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Thornton throttles to Thursday payday in USMTS Sooner Showdown opener

Thornton throttles to Thursday payday in USMTS Sooner Showdown opener


The USMTS rolled into the Southern Oklahoma Speedway Thursday for the opening night of the 5th Annual Sooner Showdown presented by Production Jars, and Ricky Thornton Jr. walked out with his third win of the season.

The 26-year-old from Chandler, Ariz., garnered the Sybesma Pole Award and then led all 30 laps of the main event to earn the $2,000 top prize, but the win didn’t come as easy as his last one where he won by nearly a half-lap at the Greenville Speedway in Mississippi.

Five cautions dotted the first ten laps of the race which kept everybody in the 26-car field in contention for the first one-third of the race.

Thornton was able to stave off an early threat from Thomas Tillison Jr. as the battle behind him was intense from start to finish with Rodney Sanders, Ryan Gustin, Johnny Scott and Joe Duvall all trading blows in and around the top five.

While Thornton remained mostly committed to the lower and middle lanes of the semi-banked 3/8-mile clay oval, those behind him were continuously searching high and low for a faster way to catch the ‘Cactus Kid.’

Sanders pressured Thornton for the last half of the race, but even a sixth and final yellow flag waving with two laps to go could not give him the boost he needed to get his No. 20 past Thornton’s No. 20.

“Things have been really good lately,” Thornton said with a smile in victory lane. “I tried the top early because I really didn’t know where to go and Sanders just kind of went by me so luckily that yellow came out and gave us the lead back.”

The final yellow flag was good for Gustin too as he slid past Sanders to garner the runner-up finish, while Sanders Johnny Scott and Chris Brown rounded out the top five.


Ricky Thornton Jr. leads Rodney Sanders (20) and Ryan Gustin (19r) to the final restart with two laps remaining.

Points leader Cade Dillard came out of a Real Racing Wheels “B” Main to finish sixth, Jason Hughes was seventh, Stormy Scott passed nine cars to get eighth and Joe Duvall nabbed the ninth spot with his teammate, R.C. Whitwell, tucked in behind for tenth.

The 5th Annual Sooner Showdown presented by Production Jars continues Friday at the Southern Oklahoma Speedway with a $3,000 top prize earmarked for the feature winner.

The pit gate opens at 2 p.m., spectator gates open at 5, hot laps start at 7 p.m. and racing begins at 7:30. General admission is $20, youth ages 11-16 are $10 and kids ages 10 and under get in free. Pit passes are $35 each. Econo Mods will join the program along with the Limited Mods.

The finale takes place on Saturday.

If you can’t be there in person, every lap every race every division every day will be broadcast live at www.RacinDirt.com/Live.

The Southern Oklahoma Speedway is located 0.7 mile east of I-35 (exit 29) on US 70, then 1.8 miles south on US 77. For more information, call 405-627-1766 or click www.southernoklahomaspeedway.com to visit the track's official website.

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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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental – Summit Racing USMTS Southern Region presented by Production Jars – Round 13 of 21
5th Annual Sooner Showdown presented by Production Jars – Night 1 of 3
Southern Oklahoma Speedway, Ardmore, Okla.
Thursday, March 9, 2017

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won.

SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.
2. (3) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
3. (2) 21 Austin Bonner, Elk City, Okla.
4. (5) 49 Chadd Howell (R), Waurika, Okla.
5. (7) 4w Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark.
6. (9) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D.
7. (8) 1/2 Zane Hunter (R), Alma, Ark.
8. (6) 79 J.R. Owen (R), Pocola, Okla.
9. (4) 8x Chad Thomsen (R), Louisburg, Kan.

FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas.
2. (4) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla.
3. (3) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
4. (6) 10 Austin Arneson, Fargo, N.D.
5. (8) 34 Mickey Lassiter (R), Piedmont, Okla.
6. (5) 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan.
7. (1) 3f Cole Ferguson (R), Dexter, Iowa.
8. (9) 190 Shawn Stephenson, Howe, Texas.
9. (7) 26 Shawn Fletcher (R), Brainerd, Minn.

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (2) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas.
2. (4) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
3. (1) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
4. (6) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn.
5. (7) R1 Jay Richardson (R), Spring Valley, Wis.
6. (5) 34n C.A. Nix, Lawton, Okla.
7. (8) 23 Logan Robertson (R), Shamrock, Texas.
8. (3) 12g Jeremy Green, Enid, Okla.

THE JOIE OF SEATING HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (1) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (3) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
3. (5) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
4. (4) 91 R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, Ariz.
5. (6) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.
6. (7) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla.
7. (8) 05 Jake Hartung (R), Elmwood, Wis.
8. (2) 69 Jason Martin, Enid, Okla.

VP RACING FUELS HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (2) 88xxx Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas.
2. (1) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
3. (3) 87 John Webb, Pauls Valley, Okla.
4. (5) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (8) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn.
6. (6) 52 Jason Thoennes, Garfield, Minn.
7. (7) D25 David Tanner (R), Wichita Falls, Texas.
8. (4) J41 Monte Bolton, Wolfforth, Texas.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (15 laps, top 6 advance):
1. (2) 87 John Webb, Pauls Valley, Okla.
2. (1) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
3. (4) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (5) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn.
5. (7) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.
6. (9) 34N C.A. Nix, Lawton, Okla.
7. (11) 05 Jake Hartung (R), Elmwood, Wis., SSR/Scott’s, $80.
8. (3) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn., Longhorn/Foss, $80.
9. (10) 1/2 Zane Hunter (R), Alma, Ark., Hughes/BMS, $80.
10. (12) D25 David Tanner (R), Wichita Falls, Texas, MBCustom/Geddes, $80.
11. (14) 8x Chad Thomsen (R), Louisburg, Kan., GRT/Driskell, $80.
12. (8) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla., BlackWidow/ProPower, $80.
13. (13) 79 J.R. Owen (R), Pocola, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, $80.
14. (6) 4w Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustom/Hatfield, $80.
DNS – 69 Jason Martin, Enid, Okla., ITD/Northside, $60.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (15 laps, top 6 advance):
1. (1) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
2. (5) 91 R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, Ariz.
3. (6) R1 Jay Richardson (R), Spring Valley, Wis.
4. (4) 34 Mickey Lassiter (R), Piedmont, Okla.
5. (10) 23 Logan Robertson (R), Shamrock, Texas.
6. (3) 49 Chadd Howell (R), Waurika, Okla.
7. (11) 3F Cole Ferguson (R), Dexter, Iowa, Dirt Hustler/Mullins, $80.
8. (7) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D.
9. (8) 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan.
10. (9) 52 Jason Thoennes, Garfield, Minn., MasterSbilt/Mullins, $80.
11. (14) 26 Shawn Fletcher (R), Brainerd, Minn., SSR/Wagamon, $80.
12. (12) 33 Shawn Stephenson, Howe, Texas, IRP/Wornhor, $60.
13. (13) 12g Jeremy Green, Enid, Okla., Ramirez/Northside, $60.
14. (2) 10 Austin Arneson, Fargo, N.D., GRT/GMPP, $80.
DNS – J41 Monte Bolton, Wolfforth, Texas, MBCustom/Sput’s, $80.

