Thornton fourth winner in four races, snares USMTS opener at Shady Oaks Speedway
The fourth race of the season for the USMTS produced a fourth different winner as Ricky Thornton Jr. rolled to a wire-to-wire victory at the Shady Oaks Speedway in Goliad, Texas.
Starting from the outside of the second row, Thornton wasted no time getting to the front and made it three wide with polesitter Chris Brown and Mickey Lassiter entering the first turn.
Stormy Scott followed to the inside down the back-stretch and slid into second behind Thornton as they completed the first lap.
The first four laps were plagued by five cautions, but the field rattled off 20 straight laps after that with Ryan Gustin, Stormy Scott, Johnny Scott and Chris Brown chasing Thornton around the big 3/8-mile dirt oval.
The yellow flag flew with five laps to go, and again as the white flag was waving to set up a green-white-checkered finish, but each time Thornton was up to the task and paced Stormy Scott to the finish line to notch his second career USMTS triumph.
“I can’t thank Ed Gressel enough for giving me this opportunity. It’s pretty cool to get our first real USMTS victory,” Thornton said, referring to his first win last September at the Lakeside Speedway in a twin-feature format as part of the prelude to the Grant Junghans Memorial. “Who knows, maybe we can get a couple more here.
“I got up to lapped traffic there and I didn’t know if I had a decent lead or not, so I tried to drive hard but not give myself a flat. Then we get that white and that yellow and I thought ‘Oh my God, I’m gonna lose this thing’.”
Instead, Thornton pocketed the $2,000 top prize for his efforts.
Brown, who fell back as far as sixth during the 30-lapper, clawed his way back to a third-place finish while Gustin nipped Johnny Scott as the finish line to take the fourth spot.
Racing from 18th on the starting grid to sixth at the checkered flag, Travis Saurer earned the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award with Jason Hughes, Tyler Wolff, Cade Dillard and Dereck Ramirez rounding out the top 10.
Two more nights remain at the Shady Oaks Speedway.
On Friday, pit gates open at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 5, hot laps begin at 7:15 and racing starts at 7:30. Adult tickets are $20, kids ages 11-15 are $10 and children 10 and under are free. Pit passes are $35. The USMTS feature winner will earn $3,000, Limited Mods battle for $500 to win and Pure Stocks get $400 to win.
On Saturday, pit gates open at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 4:30, hot laps begin at 6:15 and racing starts at 6:30. Adult tickets are $20, kids ages 11-15 are $10 and children 10 and under are free. Pit passes are $40. A $4,000 paycheck awaits the USMTS main event winner, the Limited Mod winner gets $600 and Pure Stocks are racing for $400.
Can't be there in person? Watch all three days live at www.racindirt.com/live.
The Shady Oaks Speedway is located 4.0 miles north of Goliad on US 183, then 3.0 miles east on FM 622. To learn more, check out their website at www.shadyoakspeedway.com.
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 and Instagram at www.instagram.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS by joining our email list at www.usmts.com/subscribe.
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United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental – Summit Racing Southern Region presented by Production Jars
Shady Oaks Speedway, Goliad, Texas
Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder and money won.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas.
2. (4) 78 Corey Weir (R), Nixa, Mo.
3. (3) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D.
4. (2) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
5. (8) 137 William Pittaway (R), Corpus Christi, Texas.
6. (7) 9 Kevin Rutherford (R), Flower Mound, Texas.
7. (5) 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan.
8. (6) 91 Jeremy Davenport, Rockport, Texas.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (2) 34 Mickey Lassiter (R), Piedmont, Okla.
3. (4) 4w Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark.
4. (6) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
5. (3) 12 Cody Leonard (R), Sinton, Texas.
6. (8) 23 Logan Robertson (R), Shamrock, Texas.
7. (7) 29 Jamie Campbell, Adkins, Texas.
8. (5) 141 Rob Sanderson, San Antonio, Texas.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (2) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (4) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.
3. (5) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
4. (1) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
5. (3) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn.
6. (6) 717 George Egbert IV, Salado, Texas.
7. (8) 89c Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas.
8. (7) A1 Phil Dixon, Crosby, Texas.
THE JOIE OF SEATING HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (2) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
2. (4) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
3. (1) 91 R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, Ariz.
4. (6) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
5. (7) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.
6. (3) 4m Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas.
7. (5) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (3) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
3. (7) 89c Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas.
4. (5) 23 Logan Robertson (R), Shamrock, Texas.
5. (6) 717 George Egbert IV, Salado, Texas.
6. (10) A1 Phil Dixon, Crosby, Texas, Elite/Durham, $80.
7. (8) 29 Jamie Campbell, Adkins, Texas, DirtWorks/AARE, $60.
8. (2) 137 William Pittaway (R), Corpus Christi, Texas, Shaw/Wells, $80.
9. (9) 91 Jeremy Davenport, Rockport, Texas, Skyrocket/Ace, $60.
10. (4) 12 Cody Leonard (R), Sinton, Texas.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
2. (2) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
3. (4) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn.
4. (6) 4m Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas.
5. (8) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas.
