBCustoms/Action, 50, $1,200.
8. (3) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, OK, MBCustoms/Stoen, 50, $1,000.
9. (14) 4w Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, AR, MBCustoms/ECE, 50, $900.
10. (12) 19SB Lance Mari, El Centro, CA, MRT/Yeoman, 50, $850.
11. (20) 12H Mike Hansen, Dickinson, ND, GRT/ChevPerf, 50, $800.
12. (18) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, OK, Hughes/Mullins, 50, $775.
13. (24) 17 Tommy Davis Jr, Rowlett, TX, IRP/, 50, $750.
14. (16) 12J Jason Ingalls, Longview, TX, IRP/Shipley, 50, $740.
15. (23) 60 Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, MN, Lethal/Ebert, 50, $735.
16. (11) 15 Kale Westover, Altus, OK, WesternFlyer/Knowles, 50, $730.
17. (19) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, MN, MBCustoms/Action, 49, $725.
18. (6) 88 Nathan Smith, Anthony, NM, MBCustoms/Mullins, 49, $720.
19. (26) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, IA, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 49, $715.
20. (17) 12L Lucas Lee, Paris, TN, Hughes/Mullins, 40, $710.
21. (9) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, NM, GRC/Mullins, 21, $705.
22. (13) 4d Bo Day, Caddo Mills, TX, MBCustoms/Mullins, 20, $700.
23. (25) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, KS, Mullens/Mullens, 16, $700.
24. (1) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, NM, GRC/Vic Hill, 11, $700.
25. (22) 2G Brandon Givens, Wichita, KS, Hughes/Mullins, 10, $700.
26. (21) 89x Jesse Glenz, Chippewa Falls, WI, MBCustoms/Sput’s, 7, $700.

-USMTS Press Release & Photo

Phillips Draws First Blood in USMTS Texas Spring Nationals