Jensen perfect on opening night of World Modified Dirt Track Championship

USMTS - United States Modified Touring SeriesBy Jeff Nun

Four weeks ago at the Deer Creek Speedway, Joey Jensen captured his career-first United States Modified Touring Series victory when he topped a USMTS National Championship Series event worth $5,000.

Tonight at ‘The Creek,’ Jensen proved he’s no one-hit wonder as he turned in a flawless performance on the first qualifying night at the 2nd Annual World Modified Dirt Track Championship presented by Hanson Tire Service.

Although he didn’t earn a paycheck Wednesday night, the 32-year-old from Forest Lake, Minn., earned the maximum points possible and is now in the catbird seat for a possible $25,000 payoff on Saturday night.

Jensen was the quickest driver on the high-banked 3/8-mile clay oval in his group of time-trialers, which placed him on the outside of the third row for his 10-lap heat race. Winning his heat made him the highest points earner and the polesitter in the 35-lap main event.

From the outside of the front row, 2010 USMTS National Champion Jason Hughes took command on the first lap of the feature race with Jensen giving chase.

Just a single caution slowed the action, but it was an expensive one as seven cars piled up in turn 3 with just four laps in the books. While four were able to continue despite some wrinkled sheet metal, the machines of Jason Miller, Steve Whiteaker Jr. and last year’s Featherlite Fall Jamboree winner, Terry Phillips, suffered too much damage to continue.

Hughes continued to lead on the restart while Jensen kept him in his crosshairs. Ten laps later, Jensen scooted underneath Hughes and assumed control as they completed lap 15.

Jensen was on a rail from that point forward, weaving in and out of lapped traffic without missing a beat. He crossed the finish line 2.2 seconds ahead of Mike Sorensen and, more importantly, assured himself the pole position for Saturday night’s 50-lap, $25,000-to-win blockbuster.

Hughes held on for a third-place finish with Jason Cummins finishing fourth, 16-year-old Lucas Schott taking the fifth spot and Bryan Rowland snagging sixth. The top 6 finishers were also the six highest points earners on the night, and are locked into the championship finale (unless any of them opt to use their “mulligan” and try again on Friday).

Nine-time USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock was scored seventh, Dean Mahlstedt started and finished eighth, Tommy Myer nabbed a ninth-place finish and Tennessee speedster T.J. Herndon rounded out the top 10.

Myer, who is fourth in all-time USMTS victories (42 wins), made his return to the cockpit for the first time this season. Showing no signs of rust, the ‘Bixby Bullet’ passed 17 cars in the 35-lap feature.

The other half of the Best of the Best in open-wheel dirt modified take on the Deer Creek Speedway Thursday night for the second round of qualifying.

Pre-registered drivers for Thursday’s show are Brandon Aggen, Josh Angst, Brandon Beckendorf, Rick Beebe, Dan Bohr, Jeremy Brogaard, Robby Bunkelman, Timothy Culp, Brandon Davis, Brad Dierks, Mark Dotson, Corey Dripps, Dallas Everett, Jake Gallardo, Mike Gibson, Pat Graham, Ryan Gustin, Bruce Hanford, Shane Hebert, Adam Hensel, Troy Heupel, Joe Horgdal, Carlos Jaramillo, Greg Jensen, Darwin Karau, Ron Keith, Kurt Krauskopf, Brad Loveday, David McClain, Nick Nevins, Jeremy Payne, Ryan Peckham, Eric Pember, Dereck Ramirez, Ryan Ruter, Rodney Sanders, Luke Schilling, Stormy Scott, Mike Steensma, Bobby Swanson, Jon Tesch, Mark Teske, Chris Theodore, Jason Thoennes, Thomas Tillison Jr., Jake Timm, Terry Timmerman, Randy Timms, Zack VanderBeek, Brad Waits, Tommy Weder Jr., J.J. Wise and A.J. Wiste.

Group time trials with a green-white-checkered format will be staged each of the first three days, along with heat races and main events with drivers earning points for their performances in each. The top 6 points earners each day will earn one of 18 guaranteed starting spots in Saturday’s finale, with the highest overall points earner during the three days of qualifying garnering the pole for the big dance.

Any driver who has purchased a “mulligan” may forfeit their points on Wednesday or Thursday and attempt to qualify again on Friday if their first night did not turn out as hoped.

