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Wednesday, August 23, 2017
The FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams® USMTS/USRA Power Rankings
By: Sam Stoecklin
It's hard to fathom the amazing rebound and recovery of Oklahoma's Jason Hughes after watching the grinding crash video and seeing the aftermath photos from that early July race at Thunderbird Speedway let alone imagine that just 47 days later he would take over the USMTS/USRA FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams as the number-one ranked driver in the country! 
 
However, we are talking about Jason Hughes ... a USMTS champion with over 150 career victories! Hughes's amazing return to prominence was punctuated with two Hunt race victories over the weekend, which saw him finish no worse than third in the most recent four-race stretch of the Hunt. Hughes becomes the fourth different driver to lead the way on the rankings this season. His return to the perch marks his 42nd overall week at the top and first week leading the way since our final rankings of 2016 back on November 16th. In returning to number one, Hughes ends the nine-week consecutive run at number one for Zack VanderBeek.
 
Cade Dillard appeared to be on his way to a 10 grand win last weekend at Lakeside Speedway in the Grant Junghans Memorial; however, as his second half of the season bad luck continued, Dillard crashed out of the race while leading. However, besides the Lakeside DNF, Dillard racked up three podium finishes for the weekend and this week moves back into the number two position behind Hughes.
 
Ryan Gustin had three top-ten Hunt finishes last weekend including a best of second place during the Park City event; however, the Reaper slips to number three this week. Our voters split the number one rankings this week between Hughes and Gustin, so the fight for the top spot is not over yet. Speaking of top spot, last week's number one ranked driver, Zack VanderBeek, falls from the top this week to number four. VanderBeek's incredible pre-Hunt string of success seems to have left him during the Hunt as he only scored one top-five finish over the most recent USMTS swing.
 
Rounding out the top five this week is Mr. USRA, Jason Cummins, who recorded his 17th victory of the season and 8th feature win of the year at Deer Creek Speedway. Cummins has been the highest-ranked USRA-based driver nearly the entire season as he returns to the top five this week. Rodney Sanders recorded the win at the Grant Junghans Memorial and vaults from the number nine spot last week to number six this week as he rebounds. 
 
Stormy Scott lost the Hunt point's lead over the weekend to Hughes even though he scored three top-five finishes and four top-tens out of four events but with the top so packed with various achievements, S Scott finds himself slipping to the number seven ranked position this week. R.C. Whitwell cooled down a little bit this week but still had solid performances on the USMTS tour to land in the number eight-ranked position while Ricky Thornton, Jr., returned to USMTS victory lane at Scotland County to rebound up the rankings from number 17 to number nine this week. Rounding out the top ten is Ryan Middaugh, who returns to the top 10 after scoring his 11th USRA victory of the season at Lake Ozark Speedway in Missouri. 
 
Elsewhere on the rankings, Lucas Schott rebounds to number 11 this week. Schott, who was last year's Junghans Memorial winner, scored a runner-up finish this year and also racked up two more USRA top-five finishes over the weekend. Johnny Scott returned to action last weekend and scored a solid run at Lakeside and moves up to a tie for 12th this week.
 
Travis Saurer, who scored a pair of USMTS top-five runs over the weekend, returns to the top 20 as does Flint Creek winner Trevor Latham, Lucas Oil Speedway winner Jeff Cutshaw, Deer Creek runner-up finisher Dustin Sorensen, and Central Missouri Speedway winner Jim Moody. Falling out of the top 20 this week were Bumper Jones, Jackie Dalton, and Jake Gallardo. 
 
Thirty-three drivers earned voter recognition this week, down one from last week. Additional drivers receiving votes this week included: Bumper Jones, CA Nix, Joe Duvall, Triston Dycus, Jackie Dalton, Jake Gallardo, Jake O'Neil, Nic Bidinger, Cory Crapser, Terry Phillips, and Zane DevilBiss.
 
Hunt racing resumes tonight, August 24rd at Hamilton County Speedway for the Boone River Bayou event and then carries on at Nobles Count Speedway, Rapid Speedway, Park Jefferson International Speedway and Casino Speedway as the tour heads north for the weekend. 
 
RacinDirt.com has on-demand video of all the recently completed Hunt races, including last Friday's Grant Junghans Memorial from Lakeside Speedway plus action from all throughout the coverage area including events at Salina Highbanks Speedway, I-35 Speedway, and Scotland County Speedway. Be sure to keep your browser pointed to RacinDirt as the Hunt continues, we'll bring you all the best news coverage and on-demand video as the battle for the USMTS national championship heats up. Plus, we'll have coverage from all across the nation in both the Super Late Model and Modified ranks to keep you up-to-date and current on the latest from local and touring events. We'll be back with an all-new rankings again next Wednesday morning! 
 
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
15Jason Hughes
Finishes of 2nd, 3rd, 1st, and 1st will no doubt put him right back in the mix for driver of the year as he takes command of Hunt point's lead after Park City.
23Cade Dillard
Records a trio of top-three finishes in a weekend that saw him crash out of the Junghans Memorial at Lakeside while leading!
32Ryan Gustin
Best finish of 2nd at 81 Speedway to teammate Hughes as Gustin records three top-tens over the four-day USMTS run.
41Zack VanderBeek
Just one top five finish among his three appearances during the USMTS weekend, all that momentum seems lost, now fourth in the Hunt.
56Jason Cummins
Victory number 17 on the year for Cummins as he rolls to 8th Deer Creek victory.
69Rodney Sanders
Pockets a cool 10 G's during Lakeside Junghans Memorial and was in the top ten on three occasions throughout the weekend, definitely moving back up the rankings.
74Stormy Scott
Usually three top five's and fourth top-tens would keep you on top of the point standings but when Hughes posts four top-three finishes it's hard to maintain the lead.
87R.C. Whitwell
Cooling off just a bit with several 8th to 12th-place finishes for the last four Hunt races.
917Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Thornton roars back to victory lane to kickoff the USMTS weekend at Scotland County but then doesn't crack the top 15 in next three events.
1012Ryan Middaugh
Posts 11th win of the season on Saturday at Lake Ozark Speedway, where he has 8 wins on the year.
1116Lucas Schott
Unable to defend his Junghans Memorial win on Friday as he comes up one spot short from 8th on the grid to 2nd. Also posts a pair of USRA top-five runs at Lucas Oil Speedway and Mason City over the rest of the weekend.
1211Dereck Ramirez
Best finish of 7th at 81 Speedway with just two top-tens for the weekend.
Tie18Johnny Scott
All of the sudden J Scott reappears and picks up a couple of Hunt top tens with best finish of 7th in his three new look appearances.
Tie8Mitch Keeter
Finishes 18th at Salina Highbanks Hunt Race.
1510Jake Timm
Posts a pair of top-tens over the four-day USMTS stretch with a best finish of 6th at Park City, Kansas.
16NewTravis Saurer
One voter said, "Finishes of 8th, 5th, 3rd, and 11th is notice enough for me to move up Saurer in my rankings, great weekend for the Minnesotan!"
17NewTrevor Latham
Takes the win at Flint Creek on Friday night for 9th win of the year and second at FCS.
18NewJeff Cutshaw
Winner at Lucas Oil Speedway.
1915Tyler Wolff
Just one Hunt appearance, a 13th at Salina Highbanks on Saturday.
20NewDustin Sorensen
Strong runner-up finish to Cummins on Saturday at the 'Creek.
TieNewJim Moody
Secures fourth win at CMS.
Tie14Josh Angst
Fourth-place run at Deer Creek on Saturday.
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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