Sanders sizzles in Sooner Showdown finale
By: Jeff Nun
ARDMORE, Okla. (March 11) -- Rodney Sanders reeled in his first win of the season with a dominating wire-to-wire effort on the final day of the 5th Annual Production Jars Sooner Showdown Saturday at the Southern Oklahoma Speedway.
The 2012 and 2013 USMTS national champion had not led one of the previous 545 laps of feature racing this season, but he made up for it on a cold and wet day in Ardmore, Okla., by leading all 50 laps of the main event Saturday to earn a $4,000 check and his 76th career USMTS triumph.
Although the 27-year-old from Happy, Texas, led comfortably for most of the 50 laps around John and Nikki Webb's 3/8-mile dirt oval, things got tense with about 15 laps remaining when thick lapped traffic allowed Dereck Ramirez to close in on the rear bumper of the leader.
In fact, Ramirez nosed ahead at one point while Sanders was working the high side to pick off back-markers, but Sanders was able to shut the door and hold the spot.
After that, Sanders found a new line to his liking and pulled away from the pack over the final ten circuits.
As Sanders took the checkered flag, a melee occurred in turn four which brought out the yellow flag and the rest of the field was scored as they finished lap 49.
Ramirez, Chris Brown, Zack VanderBeek and Jason Hughes claimed the rest of the top-five positions while Clyde Dunn Jr., Stormy Scott, Ricky Thornton Jr., R.C. Whitwell and Ryan Gustin rounded out the top ten.
As a provisional starter, VanderBeek was not eligible for the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award, which went to tenth-starting Hughes.
However, the Wehrs Machine "Trick Move" of the Race Award went to the 'Z-Man' after he passed 19 cars from his 23rd starting spot.
Saturday's event was moved up to a 3 p.m. start due to impending weather later in the evening. Nonetheless, a brief shower moved into the area around 5 p.m. and brought on a one-hour delay in the program.
With the final race in the Summit Racing USMTS Winter Speedweeks in the books, the series is now a perfect 15-0 against Mother Nature to start the 2017 campaign.
The series returns to the Southern Oklahoma Speedway on Thursday, May 4, for the 16th round in the Summit Racing USMTS Southern Region presented by Production Jars.
KING OF AMERICA VII MARCH 23-25
In less than two weeks, the nation's best dirt modified drivers will invade the Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt, Kan., for the King of America VII Modified Nationals presented by Summit Racing.
Set for March 23-25, the event will culminate with Saturday's $10,000-to-win, $1,000-to-start championship race with the possibility of a seventh different winner in seven events.
Zack VanderBeek captured last year's big check after a thrilling late-race battle with 2014 race winner Rodney Sanders. Jason Hughes was the 2015 champion, Ryan Gustin won in 2013, Stormy Scott took the 2012 event and Kelly Shryock claimed the inaugural King of America crown in 2011.
Thursday will be the season's first event in the MSD Central Region presented by Summit Racing-a prelude to King of America qualifying the following day featuring a $3,000-to-win show.
On Friday, each driver will run three heat races from three different starting positions. Passing points will be combined for the three heat races with the top 12 drivers in overall points locked into the first six rows of Saturday's "A" Main. The next 12 drivers will be locked into Saturday's "B" Main, the next 12 into Saturday's "C" Main and the remainder will run in "Last Chance" races on Saturday.
Spectator tickets can be purchased by calling 515-832-7944. Three-day reserved seats are $60. Single-day tickets on Thursday and Friday are $20 each while Saturday's show is $25. All single-day tickets are general admission and will only be sold on the night of the races.
The entry fee is $300 if received or postmarked no later than March 17. The entry fee is $400 after March 17 or at the track on race day. Entry fee covers all three days. Entry forms are available for download at www.usmts.com/downloads/entry-forms or call the USMTS offices Monday-Friday during normal business hours.
All drivers who have their entry submitted by Friday, March 17, will be entered for a provisional lottery draw. Of those that do not qualify for Saturday's main event through qualifying and preliminary races, one name will be randomly drawn for a provisional starting spot in the finale.
There will be an open practice for all drivers on Wednesday, March 22, from 6-9 p.m. Admission to the grandstands is free. Pit passes are $20.
The Iron Man Series featuring Out-Pace USRA B-Mods will run a complete show of heat races and main events all three days, racing for $600 to win Thursday, $1,500 to win Friday and $1,000 to win Saturday.
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. For more information, call 620-431-2470 or visit www.humboldtspeedway.com. For camping, ATV and/or golf cart permits call 620-473-3694.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts and Instagram at www.instagram.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS by joining our email list at www.usmts.com/subscribe.
