USMTS Nebraska bound for 7th Annual Silver Dollar Nationals
By: Jeff Nun
GREENWOOD, Neb. (July 17)--The United States Modified Touring Series brings the best of the best in the dirt modified world to share the limelight with the best of the best in the dirt late model world this week as the I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb., hosts the 7th Annual Silver Dollar Nationals.
Joining the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series for two huge nights at the 4/10-mile clay oval, the stars and cars of the Casey's USMTS National Tour powered by S&S Fishing & Rental will have an open practice this Thursday night, July 20, followed by double qualifying heats and a pole dash on Friday, July 21. Last-chance races and the big $10,000-to-win star-studded main event with a three-wide start happen on Saturday, July 22.
Tommy Myer of Blooming Prairie, Minn., won the first-ever USMTS race at the I-80 Speedway in 2005. The series returned in 2011 to be a part of the Silver Dollar Nationals with Fertile, Iowa's Kelly Shryock capturing the preliminary night feature and Jeremy Payne of Springfield, Mo., collecting the winner's check on Saturday. One year later, Jason Hughes of Watts, Okla., won the Friday night feature while another Springfield driver, Terry Phillips, claimed the 2nd Annual Silver Dollar Nationals trophy.
But since 2013, nobody has been close to matching the dominance of Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas. Since topping the preliminary night of the 3rd Annual Silver Dollar Nationals on July 19, 2013, 'The Rocket' has won seven of the last eight USMTS races at the I-80 Speedway, including a clean sweep of the Silver Dollar Nationals for four straight seasons.
Hughes-a three-time and defending USMTS national champion-captured a 2013 race here during the Casey's Hunt for the USMTS National Championship, and another in 2012.
This year's event will get underway on Thursday, July 20, with an open practice for the USMTS and LOLMDS. Thursday night's action also includes a complete program for the Malvern Bank SLMR Late Models, Nebraska 360 Sprint Car Series and B-Mods.
Both the late models and USMTS will run double qualifying heat races on Friday, which will qualify cars into Saturday night's mega-features. The Friday night portion of the 7th Annual Silver Dollar Nationals will finish off with the $1,000-to-win, winner-take-all, 10-lap Pole Dash for the USMTS modifieds.
The top 12 in passing points from the double qualifying heats advance to the USMTS Pole Dash. The top four in passing points will be inverted with the remaining eight drivers starting heads-up. How they finish the dash is how they will start the feature on Saturday night.
On Saturday night, USMTS Modifieds will be running "B" features to fill out the starting field for the 40-lap main event that will start three-wide. Saturday's USMTS feature pays $10,000 to win and $600 to start while the 80-lap LOLMDS feature pays a whopping $53,000 to win and $1,700 to start.
Not only is the Silver Dollar Nationals a must-see crown jewel on the USMTS calendar, this year's race also serves as the final contest in the MSD Ignition USMTS Central Region presented by Summit Racing Equipment.
Cade Dillard of Robeline, La., leads the standings but lurking just 23 points back is New Sharon, Iowa's Zack VanderBeek who is coming off of three out of four wins during this past weekend's swing through the Bay area of Wisconsin.
MSD IGNITION USMTS CENTRAL REGION POINTS:
1. 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La. ... 720 (1 win)
2. 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa ... 697 (1 win)
3. 20RT Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz. ... 639 (2 wins)
4. 2S Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 635 (1 win)
5. 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla. ... 620
6. 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla. ... 596
7. 81 Mike Densberger, Lincoln, Neb. ... 519
8. 4W Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark. ... 450
9. 96 R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, Ariz. ... 449 (1 win)
10. 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan. ... 447
11. 8C Chris Clark (R), Jackson, Wyo. ... 411
12. 5K Kyle Prauner (R), Norfolk, Neb. ... 381
13. 1ST Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 321
14. 21T Lance Town, Louisburg, Kan. ... 294
15. 4 Dan Powers, Wichita, Kan. ... 250
16. 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo. ... 235
17. 5 Jon Mitchell, Texarkana, Texas ... 223 (1 win)
18. 3F Cole Ferguson (R), Dexter, Iowa ... 210
19. 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas ... 206
20. 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan. ... 203
1 Mitch Keeter, Joplin, Mo. (1 win)
Other drivers expected for this year's Silver Dollar Nationals include two-time USMTS national champ Ryan Gustin and teammate Jason Hughes, plus Kevin Rutherford, Ryan Schaffer, Darron Fuqua, Pat Graham, Jesse Sobbing, Lucas Schott, Jardin Fuller, Zane DeVilbiss, Dylan Smith, Bumper Jones and many more.
The I-80 Speedway is located one block north of I-80 at exit 420, halfway between Omaha and Lincoln at 13909 238th St. in Greenwood, NE 68366. For more information, visit www.i-80speedway.com or call (402)-342-3453.
For those unable to attend this year's Silver Dollar Nationals, www.DirtonDirt.com has you covered with complete live coverage both nights.
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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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, SToK Cold-Brew Coffee, 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, Swift Springs, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wehrs Machine & Race Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes.