New Richmond, WI — What many would call a dream season so far is considered an up-and-down start when you’re the three-time and defending champion of the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s, but Rodney Sanders was on the upside Thursday with a decisive victory on opening night of the 21st Annual Masters at the Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wisconsin.
“It’s been pretty good,” Sanders said of his familiar orange and blue Hatfield-powered No. 20 MB Customs USMTS Modified. “I’ve felt like I screwed it up the last few races but it was good at Tri-State and we were good tonight.”
Thursday night’s effort by the 30-year-old from Happy, Texas, was worth $3,000 and was career win number 101. His 100th USMTS triumph happened June 6 at the Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Okla., in the last event leading up to the Masters.
“We started off good and we just got kind of got a slump there and I think we got off on what we’re doing so just had to regroup and we’ve been going good lately.”
Shooting for his fourth Masters trophy, Sanders started the 30-lap main event from the second row behind his chassis builder, Jimmy Mars, and Dustin Sorensen-last year’s Thursday night feature winner.
Sorensen got the jump on Mars to take the initial lead and Sanders snuck past to take second with five laps in the books. Five laps later, Sanders disposed of Sorensen and that was as close as anybody would get the rest of the way in the caution-free nightcap.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” Sanders added. “Dustin’s been really good and Jimmy’s always good. I didn’t know really where to be but we were good around the bottom. I saw a little bit of a lead there and I was just trying to ride-on the board I saw I had like a four-second lead.”
Indeed, Sanders crossed the finish line with 4.68 seconds to spare ahead of Sorensen. Mars held off Michael Truscott for third and four-time USMTS national champion Jason Hughes rounded out the top five.
Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year points leader Calvin was sixth, former USRA Modified national champ Lucas Schott scored a seventh-place finish, Clayton Wagamon came home in eighth, Zack VanderBeek nabbed a ninth-place paycheck and the final racer in the top ten was A.J. Diemel.
More Masters: The undisputed best of the best in the world of dirt racing return for two more nights of action. On Friday, both USMTS Modifieds and CLS Late Models battle for a $5,000 top prize with USRA Late Models competing for $600 to win.
Friday’s general admission tickets are $30 for adults (17+), $15 for students (6-16) and free for kids 5 and under. Pit passes are $40. The pits open at 2 p.m., grandstands open at 5 and racing gets underway at 7.
It all leads up to Saturday’s mega-finale which offers $10,000 to the winners in both the USMTS Modifieds and CLS Late Models while USRA Late Models will also run a complete program for $1,000 to win.
Tickets on Saturday are $35 for adults (17+), $17 for students (6-16) and free for kids 5 and under. Pit passes are $45. The pits open at 2 p.m., grandstands open at 4 and racing gets underway at 7.
If you aren’t able to be there in person, RacinDirt.TV will have the entire production live.
The Cedar Lake Speedway was founded in 1957. A field of 12 cars and 85 spectators were on hand for the opening show on a flat clay oval. Today, Cedar Lake’s state-of-the-art 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval has developed into one of the nation’s leading short track facilities featuring a successful weekly racing program on Saturday evenings and many nationally-sanctioned and premier special events.
The track is located 1.0 mile east of SR 35 on SR 64, then 4.2 miles north on CR C to CR CC, then left 1.8 miles. For more information, call (612) 363-0479 or (715) 248-7119 or visit CedarLakeSpeedway.com.
Currently, the 2020 schedule for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s is highlighted by 42 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.
1. (4) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, $3200, 30.
2. (2) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn., MBCustoms/Action, $1500, 30.
3. (1) 28 Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim’s, $1000, 30.
4. (3) 22T Michael Truscott (R), Chippewa Falls, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim’s, $800, 30.
5. (7) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, $900, 30.
6. (8) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim’s, $800, 30.
7. (11) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., MBCustoms/Stoen, $550, 30.
8. (10) 14W Clayton Wagamon, Ramsey, Minn., MasterSbilt/Wagamon, $500, 30.
9. (13) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, $650, 30.
10. (14) 89 A.J. Diemel, Elk Mound, Wis., MBCustoms/KSE, $400, 30.
11. (16) 21X Jake Smith (R), Chippewa Falls, Wis., BeakBuilt/Tim’s, $375, 30.
12. (9) 2C Dave Cain, Corcoran, Minn., MBCustoms/KSE, $350, 30.
13. (15) 7A Shane Sabraski, Rice, Minn., Lethal/Scott’s, $325, 30.
14. (6) 1TPO Tyler Peterson, Hickson, N.D., BlackWidow/ProPower, $300, 30.
15. (22) 50III Brandon Davis, Medford, Minn., Tri-Built/KSE, $275, 30.
16. (5) 5K Tyler Kaeter (R), St. Cloud, Minn., SSR/Sower, $250, 29.
17. (20) 24 Brandon Dolman (R), Alexandria, Minn., SSR/Adams, $250, 29.
18. (23) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, $450, 29.
19. (18) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, $250, 29.
20. (25) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, $450, 29.
21. (17) 00 Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford, Wis., Rocket/Baxter, $250, 29.
22. (28) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., Jet/Speedway, $90, 29.
23. (26) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, $450, 29.
24. (24) 6X Zach Johnson, Kensington, Minn., MBCustoms/Sturdy, $250, 29.
25. (27) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., Lethal/Mullins, $290, 29.
26. (12) 49JR Jake Timm, Minnesota City, Minn., MBCustoms/OFI, $250, 23.
27. (21) 15W Alex Williamson (R), Rushford, Minn., SSR/KSE, $250, 20.
28. (19) 44 Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, Minn., MBCustoms/Tim’s, $250 16.
-USMTS Press Release & Photo