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Monday, December 3, 2018
The FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams® USMTS/USRA Power Rankings
By: Sam Stoecklin
Johnny Scott is the 2018 USMTS/USRA FAST® Power Rankings Presented by COMP Cams 'Driver of the Year' marking the first time J Scott has earned this recognition. It was a dream season to say the least for the New Mexico native in which he collected 15 trips to USMTS victory lane including prelims and moved to seventh on the all-time USMTS wins list. 
 
Johnny finished in the top ten on the USMTS tour 33 times out of 37 starts and collected his first-ever National USMTS title and the Southern Series USMTS title as well. All total, J Scott occupied the first-place ranking 12 weeks this season and has now spent a total of 16 weeks atop the rankings dating back to our first edition in 2013. In addition to J Scott, the list of drivers occupying the number one spot on Power Rankings this season for at least one week includes Lucas Schott (5) Jake O'Neil (3), Rodney Sanders (3), Darron Fuqua (2), and Stormy Scott (1). 
 
Former Driver of the Year Rodney Sanders returned to Modified action full time in 2018. Sanders finished second in this year's final rankings of the season. Among Sanders' accolades for the year were three very high profile victories that included The Masters in June, the Silver Dollar Nationals in July and the Fall Jamboree in September. All total, Sanders racked up four victories with USMTS, finishing third in the overall standings. 
 
Darron Fuqua commanded the USRA action from start to finish this year, taking his first-ever USRA National Championship in the process. After starting the year strong, his momentum kept up through the end of the season as he secured over 20 victories on the year, 18 of those victories coming in USRA-sanctioned events, finishing in the top ten 31 out of 34 times along the way. 
 
Stormy Scott comes in fourth in the final rankings of the season with five USMTS victories. Stormy posted 32 top-ten finishes in 37 events on the year. Stormy's winning ways started early in the season with a win at the Wild West Shootout. Rounding out the top five on the driver of the year rankings is Jake O'Neil, who secured three USMTS wins and the Rookie of the Year title this season. O'Neil found his way to victory lane in the western states of Arizona and New Mexico and also picked up a Kansas win during his impressive season. 
 
The rest of the top-ten includes Turkey Bowl winner and late-season dominating driver Ryan Gustin at number six, five-time USMTS winner Zack VanderBeek at number seven, former number one driver Lucas Schott at number eight, Kennedale winner Terry Phillips at nine, and USRA points runner-up C.A Nix at ten. 
 
Our voting staff recognized a total of 37 drivers on their final tally sheets, one more than our previous rankings. Those drivers receiving votes but falling short of the top 20 were USRA winner Jake Timm, Spooker winner Jason Hughes, six-time USRA winner Brad Waits, Tyler Wolff, touring regular Adam Kates, Joe Duvall, Ricky Thornton Jr., USMTS winner Dustin Sorenson, Logan Robertson, USRA Southwest Region Champion Phillip Houston, Bo Day, Jake Gallardo, Lake Ozark Speedway Champion Ryan Middaugh, Hamilton County Speedway champion J.D. Auringer, Lance Mari, three-time USRA winner Keith Foss, and Trevor Latham.  
 
After securing another TOMS championship, Triston Dycus re-enters the rankings, blasting in at number 12 with another TOMS regular Troy Taylor returning to the top 20 at number 16. Two more southern-based drivers also make their return to top 20 as RPM Speedway Champion Wendall Bolden and R.C. Whitwell reappear to close out the year. Slipping outside of the final top 20 are Tyler Wolff, Kenny Gaddis, Jake Timm, and Jason Hughes. 
 
The RacinDirt.com team captured several events throughout the season including crown jewels, weekly racing, and special events. Archival footage in our on-demand video selections include USMTS, TOMS, and USRA action, plus many hours worth of footage of support classes at events held throughout the year. Additional videos include Ethanol Modifieds, the Fall Jamboree, Mod Mania, WISSOTA 100, American Modified Series, and UMP action.  
 
