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Wednesday, September 27, 2017
The FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams® USMTS/USRA Power Rankings
By: Sam Stoecklin
The Reaper, Ryan Gustin, ruled the weekend and harvested the Jamboree for two victories, including the finale, after starting out second on night one. To no one's surprise Gustin once again leads the way on this week's USMTS/USRA FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams. Another week at the top marks four weeks in a row for Gustin this season and sixth week up front over the years of our rankings. 
 
After being his own worst critic on the opening night loss to Cade Dillard to kick off the Hunt finale and Jamboree weekend, Gustin turned on the magic like we've seen him do so many times to fend of all challengers and add another big title to his already title filled resume.
 
Jason Hughes wrapped up yet another USMTS National Championship over the weekend giving the Hughes/Gustin team a weekend sweep of titles and accolades. Hughes' victories throughout the season, his incredible return to racing after the frightening Oklahoma accident and resiliency to mine another championship proves a champion will always rise to any challenge thrown his  way.
 
Zack VanderBeek's final night romp from 21st on the field to his runner-up finish was nothing short of spectacular and was just the latest in a season filled with more highs than lows. VanderBeek's late-season surge has led our voters to bring him back into the top three for the first time since mid-August.
 
Stormy Scott had everything to gain and nothing to lose on the final night of the Hunt to kickoff the Jamboree weekend; however, his bid for a National title fell short despite a valiant effort. Still, S Scott's strong season is nothing to sneeze at as he finished the Jamboree weekend with a run to third after mixing it up in lapped traffic with Gustin. 
 
Cade Dillard finally returned to victory lane breaking one of the most puzzling winless streaks in recent history. It seemed as though the second half of the USMTS season could not have been more excruciating for the Louisianan as week-after-week he experienced a myriad of bad luck in a bid to get back to victory lane. However, on the opening night of the weekend events at the 'Creek and during the Hunt finale, it all came together for Dillard once again as he claimed the victory, his ninth win of the season and first since early June!
 
Jason Cummins had an unexpected rough weekend at Deer Creek Speedway and slips from number two last week to number sixth this week. Lucas Schott on the other hand posted a pair of top-five finishes and moves up to number seven this week. Rodney Sanders started strong with a top-five during the Hunt finale but then flew the coop for World of Outlaws Late Model racing the rest of the weekend. 
 
This week's prime mover is Midwest standout driver Ryan Middaugh, who claimed a $2,500-to-win special event at Lake Ozark Speedway. Voters rewarded Middaugh's efforts with a 16 to 9 move this week as he secured his 12th win of the season. Rounding out the top ten, where he returns to the upper echelon is Dereck Ramirez, who is coming off of three solid top-ten runs at Deer Creek over the weekend. 
 
Elsewhere in the top 20, Bumper Jones also bumps up six spots this week after a podium finish behind the Gallardo's at Southern New Mexico Speedway. Southern New Mexico winner Fito Gallardo re-enters the top 20 this week at number 15, while strong running Joe Duvall re-enters at number 17 this week. Southern-based drivers Trevor Latham and Chris Henigan also return to the top 20 this week after  Tyler Wolff, Triston Dycus, Darron Fuqua, and Logan Robertson all slip outside of the top 20. 
 
All total, 35 drivers earned the attention of the voting staff this week, down from 39 last week. Additional drivers earning votes this week included the likes of Southern New Mexico runner-up Jake Gallardo, TOMS runner-up Clyde Dunn Jr. Josh Angst, Flint Creek winner Brian Williams, Dustin Sorensen, John Allen, TOMS winner Ken Schrader, TOMS Point Leader Triston Dycus, Tyler Wolff, Jackie Dalton, Johnny Scott, Steve Holzkamper, Dennis Elliott, Jim Moody, and Travis Saurer.
 
The rough and tough road crew of RacinDirt.com will head to Kevin and Tammy Gundaker's Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois this weekend for three nights of action and a first-ever live broadcast of "Modified Mania 13." It will be an action-packed weekend of firsts as the crew will cover both the Modified portion of the event plus the Late Model Support Class events, that's right, late models are the support class. With car counts traditionally in the 60's to 80's with participants over the event's history, you won't want to miss a lap of  the action, which begins on Thursday, continues on Friday, and finishes up on Saturday. Check out the main page of RacinDirt.com for complete ordering details. 
 
In the past, the likes of Michael Long, Bobby Pierce, Lucas Lee, Matt Mevert, Nick Hoffman and many time champion Mike Harrison have claimed Modified victories while Pierce has also been nearly unbeatable during the late model portion of the events. RacinDirt.com recently learned that both Pierce and Shannon Babb have plans on competing in both classes. Pierce will eye up another sweep of the competition from last year's Late Model events while Harrison will look to defend his Modified Mania crown from a year ago.  
 
If you missed a lap of the action at Deer Creek Speedway, have no fear, RacinDirt.com has you covered with its extensive library of on-demand video. All three nights' worth of action are there for the viewing. If you missed the latest round of results, be sure to check out our exclusive 'Invert the Dirt' feature, which is a weekly rewind of results from both Modified and Late Model racing from around the nation.
 
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
11Ryan Gustin
Another Big money win for the Reaper … one of the most memorable USMTS seasons ever put together by any driver, no doubt he's number one!
23Jason Hughes
Championship for Hughes What a run after his bad accident in OK. Strong season.
34Zack VanderBeek
Great week for VanderBeek, close on the final night from 21st to 2nd.
45Stormy Scott
Not quite able to catch Hughes at the end of the Hunt but still solid at the 'Creek.
56Cade Dillard
Good to see him back in Victory Circle after a long summer drought.
62Jason Cummings
USRA pints lead - will win it this year, but not so strong against USMTS at the 'Creek.
78Lucas Schott
Best non-touring driver of the weekend at the Jamboree.
87Rodney Sanders
A fourth on Night 1 at the 'Creek then ditches the Mod for WoO Late Model events.
916Ryan Middaugh
Grabbed the $2,500 win at Lake Ozarks along with a Track Championship.
1012Dereck Ramirez
Three Top- 10s at the Creek, consistent all week.
1110Mitch Keeter
Great season for Keeter with double-digit wins.
129R. C. Whitwell
Top 15 runs at the 'Creek all weekend.
1313Jake Timm
Solid Top-10s all week.
1420Bumper Jones
Third at Southern New Mexico Speedway behind the Gallardo's.
15NewFito Gallardo
Third USRA win, ranked 8th in USRA Points.
1611Johnny Bone, Jr.
Not a winning weekend but still among the top ten at Tri-State Speedway.
17NewJoe Duvall
Fifth on the final Jamboree night with one of his career best performances.
18NewTrevor Latham
USRA win number 12 over the weekend and now ranked 5th in USRA Points.
1917Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Struggles continued at the 'Creek, a tick off from the performances from earlier this year.
20NewChris Henigan
Makes the final and starts on the pole before fading to 11th at the Jamboree finish.
11Ryan Gustin
Another Big money win for the Reaper … one of the most memorable USMTS seasons ever put together by any driver, no doubt he's number one!
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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