MESQUITE, Texas-Grant Junghans could teach Mike Tyson a thing or two about what it means to be a fighter.
On a warm night in Mesquite, Texas, Wednesday, his exceptional fighting skills were on display for all to see as he claimed a hard-fought victory at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway in the main event for the USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental.
The 26-year-old from Manhattan, Kan., sat on the pole for the start of the 30-lap race on the ultra-fast, high-banked historic half-mile dirt oval and immediately jumped out to a commanding lead in the first few laps of the race.
Following a caution on lap 6, Junghans again bolted away from the field but this time he had company as Triston Dycus mounted a challenge for the lead while making it a two-car breakaway.
Dycus, from nearby Waxahachie, Texas, made his presence known to Junghans and got underneath the leader on several occasions and even nosed ahead to lead the 22nd lap, but Junghans continued to keep him at bay and never gave him the bobble he needed to wrestle away the top spot for good.
Junghans never relinquished the lead again and took the checkered flag with Dycus following in his tire tracks.
“The track was pretty dominant on the bottom,” Junghans said in victory lane. “When he started showing his nose I was thinking ‘Man, he’s gonna take away the line and I’m gonna have to suck in behind him for second,’ so I just kept fighting and fighting and fighting. I kind of chopped him a little bit, but I just had to keep on that bottom.
“I figured I’m just going to slow up and make him either run me over or go around me.”
Fighting. It’s something Junghans has been doing pretty much every day since his first and only other United States Modified Touring Series win on Aug. 11, 2009, at the LA Raceway in La Monte, Mo.
He was diagnosed with cancer in February of 2010, and in the five-plus years since he has fought the disease off and on through numerous treatments of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries and an invincible will to win.
In fact, he just had another round of chemotherapy just before heading out on the current swing of races last Thursday.
With the knowledge of what he was up against when he went toe-to-toe with Junghans, Dycus can sleep well with his runner-up finish.
Grant Junghans poses with family and crew members following his USMTS win on Aug. 11, 2009.
Many of us gripe about much smaller things, but through it all Junghans has remained positive with an infectious sense of humor. That didn’t change when asked about his first victory in nearly six years.
According to Junghans, Wednesday night’s $3,000 win was even sweeter than the first when he inherited the win after Jeremy Payne was disqualified during post-race technical inspections.
“For sure, this feels a whole lot better, plus all the shit I had to go through,” he said, smiling.
While Junghans and Dycus were dicing for the lead throughout the race, several movers and shakers kept the huge crowd occupied with trying to watch the entire field.
Jason Hughes, who started in the sixth row, made an early charge to the front but could never make up ground on the two front-runners and settled for a solid third-place finish ahead of Sybesma Graphics Pole Award winner Dereck Ramirez and Garrett Gregory.
Joe Duvall recorded another strong USMTS Southern Speedweek effort with a sixth-place finish while Rodney Sanders managed to take the seventh spot.
Sanders also scored his career-first USMTS win at the LA Raceway just two months prior to Junghans getting his first, and finished second behind Junghans in his first win there.
The two-time defending USMTS National Champion was seeking his eighth straight feature win Wednesday, but could not overcome a lackluster qualifying effort that left him starting 24th in the feature race.
Johnny Scott climbed as high as sixth from his 14th starting spot and brought home an eighth-place finish while 26th-starting matched Sanders’s effort with a ninth-place showing. Clyde Dunn Jr. rounded out the top 10.
Sanders maintained his points lead in the Double H Bands Southern Region with just three races remaining in the race for the regional title, but Junghans narrowed the gap to just 28 points (469 to 441) with his win.
Ramirez sits third with 422 markers, followed by Johnny Scott (411), Sobbing (365), Stormy Scott (364), Duvall (337), Cade Dillard (333), Philip Houston (318) and Dycus (317).
The annual USMTS Southern Speedweek continues on Thursday, June 25, with the series’ first-ever visit to the East Texas Speedway in Petty, Texas.
Gates open at 3 p.m., hot laps start at 7 and racing begins at 8 p.m. General admission is $20, seniors get in for $15 and children under 10 are admitted free of charge. Pit passes are $30.
Limited Modifieds will also be on the card racing for $600 to win.
The East Texas Speedway is the newest dirt track in Texas. The 3/8-mile high-banked dirt oval is located at 16196 US Hwy 82 West in Petty, Texas. for more information call 903-449-2551 or check out www.easttexasspeedway.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, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv.
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United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Casey’s Cup Series powered by S&S Fishing & Rental – Double H Bands Southern Region presented by Day Motor Sports
3rd Annual Event
Devil’s Bowl Speedway, Mesquite, Texas
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
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.
MSD HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 14t Triston Dycus, Waxahachie, Texas.
2. (5) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
3. (4) 5* Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (2) 28 Wendall Bolden, Greenville, Texas.
5. (9) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (6) 8 Montie Skip O’Neal, Midlothian, Texas.
7. (7) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
8. (8) 23k Ben Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan.
9. (3) 75 Patrick Daniel, Wills Point, Texas.
DAY MOTOR SPORTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (6) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (1) 30 Chase Allen, Midlothian, Texas.
3. (5) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
4. (3) 2c Chris Huckeba, Midlothian, Texas.
5. (7) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Adel, Iowa.
6. (2) 5 Shane Sprinkle, Andrews, Texas.
7. (4) 51 Rusty Trevathan Jr., Wylie, Texas.
8. (8) 29x Lance Plant, Mesquite, Texas.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (2) 2 Grant Junghans, Manhattan, Kan.
2. (3) 41m Steve McMackin, Greenville, Texas.
3. (5) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
4. (4) 4m Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas.
5. (6) 751 Bobby Ruffin, Crandall, Texas.
6. (1) 64 Jay Sale, Edmond, Okla.
7. (8) 32 Doug Burns, Willis, Texas.
8. (7) 12j Johnny Philpot, Sunnyvale, Texas.
PBM PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (3) 88xxx Clyde Dunn Jr., Sunnyvale, Texas.
2. (4) 18s Cody Smith (R), Kaufman, Texas.
3. (2) 89c Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas.
4. (6) 99 Jesse Sobbing (R), Malvern, Iowa.
5. (7) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.
6. (8) 11 Dustin Allen (R), Enid, Okla.
7. (1) B23 Michael Grubbs (R), Plano, Texas.
8. (5) 123 Logan Robertson (R), Shamrock, Texas.
DOUBLE H BANDS HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (1) 77 Garrett Gregory (R), Tomball, Texas.
2. (3) 01 Colby Smith (R), Greenville, Texas.
3. (4) 3c Charlie Smith, Forney, Texas.
4. (7) 2 Casey Arneson (R), Fargo, N.D.
5. (2) 12 Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas.
6. (8) 5w John O Whittington, Vidor, Texas.
7. (5) 7x Rory Jordan, Victoria, Texas.
8. (6) 38 Ronnie Gould III (R), Seminole, Okla.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 6 advance):
1. (7) 12 Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas.
2. (5) 4m Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas.
3. (6) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.
4. (4) 28 Wendall Bolden, Greenville, Texas.
5. (8) 5 Shane Sprinkle, Andrews, Texas.
6. (10) 51 Rusty Trevathan Jr., Wylie, Texas.
7. (2) 2 Casey Arneson (R), Fargo, N.D.
8. (13) 123 Logan Robertson (R), Shamrock, Texas, Hughes/PPE, $90.
9. (9) 32 Doug Burns, Willis, Texas, IRP/GMPP, $75.
10. (11) 7x Rory Jordan, Victoria, Texas, Shaw/Mullins, $90.
11. (1) 5* Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
12. (3) 99 Jesse Sobbing (R), Malvern, Iowa.
13. (14) 75 Patrick Daniel, Wills Point, Texas, LG2/Wells, $75.
14. (12) 29x Lance Plant, Mesquite, Texas, DirtWorks/Bullit, $75.
DNS – 5w John O Whittington, Vidor, Texas, Pierce/CB, $90.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (11 laps, top 6 advance):
1. (3) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (2) 89c Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas.
3. (4) 2c Chris Huckeba, Midlothian, Texas.
4. (5) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Adel, Iowa.
5. (8) 8 Montie Skip O’Neal, Midlothian, Texas.
6. (10) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
7. (6) 751 Bobby Ruffin, Crandall, Texas, IRP/Yeoman, $75.
8. (12) 23k Ben Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan., GRT/Mullins, $90.
9. (7) 11 Dustin Allen (R), Enid, Okla., GRT/Dunsworth, $90.
10. (9) 64 Jay Sale, Edmond, Okla., MBCustom/Mullins, $90.
11. (11) B23 Michael Grubbs (R), Plano, Texas, Skyrocket/Grubbs, $90.
12. (13) 12j Johnny Philpot, Sunnyvale, Texas, Hughes/M&M, $75.
13. (1) 3c Charlie Smith, Forney, Texas, Hughes/ChaseMe, $75.
DNS – 38 Ronnie Gould III (R), Seminole, Okla., MBCustom/Mullins, $90.
CASEY’S GENERAL STORES “A” MAIN (30 laps):
1. (1) 2 Grant Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., MBCustom/Sput’s, 30, $3000.
2. (3) 14t Triston Dycus, Waxahachie, Texas, GRT/Wells, 30, $1700.
3. (12) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 30, $1200.
4. (8) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., LG2/Cornett, 30, $1000.
5. (2) 77 Garrett Gregory (R), Tomball, Texas, LG2/Durham, 30, $900.
6. (11) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustom/Mullins, 30, $800.
7. (24) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustom/Geddes, 30, $700.
8. (14) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., MBCustom/Mullins, 30, $650.
9. (26) 99 Jesse Sobbing (R), Malvern, Iowa, MBCustom/Sput’s, 30, $600.
10. (5) 88xxx Clyde Dunn Jr., Sunnyvale, Texas, MBCustom/Mullins, 30, $550.
11. (16) 89c Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas, GRT/Mullins, 30, $500.
12. (9) 01 Colby Smith (R), Greenville, Texas, MBCustom/Wells, 30, $450.
13. (17) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas, MBCustom/Geddes, 30, $425.
14. (20) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Adel, Iowa, Hilsabeck/Mullins, 30, $400.
15. (15) 4m Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas, Rocket/Wells, 30, $375.
16. (25) 5* Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., Hughes/Mullins, 30, $400.
17. (18) 2c Chris Huckeba, Midlothian, Texas, Hughes/KSP, 30, $250.
18. (23) 51 Rusty Trevathan Jr., Wylie, Texas, IRP/Yeoman, 30, $250.
19. (21) 5 Shane Sprinkle, Andrews, Texas, MBCustom/Geddes, 30, $300.
20. (7) 18s Cody Smith, Kaufman, Texas, Smith/Mullins, 15, $300.
21. (19) 28 Wendall Bolden, Greenville, Texas, GRT/Kennedy, 13, $250.
22. (22) 8 Montie Skip O’Neal, Midlothian, Texas, /, 6, $250.
23. (4) 41m Steve McMackin, Greenville, Texas, DirtWorks/Cotton, 5, $250.
24. (13) 12 Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas, IRP/PTS, 4, $300.
25. (10) 30 Chase Allen, Midlothian, Texas, CAM/Herring, 2, $300.
26. (6) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., LG2/Geddes, 0, $400.
DNS – 2 Casey Arneson (R), Fargo, N.D., GRT/Durham, 0, $100.
(R) = Rookie of the Year contender.
Lap Leaders: Junghans 1-21, Dycus 22, Junghans 23-40.
Total Laps Led: Junghans 29, Dycus 1.
Margin of Victory: 0.559 second.
Provisional Starters: Sobbing, S. Scott, Arneson.
Sybesma Graphics Pole Award: Ramirez.
Hard Charger: Sanders (started 24th, finished 7th).
Next Race: Thursday, June 25, East Texas Speedway, Petty, Texas.
Double H Bands Southern Region Points: Sanders 469, Junghans 441, Ramirez 422, J. Scott 411, Sobbing 365, S. Scott 364, Duvall 337, Dillard 333, Houston 318, Dycus 317.
Rookie of the Year Points: Sobbing 1930, C. Arneson 1664, Kates 1405, Austin Arneson 1073, Gould 982.
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year Points: Geddes 238, Sput’s 210, Mullins 192, Durham 154, Cornett 133.
Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustom 274, LG2 257, GRT 243, Hughes 208, Shaw 84.
AERO Race Wheels – C. Allen.
Allstar Performance – J. Scott.
American Racer – Philpot.
Beyea Custom Headers – Gregory.
BSB Manufacturing – Bolden.
Chix Gear Racewear – Hughes.
Deatherage Opticians – Junghans.
Edelbrock – Junghans.
Eibach Springs – Colby Smith.
FK Rod Ends – Malchus.
Forty9Designs.com – Hilsabeck, Sprinkle.
Fuel Safe – Duvall.
GRT Race Cars – Bolden.
Hooker Harness – Houston.
KEVKO Oil Pans & Components – Sobbing.
Keyser Manufacturing – Dunn.
KSE Racing Products – Ramirez.
Marsh Racing Wheels – Ingalls.
Midwest Sheet Metal – Whittington.
MSD Ignition – Dycus, Junghans.
PBM Performance Products – Dunn, Junghans.
QA1 – Dycus.
R2C Performance Products – Dycus.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Sybesma Graphics – Ramirez.
Tilton Engineering – Ramirez.
VP Racing Fuels – Junghans.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Whiteaker.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – Sanders.
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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Casey’s General Stores, Chix Gear Racewear, COMP Cams, Day Motor Sports, Deatherage Opticians, Farm Boy BBQ Sauce, Fast Shafts, Intercomp, KEVKO Oil Pans & Components, Malvern Trust & Savings Bank, MSD, Nitroquest Media Group, RACEceiver, RacinDirt.com, S&S Fishing & Rental, VP Racing Fuels.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arizona Sport Shirts, ASi Racewear, BRODIX Cylinder Heads, Double H Bands, Duvall Electric, ElbowsUp.com, Integra Racing Shocks & Springs, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Olympic Fire Protection, Rivers Edge Scrap Management, Schwab’s Tinker Shop, UMotors Motorsports & Marine, Velocita-USA.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AERO Race Wheels, AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Bell Racing Helmets, Beyea Custom Headers, BSB Manufacturing, CPD Racing Tools, Crane Cams, Driven Racing Oil, Edelbrock, Eibach Springs, FK Rod Ends, Forty9 Designs, Fuel Safe, Genesis Racing Shocks, GRT Race Cars, Holley Performance, Hooker Custom Harness, JRi Shocks, Keyser Manufacturing, KSE Racing Products, Marsh Racing Wheels, Midwest Sheet Metal, PBM Performance Products, QA1 Precision Products, Quarter Master, R2C Performance, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Sybesma Graphics, Tilton Engineering, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes.