Ramirez takes his turn atop USMTS podium at RPM Speedway

Dereck Ramirez

CRANDALL, Texas (Sept. 9)—Taking turns being interviewed in victory lane after a main event win with the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s, Dereck Ramirez took his turn Thursday following a wire-to-wire effort at the RPM Speedway in Crandall, Texas.

In an electrifying points battle between himself and Jake O’Neil, Ramirez wears the Wrisco Points Leader spoiler with his 19th career win while O’Neil settled for an eighth-place paycheck.

Ramirez got a good start and outraced polesitter Jason Ingalls to lead the opening lap while Lucas Schott followed into the runner-up spot the next time around with Tyler Wolff trading slide jobs with Ingalls for third.

Meanwhile, defending series champ Rodney Sanders advanced from 20th to 10th in the running order just five laps into the race while countless two- and three-wide battles dotted the multi-grooved bullring.

Despite the top contenders continually dealing with lapped traffic, the race’s first caution didn’t occur until six laps to go when Sanders, Chris Kratzer, Clyde Dunn Jr. and Brandon Givens were stopped and facing the wrong way between turns three and four.

Sanders—who came into the program third in the standings behind O’Neil and Ramirez—left the track on the hook of a tow truck, damaging his hopes of a fifth USMTS title.

With his two-second breathing room extinguished, Ramirez led Wolff, Schott, Ingalls and Carlos Ahumada Jr. back to the green flag for the restart.

Last Sunday, Ramirez was tentative heading into the corner after a late restart at the Fayette County Speedway in West Union, Iowa, which allowed Wolff to slide into the lead briefly before Ramirez regrouped and regained the top spot.

Thursday night, Ramirez put his lesson learned into action and kept Wolff and Schott at bay before driving off to claim the checkered flag and $5,000 top prize.

Ramirez, who scored his fifth win of the season, has swapped appearances with O’Neil for the last six races. O’Neil won August 6, September 4 and September 8. Ramirez was the winner August 7, September 5 and September 9 (tonight).

Ramirez also edged one spot ahead of O’Neil on the all-time wins list too, now leading O’Neil 19 to 18. The one common denominator for both drivers is the Cornett-powered engines under their hoods.

Ahumada was fourth while Tanner Mullens advanced from 16th on the starting grid to finish fifth and earn the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award.

Nathan Smith, Dan Ebert, O’Neil, Ingalls and Dunn rounded out the top 10. Sanders was scored in 22nd on the final score sheets.

Of note, Terry Phillips was a top-five contender for the second straight night but mechanical woes left him near the bottom of the finishing order again. His 23rd-place finish makes him the first driver among the top 10 in points to be mathematically eliminated from contention for the USMTS national championship.

Bayou Bound: Two of the eight points nights remaining will be settled with a doubleheader of $10,000-to-win clashes Friday and Saturday when the series returns to Bayou country after rain thwarted the pair of shows in April.

On Friday, the place to be is the Ark-La-Tex Speedway in Vivian, La., for the 9th Annual Cajun Clash. The pits open at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 5, hot laps begin at 7:30 and racing will get underway at approximately 8 p.m.

Zack VanderBeek notched his first win at the Ark-La-Tex Speedway last September in the 16th trip for the USMTS to Gene Boyter’s popular venue. It was his 50th career win.

Cade Dillard’s three wins here in his home state leads all drivers while two-time winners Chris Henigan and 2018 USMTS National Champion Johnny Scott are the only other racers with multiple titles.

Jake Gallardo’s only USMTS triumph came here five years ago and Kelly Shryock’s 2014 victory was his 184th and final triumph with the USMTS.

Hunter Marriott, Ryan Gustin, Stormy Scott, Rodney Sanders and Jason Hughes have won here once each, and Duke Whiseant’s only USMTS victory happened in the series debut here on June 5, 2008.

The Ark-La-Tex Speedway is a 3/8-mile high-banked red clay oval located 0.6 mile south of SR 2 on SR 1, then 0.7 mile west on Airport Rd., then 2.2 miles south on Boyter Lane Rd. (ESR). The physical address is 13119 Boyter Ln, Vivian, LA 71082. For more information visit http://www.arklatexspeedway.com/.

In addition to the USMTS Modifieds, Factory Stocks ($700 to win), Limited Mods ($700 to win), Pro-Mods ($400 to win) and Four-Cylinders ($300 to win) will also be on the card. There is no entry fee or transponder rental costs for support classes.

The weekend’s four-headed monster concludes Saturday with the series debut at Dylan Scott’s Revolution Park (The Rev) in Monroe, La. The pits are slated to open at 2 p.m. and grandstand gates swing open at 4,. Hot laps and qualifying get going at 6 with the first green flag to be unfurled at 6:30.

Also running will be Crate Late Models, Limited Modifieds ($1,500 to win), Factory Stocks and Pro-Mods.

The Rev is a 3/8-mile semi-banked dirt oval located off I-20 east to exit 120, then 0.6 mile south on Garrett Rd., then 2.4 miles east to Frontage Rd., then east. The physical address is 8850 Frontage Rd, Monroe, LA 71202. For more information call 381-245-7665 or visit https://www.facebook.com/dirtontherev/.

If you can’t be there in person any night, you don’t have to miss a single lap. Catch all the action from every USMTS event live at https://racindirt.tv.

Taking dirt to a new level: The Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s currently features 34 nights of racing with the winners of those main events set to take home over $300,000 in earnings from more than $1 million in prize money earmarked for the 2021 campaign.

Most main events pay at least $10,000 to win while the others carry a $5,000 top prize or more. And if that weren’t enough, more than $200,000 is committed to the top 10 finishers in the 2021 points standings with a record $70,000 reserved for the 2021 USMTS national champion.

Visit usmts.com for schedules, points, photos, souvenirs, videos and more. Follow our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Click here to get USMTS news delivered to your inbox.

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United States Modified Touring Series
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s
RPM Speedway, Crandall, Texas
Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, laps completed and money won. The top 12 in heat race passing points advance to the Casey’s “A” Main.

1. (2) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
2. (3) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
3. (1) 8C Chris Clark, Jackson, Wyo.
4. (4) 2SS Mark Smith (R), Anthony, N.M.
5. (5) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
6. (6) 85 Jayson Good (R), Watertown, S.D.
7. (7) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan.
8. (8) 22 Gregory Muirhead (R), Mabank, Texas.
9. (9) 51W J.T. Wasmund (R), Pine Island, Minn.

1. (3) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (1) 88 Nathan Smith (R), Anthony, N.M.
3. (2) 2G Brandon Givens (R), Wichita, Kan.
4. (4) 15 Dennie Gieber (R), Frankston, Texas.
5. (6) 1M Curt Myers, Cameron, Wis.
6. (5) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
7. (7) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
8. (8) 6* Dillon Pike, Waxahachie, Texas.
9. (9) 444 Brooks Strength (R), Raymond, Miss.

1. (1) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
2. (2) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas.
3. (3) 8 Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas.
4. (4) 88XXX Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas.
5. (5) 0 Jake O’Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
6. (7) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan.
7. (6) 19SB Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif.
8. (8) 369 Bart Taylor (R), Sheridan, Wyo.

1. (2) 60 Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, Minn.
2. (3) 12 Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas.
3. (1) 19R Chris Kratzer (R), Wichita, Kan.
4. (4) 56 Colton Horner (R), Houston, Texas.
5. (5) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (8) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (6) 49JR Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (2) 88XXX Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas.
2. (4) 0 Jake O’Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
3. (3) 1M Curt Myers, Cameron, Wis.
4. (5) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (7) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan.
6. (6) 85 Jayson Good (R), Watertown, S.D.
7. (8) 19SB Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif.
8. (11) 51W J.T. Wasmund (R), Pine Island, Minn., DirtDueler/Baier’s, $110.
9. (1) 2SS Mark Smith (R), Anthony, N.M., MBCustoms/Mullins, $110.
10. (9) 22 Gregory Muirhead (R), Mabank, Texas, Hughes/Muirhead, $100.
11. (10) 369 Bart Taylor (R), Sheridan, Wyo., VanderBuilt/Tim’s, $110.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (2) 56 Colton Horner (R), Houston, Texas.
2. (5) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan.
3. (3) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
4. (7) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
5. (10) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.
6. (8) 49JR Jake Timm, Winona, Minn., MBCustoms/OFI, $110.
7. (4) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., GR2/Hill, $110.
8. (6) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
9. (9) 6* Dillon Pike, Waxahachie, Texas, $110.
DQ – (1) 15 Dennie Gieber (R), Frankston, Texas, GRT/AMS, $100.
DNS – 444 Brooks Strength (R), Raymond, Miss., MBCustoms/Stoen, $110.

CASEY’S “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (2) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40, $5000.
2. (3) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustoms/ECE, 40, $3000.
3. (4) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., MBCustoms/Stoen, 40, $2000.
4. (8) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas, Hughes/BMS, 40, $1500.
5. (16) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 40, $1100.
6. (6) 88 Nathan Smith (R), Anthony, N.M., MBCustoms/Mullins, 40, $900.
7. (5) 60 Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, Minn., Lethal/Ebert, 40, $800.
8. (15) 0 Jake O’Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 40, $750.
9. (1) 12 Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas, IRP/Shipley, 40, $700.
10. (13) 88XXX Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas, MBCustoms/Mullins, 40, $675.
11. (19) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., GR2/Mullins, 40, $650.
12. (22) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn., MBCustoms/Action, 40, $625.
13. (18) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $600.
14. (10) 2G Brandon Givens (R), Wichita, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $575.
15. (12) 19R Chris Kratzer (R), Wichita, Kan., Hughes/Mullens, 40, $550.
16. (21) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan., Lethal/Mullins, 40, $540.
17. (14) 56 Colton Horner (R), Houston, Texas, MBCustoms/Durham, 40, $530.
18. (24) 85 Jayson Good (R), Watertown, S.D., MBCustoms/Tim’s, 40, $525.
19. (9) 8 Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas, MBCustoms/Wells, 40, $520.
20. (11) 8C Chris Clark, Jackson, Wyo., Hughes/Mullins, 38, $515.
21. (17) 1M Curt Myers, Cameron, Wis., Rage/Sput’s, 37, $510.
22. (20) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 34, $505.
23. (7) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 34, $500.
24. (23) 19SB Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif., MRT/Yeoman, 31, $500.
25. (25) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 5, $110.

(R) = Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender

Lap Leader: Ramirez 1-40.
Total Laps Led: Ramirez 40.
Margin of Victory: 1.292 seconds.
Time of Race: 17 minutes, 9.495 seconds (1 caution).
Provisional Starters: Mari, Good.
Emergency Provisionals: VanderBeek.
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Mullens (started 16th, finished 5th).
Entries: 34.
Next Race: Friday, Sept. 10, Ark-La-Tex Speedway, Vivian, La.
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s Points: Ramirez 2226, O’Neil 2214, Sanders 2135, Mullens 2084, Schott 1997, Wolff 1956, Sorensen 1899, Ebert 1838, Hughes 1815, Phillips 1784.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Strength 1368, Good 1094, Givens 1044, Jesse Glenz 877, Lucas Lee 713.
Miller Welders USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 223, Hughes 205, LG2 197, Mullens 164, Lethal 154.
Compstar USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Cornett 225, Hatfield 163, Stoen 157, Mullens 140, Mullins 121.

Contingency Awards:
American Racer – VanderBeek.
Beyea Custom Headers – Ahumada.
BigDeal Car Care – Ramirez, Wolff.
Bryke Racing – Kratzer.
BSB Manufacturing – Myers.
Champ Pans – Mullens.
Deatherage Opticians – Givens.
Edelbrock – Ebert.
Eibach – Mullens.
Fast Shafts – Ramirez.
FK Rod Ends – Mullens.
Hooker Harness – Sorensen.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs – Malchus.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Good.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports – Timm.
Keyser Manufacturing – Dunn.
KS Engineering – J. Gallardo.
KSE Racing Products – Ingalls.
Maxima Racing Oils – Ramirez.
Penske Racing Shocks – Hughes.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain – Phillips.
QA1 – Horner.
Race Ranch – Marco Costa (Ramirez).
RacerWebsite.com – Ramirez.
Simpson Performance Products – Phillips.
Summit Racing Equipment – Dunn, Horner, Malchus, Ingalls.
Super Clean – Ramirez.
Swift Springs – Ramirez, Dunn.
Sybesma Graphics – Ingalls.
Tire Demon – Taylor.
VP Racing Fuels – Ramirez.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Pike.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – Ebert.