PARK CITY, Kan. –Rodney Sanders may have been late to the party but he was the one celebrating after he, Dereck Ramirez and a few of their friends produced another thriller for the fans at the 81 Speedway when the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s invaded the 3/8-mile clay oval Thursday.
The start of the 40-lap main event looked like the ending but with a different cast of characters. Joe Duvall powered to a big lead at the drop of the green flag but Zack VanderBeek stuck with the high line and eventually pulled even with Duvall on the second lap.
VanderBeek edged ‘Big Daddy’ to lead lap three, and the two raced wheel-to-wheel for several laps. Meanwhile, Ramirez was working his way to the front from the fourth row on the starting grid.
By lap 15, Ramirez was threatening for the top spot. VanderBeek turned it up a notch and they traded lines on a couple of occasions with Ramirez finally securing the lead for the first time as they completed the 18th lap.
From there, the Woodward, Oklahoma, native stretched his advantage over the pack to as much as ten car lengths and appeared to be on his way to a fifth feature win this season.
As Ramirez tried to run off and hide, Sanders slipped by VanderBeek for second on lap 25 and set out to run down the leader.
Sanders, who started sixth, reached the back bumper of Ramirez with four laps to go and snuck underneath to lead lap 37. Ramirez stayed even with Sanders and gave him just enough room to operate the shortest path around the racetrack.
Ramirez was the leader by inches when they crossed beneath the flagstand on laps 38 and 39 but Sanders emerged out of the final corner with the advantage and crossed the finish line with less than three-tenths of a second to spare.
“Man, Dereck was really good tonight and I was just trying to keep it straight off the corner because if I hit it straight off the bottom there was a lot of traction,” said Sanders as he celebrated his series-best sixth win at the 81 Speedway. “It was a lot of fun. Dereck’s probably the cleanest driver there is out there I feel like, so I can always race him clean and we always race each other hard but it seems like we never touch. That was a lot of fun and it was a hell of a night.”
In slightly padding his points lead over Ramirez, the win was the seventh of the season for Sanders and 104th of his USMTS career while Ramirez came up a car-length short of nabbing his fifth of the 2020 campaign.
I got to racing them lapped cars and I didn’t know he was there. He showed me a nose and he was already beside me so I couldn’t do anything about it,” Ramirez admitted. “figured I’d better race him clean. We’ve raced each other clean for the whole year so… It’s fun racing with him. He raced me clean and he did what he had to do on the last lap and I just missed it. It’s what happens.”
One year and five days ago, Ramirez executed a “slide job” on the final lap to steal the win from Terry Phillips. Phillips, however, beat Ramirez to the stripe by two one-thousandths of a second that night and finished third Thursday.
Four-time USMTS national champ Jason Hughes stormed from the 14th starting spot to finish fourth while VanderBeek held off Tanner Mullens for the final spot in the top five.
Duvall claimed the seventh spot after a spirited late-race battle with eighth-place finisher Cole Traugott. Hunter Marriott pocketed a ninth-place paycheck and Darron Fuqua rounded out the top ten.
Friday finds USMTS at The Hummer: When the Humboldt Speedway hosts the 14th Annual Summer Fling @ The Bullring it will be the 52nd feature race for the USMTS at the 1/4-mile semi-banked clay oval.
Nineteen different drivers have tasted victory at ‘The Hummer’ since Johnny Bone Jr. won the inaugural event here on June 28, 2000, but the all-time wins leader is Jason Hughes with 13 trips to victory lane here.
Stormy Scott has been a winner at Humboldt six times while Kelly Shryock is a five-time winner, including the first King of America event in 2011. On eight occasions the first driver to the finish line has been Ryan Gustin or Rodney Sanders with four wins apiece.
Bone is a two-time USMTS winner along with Terry Phillips, Jason Krohn, Johnny Scott and Zack VanderBeek. Drivers getting to the winner’s circle just once include Tim Donlinger, Jon Tesch, Steve Holzkamper, William Gould, Jeremy Payne, Mitch Keeter, Kyle Strickler, Lucas Schott and Ricky Thornton Jr., who was the most recent winner here more than a year ago at King of America IX.
The USMTS Modifieds will share the spotlight with Ray’s Metal Depot USRA B-Mods, Mod Lites and Midwest Mods. Gates open at 6 p.m. and qualifying begins at 8.
Grandstand tickets are $20 for adults while seniors age 65 and older are just $18. Kids ages 6-12 get in for $5 and a limited number of reserved seats are available for $25 each. Order tickets online at humboldtspeedway.com.
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. The physical address is 1663 Georgia Rd, Humboldt, KS 66748. Follow on Facebook https://facebook.com/thehumboldtspeedway and Twitter https://twitter.com/HumboldtSpdwy to learn more.
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 this Saturday.
The 11th annual Slick Mist Show-Me Shootout presented by Foley Equipment will headline a big night of action with $3,000 going to the winner of the feature. Also in action will be the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods, O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks and American Racer USRA Stock Cars as a special guest class with a $400-to-win feature.