PRODUCTION JARS "A" MAIN (30 laps):
1. (1) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, AZ, Hughes/Mullins, 30, $2000.
2. (7) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, IA, Hughes/Mullins, 30, $1500.
3. (3) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, TX, MBCustom/Hatfield, 30, $1000.
4. (4) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, NM, GRT/Durham, 30, $800.
5. (8) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, TX, MBCustom/Durham, 30, $700.
6. (14) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, LA, MBCustom/ASI, 30, $600.
7. (15) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, OK, Hughes/Mullins, 30, $500.
8. (17) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, NM, GRT/Mullins, 30, $450.
9. (11) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, OK, MBCustom/Sput’s, 30, $400.
10. (16) 91 R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, AZ, GRT/GMPP, 30, $375.
11. (19) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, MN, MBCustom/Dakota, 30, $400.
12. (10) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, OK, LG2/Cornett, 30, $400.
13. (2) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, OK, Hughes/Geddes, 30, $300.
14. (9) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, IA, VanderBuilt/Sput’s, 30, $400.
15. (13) 87 John Webb, Pauls Valley, OK, MBCustom/Wegner, 30, $250.
16. (25) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, ND, LG2/Durham, 30, $250.
17. (26) 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, KS, LG2/Speedway, 30, $250.
18. (24) 49 Chadd Howell (R), Waurika, OK, MBCustom/Hatfield, 30, $250.
19. (12) 21 Austin Bonner, Elk City, OK, GRT/Geddes, 30, $200.
20. (22) 23 Logan Robertson (R), Shamrock, TX, MBCustom/PPE, 29, $250.
21. (18) R1 Jay Richardson (R), Spring Valley, WI, SSR/MAS, 27, $250.
22. (5) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, TX, GRT/Mullins, 18, $250.
23. (6) 88xxx Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, TX, MBCustom/Mullins, 12, $250.
24. (20) 34 Mickey Lassiter (R), Piedmont, OK, Hughes/Sput’s, 12, $250.
25. (23) 34n C.A. Nix, Lawton, OK, Hughes/Sput’s, 12, $250.
26. (21) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, TX, MBCustom/KPE, 9, $250.

(R) = Rookie of the Year contender.

Lap Leader: Thornton 1-30.
Total Laps Led: Thornton 30.
Margin of Victory: 0.697 second.
Time of Race: 23 minutes, 48.610 seconds (6 cautions).
Provisional Starters: Vogel, Kates.
KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: S. Scott (started 17th, finished 8th).
Entries: 42.
Next Race: Friday-Saturday, March 10-11, Southern Oklahoma Speedway, Ardmore, Okla.
Summit Racing USMTS Southern Region Points: Dillard 1158, Thornton 1093, Brown 1083, Gustin 1081, Hughes 1070, S. Scott 1010, VanderBeek 969, Saurer 968, J. Scott 956, Ramirez 955.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Saurer 962, Whitwell 873, Wolff 843, Vogel 770, Kates 511.
USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Mullins 121, Durham 102, ASI 101, Sput’s 74, Hatfield 67.
USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: Hughes 121, MBCustoms 118, GRT 102, LG2 86, VanderBuilt 81.

Contingency Awards:
Allstar Performance – S. Scott.
American Racer – Gustin.
Beyea Custom Headers – Robertson.
BigDeal Car Care – Thornton.
BSB Manufacturing – Richardson.
Chix Gear Racewear – Green.
Day Motor Sports – Nix, Houston.
Deatherage Opticians – Bolton.
Dickson Racing Shocks – Webb.
E3 Spark Plugs – Sanders.
Edelbrock – Brown.
Fast Shafts – Egbert.
Forty9Designs.com – VanderBeek, Bonner.
Fuel Safe Racing Cells – Dillard.
GRT Race Cars – Arneson.
Hooker Custom Harness – Tillison.
Integra Shocks & Springs – Howell.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Kates.
Keyser Manufacturing – Whitwell.
KSE Racing Products – S. Scott.
Out-Pace Racing Products – Vogel.
QA1 – Tillison.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Simpson Performance Products – Thornton.
Sweet Manufacturing – Egbert.
Sybesma Graphics – Thornton.
Tire Demon – Saurer.
VP Racing Fuels – Thornton.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Gustin.
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, Genesis Racing Shocks, GRT Race Cars, Holley Performance Products, Hooker Custom Harness, Integra Shocks & Springs, Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts, 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.



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