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Thatcher snatches USMTS checkers at KRA Speedway


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Thatcher snatches USMTS checkers at KRA Speedway

 

WILLMAR, Minn.-After leading all 40 laps of the United States Modified Touring Series feature at the KRA Speedway Wednesday evening, Craig Thatcher was standing in victory lane and breathing a sigh of relief.

 

The USMTS Casey's Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental made its maiden voyage to the speedplant located in Willmar, Minn., with a big crowd looking on, and despite the fact that Thatcher crossed the start-finish first every time around, the main event was anything but boring.

 

The track was slick and smooth with a cushion on the high side being the preferred path around the semi-banked 3/8-mile yellow clay oval. Thatcher used his outside front row starting slot to grab the advantage from polesitter Casey Arneson.

 

Just one lap into the race, a blown engine puked oil onto the track and several cars were involved in an early-race melee including Brent Larson, Travis Saurer, Brady Gerdes, Eric Pember, Troy Girolamo and two-time defending USMTS National Champion Rodney Sanders.

 

Sanders, who came into the event as the points leader in the Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Northern Region presented by Day Motor Sports, saw his night end early along with Saurer, Gerdes, Pember and Girolamo while Larson continued from the back of the pack.

 

From that point forward, Arneson shadowed Thatcher at the front of the field with Jesse Glenz, Dan Ebert and Zack VanderBeek in tow.

 

As the top side of the speedway began to wear thin, things got even racier throughout the field. With four laps to go, Arneson dove underneath Thatcher and nosed ahead of him as the pair entered turn 3, but Arneson's momentum carried him around into a spin and the race's final caution flag waved as the USMTS Rookie of the Year contender's victory celebration plans were dashed.

 

Back under green, Thatcher cruised the final four laps to capture his third career USMTS trophy with a three-car-length cushion, and a $3,000 paycheck for the Knapp, Wis., veteran.

 

Ebert used the final restart to move by Glenz for second and 14th-starting Tim Johnson went by both VanderBeek and Glenz to secure the third spot. Glenz and VanderBeek held on for fourth and fifth.

 

Lucas Schott garnered the sixth spot while Jesse Sobbing advanced 14 positions during the race to finish seventh. Eighth was Joey Jensen, Danny Bayer was ninth and Don Eischens rounded out the top 10.

 

Although he completed just two laps and finished 23rd on the final score sheet, Sanders maintained his lead in the Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Northern Region points battle while Ebert narrowed the gap to 35 points (439 to 404) with his third top-5 finish in his first five USMTS starts. Larson is third in the rankings with 379 markers, followed by Vanderbeek (374) and Glenz (368).

 

The tireless USMTS touring titans will make another first-time visit on Thursday as they set sail for the Viking Speedway in Alexandria, Minn.-the high-flying half-mile touted as the fastest dirt track in Minnesota.

The USMTS "A" Main pays $3,000 to win for the inaugural event presented by Allstate Peterbilt Group. Bonus money of $250, $150 and $100, respectively, is up for grabs for the top three finishing WISSOTA Modifieds.

 

The pits open at 4 p.m., grandstands open at 5 and racing starts at 7 p.m. Adult tickets are $20, kids ages 6-15 are $10 and children 5 and under get in for free. Pit passes are $35. Support classes include Pure Stocks, Street Stocks and Midwest Mods (no track points).

 

Race fans can grab discount coupons good for $2 off an adult admission at Casey's General Stores locations in Alexandria, Glenwood, Long Prairie and Sauk Centre. To find the location nearest you, visit www.caseys.com.

 

The Viking Speedway is a semi-banked 1/2-mile clay oval located I-94 to exit 103, then 1.0 mile north on SR 29, then 0.8 mile west on CR 82 (at the Douglas County Fairgrounds). For more information call 320-762-1559 or visit www.vikingspeedway.net online. You can also find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vikingspeedway and Twitter (@VikingSpeedway).

 

The USMTS masters of mud-slinging polish off the Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Northern Region swing for two nights at the Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., on Thursday and Friday, before blasting off for the Cresco (Iowa) Speedway for the 13th Annual Stars & Stripes Shootout on Sunday, June 14.

 

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.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

 

USMTS Casey's Cup Series powered by S&S Fishing & Rental - Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Northern Region presented by Day Motor Sports - KRA Speedway, Willmar, Minn., Wednesday, June 10, 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) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
2. (2) 91 Craig Thatcher, Knapp, Wis.
3. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
4. (3) 36 Danny Bayer, Elrosa, Minn.
5. (8) V2 Joey Jensen, Harris, Minn.
6. (7) 07 Cory Crapser ®, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
7. (4) 4 Cody Bauman ®, Eureka, Ill.
8. (6) 24 Dustin Zieske, Willmar, Minn.