“The USRA Stock cars put on a good show when they were on the mid-week program with the USMTS back in June and we’re excited to have them back,” Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager Danny Lorton said. “Along with the B-Mods and Street Stocks, this will be an outstanding night of racing.”
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. In the USRA Stock car main event, Doug Keller used a last-lap pass in turn four to overtake Bill Crimmins for the win.
Phillips, who is the all-time winningest driver in the history of the Lucas Oil MLRA, has 32 career USMTS victories the only two-time winner of this event.
Dereck Ramirez of Woodward, Oklahoma, earned the Show-Me Shootout victory at Lucas Oil Speedway one year ago. Ramirez has four series wins in 2020 and enters this week second in the championship chase, 114 points behind Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas. Sanders has six feature wins this season, pushing his career total to 103 as he seeks a fourth USMTS national championship. Sanders won this event in 2019.
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 Lucas Oil Speedway.
Gates open at 4 p.m. this Saturday with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:05.
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. Contact admissions director Nichole McMillan (417) 282-5984 for more info.
Admission for adults ages 16-61 is $20 while seniors 62 and older and members of the military get in for just $17. Youth ages 6-15 are $10 and kids 5 and under are free. A family pass is only $40. Pit passes are $40. Individual suite tickets go for $40.
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.
Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived race recaps, previews and driver features, along with ticket information and schedules can be found by visiting lucasoilspeedway.com. In addition, fans can get social on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LucasOilSpeedway, Instagram https://instagram.com/lucasoilspeedway and Twitter https://twitter.com/lucasspeedway.
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.
Lucas Oil Speedway is considered by fans, drivers and industry insiders to be one of the top five racing facilities in the nation. Located in Wheatland, Missouri, approximately an hour from Springfield, Missouri, and just an hour and a half from the Kansas City metro area, the “Diamond of Dirt Tracks” lives up to its title.
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.
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United States Modified Touring Series
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s
7th Annual Event presented by American Racer
81 Speedway, Park City, Kan.
Thursday, Aug. 6, 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) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan.
2. (2) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
3. (4) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
4. (7) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
5. (8) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
6. (5) 5* Jason McGehee (R), Wichita, Kan.
7. (6) 51 Lucas Gibbs (R), Udall, Kan.
8. (3) 191 Jason Roe (R), Wichita, Kan.
9. (9) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
2. (1) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (7) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
4. (5) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
5. (6) 9D8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan.
6. (8) 86 Brian Franz, Halstead, Kan.
7. (3) 7 Treyton Gann (R), Ponca City, Okla.
8. (4) 44 Braden Stoner (R), Wichita, Kan.
9. (9) 21B Bryce Schniepp (R), Wichita, Kan.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (2) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
2. (3) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (8) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
4. (7) G3 Brendon Gemmill (R), Wichita, Kan.
5. (5) 71 Patrick McManus (R), Derby, Kan.
6. (4) 22N Kevin Newell (R), Wichita, Kan.
7. (1) 69 Cecil Dymond (R), Goddard, Kan.
8. (6) 99T T.J. Tolan (R), Wichita, Kan.
MSD PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (2) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan.
2. (4) 3J Jake Nightingale (R), Hutchinson, Kan.
3. (3) 10W Hunter Wilbanks (R), Lakeland, Tenn.
4. (7) 2G Brandon Givens (R), Perry, Okla.
5. (5) 87K Kenny Sweet, Wichita, Kan.
6. (6) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
7. (1) 10 Dustin Robinson (R), Post, Texas
8. (8) K19 Will Krup (R), Mount Carmel, Ill.
VP RACING FUELS HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (1) 9 Cole Traugott (R), Woodward, Okla.
2. (3) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
3. (7) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
4. (5) 01X Beau Davis (R), Cheney, Kan.
5. (4) 32B Bobby Bills (R), Wichita, Kan.
6. (6) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis.
7. (2) 8C Chris Clark, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
8. (8) 21C Cody Schniepp (R), Wichita, Kan.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (15 laps, top 6 advance):
1. (2) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
2. (4) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
3. (1) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (10) 51 Lucas Gibbs (R), Udall, Kan.
5. (3) 2G Brandon Givens (R), Perry, Okla.
6. (5) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
7. (15) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
8. (11) 69 Cecil Dymond (R), Goddard, Kan., Hughes/Briley.
9. (8) 5* Jason McGehee (R), Wichita, Kan., ERC/TwoM.
10. (12) 8C Chris Clark, Jackson Hole, Wyo., GRT/Cornett.
11. (7) 32B Bobby Bills (R), Wichita, Kan., BillsBuilt/Yancy’s.
12. (6) 71 Patrick McManus (R), Derby, Kan., Skyrocket/Acme.
13. (9) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
14. (13) 44 Braden Stoner (R), Wichita, Kan., BillsBuilt/Advanced.
DNS – K19 Will Krup (R), Mount Carmel, Ill., Elite/Baldwin.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (15 laps, top 6 advance):
1. (1) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
2. (2) G3 Brendon Gemmill (R), Wichita, Kan.
