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Wednesday, June 21, 2017
The FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams® USMTS/USRA Power Rankings
 
After an incredible weekend of racing at the Masters in New Richmond, Wisconsin, the Z-Man, Zack VanderBeek of New Sharon, Iowa takes over the number one position on this week's edition of the USMTS/ USRA FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams. This is VanderBeek's first-ever week at the top of the rankings where his previous watermark was in the runner-up position, just last week. 
 
If you take a deeper dive into VanderBeek's performances over the last few events he has entered, it is easy to see why our voters placed him in the number one position. Dating back to May 10th at Heart 'O' Texas Speedway, the Z-man has posted 14 top-five finishes out of 14 events! Along the way he has racked up 3 wins, 5 runner-up finishes, 4 third-place runs, and two fourth-place outings. These stats easily out-duel anyone on the tour right now and solidify his run at the number one ranking. 
 
In all actuality, this was the tightest battle for the number one position in the history of the rankings dating back to our first edition on May 21, 2013. Heading into last weekend's "The Masters" at Cedar Lake, Cade Dillard had ruled the top spot for a total of 11 non-consecutive weeks. During that time frame, only Ricky Thornton, Jr., was able to dethrone the Louisiana driver. This week VanderBeek becomes the third driver to lead the standings in 2017 and the eleventh different driver to be ranked number one since 2013.
 
Despite some struggles last week leading up to and at the Masters, Dillard is still ranked high on voter sheets and slips into the number two position this week. Although he scored a solid USMTS top 5 to start the week off, a late-race spin in the Masters while going for another top-five ultimately led to an 18th-place finish. 
 
Ryan Gustin captured his second 'Crown Jewel' event of the year last Saturday and into Sunday after rain delayed the final two-thirds of the Masters at Cedar Lake. Gustin dominated all 70 laps of the event and collected a cool $50,000 payday for his efforts. The win obviously rang loud for our voters who move him up two positions this week to land at number three. To show you how close the outcome was, VanderBeek and Dillard each tied with three first-place rankings while Gustin also earned a number one ranking from voters this week. 
 
Jason Hughes struggled throughout the week but does manage to re-emerge into this week's top five. Hughes recorded back-to-back top 10's to kick off the week of USMTS action but then was unable to carry the momentum into the finale. However, as Gustin's car owner, Hughes had plenty of reasons to celebrate!
 
Rounding out the top five this week was another driver who surprisingly struggled during the Masters weekend. After finishes of 7th and 12th out of the gate, S Scott was actually one of the first cars to retire from the Masters, where he finished 23rd.
 
R.C. Whitwell continued his recent string of solid USMTS performances and turned in a 7th-place run after starting 25th on the Masters Grid! Jake Timm did just what many voters thought he would do and that is win his first-ever USMTS main event. Timm's 1st bell-ringer came at Ogilvie Raceway a night after finishing runner-up in a USRA event at Mississippi Thunder Speedway. To cap off the weekend, Timm finished top ten at the Masters. Lucas Schott drove to a sixth-place run on night one of the Masters and then transferred to the big show with a B-Main victory on Saturday before going on to finish 11th in the Masters finale. 
 
Rodney Sanders Rockets back to the top ten this week at number 9, up from number 18 last week on the heels of his impressive run to second at the Masters. Although his future schedule will likely lean on Late Model events, Sanders obviously has not missed a beat when sitting behind the wheel of his Modified. Ricky Thornton, Jr., did not come away with the busy Minnesota weekend results as he had hoped to; however, his stellar season keep him on the voting staff's ballots week in and week out. 
 
Elsewhere on the top 20, Bumper Jones clicked off his fourth win in a row at the ultra-competitive Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces over the weekend. For his efforts, Jones vaults from number 17 last week to just missing the top 10 in eleventh spot this week. 
 
The Candy Man, Josh Angst re-enters this week's rankings at number 13 this week after a surprising and unexpected series of incredible performances simply because he wasn't sure he would compete at the Masters until the eleventh hour! He wound up winning the Masters Pole-Dash after an excellent night of preliminary action on night one; however, this year wasn't to be for Angst as he retired early from the Masters after firmly running inside the top five in the early laps. 
 
Elsewhere on the countdown, C.A. Nix makes a rare top-20 appearance this week as more and more voters are recognizing his achievements. With his fifth win of the year coming at Wichita Speedway, it was his fifth victory overall this season, leaving no doubt that he's worthy of a top-20 placement. 
 
A total of 37 drivers appear on the voting ballots this week, up from 34 last week. Falling outside of this weekend's top 20 were idle Kevin Blackburn and Triston Dycus. Additional drivers receiving rankings votes include: Masters top-five runner Shane Sabraski, Road Warrior Zane DeVilbiss, Masters standout driver Jake Hartung, Jake Gallardo, JD Auringer, Terry Phillips, Bobby Ruffin, Jackie Dalton, Lakeside Speedway winner Kerry Davis, Central Missouri Speedway winner Terry Schultz, Jacob Bleess, Charlie Smith, Kevin Blackburn, Johnny Philpot Jr., Humboldt Speedway winner Chase Domer, Southern New Mexico Speedway runner-up Christy Barnett and Trevor Latham.
 
