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Tuesday, March 28, 2017
The FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams® USMTS/USRA Power Rankings
By: Sam Stoecklin
The Seventh-Annual King of America (KOA) from Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt, Kansas is officially in the books and it was a weekend of racing that will be remembered by many things ... a first-time USMTS winner, uncooperative weather, and for the first time, a repeat KOA winner! So how did your favorite driver fall in line on this week's USMTS/USRA FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams? Let's find out!
 
Holding on to the number one position earning 8 of 9 first-place votes from the voting staff this week, Louisiana's Cade Dillard rides two runner-up finishes to the number one ranking! As everyone caught their breath on the lap 53 KOA yellow flag it was nail-biting time for the viewing audience and get up on the wheel time for Dillard, who was trying to track down eventual winner Ryan Gustin in traffic. Although his bid for a first-ever KOA championship did not materialize, Dillard easily holds down the number one ranking.
 
Speaking of Gustin, the former USMTS champion earned his 80th career win after masterfully driving to his second KOA championship while becoming the first driver in seven years to earn a second victory in the prestigious event. The Reaper started on the outside row alongside Terry Phillips and quickly shot out to an early race lead where he led the first eight circuits before eventually re-taking the lead from Rodney Sanders on lap 29. After that, it was hold your breath time as Dillard did everything he could in traffic but Gustin was flawless through it all and went on to claim the win.
 
Jason Hughes was rather quiet on the KOA weekend but once again reeled off a top-five finish after starting twelfth on the KOA grid, the final driver to be locked in the grid after heat race passing points. Hughes also drove from 15th during the prelude event to earn back-to-back top-ten finishes.
 
Johnny Scott may be the most consistent driver on the tour right now after posting another solid KOA finish, his second-consecutive podium finish in the event where he is trying to join brother Stormy as a KOA winner. J Scott advanced from eighth to fifth for the KOA finale and posted some of the quickest laps of the race throughout the 70-lap event. He also advanced from 17th on Thursday to finish seventh.
 
Rounding out the top five this week was Ricky Thornton, Jr., who, while solid throughout the prelims, flew under the radar during the main event where he faded from third on the grid to twelfth. Still, the early season events with the three USMTS wins are a reminder that Thornton is definitely among the top five so far in '17.
 
Stormy Scott finished sixth in this week's rankings after climbing his way into the KOA starting grid through the C- and then the B-main. Stormy advanced from 14th to 4 in the C-main, then 16th to 5th in the B-main before settling for a 16th to 6th run in the main event.
 
Rodney Sanders again led laps during the KOA weekend but faded to a seventh place finish in the KOA, where he is also ranked this week. Lucas Schott rebounds from the number 20 rank last week to number 8 this week. Schott again raised his profile with solid performances all weekend long and was running with the leaders in the KOA main event right up until the final stages. Last year's KOA champion Zack VanderBeek holds on to a top-ten placement this week in tenth after finishing the KOA in 11th spot.
 
Rounding out the top ten this week is the KOA weekend's upset story. Mitch Keeter reeled off his first-ever USMTS win during the Thursday night prelude to the King. He also doubled up on heat race victories during the KOA heat races before fading to 16th in the main event. However, his eye-opening win on Thursday proves once again that the apple cart needs to be upset once in a while and also shows why observers can never get complacent or just rely on what they believe should be the finishing order in USMTS or other high-profile events!
 
Terry Phillips re-enters the top 20 this week after he earned the pole starting position with the most accumulated passing points from heat races at the KOA. The only driver to slip out of the top 20 this week was RC Whitwell. All total, 33 drivers earned votes from our voting staff this week. Those drivers missing the top 20 included: Fito Gallardo, Joe Duvall, Thomas Tillison, Jr.,  Dustin Strand, RC Whitwell, Dylan Smith, Logan Robertson, Tyler Wolff, Brad Dierks, Darron Fuqua, Jackie Dalton, Kent Arment, and Trevor Egbert.
 
