2020 USMTS National Champion Rodney Sanders
USMTS Announcer Bryce Hall, in conjunction with RacinDirt.com, recently spoke with 2020 USMTS National Champion Rodney Sanders to discuss this past year in the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s and what lies ahead for the 31-year-old from Happy, Texas.
With the final points race of 2013 coming down to three drivers on the final night, Sanders bested Johnny Scott and Jason Hughes by a mere eight points to earn his first USMTS National Championship at the age of 23. Not only did he emerge as the first racer from the Lone Star State to capture the crown, but recorded a remarkable 13 top-five and 16 top-ten finishes in 17 starts during the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup.
Sanders returned to form in 2014 and earned his second straight USMTS National Championship while producing one of the greatest individual efforts in series history. He won a total of 29 times, including King of America IV ($10,000), World Modified Dirt Track Championship ($20,000) and Fall Jamboree ($17,000), plus preliminary feature wins at all three as well as the Halloween Havoc and USMTS Winter Nationals.
A grueling schedule in 2019 saw ‘The Rocket’ sweep all three regional titles in addition to his third USMTS crown. With 11 wins during the season, perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Sanders finished outside of the top 10 just twice in those 41 starts. That combination produced his fifth USMTS season with at least $100,000 in earnings and more than $1 million since his rookie season in 2007.
The 2020 season was hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the competition was hammered again by Sanders as he sailed to his fourth title, tying him with Jason Hughes. He scored his 100th career win on June 6 at the Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Oklahoma, and ended the season with 107 which places him third on the all-time wins list behind Kelly Shryock (182) and Hughes (155).
Final 2020 Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's points:
1. Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas ... 3492
2. Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla. ... 3339
3. Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla. ... 3118
4. Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa ... 2860
5. Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo. ... 2770
6. Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan. ... 2767
7. Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan. ... 2596
8. Casey Skyberg, Rapid City, S.D. ... 2467
9. Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla. ... 2259
10. Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan. ... 2047
USMTS National Champions include Rodney Sanders (2020, 2019, 2013 and 2014), Johnny Scott (2018), Jason Hughes (2017, 2016, 2015 and 2010), Ryan Gustin (2012 and 2011), Kelly Shryock (2009, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1999), Tim Donlinger (2008) and Jason Krohn (2007).
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