Woodward, Oklahoma’s Dereck Ramirez met every challenge that came his way Saturday night at the RPM Speedway in Crandall, Texas, and it paid off with a $10,000 prize and victory in the finale of the 11th Annual USMTS Texas Spring Nationals.
Sybesma Graphics Pole Award winner Kale Westover of Blair, Oklahoma, took control at the waving green flag while Friday’s winner, Terry Phillips, quickly jumped from fifth on the starting grid to second in less than two laps around the quarter-mile bullring.
With Phillips searching for an opening around Westover around the bottom of the racing surface, Ramirez made a charge around the outside of third-running Tyler Wolff to put himself into contention when the yellow flag was displayed for the first time with seven laps in the books to thwart the four-car breakaway.
Phillips to the high side, gets by Westover and slams the door shut to lead the ninth lap. Westover followed Phillips to the top while Ramirez and Wolff occupied the short way around the track. Meanwhile, defending USMTS national champ Rodney Sanders joined the action up front.
The next dozen or so laps were jaw-dropping as Phillips went high with Ramirez low in one corner and then crossing-over to swap lanes in the next while Westover and Sanders sat back and enjoyed the show. Ramirez was rewarded for his patience and shot past Phillips to lead lap 21.
Four laps later, Westover executed a bottom-to-top monster slider to put Phillips back to third place. Five laps later Phillips was all the way back to fifth while Ramirez, Westover and Sanders battled up front with Wolff in tow.
Sanders erased the advantage Ramirez enjoyed and the leaders finally reach the back of the field on the 38th lap—31 orbits since the last slowdown on the seventh lap—but the great battle that was brewing was cooled off then the race’s third caution slowed the action.
Ramirez took to the low side on the restart while Sanders went to the top, but the two changed lanes in the next corner with Ramirez continuing to cling to a thin advantage with 10 laps to go. Meanwhile, 2018 USMTS national champ Johnny Scott was catfishing his way forward and challenged Wolff for third as they completed lap 41.
With five to go, Sanders peeked to the inside of Ramirez but was unable to pull ahead. Ramirez responded by pulling away while Wolff filled the top line when Sanders abandoned it.
Ramirez saw the checkered flag first to earn a $10,000 paycheck and his 15th career USMTS win. He’ll be sporting the bright yellow Wrisco Points Leader spoiler when the series invades the Humboldt speedway for King of America X in two weeks.
Wolff wound up one spot shy of notching his second USMTS triumph while Sanders held on for third with Scott and Westover completing the top five. Tanner Mullens, Jake O’Neil, Phillips, Lucas Schott and Jake Gallardo rounded out the top 10.
KING OF AMERICA X UP NEXT
Delayed by one year due to the pandemic of 2020, King of America X powered by Summit is set for Friday and Saturday, March 26-27, at the Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt, Kansas. Friday night’s winner will pocket $5,000 while Saturday’s top prize is no less than $10,000.
Eight different drivers have claimed victory in the previous nine blockbusters and the previous winners list is a who’s who of dirt modified racing. Ricky Thornton Jr. captured the crown two years ago and is the defending champion of the event.
This year’s version will fire off with an open practice on Thursday, March 25, followed by two complete shows featuring USMTS Modifieds, Medieval USRA Stock Cars, USRA B-Mods and USRA Tuners on Friday and Saturday.
If you can’t be there in person, you can still enjoy every lap of every race in every division on every night streaming live at RacinDirt.TV.
The Humboldt Speedway is a located 0.1 mile west of US 169 at the Humboldt Exit, then 0.5 mile south, then 0.9 mile east on Georgia Rd. (1663 Georgia Rd, Humboldt, KS 66748). For more information, call (620) 431-2470 or visit humboldtspeedway.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 weren’t 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 schedules, points, photos, souvenirs, videos and more. Follow our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
-USMTS Press Release
-Photo credit: Tyler Rinken