 

DAY MOTOR SPORTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
2. (1) 511 Zach Schultz, Grove, Minn.
3. (4) 89 Eric Pember, Pittsville, Wis.
4. (8) 9e Don Eischens, Richmond, Minn.
5. (5) 99 Jesse Sobbing ®, Malvern, Iowa.
6. (3) 14w Clayton Wagamon, Blaine, Minn.
7. (7) 1g Pat Graham, Ames, Iowa.
8. (6) 19b Seth Brede, Willmar, Minn.

 

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (1) 2 Casey Arneson ®, Fargo, N.D.
2. (3) 7x Jesse Glenz ®, Cadott, Wis.
3. (4) 1jr Tim Johnson ®, Brainerd, Minn.
4. (5) 30 Chase Allen, Midlothian, Texas.
5. (7) 32 Shaun Peterson ®, Alexandria, Minn.
6. (2) 4 Billy Vogel ®, West Fargo, N.D.
7. (8) 47 Ryan Canon, Clearwater, Minn.
8. (6) 15f Jeff Flaten, Hancock, Minn.

 

PBM PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (5) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn.
2. (2) 2x Brady Gerdes ®, Villard, Minn.
3. (1) 23k Ben Kates ®, Tonganoxie, Kan.
4. (4) 6 Brock Bauman ®, Eureka, Ill.
5. (7) 51 Chris Oertel, Marshfield, Wis.
6. (6) 01 Brandon Aggen, Rushmore, Minn.
7. (3) 26g Bob Gierke, Westport, Minn.

 

USMTS.COM HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (2) IOU1 Brent Larson, Lake Elmo, Minn.
2. (3) 60 Dan Ebert ®, Lake Shore, Minn.
3. (1) 2g Troy Girolamo, Eleva, Wis.
4. (4) 49s Caleb Shown, Hooks, Texas.
5. (7) 91 Phil Braun, Danube, Minn.
6. (5) 86d Dagan Heim ®, Rosemount, Minn.
7. (6) 52 Jason Thoennes, Garfield, Minn.

 

REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN #1 (15 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 89 Eric Pember, Pittsville, Wis.
2. (3) 36 Danny Bayer, Elrosa, Minn.
3. (2) 30 Chase Allen, Midlothian, Texas.
4. (5) 51 Chris Oertel, Marshfield, Wis.
5. (6) 99 Jesse Sobbing ®, Malvern, Iowa.
6. (7) 14w Clayton Wagamon, Blaine, Minn., Hughes/Wagamon, $90.
7. (4) 49s Caleb Shown, Hooks, Texas, TRE/Craft, $75.
8. (9) 47 Ryan Canon, Clearwater, Minn., Victory/Victory, $75.
9. (8) 01 Brandon Aggen, Rushmore, Minn., Skyrocket/Sput's, $75.
10. (11) 19B Seth Brede, Willmar, Minn., SSR/Sturdy, $75.
11. (10) 1g Pat Graham, Ames, Iowa., Skyrocket/Karl, $90.
DNS - 23k Ben Kates ®, Tonganoxie, Kan.
DNS - 52 Jason Thoennes, Garfield, Minn., MasterSbilt/Sower, $75.

 

REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN #2 (15 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 1jr Tim Johnson ®, Brainerd, Minn.
2. (3) V2 Joey Jensen, Harris, Minn.
3. (2) 2g Troy Girolamo, Eleva, Wis.
4. (4) 6 Brock Bauman ®, Eureka, Ill.
5. (5) 32 Shaun Peterson ®, Alexandria, Minn.
6. (7) 07 Cory Crapser ®, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
7. (6) 91 Phil Braun, Danube, Minn.
8. (10) 4 Cody Bauman ®, Eureka, Ill., Impressive/Gade, $90.
9. (8) 4 Billy Vogel ®, West Fargo, N.D., LG2/Durham, $90.
10. (12) 24 Dustin Zieske, Willmar, Minn.
11. (11) 26g Bob Gierke, Westport, Minn., GRT/Tim's, $90.
12. (9) 86d Dagan Heim ®, Rosemount, Minn., Shaw/Murgic, $90.
13. (13) 15f Jeff Flaten, Hancock, Minn., MasterSbilt/Adams, $75.

