Thursday, July 20, 2017
The FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams® USMTS/USRA Power Rankings
The FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams® USMTS/USRA Power Rankings
As one of our voters stated on their tally sheet this week, "he is absolutely number one." Unless you've been oblivious to all things racing over the last week, you have to know this reference can only be in relation to the Z-Man, Zack VanderBeek and his incredible string of three wins and one runner-up finish over four USMTS Wisconsin events last week.
A the voter eluded to, VanderBeek sweeps all first-place votes from our voters this week and easily retains the number one spot on this week's USMTS/USRA FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams for a fifth straight week. Heading into the Silver Dollar Nationals, we've heard the name Sanders quite often as an odds-on favorite to take the Nebraska loot; however, this year VanderBeek absolutely has to be one of the odd-on favorites for the I-80 glory.
Another I-80 favorite will no doubt be our number two ranked driver this week. Whenever there's been a string of money on the line, Ryan Gustin has found a way to bring his ride to the front. This week he rebounds up the rankings and overtakes Cade Dillard for the number two position. This marks the highest Gustin has ranked on the rankings since earlier this year in April.
By all accounts Dillard's three third-place finishes and one additional 6th-place finish would keep anyone near the top but with Gustin and VanderBeek taking wins and posting the finishes they had last weekend, it makes the bid for the number one driver one of the tightest and most exciting we've seen in years on the rankings. Dillard sits in the third spot this week, the first time he has not ranked either number one or two since last October!
Speeding up the rankings this week is USRA stand-out Jason Cummins, who once again finds himself in a spirited battle for the overall USRA National Points Title, where he currently sits in second behind Ryan Middaugh. With a win on Friday at Chateau Raceway, a fourth at Deer Creek Speedway on Saturday, and a podium finish to close the week at Mason City Motor Speedway, it's more than justified that Cummins vaults from number eight last week to this week's number four position, his highest-ever ranking on the tally.
Normally with another victory under your belt, a driver would retain the previous week's spot or move up the rankings; however, the top five right now is so tight that R.C. Whitwell slides back two positions this week despite snagging another win at Salina Highbanks Speedway last weekend. With some high-profile events on the radar, it will be interesting to see where Whitwell may turn up but we are confident in saying that wherever he lands he will no doubt be mixing it up near the front of the pack.
Bumper Jones' win streak came to an end thanks to Jake Gallardo's Southern New Mexico Speedway victory last Saturday night but Jones still grabbed some of the headlines for the night as he advanced from 20th on the grid that night to advance all the way to fourth in one of the biggest fields of cars of the weekend, more than enough to hold steady at number six this week.
Lucas Schott is another driver who makes his way back up the rankings this week after a string of brilliant drives through Wisconsin's USMTS action. After opening the week with the hard charger at Luxemburg, he then finished fifth at 141 Speedway, let the opening laps at Oshkosh the next night and ultimately finished seventh. He then rolled to another fifth-place run to close out the USMTS action at Plymouth Speedway. For his efforts, Schott rejoins the top ten by advancing from number 12 to number seven this week.
Jason Hughes remained inactive throughout the weekend after that horrific crash less than two weeks ago but still ranks high on our voters' sheets thanks to the phenomenal season he put together leading up to the devastating crash. There's no doubt that once Hughes returns to the driver's seat he will make his way back towards the top.
Stormy Scott posted some modest finishes on the USMTS trail, enough for him to inch up to the number nine spot this week, one spot ahead of Rodney Sanders who rounds out the top ten after a weekend full of Late Model action. As previously mentioned, Sanders is one of the drivers to watch when the green flat drops at I-80 Speedway for the Silver Dollar Nationals in a couple days.
Jake Timm was a busy young man last week and reeled off four-straight USMTS top-ten finishes coupled with a huge victory at Deer Creek Speedway over arguably the toughest field of cars competing in USRA on Saturday night. This week voters took note as he rises from number 18 last week to number 11 this week, just missing the top ten.
Four top-ten USMTS runs including two top-five's, one of them being a runner-up performance, is more than enough for Dereck Ramirez to reappear on the rankings this week, crashing the party all the way up to number 12, the highest ranking he's seen in quite sometime on the rankings. Jackie Dalton is this week's other new arrival as he re-enters at the number 20 position after posting another win at Springfield Raceway, his ninth of the year and good for fourth overall in USRA National Points.
Sliding out of this week's top 20 are Darron Fuqua and Josh Angst. The list of drivers also earning votes from our voting staff but missing out on the top 20 includes: Jake Gallardo, Cory Mahder, Mason City winner and long-distance traveler Logan Robertson, Trevor Latham, Cory Crapser, Darron Fuqua, Mark Dotson, Jacob Bleess, Triston Dycus, Zane DeVilbiss, Lakeside Speedway winner Nic Bidinger, Charlie Smith, Dustin Sorenson, Joe Duvall, TOMS winner Colby Smith, and J.D. Auringer. All total, 36 drivers found their way onto voting sheets this week, up from 34 last week.