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United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Casey's Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental - Summit Racing USMTS Southern Region presented by Production Jars - Round 15 of 21
5th Annual Sooner Showdown presented by Production Jars - Night 3 of 3
Southern Oklahoma Speedway, Ardmore, Okla.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (2) 14w R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, Ariz.
2. (6) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
3. (3) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D.
4. (7) 19R Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
5. (1) 33 Shawn Stephenson, Howe, Texas.
6. (9) 20 Ronnie Welborn, Princeton, Texas.
7. (5) 8 Jeremy Vaughn, Pocola, Okla.
8. (8) 79 J.R. Owen (R), Pocola, Okla.
9. (4) 8x Chad Thomsen (R), Louisburg, Kan.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 34n C.A. Nix, Lawton, Okla.
2. (1) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
3. (4) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla.
4. (3) 26 Shawn Fletcher (R), Brainerd, Minn.
5. (6) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla.
6. (5) 05 Jake Hartung (R), Elmwood, Wis.
7. (7) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
8. (8) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (2) 4W Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark.
2. (1) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn.
3. (6) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (5) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (7) 21 Austin Bonner, Elk City, Okla.
6. (3) 23 Logan Robertson (R), Shamrock, Texas.
7. (4) 49 Chadd Howell (R), Waurika, Okla.
DNS - 91 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas.
THE JOIE OF SEATING HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (5) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (6) 88xxx Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas.
3. (2) 34 Mickey Lassiter (R), Piedmont, Okla.
4. (4) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn.
5. (1) 10 Austin Arneson, Fargo, N.D.
6. (3) R1 Jay Richardson (R), Spring Valley, Wis.
7. (8) D25 David Tanner (R), Wichita Falls, Texas.
8. (7) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
VP RACING FUELS HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (1) 87 John Webb, Pauls Valley, Okla.
2. (3) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas.
3. (5) 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan.
4. (6) 2g Kenny Gaddis, Diana, Texas.
5. (7) 7 Sean Gaddis (R), Diana, Texas.
6. (4) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
7. (8) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.
8. (2) 1/2 Zane Hunter (R), Alma, Ark.
REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN #1 (15 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (13) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.
2. (14) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
3. (1) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla.
4. (6) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla.
5. (2) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D.
6. (4) 26 Shawn Fletcher (R), Brainerd, Minn., SSR/Wagamon, $100.
7. (12) 49 Chadd Howell (R), Waurika, Okla., MBCustom/Hatfield, $100.
8. (8) 05 Jake Hartung (R), Elmwood, Wis., SSR/Scott's, $100.
9. (5) 21 Austin Bonner, Elk City, Okla., GRT/Geddes, $80.
10. (7) 33 Shawn Stephenson, Howe, Texas, IRP/Wornhor, $80.
11. (3) 2g Kenny Gaddis, Diana, Texas, MBCustom/PTS, $100.
12. (15) 8x Chad Thomsen (R), Louisburg, Kan., GRT/Driskell, $100.
13. (9) R1 Jay Richardson (R), Spring Valley, Wis., SSR/MAS, $100.
14. (10) D25 David Tanner (R), Wichita Falls, Texas, MBCustom/Geddes, $100.
15. (11) 8 Jeremy Vaughn, Pocola, Okla., Hughes/BMS, $80.
REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN #2 (15 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
2. (3) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (4) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn.
4. (8) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
5. (7) 10 Austin Arneson, Fargo, N.D.
6. (10) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
7. (9) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas, MBCustom/KPE, $100.
8. (2) 34 Mickey Lassiter (R), Piedmont, Okla.
9. (11) 79 J.R. Owen (R), Pocola, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, $100.
10. (12) 1/2 Zane Hunter (R), Alma, Ark., Hughes/BMS, $100.
11. (6) 20 Ronnie Welborn, Princeton, Texas, IRP/GMPP, $80.
12. (5) 7 Sean Gaddis (R), Diana, Texas, MBCustom/PTS, $100.
DNS - 23 Logan Robertson (R), Shamrock, Texas, MBCustom/PPE, $100.
DNS - 91 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas, GRT/Mullins, $100.
PRODUCTION JARS "A" MAIN (50 laps):
1. (1) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustom/Hatfield, 50, $4000.
2. (3) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., LG2/Cornett, 50, $2200.
3. (6) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas, MBCustom/Durham, 50, $1500.
4. (23) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Sput's, 50, $1000.
5. (10) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 50, $800.
6. (4) 88xxx Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas, MBCustom/Mullins, 50, $700.