3. (5) 9D8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan.
4. (7) 86 Brian Franz, Halstead, Kan.
5. (11) 10 Dustin Robinson (R), Post, Texas
6. (9) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis.
7. (10) 7 Treyton Gann (R), Ponca City, Okla., Skyrocket/Hebb’s.
8. (3) 10W Hunter Wilbanks (R), Lakeland, Tenn., MBCustoms/Mullins.
9. (6) 87K Kenny Sweet, Wichita, Kan., BillsBuilt/KBS.
10. (13) 99T T.J. Tolan (R), Wichita, Kan., BillsBuilt/.
11. (12) 191 Jason Roe (R), Wichita, Kan., GRT/KBS.
12. (8) 22N Kevin Newell (R), Wichita, Kan., Custom/Newell.
13. (4) 01X Beau Davis (R), Cheney, Kan., Hughes/ChevPerf.
14. (15) 21B Bryce Schniepp (R), Wichita, Kan., Hughes/Mullins.
15. (14) 21C Cody Schniepp (R), Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Thiel.
CASEY’S “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (6) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40.
2. (7) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40.
3. (9) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 40.
4. (14) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 40.
5. (4) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 40.
6. (3) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 40.
7. (1) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustoms/BMS, 40.
8. (5) 9 Cole Traugott (R), Woodward, Okla., Mullens/ASI, 40.
9. (11) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 40.
10. (15) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan., MBCustoms/Driskell, 40.
11. (10) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., GR2/ProPower, 40.
12. (2) 3J Jake Nightingale (R), Hutchinson, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 40.
13. (8) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 39.
14. (12) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas, GRT/BMS, 39.
15. (13) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., Lethal/Mullins, 39.
16. (18) 9D8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan., BillsBuilt/KBS, 39.
17. (23) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., Jet/Speedway, 39.
18. (21) 2G Brandon Givens (R), Perry, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 39.
19. (24) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim’s, 39.
20. (16) G3 Brendon Gemmill (R), Wichita, Kan., VanderBuilt/Stoen, 39.
21. (19) 51 Lucas Gibbs (R), Udall, Kan., MBCustoms/Bailey, 37.
22. (22) 10 Dustin Robinson (R), Post, Texas, WFRC/ASI, 21.
23. (20) 86 Brian Franz, Halstead, Kan., GRT/Shadow, 21.
24. (26) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo., MBCustoms/Durham, 18.
25. (17) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., GR2/ProPower, 7.
26. (25) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla., GRT/ChevPerf, 0.
(R) = Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender
Lap Leaders: Duvall 1-2, VanderBeek 3-17, Ramirez 18-36, Sanders 37, Ramirez 38-39, Sanders 40.
Total Laps Led: Ramirez 21, VanderBeek 15, Duvall 2, Sanders 2.
Margin of Victory: 0.249 second.
Time of Race: 16 minutes, 16.319 seconds (1 caution).
Provisional Starters: Hagar, Siebert.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Hughes (advanced 11 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Hughes (started 14th, finished 4th).
Next Race: Friday, Aug. 7, Humboldt Speedway, Humboldt, Kan.
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s Points: Sanders 2250, Ramirez 2133, Hughes 2002, Marriott 1835, VanderBeek 1826, T. Davis 1745, Iverson 1713, T. Phillips 1582, Skyberg 1552, Kates 1456.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: T. Davis 1694, Iverson 1658, Skyberg 1502, Mullens 1394, Hagar 828.
Jobbers Warehouse Supply USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 220, Hughes 208, VanderBuilt 148, GRT 143, Rage 133.
Compstar/JE Pistons USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield 191, Cornett 168, Mullins 150, Stoen 140, KSE 127.
American Racer – Marriott.
Beyea Custom Headers – Hughes.
BigDeal Car Care – Sanders.
Bryke Racing – Skyberg.
BSB Manufacturing – Gibbs, Givens.
Champ Pans – VanderBeek.
Deatherage Opticians – Nightingale.
Edelbrock – VanderBeek.
Eibach – Hughes.
Fast Shafts – Duvall.
FK Rod Ends – Hughes.
Forty9 Designs – Ahumada, Iverson.
Hooker Harness – F. Gallardo.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs – Givens.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Kates.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports – Gann.
Keyser Manufacturing – Fuqua.
KSE Racing Products – Marriott.
Maxima Racing Oils – Sanders.
Mesilla Valley Transportation – Ahumada.
Penske Racing Shocks – T. Davis.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain – Duvall.
QA1 – T. Phillips.
RacerWebsite.com – B. Schniepp.
Simpson Performance Products – Mullens.
Spyder High Performance Filters – Mullens.
Summit Racing Equipment – B. Davis, Stoner, Bills.
Super Clean – Sanders.
Swift Springs – Sanders, Traugott.
Sybesma Graphics – Duvall.
Tire Demon – Robinson.
VP Racing Fuels – Sanders.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – C. Schniepp.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – Duvall.
-United States Modified Touring Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Tyler Rinken