Drivers have plenty more USRA tracks to choose from this week as the USMTS clan heads to the beautiful I-80 Speedway for the Silver Dollar Nationals. Be sure to keep your browser pointed to RacinDirt.com for all the latest and breaking news from the weekend of activity.
Don't forget to check out our vast array of on-demand video, including recent MLRA Late Model action from Lucas Oil Speedway in addition to major Modified and Late Model races from around the country. If you missed any of last week's results, have no fear, we've got you covered with our exclusive 'Invert the Dirt' segment, where we take a look at the week before in the Late Model and Modified racing from around the nation.
We'll be back again next Wednesday with an all new edition of the USMTS/USRA FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams. The rankings will likely light up after the planned Silver Dollar Nationals and results from around the world of USRA Modified action.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
|After three-race string of USMTS wins through Wisconsin, the Z-Man now sits tied for fifth on the all-time USMTS winner's list with 42 victories, six of those victories are from 2017! Just keeps piling on the consecutive top-fives and stats. One driver said, "In my opinion, this may be the best-ever week for a USMTS driver, he is absolutely number one!|
|Second at Luxemburg, fourth at 141 Speedway, third at Oshkosh and USMTS career win number 84 on the final night in Wisconsin at Plymouth for his sixth 2017 victory.|
|Nice string of USMTS strong finishes, third at Luxemburg to open Wisconsin string, followed by third at 141 Speedway, sixth at Oshkosh, and finishes the weekend off with a third at Plymouth … only one problem, VanderBeek had three wins and a second!|
|Takes the Friday night win at Chateau, then fourth at Deer Creek on Saturday, and finally third at Mason City to finish up the weekend. Still looking to win the USRA Championship, the 71 has been fast! Currently second in USRA points.|
|Clicks off another win at Salina Highbanks on Saturday over Al Purkey.|
|Even though his win-streak ended, he still is impressive at Southern New Mexico Speedway on Saturday with run from 20th to 4th at the finish! Hearing he may be heading to the Silver Dollar Nationals?|
|Opens the USMTS Wisconsin events with hard-charger to 11th at Luxemburg, then fifth at 141 Speedway, led the opening two laps at Oshkosh and came away 7th, and finishes USMTS events off with a fifth at Plymouth. Seventh to end the weekend at Deer Creek. Finally able to show what he could do against some USMTS competition. Where's the W's? Should be coming soon. Lucas is probably wondering if it's September yet!|
|Hopefully will return soon following injury after wreck at Muskogee's Thunderbird Speedway.|
|Advances from 19th to 10th to start USMTS events at Luxemburg, adds on finishes of 12th, 11th, and eighth for the next three events. According to one voter, "Stormy has struggled, waiting for that one win for him to bounce back, he needs a W."|
|The question has to be asked, can he win the Silver Dollar Nationals again? Answer, without a doubt will be among the odd-on favorites!|
|Starts out USMTS Wisconsin trek with a ninth-place finish at Luxemburg, then eighth at 141 Speedway, tenth at Oshkosh and caps the run off with a fourth-consecutive USMTS top-ten run of seventh at Plymouth Dirt Track. Finishes the weekend with a huge victory at Deer Creek Speedway over large field of cars. One voter said, "Jake has been super fast. Sounds like he will be running the Hunt. Look for some W's from this kid."|
|USMTS Wisconsin swing finishes of fourth at Luxemburg, second at 141 Speedway, eighth at Oshkosh, and sixth at Plymouth is probably his best USMTS swing in recent memory. Definitely on an upswing after a mediocre season so far.|
|Another dormant weekend.|
|Surprising run up through the Midwest culminates in Sunday night victory at Mason City over Ruter and Cummins. Sixth at Lakeside Friday and runner-up at I-35 on Saturday for a successful road trip!|
|15||8||Ricky Thornton, Jr.|
|Dormant from USMTS/USRA type events, former number one now sliding down the rankings.|
|Makes the podium at Callaway Raceway's final event and then posts seventh total win of the year and fifth at Lake Ozark Speedway on Saturday. National USRA Point's Leader.|
|Notches eighth win of the year on Friday at U.S. 36 and then seventh in the finish at Lucas Oil on Saturday. The veteran can still wheel it around on dirt.|
|Seventh at Salina Highbanks on Saturday night.|
|Fifth at Salina Highbanks on Saturday. Lots of early season wins, not so much now, seems to have cooled off in the hot summer.|
|Posts ninth win of the year and ran seventh at Springfield Raceway on Saturday, fourth in USRA points.|