Saturday’s program will feature an “alphabet soup” of main events that will culminate with a 31-car starting field in the championship race. Even if a driver has some tough luck during the first three nights of qualifying, he or she still has the chance to climb the ladder of main events on Saturday to earn a spot in the finale.

The 31st starting spot will be auctioned off prior to the start of the race. In last year’s auction, event sponsor Randy Eastvold of Hanson Tire Service won the bidding contest and selected 2007 USMTS National Champion Jason Krohn as the bonus starter.

Nearly $100,000 has been earmarked for Saturday’s championship main event alone, with a total purse of more than $160,000 posted for the four-day extravaganza.

Grandstand gates open at 4 p.m. and hot laps begin at 6:30 on Thursday and Friday. All times are one hour earlier on Saturday. Tickets are $25 for adults on Thursday and Friday, and $35 on Saturday. Kids ages 12 and under are $10 each day.

The Iron Man Challenge for USRA Stock Cars will join the USMTS Modifieds on the racing card Thursday. Friday and Saturday night will feature Wissota Midwest Mods as the support class.

The Deer Creek Speedway sits on 60 acres of scenic rural rolling hills with one of America’s most popular state-of-the-art racing complexes and a busy modern campground. The 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval is located 11.3 miles south of I-90 (exit 209) on US 63 (0.7 mile north of SR 16) in Spring Valley, Minn. For more info, call toll-free 877-DCS-RACE or 507-346-2342 on raceday or visit www.deercreekspeedway.com online.

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 and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

United States Modified Touring Series
2nd Annual World Modified Dirt Track Championship presented by Hanson Tire Service – Night 1 of 4
Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, reason out (if any) and laps completed. The top 16 drivers in passing points accumulated in the heat races are locked into the “A” Main.

BEYEA CUSTOM HEADERS HEAT RACE #1 (10 laps):
1. (1) 0 Richie Gustin, Gilman, Iowa.
2. (3) 21M Dean Mahlstedt, Clear Lake, Iowa.
3. (5) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
4. (2) 7K Jason Krohn, Slayton, Minn.
5. (6) 9 Shane Hebert, Lafayette, La.
6. (4) 20 Cole Queensland, Grand Meadow, Minn.
7. (7) 7 Al Hejna, Clear Lake, Iowa.
8. (9) 22D Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa.
9. (8) 40 Paul Knauf, Marshfield, Wis.
10. (10) 65 Tommy Myer, Blooming Prairie, Minn.

HOOKER HARNESS HEAT RACE #2 (10 laps):
1. (5) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
2. (6) 19 Mike Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.
3. (4) 89 Steven Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas.
4. (2) 11 Lance Hofer, Cochrane, Wis.
5. (3) 27 Don Gerritsen Jr., Rock Rapids, Iowa.
6. (7) 72 Doug Hillson, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
7. (8) 16s David Schoenberger, Beaver Dam, Wis.
8. (1) 26 Bob Gierke, Westport, Minn.
9. (9) 24 Jeff Lien, Mora, Minn.

EIBACH SPRINGS HEAT RACE #3 (10 laps):
1. (3) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla.
2. (6) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
3. (1) 39 Luke Driskell, Stilwell, Kan.
4. (5) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (4) 7 Eric Dailey, Armstrong, Iowa.
6. (7) 18 Mick Glenn, Minnesota City, Minn.
7. (2) 26 Dan Fetters, Montour, Iowa.
8. (9) 14W Clayton Wagamon, Blaine, Minn.
9. (8) 77 Brian Craighead, Farmerville, La.

PBM PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #4 (10 laps):
1. (5) 71 Jason Cummins, New Richland, Minn.
2. (1) 1 T.J. Herndon, Atwood, Tenn.
3. (3) 4A Joel Alberts, Mantorville, Minn.
4. (6) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa.
5. (4) 05 Jake Hartung, Elmwood, Wis.
6. (2) 56H Brandon Hare, Elma, Iowa.
7. (7) 12M Jason Miller, Osceola, Wis.
8. (8) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
9. (9) 7S John Schulke, LaPorte, Minn.

