Sanders back in USMTS winners circle at Cotton Bowl Speedway
Rodney Sanders raced to his 99th career victory Sunday as the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s invaded the Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas.
After being lapped by the winner and struggling to a tenth-place finish one night earlier, the 30-year-old from Happy, Texas, rediscovered his groove and fended off a late-race challenge from Dereck Ramirez.
Earlier in the program, Ramirez chased down Sanders in Edelbrock Heat Race #3 and blasted past the defending USMTS national champ to take the win.
After falling back early in the 40-lap main event, Ramirez eventually found his way to Sanders’ rear bumper with 15 laps remaining, and pulled alongside the leader on several occasions before a caution with eight laps to go slowed the pace and gave the front-runners a clean track in front of them.
Ramirez chose the outside for the restart while Jason Hughes, who had worked his way to third from 14th on the starting grid, filled the inside lane. At the drop of the green flag, Hughes powered ahead of Ramirez but the yellow flag returned again before a lap could be completed.
This time, Ramirez chose the inside line for the restart and it paid off as he got the advantage over Hughes and set his sights on Sanders.
Sanders, however, seemed to gather strength as the final laps clicked off and sailed away to take the win and $2,500 winner’s share of the prize money while Ramirez settled for second behind ‘The Rocket’ as he did 11 times in 2019.
Hughes continued to run up front, finishing third in front of Hunter Marriott and 12th-starting Zack Vanderbeek. Saturday’s winner, Jason Ingalls, came home in sixth with Philip Houston, Nathan Hagar, Tyler Davis and Kevin Rutherford rounding out the top 10.
Remember the Big O: On Friday and Saturday, March 6-7, the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s invades the Big O Speedway in Ennis, Texas, for the 10th Annual Texas Spring Nationals. Update 3/5/2020 11:44AM: Thursday's show was rained out.
USMTS Modifieds will compete for $3,000 to win both Friday and Saturday. Sunoco USRA Factory Stocks race for $500 to win Friday and $400 to win Saturday. USRA Limited Mods throw down for $500 to win both nights. On Saturday, USRA Tuners and Mod-Lites will also join the program.
On Friday, the pits will open at 3 p.m. and grandstands open at 5 with racing getting underway at 7 p.m. All times are one hour earlier on Saturday. Tickets each day are $20 for adults (17+) and $15 for seniors (62+) and juniors (12-16). Kids ages 11 and under get in for free. Pit passes are $35 each day.
The Big O Speedway is located at off I-45 at exit 249, then 5.6 miles east on FM 85 in Ennis, Texas. For more information, call (317) 777-2222 or email email@example.com. You can also visit the track’s official website at bigospeedway.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Comfort Suites in Ennis is the Official Host Hotel for the 10th Annual Texas Spring Nationals. Call (972) 330-2404 and use the discount code “LUSMTS” when booking. You can also book online at choicehotels.com.
The engines scream again three weeks later for the first of five crown jewels this season when the Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt, Kan., hosts King of America X powered by Summit on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 26-28.
The 2020 schedule for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s is highlighted by 58 nights of racing at 33 unique dirt ovals as part of the 22nd season for the world’s Best of the Best in dirt modified racing.
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United States Modified Touring Series
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s
2nd Annual Coton Bowl Clash satisfied by Snickers
Cotton Bowl Speedway, Paige, Texas
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver and hometown. The top 12 in heat race passing points advance to the Casey’s “A” Main.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (2) 9R Kevin Rutherford, Flower Mound, Texas
2. (4) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
3. (1) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
4. (5) 47 Jack Sartain, Terrell, Texas
5. (9) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
6. (7) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis.
7. (8) 86 Dillon Tindall (R), La Grange, Texas
8. (3) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
9. (6) 71K Kevin Sustaire, Emory, Texas
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (3) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan.
2. (5) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
3. (2) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
4. (4) 20J Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas
5. (8) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas
6. (6) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
7. (1) 55D Michael Dotson, Lathrop, Mo.
8. (7) 8 Wesley Summers, Odessa, Mo.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (7) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (1) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
3. (4) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
4. (5) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (8) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
6. (6) 211 Chase Hatton (R), De Berry, Texas
7. (3) 49 Ryan Slott (R), New Waverly, Texas
8. (2) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
MSD PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (3) 7 Shayne Bailey, Lathrop, Mo.
2. (5) 55H Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
3. (4) 377 Don Banker (R), Austin, Texas
4. (7) 55 Dave Gaggero (R), Wichita, Kan.
5. (2) 9C Dillon Hill (R), Eunice, N.M.
6. (1) 4M Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas
7. (6) 24Z Zane Ferrell, Hermitage, Ark.
8. (8) 29 Jamie Campbell (R), La Vernia, Texas
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (4) 20J Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas
2. (3) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas
3. (2) 47 Jack Sartain, Terrell, Texas
4. (8) 49 Ryan Slott (R), New Waverly, Texas
5. (7) 86 Dillon Tindall (R), La Grange, Texas
6. (9) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn., VanderBuilt/KSE
7. (11) 71K Kevin Sustaire, Emory, Texas, Rage/Fisher
8. (6) 211 Chase Hatton (R), De Berry, Texas, IRP/F1.