We return next week with another edition of the top 20, with the USMTS cars off for the next several weeks, it will now be time for the USRA drivers to shine as the heat of summer sets in a slew of weekly race tracks throughout the middle of the country and out West. How will it all shake out on next week's rankings? You'll have to find out for yourself next Wednesday.
 
If you missed any of the action from the Masters, or, the Summit Modified events or late model racing throughout the country, have no fear, RacinDirt.com has you covered with its extensive library of on-demand video from all walks of racing in the nation. 
 
Masters Pole-Dash winner on Friday in a last-minute decision to hit the big event but weekend doesn't end as solidly as he plummets to a 21st place run. Still a strong showing throughout the Masters preliminary action. The Candy Man did strike victory lane earlier in the week at Mississippi Thunder. One voter declares, "He will continue moving up on my list with the impressive runs."
RankPriorDriver Name
12Zack VanderBeek
Using the entire week of results VanderBeek was the most consistent. Opens with a solid 2nd at Ogilvie on Wednesday before taking the win on Thursday for night one of the Masters. Finishes third in a battle royale with Sanders in the Masters 70-lapper. The guy is on his game right now.
21Cade Dillard
Tenth to fourth on Thursday, night one of the Masters. Late-race spin relegates him to 18th in the Masters A-Main. One of our voters said, "I had to drop him this week after some ok results."
35Ryan Gustin
After starting the weekend slow in 18th and 10th, the 'Reaper' caps the weekend with the largest payout ever assembled for his type of Modifieds and nails down the $50 grand by leading all 70 laps of the Masters. A voters said of his latest victory, "I Don't think this guy can be beat when the big money is on the line." Collected second crown jewel of the season.
46Jason Hughes
Makes the podium behind Timm and VanderBeek at Ogilvie before posting a 7th-place run on night one of the Masters. However, the weekend did not finish strong for him as a driver as he struggled to a 17th-place Masters finish. Gustin's victory for Hughes as a car owner and team leader soothes the weekend for the veteran. Hughes hasn't been himself lately, but I look for Jason to finish the year strong.
53Stormy Scott
Started with a 7th at Ogilvie before going on to finish 12th on night one of the Masters before ultimately dropping out early in the finale for a disappointing finish of 23rd.
64R.C. Whitwell
USMTS finishes of 16th, 13th and 7th in the grand finale keeps his profile high. In the Masters finale he advanced from 25th to finish in seventh.
720Jake Timm
The latest youngster from the north to shake up the USMTS tour as he takes his first-ever touring win on Wednesday night at Ogilvie Raceway! Finishes ninth in the Masters finale. Like many of his fellow drivers, started the week off earlier in the week at Mississippi Thunder where he finished second.
Tie14Lucas Schott
Cool-Hand Luke rolls to a 6th-place USMTS finish on night one of the Masters where he claimed the B-Main to transfer to the finale, whee he finished 11th. Earlier in the week, he posted a third-place run at Mississippi Thunder Speedway.
918Rodney Sanders
Right in the mix all weekend long at the Masters where he finished runner-up to Gustin. Collecting a 2nd place finish at the Masters had to be refreshing for the texas native. Will likely return to the Late Model over the coming off weeks for USMTS action.
106Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Quietly makes the Masters A-main before going on to finish 15th. Tried his hand at Mississippi Thunder earlier in the week but unable to finish the main event.
1117Bumper Jones
Takes fourth-straight victory at Southern New Mexico Speedway!
Tie10Johnny Scott
Solid top-ten run but a quiet weekend for J Scott as he rolls to an 8th-place Masters finish.
13NewJosh Angst
Masters Pole-Dash winner on Friday in a last-minute decision to hit the big event but weekend doesn't end as solidly as he plummets to a 21st place run. Still a strong showing throughout the Masters preliminary action. The Candyman did strike victory lane earlier in the week at Mississippi Thunder. One voter declares, "He will continue moving up on my list with the impressive runs.."
149Mitch Keeter
Fourth at Humboldt on Friday and sixth at Salina Highbanks on Saturday.
156Jason Cummins
Jason has been damn fast in that 71
Tie16Joe Duvall
Joe has been rolling lately. Is that win around the corner? Strong showing over the Masters weekend and build-up to the Masters.
1715Jim Moody
Runner-up again at Central Mo Speedway in a showdown with Terry Schultz.
1811Dereck Ramirez
Ninth at Ogilvie mid-week on the USMTS tour but then posts a disappointing finish of 24th among the first retirees in the Masters finale.
Tie12Ryan Middaugh
Runner-up to Steve Picou at Lake Ozark Speedway.
20NewCA Nix
All he does is win! Fifth win of the year at Wichita over the weekend.
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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