HEAT RACE #5 (10 laps):
1. (6) V2 Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, Minn.
2. (3) 52w Nate Wasmund, Rochester, Minn.
3. (4) 96x Jay Ihrke, Dover, Minn.
4. (1) 23 Brandon Davis, Castle Rock, Colo.
5. (5) 88X Jimmy Broszeit, Postville, Iowa.
6. (2) 51 Eddie Martin, Stillwell, Okla.
7. (9) 7x Chris Dawson, Lubbock, Texas.
8. (8) 60 William Gould, Calera, Okla.
9. (7) 83 Billy Steinberg, Kasson, Minn.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (15 laps, top 7 advance):
1. (1) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (3) 9 Shane Hebert, Lafayette, La.
3. (4) 7 Eric Dailey, Armstrong, Iowa.
4. (6) 18 Mick Glenn, Minnesota City, Minn.
5. (10) 12M Jason Miller, Osceola, Wis.
6. (8) 7x Chris Dawson, Lubbock, Texas.
7. (2) 11 Lance Hofer, Cochrane, Wis.
8. (11) 14W Clayton Wagamon, Blaine, Minn., Wheeler/Wagamon.
9. (5) 88X Jimmy Broszeit, Postville, Iowa, Skyrocket/Sput’s.
10. (12) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., GRC/BMS.
11. (9) 7 Al Hejna, Clear Lake, Iowa, BC/JRM.
12. (14) 77 Brian Craighead, Farmerville, La., DirtWorks/Sput’s.
13. (15) 83 Billy Steinberg, Kasson, Minn., Wheeler/Flyin’J.
14. (13) 40 Paul Knauf, Marshfield, Wis., Allens/Licciardi.
15. (7) 56H Brandon Hare, Elma, Iowa, Skyrocket/Action.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (15 laps, top 7 advance):
1. (1) 7K Jason Krohn, Slayton, Minn.
2. (3) 27 Don Gerritsen Jr., Rock Rapids, Iowa.
3. (6) 20 Cole Queensland, Grand Meadow, Minn.
4. (5) 72 Doug Hillson, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
5. (8) 16s David Schoenberger, Beaver Dam, Wis.
6. (15) 65 Tommy Myer, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
7. (9) 26 Dan Fetters, Montour, Iowa.
8. (10) 22D Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa, GRT/Mullins.
9. (12) 60 William Gould, Calera, Okla., Shaw/BMS.
10. (4) 05 Jake Hartung, Elmwood, Wis., SSR/MAS.
11. (2) 23 Brandon Davis, Castle Rock, Colo., Hughes/Geddes.
12. (14) 7S John Schulke, LaPorte, Minn., Jones/Adams.
13. (11) 26 Bob Gierke, Westport, Minn., GRT/RoushYates.
14. (7) 51 Eddie Martin, Stillwell, Okla., Hughes/Dunsworth.
15. (13) 24 Jeff Lien, Mora, Minn., Matrix/Mullins.

SWAN ENERGY “A” MAIN (35 laps):
1. (1) V2 Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, Minn., GRT/Tim’s, 35.
2. (5) 19 Mike Sorensen, Rochester, Minn., Hughes/Action, 35.
3. (2) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 35.
4. (3) 71 Jason Cummins, New Richland, Minn., Skyrocket/Sput’s, 35.
5. (6) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., Hughes/Sput’s, 35.
6. (4) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/ProPower, 35.
7. (16) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, Skyrocket/RoushYates, 35.
8. (8) 21M Dean Mahlstedt, Clear Lake, Iowa, GRT/Midstate, 35.
9. (26) 65 Tommy Myer, Blooming Prairie, Minn., Ramirez/Sput’s, 35.
10. (10) 1 T.J. Herndon, Atwood, Tenn., GRT/JRM, 35.
11. (9) 52w Nate Wasmund, Rochester, Minn., Hughes/KSE, 35.
12. (20) 7 Eric Dailey, Armstrong, Iowa, Skyrocket/Grawmondbeck’s, 35.
13. (15) 4A Joel Alberts, Mantorville, Minn., Skyrocket/Action, 35.
14. (7) 0 Richie Gustin, Gilman, Iowa, GRT/Yeoman, 35.
15. (22) 18 Mick Glenn, Minnesota City, Minn., Skyrocket/JRM, 35.
16. (17) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., Hughes/ProPower, 34.
17. (18) 7K Jason Krohn, Slayton, Minn., Hughes/Sput’s, 34.
18. (13) 96x Jay Ihrke, Dover, Minn., Fegers/Dean, 34.
19. (25) 7x Chris Dawson, Lubbock, Texas, Shaw/Fletcher, 34.
20. (30) 26 Dan Fetters, Montour, Iowa, Sidebiter/KSE, 34.
21. (29) 11 Lance Hofer, Cochrane, Wis., SSR/BK’s, 34.
22. (21) 20 Cole Queensland, Grand Meadow, Minn., Skyrocket/Action, 34.
23. (14) 39 Luke Driskell, Stilwell, Kan., GRT/Driskell, 34.
24. (19) 9 Shane Hebert, Lafayette, La., Hughes/ASI, suspension, 12.
25. (23) 12M Jason Miller, Osceola, Wis., Matrix/Mullins, crash, 4.
26. (11) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Hatfield, crash, 4.
27. (12) 89 Steven Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas, Hughes/Mullins, crash, 4.
28. (24) 16s David Schoenberger, Beaver Dam, Wis., Victory/Warren’s, mechanical, 3.
DNS – 27 Don Gerritsen Jr., Rock Rapids, Iowa, Razor/HarryHeads, did not start, 0.
DNS – 72 Doug Hillson, Blooming Prairie, Minn., Hillson/CRE, did not start, 0.