Check back again next Wednesday morning when we return with another edition of the USMTS/USRA FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams! Until then, be sure to check out our extensive library of on-demand video and race highlights from last weekend's KOA. In addition, you will find all the  early season archives from the first 15 USMTS events held throughout the Southern Region. This weekend we will also have coverage of the MLRA season opener from I-80 Speedway as the Super Late Models return to action. Lastly, don't forget to check out our weekly Invert the Dirt section of race results and our Modified Schedule to find out which drivers are turning heads this year.
 
Each week, RacinDirt.com's hand-selected racing insiders rank drivers based on United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS), United States Racing Association (USRA), and similar car-type results. Voter opinions do not reflect the thoughts as a whole of RacinDirt.com. Voting inquiries may be addressed to staff member Sam Stoecklin at samonthemic@hotmail.com.
 
RankPriorDriver Name
11Cade Dillard
Runner-Up at KOA and most people had Dillard picked to win. That should say something for how good this guy has been this season.
24Ryan Gustin
KOA Champion..impressive run..but started on the front row. Impressive in his performance to become the first two-time King of America. Could this spark what everyone who lines up against him knows and fears can happen when the Reaper catches fire?
33Jason Hughes
Solid 5th in KOA finale, also a decent drive from 15th to 8th at the "prelude" race.
45Johnny Scott
Johnny is on the verge of some huge wins. Stellar podium finish on Saturday after the charge to 7th on Thursday. Has been a solid contender in every race this season.
52Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Not the best showing at KoA, but looking at the entire picture I think RTJ is 2nd only to Dillard. Honestly, disappointing weekend for RT. I expected a top five run
67Stormy Scott
Stormy had a great weekend that many likely overlooked; a top 10 on Thursday and a run through the alphabet on Saturday to earn the Hard Charger award in the Main Event. Came through a C-main to finish 6th at KOA. That is an awesome run for a tough weekend.
78Rodney Sanders
Led some of the KOA finale early before logging a decent 7th place finish.
820Lucas Schott
Started 11th and was up to 3rd. Broke a drive shaft coming out of 4 on the final lap to finish 4th. Reminded everyone why he is the defending USRA National Champ with a 3rd and 4th place finishes on his first weekend out in the new MB Customs.
99Zack VanderBeek
The defending KOA champion narrowly missed the top 10 in this year's A-Main; still looking solid in the new car.
1010Mitch Keeter
Faded in KoA A main but wins Thursday prelim and wins 2 of 3 heat races. Won the "Prelude to the King" (his first USMTS win ever) in amazing fashion, dominating the field. Keeter will be hell on the boys in the midwest if things stay the way they are now.
1111Dereck Ramirez
Very sporty Top 5 on Thursday, and a solid 8th on Saturday.
1213Jake Gallardo
Not much to speak of this week for the Gallardo's after a long haul to the midwest. Tough luck all the way around.
136Chris Brown
Absent from KOA weekend, hopefully returning to action soon.
1415Josh Angst
If it wasn't for bad luck, Josh Angst would have no luck at all. Still yet, the Candy Man looked damn impressive in that 4th place finish on Thursday. Fast all month at Humboldt speedway, but just can never catch a break!
1517Jake Timm
Timm tallied two Top 15's this week against the big dogs…he may be another driver ignited by the switch to MB Customs.
1618Phillip Houston
Horrible KoA but will likely rebound in the Lone Star and surrounding states TOMS action.
17NewTerry Phillips
Went forward on Thursday and backward on Saturday. It continues to be a rocky start for TP in the Mod. Earned the pole for KOA.
1812Travis Saurer
Disappointingly not present at the KOA but still the strongest USMTS RoY candidate.
1916Jesse Sobbing
Turned a final transfer finish in the B-Main into a Top 15 in the A-Main. Too bad Crazy isn't committed to the Mods again this season - he's fun to watch!
2019Troy Taylor
Likely looking forward to TOMS action roaring back to life.
Each week, RacinDirt insiders rank their top 20 drivers based on United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS), United States Racing Association (USRA) results, and USRA-type modified results and competition. The opinions of our voters, are just that, opinions, and do not reflect the thoughts as a whole of RacinDirt.com or its staff. Would you like to be an USMTS/USRA Power Rankings voter? Email samonthemic@hotmail.com for more information.
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