6. (7) 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, $80.
7. (5) 9 Kevin Rutherford (R), Flower Mound, Texas.
8. (9) 141 Rob Sanderson, San Antonio, Texas, DirtWorks/Cotton’s, $60.
9. (3) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas, MBCustom/KPE, $80.
SUMMIT RACING "A" MAIN (30 laps):
1. (4) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz., Hughes/Mullins, $2000.
2. (3) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Mullins, $1500.
3. (1) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas, MBCustom/Durham, $1000.
4. (5) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, $800.
5. (7) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Durham, $700.
6. (18) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn., MBCustom/GMPP, $600.
7. (9) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, $500.
8. (10) 4w Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustom/Hatfield, $450.
9. (8) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., MBCustom/ASI, $400.
10. (13) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., LG2/Cornett, $400.
11. (14) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Sput’s, $400.
12. (11) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D., LG2/Durham, $325.
13. (16) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustom/Sput’s, $300.
14. (21) 717 George Egbert IV, Salado, Texas, Rocket/Mullins, $275.
15. (12) 91 R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, Ariz., GRT/GMPP, $400.
16. (22) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas, GRT/Mullins, $250.
17. (19) 23 Logan Robertson (R), Shamrock, Texas, MBCustom/PPE, $250.
18. (20) 4m Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas, Rocket/Wells, $250.
19. (23) 9 Kevin Rutherford (R), Flower Mound, Texas, MBCustom/Mullins, $250.
20. (6) 78 Corey Weir (R), Nixa, Mo., Shaw/Yeoman, $250.
21. (2) 34 Mickey Lassiter (R), Piedmont, Okla., Hughes/Sput’s, $250.
22. (15) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustom/Hatfield, $250.
23. (17) 89c Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas, LG2/Durham, $250.
24. (24) 12 Cody Leonard (R), Sinton, Texas, Harris/Wells, $250.
(R) = Rookie of the Year contender.
Lap Leader: Thornton 1-30.
Total Laps Led: Thornton 30.
Provisional Starters: Whiteaker, Leonard.
KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: Saurer (started 18th, finished 6th).
Next Race: Friday, Feb. 17, Shady Oaks Speedway.
Summit Racing Southern Region Points: S. Scott 359, Thornton 356, Hughes 350, Brown 347, Dillard 324, Gustin 323, Ramirez 308, VanderBeek 307, J. Scott 306, Saurer 294.
Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year Points: Saurer 293, Wolff 288, Whitwell 286, Vogel 243, Lassiter 216.
Engine Builder of the Year Points: Mullins 39, Durham 33, ASI 27, GMPP 24, Cornett 22.
Manufacturers Championship Points: Hughes 39, MBCustoms 35, GRT 32, LG2 28, VanderBuilt 26.
Allstar Performance – Wolff.
American Racer – Houston.
Beyea Custom Headers – Lassiter.
BigDeal Car Care – Thornton.
BSB Manufacturing – Lassiter.
Chix Gear Racewear – Dixon.
Day Motor Sports – Whiteaker, Leonard.
Deatherage Opticians – Hughes.
Dickson Racing Shocks – Whitwell.
E3 Spark Plugs – Brown.
Edelbrock – S. Scott.
Fast Shafts – J. Scott.
Forty9Designs.com – G. Egbert, Rutherford.
Fuel Safe Racing Cells – Saurer.
GRT Race Cars – T. Egbert.
Hooker Custom Harness – Duvall.
Integra Shocks & Springs – Malchus.
Keyser Manufacturing – Ramirez.
KSE Racing Products – Saurer.
Out-Pace Racing Products – T. Egbert.
QA1 – Gustin.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Simpson Performance Products – Brown.
Sweet Manufacturing – Sanders.
Sybesma Graphics – Brown.
Tire Demon – VanderBeek.
VP Racing Fuels – Thornton.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Thornton.
Wilwood Engineering – Hughes.
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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Argo Manufacturing, Casey’s General Stores, Chix Gear Racewear, CP-Carrillo, Deatherage Opticians, Fast Shafts, Intercomp, KSE Racing Products, Leaf Racewear & Safety Equipment, Malvern Bank, MSD, Pace Performance, RacerWebsite.com, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, S&S Fishing & Rental, Summit Racing Equipment, The Joie of Seating, VP Racing Fuels.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arizona Sport Shirts, ASi Racewear, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, ElbowsUp.com, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Oreo, Production Jars, Rancho Milagro Racing, RHRSwag.com, YouDirt.com.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: 905 Ink, AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Beyea Custom Headers, BigDeal Car Care, BSB Manufacturing, Day Motor Sports, Dickson Racing Shocks, E3 Spark Plugs, Edelbrock, FK Rod Ends, Forty9 Designs, Fuel Safe Racing Cells, Genesis Racing Shocks, GRT Race Cars, Holley Performance Products, Hooker Custom Harness, Integra Shocks & Springs, Keyser Manufacturing, Out-Pace Racing Products, QA1 Precision Products, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Sweet Manufacturing, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wehrs Machine & Race Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes.