O'Neil takes down Nordic Nationals crown
Sunday night’s 12th Annual Nordic Nationals presented by American Racer at the Upper Iowa Speedway saw Jake O'Neil outduel Rodney Sanders to score his fifth career USMTS victory and second of the 2019 campaign.
The 27-year-old from Tucson, Ariz., grabbed the lead from Sanders on lap 11, but gave it right back one lap later as the lead duo circled the semi-banked 1/4-mile dirt oval at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds in Decorah, Iowa.
O’Neil fired back on the 16th lap and this time the pass was for good as he paced the final 24 circuits to earn a $2,500 paycheck.
Jake O'Neil (0) and Rodney Sanders (20) battle for the lead during Sunday's USMTS main event at the Upper Iowa Speedway.
Emerging in the runner-up spot for the second straight night, Hunter Marriott tightened his grip on the Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year standings while Sanders fended off 11th-starting Ryan Gustin for the third spot.
Dereck Ramirez rounded out the top five with Zack VanderBeek, Dustin Hodges, Chris Oertel, Cory Crapser and Mike Striegel completing the top ten.
After passing seven cars in the main event and nine overall for the night, Gustin took home both the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger and Eibach Spring Forward Award.
Sanders remains atop the Casey’s General Stores USMTS National Championship points battle and thus retains the fluorescent yellow Wrisco spoiler heading into the next event on May 31 at the I-30 Speedway, Little Rock, Ark.
VanderBeek trails Sanders by 79 points (1013 to 934) followed by Marriott (907), Gustin (896) and Ramirez (855).
In the Spike Hardcore Energy USMTS Northern Lights Series, O'Neil leads the chase with 274 markers followed by Marriott (271), Gustin (265), Sanders (264) and VanderBeek (249).
The May 31 show at the I-30 Speedway kicks off a grueling swing of eight shows in nine days. The series returns to the Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Okla., on June 1, and the Creek County Speedway in Kellyville, Okla., on June 2 before taking a 24-hour rest prior to a five-race excursion through the Lone Star State.
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United States Modified Touring Series
Casey’s General Stores USMTS National Championship powered by Summit
Spike Hardcore Energy USMTS Northern Lights Series
12th Annual Nordic Nationals presented by American Racer
Upper Iowa Speedway, Decorah, Iowa
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won. All drivers advanced to the Casey’s General Stores “A” Main with the top 8 in heat race passing points redrawing for the first 8 starting spots.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (2) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Wis.
2. (1) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo.
3. (3) 49jr Jake Timm, Minnesota City, Minn.
4. (4) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
5. (6) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
6. (5) 22h Dustin Hodges (R), Centralia, Mo.
7. (7) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo.
8. (8) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
2. (3) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
3. (4) 476x Troy Hovey (R), Castalia, Iowa.
4. (7) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
5. (5) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
6. (8) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
7. (6) 51 Chris Oertel, Marshfield, Wis.
8. (2) 91 Shawn Ryan, Waterloo, Iowa.
CASEY’S GENERAL STORES “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (5) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 40, $2500.
2. (4) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 40, $1500.
3. (2) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Wis., MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40, $1000.
4. (11) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/TriStar, 40, $900.
5. (9) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40, $700.
6. (8) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 40, $600.
7. (12) 22h Dustin Hodges (R), Centralia, Mo., VanderBuilt/Crane, 40, $550.
8. (14) 51 Chris Oertel, Marshfield, Wis., MBCustoms/Mullins, 40, $500.
9. (6) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis., VanderBuilt/Troy’s, 33, $450.
10. (13) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo., GRT/Driskell, 33, $400.
11. (7) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn., VanderBuilt/KSE, 22, $375.
12. (10) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., MBCustoms/Hill, 21, $350.
13. (1) 49jr Jake Timm, Minnesota City, Minn., MBCustoms/OFI, 20, $325.
14. (3) 476x Troy Hovey (R), Castalia, Iowa, MBCustoms/Ruble, 17, $300.
15. (16) 91 Shawn Ryan, Waterloo, Iowa, DirtHustler/King, 13, $275.
16. (15) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, 0, $0.
(R) = Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender
Lap Leaders: Sanders 1-10, O’Neil 11, Sanders 12-15, O’Neil 16-40.
Total Laps Led: O’Neil 26, Sanders 14.
Margin of Victory: 1.663 seconds.
Time of Race: 24 minutes, 26.614 seconds (5 cautions).
Provisional Starters: none.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Gustin (advanced 9 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Gustin (started 11th, finished 4th).
Next Race: May 31, I-30 Speedway, Little Rock, Ark.
Casey’s General Stores USMTS National Championship Points: Sanders 1013, VanderBeek 934, Marriott 907, Gustin 896, Ramirez 855, Striegel 770, O'Neil 752, Kates 694, Joe Duvall 659, Terry Phillips 655.
Spike Hardcore Energy USMTS Northern Lights Series Points: O'Neil 274, Marriott 271, Gustin 265, Sanders 264, VanderBeek 249, Ramirez 224, Crapser 216, Schott 214, Bleess 198, Striegel 189.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Marriott 907, Striegel 770, Hodges 425, Nathan Hagar 415, Carlos Ahumada Jr. 340.
USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 87, Hughes 74, VanderBuilt 67, Rage 67, LG2 57.
USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield 73, Stoen 68, KSE 59, Cornett 53, TriStar 47.
American Racer – Sanders.
Beyea Custom Headers – Gustin.
Bryke Racing – Ryan.
BSB Manufacturing – Oertel.
Casey’s General Stores – Bleess.
Champ Pans – Ramirez.
Deatherage Opticians – Schott.
E3 Spark Plugs – Sanders.
Edelbrock – Hovey.
Eibach – Gustin.
Fast Shafts – Bleess.
FK Rod Ends – Gustin.
Forty9 Designs – Hovey, Gustin.
Hooker Harness – Timm.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs – Oertel.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Hovey.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports – Ryan.
Keyser Manufacturing – Striegel.
KSE Racing Products – Crapser.
Maxima Racing Oils – O’Neil.
Out-Pace Racing Products – Hodges.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain – Timm.
QA1 – Marriott.
RacerWebsite.com – Gustin.
Simpson Performance Products – Sanders.
Swift Springs – O’Neil.
Sybesma Graphics – Timm.
Tire Demon – Bleess.
VP Racing Fuels – O’Neil.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – Hodges.
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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Casey’s General Stores, Chevrolet Performance, CP-Carrillo, Deatherage Opticians, Eibach Springs, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, Intercomp, Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts, K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports, KSE Racing Products, Malvern Bank, Mesilla Valley Transportation, MSD, MyRacePass, Nitroquest Media, Pace Performance, PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, Snickers, Spike Hardcore Energy, Summit Racing Equipment, VP Racing Fuels, Wrisco Industries.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arizona Sport Shirts, ASi Racewear, Boubin Tire & Automotive, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, Eagle Moon Farm, Impact RaceGear, PBM Performance Products, RACEceiver, Rancho Milagro Racing, River’s Edge Scrap Management, Tony Moro Powder Coat, Top of the World Ranch, YouDirt.com.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: 905 Ink, AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Beyea Custom Headers, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bryke Racing, BSB Manufacturing, Champ Pans, E3 Spark Plugs, Edelbrock, Forty9 Designs, Genesis Racing Shocks, Hooker Harness, Hyperco, Integra Racing Shocks and Springs, Keyser Manufacturing, Maxima Racing Oils, Out-Pace Racing Products, QA1, RacerWebsite.com, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Swift Springs, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wilwood Racing.