Thursday, November 23, 2017

Sanders overcomes late caution, nips VanderBeek in 81 Speedway instant classic

Rodney Sanders celebrates a late race win with the USMTS at 81 Speedway. USMTS Photo

Rodney Sanders celebrates a late race win with the USMTS at 81 Speedway. USMTS Photo

PARK CITY, Kan.-In a classic fight to the finish that will be talked about for years to come, Rodney Sanders prevailed over Zack VanderBeek in Thursday night’s 40-lap United States Modified Touring Series main event at the 81 Speedway.

By eleven one-thousandths of a second.

After losing the lead late in the race-and eventually the win-to VanderBeek Wednesday night at the Valley Speedway, it was nearly déjà vu for Sanders Thursday night when a caution on lap 37 set up a three-lap mad dash to the checkers.

From the outside of the front row, Sanders blasted off at the drop of the green flag and disappeared from the field.

Within seven laps, his lead over second-place Stormy Scott was nearly half of a lap and he reached lapped traffic before completing lap 10.

Without some help the other 23 main event starters didn’t have a prayer, but help arrived on lap 18 when the race’s first yellow flag slowed the action and put the field right back on Sanders’ rear bumper.

But now the field was without Scott, who was the cause of the caution when an overheating engine forced him to stop on the back-stretch.

That opened the door for VanderBeek who inherited the second spot with nine-time USMTS national champion Kelly Shryock in third.

VanderBeek was able to stay close for a couple of laps but Sanders began to slowly rebuild his cushion until a second caution on lap 23 again silenced the roar of engines.

Again Sanders fended off VanderBeek for a handful of laps after the restart and then pulled away to a huge lead until Johnny Scott’s spin right in front of the leader forced the third and final caution with three to go.

This time, Sanders couldn’t shake VanderBeek and the two raced door to door with Sanders continuing to pound the cushion of C. Ray Hall’s 3/8-mile clay oval while VanderBeek ran low after unsuccessfully testing Sanders’ high line.

A bobble by Sanders-perhaps his first of the race-allowed Vanderbeek to inch ahead and lead the race for the first time as they streaked underneath the white flag.

The two went wheel to wheel through the first turn and drag-raced down the back-stretch into the final corner where Sanders nailed his mark harder and faster than any lap before.

VanderBeek exited turn 4 with about a half-car-length advantage, but the momentum from Sanders’ drive around the top propelled him around the outside as they took the checkered flag in a virtual dead heat with Sanders nipping VanderBeek at the line.

Tied at 26 apiece coming into the race, Sanders also edged ahead of VanderBeek on the USMTS career wins list with his $2,000 triumph and now leads his nemesis by a mere nine points in the Major League Bowhunter Central Region points standings.

Shryock fended off Tom Tillison Jr. for third and USMTS Rookie of the Year contender Dylan Smith continues to turn heads with his second top-five paycheck in as many nights.

Tanner Mullens, Dereck Ramirez, Kip Hughes, John Allen and five-time NCRA Modified champ Brian Franz rounded out the top 10.

Back-to-back instant classics by the drivers of the USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by Swan Energy brought the crowd to their feet and left them wanting more.

They’ll get just that as it was announced earlier in the evening that the series will return to the 81 Speedway on Thursday, Aug. 7, as part of The Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s National Championship.

The USMTS Modifieds roll into the Elk City Speedway in Elk City, Okla., on Friday night for a S&S Fishing & Rental Southern Region bout.

The Elk City Speedway is a 3/8-mile semi-banked clay oval located off of I-40 at Merrit Rd. (exit 34), then 0.5 mile north, then 0.5 mile west. For race and ticket information call 580-799-7572.

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts or check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv.

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United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by Swan Energy – Major League Bowhunter Central Region presented by Day Motor Sports
81 Speedway, Park City, Kan.
Thursday, June 19, 2014

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won. The top 12 drivers in passing points accumulated in the heat races were locked into the “A” Main, with the top 8 re-drawing for starting positions 1-8.

C&R RACING HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) E26 Dallas Everett (R), Beebe, Ark.
2. (4) 19b Nic Baalman, Park City, Kan.
3. (8) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa.
4. (6) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
5. (3) 2 Grant Junghans, Manhattan, Kan.
6. (2) 22 Dustin Belcher, Wichita, Kan.
7. (7) 00 Rodney Chaffin, Wichita, Kan.
8. (5) 9d8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan.

JRi SHOCKS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 21t Lance Town (R), Louisburg, Kan.
2. (4) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
3. (1) 4 Dan Powers, Wichita, Kan.
4. (3) 311 Adam Schrag, Hutchinson, Kan.
5. (5) 21c Cody Schniepp, Wichita, Kan.
6. (8) 87 John Webb, Pauls Valley, Okla.
7. (7) 87 Darron Fuqua (R), Mayetta, Kan.
8. (6) 747 Colton Eck, Goddard, Kan.

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (3) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (5) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (4) 86 Brian Franz, Halstead, Kan.
4. (7) 99h Trevor Hunt, Kearney, Mo.
5. (1) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan.
6. (6) 17 Jeremy Chambers, Parsons, Kan.
7. (2) 99 Craig Crossette, Valley Center, Kan.

PBM PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (2) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla.
2. (4) 60 Kip Hughes, Enid, Okla.
3. (1) 65 Tyler Davis, Derby, Kan.
4. (6) 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan.
5. (5) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa.
6. (7) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
7. (3) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.

DAY MOTOR SPORTS HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (1) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
2. (2) 2sx Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla.
3. (6) 75 Tad Davis, Mount Hope, Kan.
4. (4) 95 Dylan Smith (R), Osceola, Neb.
5. (5) 35x Chris Purkey (R), Park City, Kan.
6. (7) 35 Jay Purkey (R), Colwich, Kan.
7. (3) 3j Lewis Jackson, Wellsville, Kan.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (3) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
2. (6) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan.
3. (8) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
4. (1) 86 Brian Franz, Halstead, Kan.
5. (5) 2 Grant Junghans, Manhattan, Kan.
6. (11) 99 Craig Crossette, Valley Center, Kan., Custom/Mullens, $90.
7. (4) 311 Adam Schrag, Hutchinson, Kan., GRT/Crissman, $90.
8. (13) 747 Colton Eck, Goddard, Kan., GRT/Hillsboro, $90.
9. (9) 22 Dustin Belcher, Wichita, Kan., Custom/Custom, $90.
10. (10) 00 Rodney Chaffin, Wichita, Kan., BillsBuilt/Hebb’s, $90.
11. (2) 4 Dan Powers, Wichita, Kan., BillsBuilt/KBS, $90.
12. (12) 3j Lewis Jackson, Wellsville, Kan., Skyrocket/Driskell, $90.
13. (7) 35x Chris Purkey (R), Park City, Kan., Shark/Bogus, $90.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 99h Trevor Hunt, Kearney, Mo.
2. (4) 95 Dylan Smith (R), Osceola, Neb.
3. (6) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa.
4. (2) 65 Tyler Davis, Derby, Kan.
5. (3) 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan.
6. (9) 17 Jeremy Chambers, Parsons, Kan., Venom/Sput’s, $90.
7. (5) 21c Cody Schniepp, Wichita, Kan., BillsBuilt/Mullins, $90.
8. (11) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
9. (7) 87 John Webb, Pauls Valley, Okla., DirtWorks/Mullins, $90.
10. (10) 87 Darron Fuqua (R), Mayetta, Kan.
11. (12) 9d8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan., BillsBuilt/Stewart, $90.
12. (8) 35 Jay Purkey (R), Colwich, Kan., Shark/Hatfield, $90.

CASEY’S GENERAL STORES “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (2) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustom/Geddes, 40, $2000.
2. (9) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, LG2/Sput’s, 40, $1500.
3. (6) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, Skyrocket/ASI, 40, $1000.
4. (7) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla., Hughes/Geddes, 40, $900.
5. (16) 95 Dylan Smith (R), Osceola, Neb., Jet/Woods, 40, $800.
6. (15) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 40, $700.
7. (23) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Ramirez/Cornett, 40, $650.
8. (10) 60 Kip Hughes, Enid, Okla., GRT/Dunsworth, 40, $600.
9. (22) 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan., GRT/Hatfield, 40, $550.
10. (19) 86 Brian Franz, Halstead, Kan., GRT/Shadow, 40, $500.
11. (4) 21t Lance Town (R), Louisburg, Kan., Hughes/Driskell, 40, $450.
12. (20) 65 Tyler Davis, Derby, Kan., GRT/Hatfield, 40, $425.
13. (18) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, 40, $400.
14. (13) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo., GRT/Mullins, 40, $400.
15. (5) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., Ramirez/Cornett, 40, $400.
16. (17) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustom/Mullins, 40, $325.
17. (1) E26 Dallas Everett (R), Beebe, Ark., GRT/Kuntz, 40, $300.
18. (12) 2sx Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla., LG2/ProPower, 40, $400.
19. (14) 99h Trevor Hunt, Kearney, Mo., GRT/Spanel, 40, $300.
20. (21) 2 Grant Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., LG2/Sput’s, 40, $300.
21. (8) 19b Nic Baalman, Park City, Kan., BillsBuilt/Custom, 40, $300.
22. (3) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., LG2/ProPower, 40, $400.
23. (24) 87 Darron Fuqua (R), Mayetta, Kan., Venom/Driskell, 40, $300.
24. (11) 75 Tad Davis, Mount Hope, Kan., BillsBuilt/Mullins, 40, $300.

(R) = Rookie of the Year contender.

Lap Leaders: Sanders 1-38, VanderBeek 39, Sanders 40.
Total Laps Led: Sanders 39, VanderBeek 1.
Margin of Victory: 0.011 second.
Provisional Starters: Ramirez, Fuqua.
Sybesma Graphics Pole Award: J. Scott.
Mesilla Valley Transportation Hard Charger: Allen (started 22nd, finished 9th).
Next Race: Friday, June 20, Elk City Speedway, Elk City, Okla.
Major League Bowhunter Central Region Points: Sanders 757, VanderBeek 746, S. Scott 670, Smith 619, Ramirez 599, Siebert 587, J. Scott 566, Hilsabeck 558, Shryock 505, Rowland 475.
Rookie of the Year Points: Jake Gallardo 1703, Adam Penn 1036, Smith 966, Cade Dillard 825, Shane Sprinkle 775.
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year Points: Sput’s 270, ProPower 265, Geddes 208, Mullins 156, ASI 118.
Tiger Quick Change Manufacturers Championship Points: LG2 283, MBCustom 252, Ramirez 232, GRT 208, Skyrocket 179.

Contingency Awards:
American Racer – Tillison.
Beyea Custom Headers – Junghans.
Brass Monkey Racing Products – Rowland.
C&R Racing – Everett.
Edelbrock – J. Scott.
FK Rod Ends – J. Scott.
Forty9Designs.com – Siebert, Hunt.
Fuel Safe – not awarded.
GRT Race Cars – Everett.
Hooker Harness – Hilsabeck.
JRi Shocks – Town.
KEVKO Oil Pans & Components – Allen.
Keyser Manufacturing – not awarded.
Marsh Racing Wheels – Fuqua.
Mesilla Valley Transportation – Allen.
MSD Ignition – Sanders, VanderBeek.
PBM Performance Products – Tillison, Sanders.
Power Lift Racing Products – Everett.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Sybesma Graphics – J. Scott.
VP Racing Fuels – Sanders.

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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, AMP Energy, Casey’s General Stores, Chix Gear, COMP Cams, Day Motor Sports, Farm Boy BBQ Sauce, Intercomp, KEVKO Oil Pans & Components, MSD, Nitroquest Media Group, RACEceiver, RacinDirt.com, Snickers, SpiderWeb Modular Storage Solutions, Swan Energy, VP Racing Fuels.

USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arizona Sport Shirts, ASi Racewear, BRODIX Cylinder Heads, Double H Bands, ElbowsUp.com, Erson Cams, Integra Racing Shocks & Springs, Major League Bowhunter, Mesilla Valley Transportation, New Vision Graphics, Olympic Fire Protection, Penn Transport, Road Runner Crane, Road Runner Trucking, S&S Fishing & Rental, United Cellular Services.

USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, Bell Racing Helmets, Beyea Custom Headers, Brass Monkey Racing Products, C&R Racing, CPD Racing Tools, Edelbrock, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, Forty9 Designs, Fuel Safe, Genesis Racing Shocks, GRT Race Cars, Hooker Harness, JRi Shocks, Keyser Manufacturing, KSE Racing Products, Marsh Racing Wheels, PBM Performance Products, Power Lift Racing Products, Quarter Master, Real Racing Wheels, Sybesma Graphics, Tiger Rear Ends.

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