7. (9) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Mullins, 50, $600.
8. (13) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz., Hughes/Mullins, 50, $550.
9. (5) 14w R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, Ariz., GRT/GMPP, 50, $500.
10. (14) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, 50, $450.
11. (2) 34n C.A. Nix, Lawton, Okla., Hughes/Sput's, 50, $400.
12. (12) 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, 50, $375.
13. (15) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., MBCustom/ASI, 50, $400.
14. (19) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla., Hughes/Geddes, 50, $325.
15. (16) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Durham, 50, $400.
16. (7) 87 John Webb, Pauls Valley, Okla., MBCustom/Wegner, 50, $300.
17. (18) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn., MBCustom/Dakota, 50, $400.
18. (24) 34 Mickey Lassiter (R), Piedmont, Okla., Hughes/Sput's, 49, $300.
19. (8) 4w Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustom/Hatfield, 49, $300.
20. (21) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D., LG2/Durham, 49, $300.
21. (20) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustom/Sput's, 49, $300.
22. (17) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla., BlackWidow/ProPower, 49, $300.
23. (22) 10 Austin Arneson, Fargo, N.D., GRT/GMPP, 9, $300.
24. (11) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn., Longhorn/Foss, 5, $300.
(R) = Rookie of the Year contender.
Lap Leader: Sanders 1-50.
Total Laps Led: Sanders 50.
Margin of Victory: under caution.
Time of Race: 23 minutes, 24.944 seconds (3 cautions).
Provisional Starters: VanderBeek, Lassiter.
KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: Hughes (started 10th, finished 5th).
Next Race: Thursday-Saturday, March 23-25, Humboldt Speedway, Humboldt, Kan.
Summit Racing USMTS Southern Region Points: Dillard 1308, Thornton 1264, Brown 1244, Hughes 1242, Gustin 1229, S. Scott 1169, VanderBeek 1147, Ramirez 1122, J. Scott 1121, Saurer 1081.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Saurer 1075, Whitwell 998, Wolff 958, Vogel 869, Kates 624.
USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Mullins 136, Durham 120, ASI 111, Sput's 89, Hatfield 78.
USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: Hughes 137, MBCustoms 135, GRT 118, LG2 100, VanderBuilt 97.
Allstar Performance - Thornton.
American Racer - Whitwell.
Beyea Custom Headers - Egbert.
BigDeal Car Care - Sanders.
BSB Manufacturing - Duvall.
Chix Gear Racewear - Ferguson.
Day Motor Sports - Arneson, Foss.
Deatherage Opticians - Nix.
Dickson Racing Shocks - J. Scott.
E3 Spark Plugs - Brown.
Edelbrock - Wolff.
Fast Shafts - Nix.
Forty9Designs.com - Tillison, Wolff.
Fuel Safe Racing Cells - Dunn.
GRT Race Cars - Thomsen.
Hooker Custom Harness - Dillard.
Integra Shocks & Springs - Lassiter.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts - Saurer.
Keyser Manufacturing - Gustin.
KSE Racing Products - Hughes.
Out-Pace Racing Products - Webb.
QA1 - Gustin.
Real Racing Wheels - all non-qualifiers.
Simpson Performance Products - Whitwell.
Sweet Manufacturing - Rowland.
Sybesma Graphics - Sanders.
Tire Demon - Nix.
VP Racing Fuels - Sanders.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products - VanderBeek.
Wilwood Engineering - S. Scott.
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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Argo Manufacturing, Casey's General Stores, Chix Gear Racewear, CP-Carrillo, Deatherage Opticians, Fast Shafts, Intercomp, KSE Racing Products, Leaf Racewear & Safety Equipment, Malvern Bank, MSD, Pace Performance, RacerWebsite.com, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, S&S Fishing & Rental, Summit Racing Equipment, The Joie of Seating, VP Racing Fuels.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arizona Sport Shirts, ASi Racewear, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, ElbowsUp.com, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Oreo, Production Jars, Rancho Milagro Racing, RHRSwag.com, YouDirt.com.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: 905 Ink, AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Beyea Custom Headers, BigDeal Car Care, BSB Manufacturing, Day Motor Sports, Dickson Racing Shocks, E3 Spark Plugs, Edelbrock, FK Rod Ends, Forty9 Designs, Genesis Racing Shocks, GRT Race Cars, Holley Performance Products, Hooker Custom Harness, Integra Shocks & Springs, Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts, Keyser Manufacturing, Out-Pace Racing Products, QA1 Precision Products, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Sweet Manufacturing, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wehrs Machine & Race Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes.