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‘Rocket’ boldly goes to victory lane in USMTS debut at I-90 Speedway

Rodney Sanders

Rodney Sanders

HARTFORD, S.D.-Saturday night found the USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by Swan Energy at the I-90 Speedway in Hartford, S.D., for the first time in the 16-year history of the series.
But despite racing in unfamiliar territory, the final box score showed a familiar face in victory lane as defending USMTS National Champion Rodney Sanders rolled to his third win in four nights, bringing his total rake to $7,000 in the last 72 hours.

The first half of the race was a fierce battle with Rookie of the Year contender Jeremy Houle in control at the start and leading the first nine laps before Johnny Scott took command on lap 10 following a restart for a crash on lap 9 that sidelined four cars.

Sanders powered ahead of Scott on lap 18, but Scott fought back and tried to recapture the top spot. Nearly making contact with Sanders, Scott spun and was forced to tag the rear of the field.

Sanders blasted off and disappeared from the field after that, eventually taking the checkered flag at the end of the 40-lapper with nearly a seven-second cushion over second-place finisher Jon Tesch, who came from 15th in impressive style.

No less impressive was Houle who had a miscue of his own earlier in the contest and returned from the back of the pack to score a career-best third.

But the Mesilla Valley Hard Charger Award went to Zack VanderBeek for the sixth time this year. Friday night’s winner in Rock Rapids, Iowa, VanderBeek sliced his way from 18th on the starting grid to finish fourth and get his seventh top-five in eight Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Northern Region starts.

Joey Jensen completed the top five with Scott making his way back to the front and finishing sixth as the final car on the lead lap with Sanders.

Don Gerritsen Jr., was seventh, Clayton Wagamon finished eighth, Scott Hansen was ninth and Trevor Anderson rounded out the top ten.

Sanders’ wins was the 26th of his USMTS career, tying him on the all-time list with Stormy Scott, whose feature race was cut short after a tangle on the ninth lap.

With just three shows left to put the cap on the bottle in the Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Northern Region presented by Day Motor Sports, VanderBeek is in good position to take down the regional crown and the accompanying $5,000.

He leads Stormy Scott by 58 points (738 to 680) heading into next week’s tripleheader, while Johnny Scott is another 18 markers behind with 662.

Kelly Shryock (635), Jensen (612), Dereck Ramirez (596), Daniel Hilsabeck (570), Wagamon (562), Bryan Rowland (529) and Pat Graham (464) hold the rest of the first ten spots for now.

Next up for the United States Modified Touring Series is the 16th Annual Masters on Friday and Saturday, June 13-14, at the Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., and then a Sunday, June 15, date with the Eagle Valley Speedway in Jim Falls, Wis.

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, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts or check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by Swan Energy – Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Northern Region presented by Day Motor Sports
I-90 Speedway, Hartford, S.D.
Saturday, June 7, 2014

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won. The top 12 drivers in passing points accumulated in the heat races were locked into the “A” Main, with the top 8 re-drawing for starting positions 1-8.

C&R RACING HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 54 Jeremy Houle (R), Ham Lake, Minn.
2. (5) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (8) V2 Joey Jensen, Harris, Minn.
4. (6) 1k Pat Graham, Ames, Iowa.
5. (7) 31 Scott Hansen, Garden City, S.D.
6. (2) 27 Don Gerritsen Jr., Rock Rapids, Iowa.
7. (4) X Chris Moore (R), Madison, S.D.
8. (3) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa.

JRi SHOCKS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 26g Bob Gierke, Westport, Minn.
2. (4) 52w Nate Wasmund, Rochester, Minn.
3. (1) 20 Trevor Anderson, Watertown, S.D.
4. (6) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa.
5. (8) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (3) 10 Austin Arneson (R), Fargo, N.D.
7. (5) 14w Clayton Wagamon, Blaine, Minn.
8. (7) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla.

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (1) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
2. (3) 24s Mike Stearns, Hecla, S.D.
3. (5) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
4. (2) 2 Casey Arneson (R), Fargo, N.D.
5. (7) 14 Jon Tesch, Watertown, S.D.
6. (4) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
7. (6) M80 Jim Mathieson, Sioux City, Iowa.

