‘The Rocket’ gets redemption in Rock Rapids
Rodney Sanders registered his sixth Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s main event win of the 2020 campaign as he raced his way into victory lane Friday at the Rapid Speedway with a late-race pass of Jason Hughes during the 12th Annual Rapid Rumble presented by American Racer.
The $3,000 effort came one week shy of the anniversary of his first win in 2009 and was the 103rd career checkered flag for the 30-year-old from Happy, Texas, which ties him for third on the all-time USMTS wins list with Ryan Gustin.
Jason Hughes led the first 30 of the 35-lap feature race before Sanders was able to blast around the four-time USMTS champion and go on to win. Second on the all-time wins list, the pass and runner-up finish denied Hughes of his 156th career win and first triumph since September 3, 2017.
Kelly Shryock continues as the winningest USMTS competitor of all time with 182 wins on his resume while capturing nine series titles. He was the winner of the inaugural Rapid Rumble in 2006.
Now a three-time winner of this event, Sanders crossed the finish line 1.14 seconds ahead of Hughes while 2017 Rapid Rumble winner Dereck Ramirez came home third in front of Hunter Marriott and Tanner Mullens.
Last year’s winner, Terry Phillips, collected a sixth-place paycheck. The Rapid Rumble was one of the most thrilling shows last season when both Sanders and Ryan Gustin spun while racing for the lead. That opened for door for Phillips to sneak in, take the money and run.
Rookie Casey Skyberg sailed to a seventh-place finish and another rookie, Tyler Davis, came from 13th on the grid to earn the eighth spot. Adam Kates nabbed ninth and Kyle Brown took down his fourth straight top-10 finish of the week.
Sanders remains the points leader and will wear the fluorescent yellow Wrisco Points Leader spoiler when the series invades the Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City, Iowa, on Saturday.
Saturday stop in Webster City: A five-day celebration of freedom, fun and fast cars criss-crossing the Hawkeye State, the fifth and final round of action during Iowa Speedweek happens at the Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City with the USMTS touring titans again sparring over a $3,000 top prize.
The Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series featuring American Racer USRA Stock Cars, USRA B-Mods and Mensink Racing Products USRA Hobby Stocks are also on tap. Race time is 7:30.
Opening in July 1910, the Hamilton County Speedway is the oldest speedway in the state of Iowa. In 1938, work began on the current location at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. The semi-banked half-mile dirt track was completed in the spring of 1939, and the first races were held on the track in September of that year.
The track is located off US 20 at exit 140, then 1.2 miles north, then 0.5 mile east on Bank St., then 0.4 mile south on Bluff St. at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Webster City, Iowa (1200 Bluff St, Webster City, IA 50595).
Currently, the 2020 schedule for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s is highlighted by 42 nights of racing at 27 unique dirt ovals for the 22nd season of competition 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
12th Annual Rapid Rumble presented by American Racer
Rapid Speedway, Rock Rapids, Iowa
Friday, June 19, 2020
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, and laps completed. All racers advance to the Casey’s “A” Main with the top 8 in heat race passing points redrawing for starting positions 1-8.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (2) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
2. (3) 21K Kyle Brown, Madrid, Iowa
3. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
4. (6) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
5. (7) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
6. (4) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis.
7. (1) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan.
8. (8) 16 Brock Hess (R), Sioux Falls, S.D.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
2. (2) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan.
3. (5) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
4. (4) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
5. (3) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
6. (7) 782 Miah Christensen (R), Sioux Falls, S.D.
DNS – 27 Don Gerritsen Jr.., Rock Rapids, Iowa
CASEY’S “A” MAIN (35 laps):
1. (8) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 35.
2. (2) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 35.
3. (6) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 35.
4. (1) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 35.
5. (7) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 35.
6. (9) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 35.
7. (5) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., Lethal/Mullins, 35.
8. (13) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 35.
9. (4) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., Jet/Speedway, 35.
10. (3) 21K Kyle Brown, Madrid, Iowa, Harris/Tesar, 35.
11. (15) 27 Don Gerritsen Jr.., Rock Rapids, Iowa, Skyrocket/HarryHeads, 35.
12. (10) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla., GRT/ChevPerf, 35.
13. (12) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim's, 34.
14. (11) 782 Miah Christensen (R), Sioux Falls, S.D., MBCustoms/JB, 30.
15. (14) 16 Brock Hess (R), Sioux Falls, S.D., MBCustoms/CNC, 28.
(R) = Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender
Lap Leaders: Hughes 1-30, Sanders 31-35.
Total Laps Led: Hughes 30, Sanders 5.
Margin of Victory: 1.14 seconds.
Time of Race: 19 minutes, 40.863 seconds (4 cautions).
Provisional Starters: none.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Sanders (advanced 9 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Sanders (started 8th, finished 1st).
Next Race: Saturday, June 20, Hamilton County Speedway, Webster City, Iowa.
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s Points: Sanders 1533, Ramirez 1462, Hughes 1371, Marriott 1209, Iverson 1173, Davis 1166, VanderBeek 1163, Skyberg 1019, Kates 996, Bleess 957.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Iverson 1173, Davis 1166, Skyberg 969, Hagar 778, Mullens 742.
Miller Welders USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 148, Hughes 146, VanderBuilt 93, Rage 85, GRT 83.
Compstar/JE Pistons USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield 129, Cornett 121, Mullins 103, Stoen 87, KSE 85.
American Racer – Mullens.
Beyea Custom Headers – Marriott.
BigDeal Car Care – Sanders.
Bryke Racing – Hess.
BSB Manufacturing – Christensen.
Champ Pans – Mullens.
Deatherage Opticians – Hagar.
Edelbrock – Brown.
Eibach – Sanders.
Fast Shafts – Marriott.
FK Rod Ends – Sanders.
Forty9 Designs – Christensen, Hess.
Hooker Harness – Iverson.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs – Gerritsen.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Christensen.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports – Gerritsen.
Keyser Manufacturing – Davis.
KSE Racing Products – Kates.
Maxima Racing Oils – Sanders.
Penske Racing Shocks – Iverson.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain – Marriott.
QA1 – Ramirez.
RacerWebsite.com – Hess.
Simpson Performance Products – Hughes.
Spyder High Performance Filters – Phillips.
Summit Racing Equipment – Christensen, Gerritsen, Hess.
Super Clean – Sanders.
Swift Springs – Sanders, Hess.
Sybesma Graphics – Marriott.
Tire Demon – Gerritsen.
VP Racing Fuels – Sanders.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Gerritsen.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – Skyberg.
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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Casey’s, Chevrolet Performance, Compstar Performance Engine Components by Callies, CP-Carrillo, Dirt Draft, Eibach, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, Intercomp, Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts, K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports, KS Engineering, KSE Racing Products, Malvern Bank, Mesilla Valley Transportation, MSD Performance, MTN DEW Zero Sugar, MyRacePass, Nitroquest Media, 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.