9. (5) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis.
10. (1) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., Jet/Speedway
11. (10) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
2. (5) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
3. (2) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (3) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
5. (6) 4M Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas
6. (4) 9C Dillon Hill (R), Eunice, N.M., Skyrocket/Ace
7. (10) 29 Jamie Campbell (R), La Vernia, Texas, DirtWorks/ChevPerf
8. (7) 55D Michael Dotson, Lathrop, Mo., GRT/ChevPerf
9. (9) 8 Wesley Summers, Odessa, Mo., GRT/Hess
10. (8) 24Z Zane Ferrell, Hermitage, Ark., MBCustoms/ASI
CASEY’S “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (3) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield
2. (6) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett
3. (14) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins
4. (4) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE
5. (12) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen
6. (13) 20J Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas, IRP/Shipley
7. (15) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas, MBCustoms/PPE
8. (1) 55H Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla., GRT/ChevPerf
9. (2) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Mullins
10. (7) 9R Kevin Rutherford, Flower Mound, Texas, MBCustoms/Wells
11. (9) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustoms/Hill
12. (16) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham
13. (22) 4M Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas, Rocket/Wells
14. (17) 47 Jack Sartain, Terrell, Texas, IRP/3D
15. (21) 86 Dillon Tindall (R), La Grange, Texas, Longhorn/ChevPerf
16. (23) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim's
17. (24) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., Lethal/Mullins
18. (10) 377 Don Banker (R), Austin, Texas
19. (18) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M., AOS/AOS
20. (5) 7 Shayne Bailey, Lathrop, Mo., GRT/ChevPerf
21. (20) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustoms/BMS
22. (19) 49 Ryan Slott (R), New Waverly, Texas, Rage/ChevPerf
23. (8) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., MBCustoms/Stoen
24. (11) 55 Dave Gaggero (R), Wichita, Kan., Hughes/Mullins
(R) = Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender
Lap Leaders: Davis 1-5, Sanders 35-40.
Total Laps Led: Sanders 35, Davis 5.
Margin of Victory: 0.963 second.
Time of Race: 23 minutes, 42.649 seconds (3 cautions).
Provisional Starters: Iverson, Skyberg.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Hughes (advanced 15 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Hughes (started 14th, finished 3rd).
Next Race: Thursday-Saturday, March 5-7, Big O Speedway, Ennis, Texas.
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s Points: Sanders 278, Hughes 265, Davis 245, Ramirez 243, Marriott 236, Ingalls 229, Houston 225, Iverson 220, Phillips 212, Skyberg 209.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Iverson 220, Skyberg 209, Slott 181, Hagar 180, Gaggero 140.
Miller Welders USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 28, Hughes 26, Rage 24, IRP 18, Lethal 15, GRT 15.
Compstar/JE Pistons USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Mullins 24, Hatfield 22, KSE 16, Cornett 16, Shipley 15.
American Racer – VanderBeek.
Beyea Custom Headers – Slott.
BigDeal Car Care – Hughes, Sanders.
Bryke Racing – Tindall.
BSB Manufacturing – Duvall.
Champ Pans – VanderBeek.
Deatherage Opticians – Phillips.
Edelbrock – Ramirez.
Eibach – Hughes.
Fast Shafts – Davis.
FK Rod Ends – Hughes.
Forty9 Designs – Sartain, Ray.
Hooker Harness – Malchus.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs – Banker.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Iverson.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports – Bleess.
Keyser Manufacturing – Rutherford.
KSE Racing Products – Davis.
Maxima Racing Oils – Hughes.
Penske Racing Shocks – Malchus.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain – Bailey.
QA1 – Ramirez.
RacerWebsite.com – Hughes.
Simpson Performance Products – Rutherford.
Summit Racing Equipment – Sanders, Ramirez, Marriott.
Super Clean – Sanders.
Swift Springs – Sanders, Malchus.
Sybesma Graphics – Hagar.
Tire Demon – Skyberg.
VP Racing Fuels – Ramirez.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Hatton.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – Houston.
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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Casey’s, Chevrolet Performance, Compstar Performance Engine Components by Callies, CP-Carrillo, Eibach, 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 Performance, MTN DEW Zero Sugar, MyRacePass, Nitroquest Media, Pace Performance, PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain, RacinDirt.com, Snickers, Summit Racing Equipment, Super Clean, VP Racing Fuels, Wrisco Industries.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Boubin Tire & Automotive, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, Eagle Moon Farm, JE Pistons, Miller Welders, PBM Performance Products, Rancho Milagro Racing, Rivers Edge Scrap Management, Tony Moro Powder Coat, Top of the World Ranch, YouDirt.com.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Beyea Headers, BigDeal Car Care, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bryke Racing, BSB Manufacturing, Champ Pans, Deatherage Opticians, Edelbrock, Forty9 Designs, Genesis Racing Shocks, Hooker Harness, Integra Racing Shocks and Springs, Keyser Manufacturing, Maxima Racing Oils, Penske Racing Shocks, QA1, RacerWebsite.com, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Swift Springs, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wehrs Machine & Race Products, Wilwood Racing.