 

CASEY'S GENERAL STORES "A" MAIN (40 laps):
1. (2) 91 Craig Thatcher, Knapp, Wis., GRT/TriStar, 40, $3000.
2. (3) 60 Dan Ebert ®, Lake Shore, Minn., Impressive/Speedwerx, 40, $1700.
3. (14) 1jr Tim Johnson ®, Brainerd, Minn., LG2/Scott's, 40, $1200.
4. (4) 7x Jesse Glenz ®, Cadott, Wis., MBCustom/Tim's, 40, $1000.
5. (6) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, LG2/Sput's, 40, $900.
6. (7) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., Hughes/Sput's, 40, $800.
7. (21) 99 Jesse Sobbing ®, Malvern, Iowa, MBCustom/Sput's, 40, $700.
8. (16) V2 Joey Jensen, Harris, Minn., SSR/Tim's, 40, $650.
9. (15) 36 Danny Bayer, Elrosa, Minn., Shaw/Kelly, 40, $500.
10. (12) 9e Don Eischens, Richmond, Minn., SSR/Adams, 40, $550.
11. (8) IOU1 Brent Larson, Lake Elmo, Minn., Shaw/Hill, 40, $500.
12. (17) 30 Chase Allen, Midlothian, Texas, CAM/Herring, 40, $450.
13. (9) 511 Zach Schultz, Grove, Minn., RealSteel/Wagamon, 40, $350.
14. (19) 51 Chris Oertel, Marshfield, Wis., GRT/Tomcat, 40, $400.
15. (1) 2 Casey Arneson ®, Fargo, N.D., GRT/Durham, 40, $400.
16. (24) 07 Cory Crapser ®, Chippewa Falls, Wis., GRT/Tim's, 40, $350.
17. (22) 32 Shaun Peterson ®, Alexandria, Minn., MasterSbilt/KSE, 40, $325.
18. (23) 23k Ben Kates ®, Tonganoxie, Kan., GRT/Mullins, 36, $300.
19. (25) 91 Phil Braun, Danube, Minn., GRT/Victory, 19, $250.
20. (20) 6 Brock Bauman ®, Eureka, Ill., Impressive/Gade, 18, $300.
21. (26) 24 Dustin Zieske, Willmar, Minn., GRT/Sturdy, 6, $250.
22. (5) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn., GRT/Sput's, 2, $300.
23. (11) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustom/Geddes, 2, $400.
24. (13) 89 Eric Pember, Pittsville, Wis., Hughes/Mullins, 2, $300.
25. (18) 2g Troy Girolamo, Eleva, Wis., GRT/Baxter, 2, $300.
26. (10) 2x Brady Gerdes ®, Villard, Minn., GRT/Sput's, 1, $300.

® = Rookie of the Year contender.

Lap Leader: Thatcher 1-40.
Total Laps Led: Thatcher 40.
Margin of Victory: 1.570 seconds.
Provisional Starters: Kates, Crapser, Braun (track), Zieske (track).
Sybesma Graphics Pole Award: Saurer.
Hard Charger: Sobbing (started 21st, finished 7th).
Entries: 38.

 

Next Race: Thursday, June 11, Viking Speedway, Alexandria, Minn.

 

Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Northern Region Points: Sanders 439, Ebert 404, Larson 379, VanderBeek 374, Glenz 368, Arneson 344, Sobbing 343, Jensen 326, Stormy Scott 292, Kates 278.
USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Sobbing 1642, C. Arneson 1403, Kates 1260, Austin Arneson 1073, Ronnie Gould III 721.
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year Points: Geddes 154, Mullins 140, Sput's 138, Durham 130, Cornett 103.
USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: LG2 191, MBCustom 185, GRT 170, Hughes 161, Hilsabeck 61.

 

Contingency Awards:
AERO Race Wheels - Gerdes.
Allstar Performance - Jensen.
American Racer - Flaten.
Beyea Custom Headers - VanderBeek.
BSB Manufacturing - Zieske.
Chix Gear Racewear - Johnson.
Deatherage Opticians - Thatcher.
Edelbrock - Arneson.
Eibach Springs - Allen.
FK Rod Ends - Arneson.
Forty9Designs.com - Oertel, Braun.
Fuel Safe - Schott.
GRT Race Cars - Thatcher.
Hooker Harness - Schultz.
KEVKO Oil Pans & Components - Bayer.
Keyser Manufacturing - Eischens.
KSE Racing Products - Larson.
Marsh Racing Wheels - Girolamo.
Midwest Sheet Metal - Gerdes.
MSD Ignition - Schott, Thatcher.
PBM Performance Products - Saurer, Thatcher.
QA1 - Thatcher.
R2C Performance Products - Ebert.
Real Racing Wheels - all non-qualifiers.
Sybesma Graphics - Saurer.
Tilton Engineering - Glenz.
VP Racing Fuels - Thatcher.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products - Larson.
Wilwood Disc Brakes - Sobbing.

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