CASEY’S GENERAL STORES “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (3) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustom/Geddes, 40, $2000.
2. (15) 14 Jon Tesch, Watertown, S.D., GRT/Sput’s, 40, $1500.
3. (2) 54 Jeremy Houle (R), Ham Lake, Minn., MBCustom/Speedwerx, 40, $1000.
4. (18) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, LG2/Sput’s, 40, $900.
5. (4) V2 Joey Jensen, Harris, Minn., GRT/Tim’s, 40, $800.
6. (8) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., Ramirez/ProPower, 40, $700.
7. (16) 27 Don Gerritsen Jr., Rock Rapids, Iowa, Razor/HarryHeads, 39, $650.
8. (20) 14w Clayton Wagamon, Blaine, Minn., Hughes/Wagamon, 39, $600.
9. (14) 31 Scott Hansen, Garden City, S.D., GRT/Sput’s, 39, $450.
10. (9) 20 Trevor Anderson, Watertown, S.D., Arrow/Tesar, 39, $400.
11. (10) 1k Pat Graham, Ames, Iowa, Skyrocket/Karl, 39, $450.
12. (21) M80 Jim Mathieson, Sioux City, Iowa, BeerBuilt/Mathieson, 38, $300.
13. (19) X Chris Moore (R), Madison, S.D., Fegers/Vetter, 22, $400.
14. (5) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Ramirez/Cornett, 15, $400.
15. (1) 26g Bob Gierke, Westport, Minn., GRT/Tim’s, 15, $350.
16. (6) 24s Mike Stearns, Hecla, S.D., MasterSbilt/Tim’s, 10, $300.
17. (13) 2 Casey Arneson (R), Fargo, N.D., MasterSbilt/Mullins, 10, $300.
18. (22) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, Skyrocket/ASI, 10, $400.
19. (7) 52w Nate Wasmund, Rochester, Minn., GRT/Action, 9, $300.
20. (17) 10 Austin Arneson (R), Fargo, N.D., MasterSbilt/Mullins, 9, $400.
21. (12) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., LG2/ProPower, 9, $300.
22. (11) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, 9, $400.
23. (23) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla., LG2/ProPower, 2, $400.

(R) = Rookie of the Year contender.

Lap Leaders: Houle 1-9, J. Scott 10-17, Sanders 18-40.
Total Laps Led: Sanders 23, Houle 9, J. Scott 8.
Margin of Victory: 6.755 seconds.
Provisional Starters: none.
Sybesma Graphics Pole Award: Gierke.
Mesilla Valley Transportation Hard Charger: VanderBeek (started 18th, finished 4th).
Next Race: Friday-Saturday, June 13-14, Cedar Lake Speedway, New Richmond, Wis.
Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Northern Region Points: VanderBeek 738, S. Scott 680, J. Scott 662, Shryock 635, Jensen 612, Ramirez 596, Hilsabeck 570, Wagamon 562, Rowland 529, Graham 464.
Rookie of the Year Points: Jake Gallardo 1703, Adam Penn 1036, Cade Dillard 825, Dylan Smith 795, Shane Sprinkle 775.
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year Points: ProPower 254, Sput’s 244, Geddes 186, Mullins 150, AOS 110.
Tiger Quick Change Manufacturers Championship Points: LG2 263, MBCustom 227, Ramirez 221, GRT 190, Hughes 159.

Contingency Awards:
American Racer – Graham.
Beyea Custom Headers – Hilsabeck.
Brass Monkey Racing Products – Shryock.
C&R Racing – Houle.
Edelbrock – Sanders.
FK Rod Ends – Gierke.
Forty9Designs.com – Ramirez, Wasmund.
Fuel Safe – J. Scott.
GRT Race Cars – Tesch.
Hooker Harness – Moore.
JRi Shocks – Gierke.
KEVKO Oil Pans & Components – not awarded.
Keyser Manufacturing – not awarded.
Marsh Racing Wheels – Hilsabeck.
Mesilla Valley Transportation – VanderBeek.
MSD Ignition – Sanders, Tesch.
PBM Performance Products – Sanders.
Power Lift Racing Products – C. Arneson.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Sybesma Graphics – Gierke.
VP Racing Fuels – Sanders.

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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, AMP Energy, Casey’s General Stores, Chix Gear, COMP Cams, Day Motor Sports, Farm Boy BBQ Sauce, Intercomp, KEVKO Oil Pans & Components, MSD, Nitroquest Media Group, RACEceiver, RacinDirt.com, Snickers, SpiderWeb Modular Storage Solutions, Swan Energy, VP Racing Fuels.

USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arizona Sport Shirts, ASi Racewear, BRODIX Cylinder Heads, Double H Bands, ElbowsUp.com, Erson Cams, Integra Racing Shocks & Springs, Major League Bowhunter, Mesilla Valley Transportation, New Vision Graphics, Olympic Fire Protection, Penn Transport, Road Runner Crane, Road Runner Trucking, S&S Fishing & Rental, United Cellular Services.

USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, Bell Racing Helmets, Beyea Custom Headers, Brass Monkey Racing Products, C&R Racing, CPD Racing Tools, Edelbrock, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, Forty9 Designs, Fuel Safe, Genesis Racing Shocks, GRT Race Cars, Hooker Harness, JRi Shocks, Keyser Manufacturing, KSE Racing Products, Marsh Racing Wheels, PBM Performance Products, Power Lift Racing Products, Quarter Master, Real Racing Wheels, Sybesma Graphics, Tiger Rear Ends.

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