RacinDirt.com's Power Rankings votes ranked drivers based on United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS), United States Racing Association (USRA), and similar car-type results to compile their lists. The staff used the entire year's worth of results and standings to determine their top 20 drivers of the year. Voter opinions do not reflect the thoughts as a whole of RacinDirt.com. Send voting inquiries to racindirt@racindirt.com.
RankPriorDriver Name
11Johnny Scott
Amazing year for J Scott with 15 wins and 28 Top-5 USMTS finishes … anchored by his first-ever USMTS national championship and the Southern New Mexico Speedway Fall Nationals $10,000 victory … one of the most dominant USMTS seasons on record.
22Rodney Sanders
Had some big marquee wins again this year, the Silver Dollar Nationals and 'The Masters' among them, and was in the hunt for a win no matter where he went with four USMTS wins and third overall.
33Darron Fuqua
USRA national champion and Lucas Oil Speedway Champion with 18 Wins and 29 Top-5's … by far the best racing year of his career but what does the 2019 season bring? Also took the Central Region USRA title.
45Stormy Scott
If it weren't for a dominating year by his brother Johnny, Stormy very well could have secured his first USMTS championship. Picked up 5 victories and finished second in USMTS standings for the second year.
56Jake O'Neil
One voter says, "Kind of came out of nowhere in 2018 but quickly showed that he will be a force to reckon with for years to come." Fifth in USMTS with 3 wins and 16 top-five's.
64Ryan Gustin
Started off the year slow but once he got going with his own operation he proved why he is considered one of the best in the country. Picked up the late-season Turkey Bowl win at Springfield after sweeping events at Hamilton County and the USRA Nationals.
77Zack VanderBeek
Not quite the year VanderBeek normally has but was still a top runner in the USMTS with five wins and 12 top five's … fourth overall in the final USMTS standings.
811Lucas Schott
Started out the year with a dominating win at Humboldt and with a few other big wins in 2018 proved that he can run with the best of the best night in and night out.
99Terry Phillips
Picked up a $10,000-to-win late-season victory at Kennedale and finished sixth in his first-ever full season touring with USMTS with a pair of victories to his credit.
108C.A. Nix
Second in the final USRA standings for his best showing ever  with 14 wins and 25 Top-5's. The South's standout driver this season. Also a three-time TOMS series winner.
1110Dereck Ramirez
Another solid year for the Ramirez camp … 7th in USMTS points with 10 top-five finishes and a victory on the tour.
12NewTriston Dycus
Another TOMS Touring Series title with five victories along the way. Like Nix and Dunn, always a threat when it comes to racing across the south.
1315Clyde Dunn, Jr.  
Devils Bowl Champion and finished eighth overall in USRA with 9 wins and 19 Top-5's. The dominant force at Devil's Bowl Speedway this season.
1413Tanner Mullens 
Shocking Gateway Nationals win and then went on to collect the Humboldt Championship along with the NCRA crown … a breakout year for the Kansan!
1512Josh Angst
First in Northern Region with 5 wins and 15 Top-5's. Had another very solid year in '18. Continues to be constantly in the top ten and proving his meddle more each season.
16NewTroy Taylor
Solid season in fourth overall in USRA action with three wins and 31 Top-5 finishes and 36 top-ten runs out of 41 starts, the most by any driver.
1716Dennis Elliot
Outstanding year with 27 top 10's in 27 USRA shows and third in the final USRA points … also collected the I-35 Speedway championship.
18NewWendall Bolden  
Fifth in final USRA standings with six wins and the RPM Speedway Championship. Earned the USRA Southern Region title.
19NewR.C. Whitwell
Didn't rack up a ton of shows but when he was at the track everyone knew he would be in contention for the win.
2017Bumper Jones
Constant finishes and a few wins at the end of 2018 makes Bumper a top 20 driver. Southern New Mexico  Champion once again.
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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