Integra Lap Leaders: Hughes 1-14, Jensen 15-35.

Total Laps Led: Jensen 21, Hughes 14.

Margin of Victory: 2.2 seconds.

Mesilla Valley Transportation Hard Charger: Myer (started 26th, finished 9th).

Next Race: Thursday, July 26, Deer Creek Speedway (Night 2 of 4).

Contingency Awards:
AERO Race Wheels – Schoenberger.
American Racer – Wasmund.
Beyea Custom Headers – Gustin.
Dominator Race Products – Phillips.
Eibach Springs – Rowland.
Forty9Designs.com – Cummins, Myer.
Hooker Harness – Hughes.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs – Jensen.
KEVKO Oil Pans & Components – Myer.
KSE Racing Products – Mahlstedt.
Marsh Racing Wheels – Whiteaker.
Nitroquest – Hare, Lien.
Mesilla Valley Transportation – Myer.
PBM Performance Products – Cummins.
R2C Performance Products – Sorensen.
Real Racing Wheels – Scott, Krohn.

Points Standings (after night 1 of 4):
1. V2 Joey Jensen … 666.5 *
2. 19 Mike Sorensen … 635 *
3. 12 Jason Hughes … 629 *
4. 71 Jason Cummins … 625 *
5. 69 Lucas Schott … 611 *
6. 20R Bryan Rowland … 582 *
7. 3 Kelly Shryock … 560
8. 21M Dean Mahlstedt … 546.5
9. 52W Nate Wasmund … 516.5
10. 1 T.J. Herndon … 505
11. 0 Richie Gustin … 494
12. 4A Joel Alberts … 491
13. 1st Johnny Scott … 483.5
14. 96X Jay Ihrke … 478.5
15. 7 Eric Dailey … 478
16. 75 Terry Phillips … 462
17. 9 Shane Hebert … 448.5
18. 7K Jason Krohn … 447
19. 89 Steve Whiteaker Jr. … 446
20. 11 Lance Hofer … 431
21. 39 Luke Driskell … 428
22. 20 Cole Queensland … 424
23. 18 Mick Glenn … 415.5
24. 88X Jimmy Broszeit … 413
25. 26 Dan Fetters … 403
26. 27 Don Gerritsen … 402
27. 05 Jake Hartung … 401
28. 65 Tommy Myer … 388
29. 23 Brandon Davis … 383
30. 7X Chris Dawson … 370
31. 12M Jason Miller … 366
32. 51 Eddie Martin … 364
33. 56H Brandon Hare … 362
34. 72 Doug Hillson … 360
35. 16S Dave Schoenberger … 347
36. 7 Al Hejna … 341
37. 26 Bob Gierke … 338
38. 60 William Gould … 326
39. G17 Fito Gallardo … 324
40. 22D Daniel Hilsabeck … 320.5
41. 14W Clayton Wagamon … 320.5
42. 83 Billy Steinberg … 319
43. 77 Brian Craighead … 311
44. 40 Paul Knauf … 307
45. 7S John Schulke … 301
46. 24 Jeff Lien … 295

* = locked into Saturday’s “A” Main

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