VIVIAN, La. -- The fans in attendance at the Ark-La-Tex Speedway and those watching live on RacinDirt.com witnessed a barn-burner of a main event Thursday to kick off the 7th Annual USMTS Cajun Clash, but Rodney Sanders missed out on all of the excitement going on behind him.
After disposing of polesitter Lucas Schott on the first lap, Sanders raced out to a big lead and stayed there for 33 laps before the first caution of the race with seven to go erased his advantage.
Despite a charging Cade Dillard, Schott, Ryan Gustin and Zack VanderBeek right behind, the Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship points leader never faltered and, in fact, survived another caution with five laps remaining to garner his second straight Summit USMTS Southern Series victory.
Early in the race, Dillard and Gustin put on a whale of a battle for the third spot with Dillard eventually able to secure the position and then getting by Schott with 13 laps to go.
But event with the pair of late-race cautions, Dillard-the defending Cajun Clash champ-was unable to reel in Sanders and a final-lap drive came up about a car-length short.
Schott held off VanderBeek and Gustin for the third position while Carlos Ahumada Jr., Terry Phillips, Hunter Marriott, Jason Hughes and Dereck Ramirez completed the top 10.
Another complete show of qualifying heat races and main events is on tap for Friday and Saturday for the USMTS Modifieds as well as the USRA Factory Stocks and USRA Limited Mods.
On Friday, the pits open at 2 p.m., grandstands open at 5, drivers meeting at 6:30 and racing at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the pits open at 2 p.m., grandstands open at 4:30, drivers meeting at 5:30 and racing at 6 p.m. sharp.
The Ark-La-Tex Speedway is located 0.6 mile south of SR 2 on SR 1, then 0.7 mile west on Airport Rd., then 2.2 miles south on Boyter Lane Rd. For race day information, call the track hotline at (318) 375-3470 or check out arklatexspeedway.net to visit them online.
For those unable to attend in person, all of the action in all three classes will be brought to you live and in living color on the World Wide Web from the fine folks at RacinDirt.com.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit USMTS.com or call (515) 832-7944. You can also like the USMTS on Facebook, visit us on Instagram, follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn and watch us on YouTube. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS and subscribe to the USMTS e-Newsletter.
-USMTS Press Release
-Photo credit: USMTS