FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. (May 24)--One day after the fourth anniversary of his last USMTS victory, Brad Waits snapped his winless streak by coming out on top of a wild thriller in the 11th Annual Coca-Cola Spring Shootout presented by Fast Shafts at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway.
A multi-time track champion dating back to the days of the former Tri-Oval Speedway, the 51-year-old veteran dirt track racer from Rochester, Minn., held off repeated challenges from Ryan Gustin and then fended off Jake O'Neil in the closing laps to secure the $3,000 triumph.
Waits' win was the third of his USMTS career at the 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval located three miles north of Fountain City, Wis., and his ninth overall. He remains the only driver to win on both the old and new track layout.
O'Neill, who started 14th was the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger as he advanced to snag the runner-up spot with national points leader Rodney Sanders, Gustin and 17th-starting Zack VanderBeek following close behind in the top five.
Current Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year points leader Hunter Marriott was sixth, Cory Crapser came home in seventh, Jacob Bleess started and finished eighth, ninth went to Dereck Ramirez and Lucas Schott rounded out the top ten in the 2019 Spike Hardcore Energy USMTS Northern Lights Series opener.
Of the nine career wins for Waits, four of them have occurred at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., which is where the rugged USMTS road warriors return to Saturday for the 17th Annual Crenlo Southern MN Spring Challenge, and the 107th main event for the series at 'The Creek.'
Kelly Shryock won the first-ever USMTS race here on May 25, 2002, while Sanders is the most recent winner, garnering his ninth checkered flag here (third all-time) in last year's Featherlite Fall Jamboree finale. Shryock is second on the all-time list with 10 wins behind Jason Hughes, who has a series-best 14 career victories here.
Gustin has seven checkered flags at Deer Creek while Tim Donlinger and Terry Phillips each have five. Jason Cummins joins Waits with four apiece. VanderBeek, Cade Dillard, Joey Jensen and Brandon Davis have each won three times. Two-time winners include Schott, Corey Dripps, Jason Krohn, Ryan Ruter, Stormy Scott and Johnny Scott. Drivers who have visited victory lane here one time include Mark Noble, Steve Wetzstein, Darin Walker, Tony Fraise, Dan Daniels, Chad Kinder, Mark Burgtorf, Brad McEwan, Randy Timms, Dean Mahlstedt, Tommy Myer, Mike Sorensen, Mike Spaulding, Dan Chapman, Les Duellman, Mike Hejna, Steve Arpin, Jon Tesch, Jordan Grabouski, Jeremy Payne, Craig Thatcher, Tommy Weder Jr. and Dustin Sorensen.
The pit gate opens at 3 p.m. and grandstands open at 4. Hot laps begin at 5:30 and racing starts at 6 p.m. Adult general admission tickets are $20 and kids ages 12 and under get in for $5. Pit passes are $35 for adults, students (6-15) are $20 and kids 5 and under are $5.
The Arnold Motor Supply Iron Man Challenge featuring American Racer USRA Stock Cars and Out-Pace USRA B-Mods will join the program along with Wissota Midwest Modifieds.
The Deer Creek Speedway is a 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval is located 11.3 miles south of I-90 (exit 209) on US 63 or 0.7 mile north of SR 16 in Spring Valley, Minn. (25262 US Hwy 63, Spring Valley, MN 55975). For more info, call 877-327-7223 or (507) 346-2342 on race day or visit deercreekspeedway.com.
The Memorial Day Weekend tripleheader wraps up with the 12th Annual American Racer Nordic Nationals at the Upper Iowa Speedway in Decorah, Iowa, on Sunday. The Arnold Motor Supply Iron Man Challenge featuring American Racer USRA Stock Cars and Out-Pace USRA B-Mods will join the USMTS Modifieds for a second straight night, with the Cook Racing Supplies USRA Hobby Stocks rounding out Sunday's card.
VanderBeek collected his first of three USMTS wins at the Upper Iowa Speedway during his rookie campaign in 2005. Gustin, Hughes, Tesch, Al Hejna and Johnny Scott are two-time winners here.
The pit gate opens at 2 p.m., grandstands open at 3, hot laps start at 6 and the first heat race hits the track at 6:30. General admission is $20 while seniors (65+) and juniors (ages 12-16) get in for just $5. Kids ages 11 and under are free. Pit passes are $35.
The Upper Iowa Speedway is a semi-banked 1/4-mile dirt oval located 1.8 miles east of US 52 on SR 9, then 1.0 mile northwest on Montgomery St., then northeast on E. Main St. at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds in Decorah, Iowa (900 E Main St, Decorah, IA 52101). For more information, call (563) 382-0711 or visit upperiowaspeedway.com online.
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.
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United States Modified Touring Series
Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship powered by Summit
Spike Hardcore Energy USMTS Northern Lights Series
11th Annual Coca-Cola Spring Shootout presented by Fast Shafts
Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Fountain City, Wis.
Friday, May 24, 2019
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder and money won. The top 12 in heat race passing points advance to the Casey's General Stores "A" Main with the top 8 redrawing for the first 8 starting spots.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
- (1) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
- (3) 51 Chris Oertel, Marshfield, Wis.
- (5) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
- (6) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
- (4) 6t7 Brian Albrecht, Winona, Minn.
- (7) 44 Adam Hensel, Baldwin, Wis.
- (2) 30 Matt Leer, Bruce, Wis.
- (8) 15 Steve Bangart (R), Auburndale, Wis.
DNS - 7 A.J. Roschen (R), Somerset, Wis.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
- (1) 49jr Jake Timm, Minnesota City, Minn.
- (4) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
- (3) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn.
- (7) 23k Erik Kanz (R), Winona, Minn.
- (6) 35 Grant Southworth (R), Bloomer, Wis.
- (8) 23b Brett Bumgardner, Hawkeye, Iowa.
- (5) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo.
DQ - (2) 89 A.J. Diemel (R), Elk Mound, Wis.
DNS - 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
- (2) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
- (4) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
- (5) 24 Brad Waits, Rochester, Minn.
- (3) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo.
- (6) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
- (7) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
- (1) 3a Taylor Ausrud (R), Stewartville, Minn.
- (8) 94jr John Doelle, Arcadia, Wis.
- (9) 29h Joe Horgdal, Kasson, Minn.
REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN (10 laps, all advance):
- (2) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
- (1) 44 Adam Hensel, Baldwin, Wis.
- (3) 30 Matt Leer, Bruce, Wis.
- (7) 89 A.J. Diemel (R), Elk Mound, Wis.
- (4) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo.
- (8) 94jr John Doelle, Arcadia, Wis.
- (5) 3a Taylor Ausrud (R), Stewartville, Minn.
- (6) 15 Steve Bangart (R), Auburndale, Wis.
- (11) 29h Joe Horgdal, Kasson, Minn.
- (10) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, $90.
- (9) 7 A.J. Roschen (R), Somerset, Wis., GRT/Stoen, $90.
CASEY'S GENERAL STORES "A" MAIN (44 laps):
- (2) 24 Brad Waits, Rochester, Minn., VanderBuilt/Stoen, $3000.
- (14) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, $1700.
- (11) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, $1100.
- (4) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/TriStar, $800.
- (17) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, $700.
- (12) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, $650.
- (6) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis., VanderBuilt/Troy's, $600.
- (8) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn., VanderBuilt/KSE, $550.
- (7) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, $500.
- (3) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., MBCustoms/Hill, $450.
- (19) 30 Matt Leer, Bruce, Wis., MBCustoms/Stoen, $425.
- (20) 89 A.J. Diemel (R), Elk Mound, Wis., MBCustoms/KSE, $400.
- (10) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn., MBCustoms/Stoen, $375.
- (9) 23k Erik Kanz (R), Winona, Minn., Shaw/Action, $350.
- (21) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo., GRT/Driskell, $325.
- (22) 94jr John Doelle, Arcadia, Wis., Rocket/Stoen, $225.
- (13) 35 Grant Southworth (R), Bloomer, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim's, $300.
- (16) 23b Brett Bumgardner, Hawkeye, Iowa, SSR/Midnight, $300.
- (18) 44 Adam Hensel, Baldwin, Wis., DirtDueler/OFI, $300.
- (5) 51 Chris Oertel, Marshfield, Wis., MBCustoms/Mullins, $300.
- (25) 29h Joe Horgdal, Kasson, Minn., Killer/Baier's, $225.
- (24) 15 Steve Bangart (R), Auburndale, Wis., MadMan/Bangart, $225.
- (1) 49jr Jake Timm, Minnesota City, Minn., MBCustoms/OFI, $300.
- (15) 6t7 Brian Albrecht, Winona, Minn., Shaw/Adams, $225.
- (23) 3a Taylor Ausrud (R), Stewartville, Minn., /Midstate, $225.
(R) = Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender
Provisional Starters: none.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: VanderBeek (advanced 14 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: O'Neil (started 14th, finished 2nd).
Next Race: Saturday, May 25, Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.
Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship Points: Sanders 840, VanderBeek 769, Gustin 718, Marriott 717, Ramirez 705, Joe Duvall 659, Terry Phillips 655, Striegel 643, Kates 604, O'Neil 573.
Spike Hardcore Energy USMTS Northern Lights Series Points: Waits 100, O'Neil 95, Sanders 91, Gustin 87, VanderBeek 84, Marriott 81, Crapser 78, Bleess 76, Ramirez 74, Schott 72.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Marriott 714, Striegel 643, Nathan Hagar 415, Carlos Ahumada Jr. 340, Dustin Hodges 302.
USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 69, Hughes 59, VanderBuilt 55, Rage 49, GRT 46.
USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield 59, Stoen 55, KSE 41, Cornett 39, Durham 35.
American Racer - O'Neil.
Beyea Custom Headers - Gustin.
Bryke Racing - Striegel.
BSB Manufacturing - Horgdal.
Casey's General Stores - Bumgardner.
Champ Pans - VanderBeek.
Deatherage Opticians - Diemel.
E3 Spark Plugs - Sanders.
Edelbrock - Crapser.
Eibach - VanderBeek.
Fast Shafts - Timm.
FK Rod Ends - O'Neil.
Forty9 Designs - Kanz, Hensel.
Hooker Harness - Angst.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs - Bumgardner.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts - Southworth.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports - Roschen.
Keyser Manufacturing - Schott.
KSE Racing Products - Ramirez.
Maxima Racing Oils - Waits.
Out-Pace Racing Products - Doelle.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain - Leer.
QA1 - Schott.
RacerWebsite.com - Horgdal.
Real Racing Wheels - Roschen, Kates.
Simpson Performance Products - Bleess.
Swift Springs - Waits, Bleess.
Sybesma Graphics - Timm.
Tire Demon - Leer.
VP Racing Fuels - Waits.
Wilwood Disc Brakes - Crapser.
-United States Modified Touring Series Press Release and Photo