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Sanders sails to USMTS victory at I-35 Speedway


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Sanders sails to USMTS victory at I-35 Speedway

WINSTON, Mo. (Aug. 14)--Rodney Sanders rolled to his series-best seventh win of the season Wednesday as the I-35 Speedway hosted the 10th Annual USMTS Missouri Meltdown presented by MyRacePass.com.


Tyler Rinken photo

The current points leader in the Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship, Sanders was patient while he battled with Ryan Gustin, Darron Fuqua, Zack VanderBeek and Terry Phillips for the first 30 circuits of the 40-lapper while Hunter Marriott set the pace from the start.

Five cautions slowed the main event-the last of which saw Gustin's night end with another mechanical problem. Sanders was able to squeeze past Fuqua on the restart and then set his sights on the leader.

Marriott, of nearby Brookfield, Mo., competed at the track on a weekly basis early in his racing career and showed the fastest way around using the shortest way around the high-banked 3/8-mile dirt oval neat Winston, Mo., after earning the Sybesma Graphics Pole Award.

While Marriott remained married to the low groove, Sanders used every inch of the racetrack before settling on the middle and top grooves. He edged past Marriott at the flagstand as the lead duo completed lap 31, and then sailed away to score his 94th career USMTS victory.

The win was worth $2,500 to the 29-year-old from Happy, Texas, and padded his points lead in both the national standings and Casey's 'Hunt' series. 'The Sandman' is in the driver's seat to claim his third USMTS National Championship.

Marriott, who is on track to capture this year's Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Award, held off Phillips for second while VanderBeek and Dereck Ramirez rounded out the top five.

Fuqua, who challenged Marriott for the first half of the race, held on to finish sixth. I-35 Speedway USRA Modified points leader Dennis Elliott was seventh, Austin Siebert earned an eighth-place paycheck, Jimmy Ray traveled from Las Cruces, N.M., and scored a ninth-place result, and Tyler Davis completed the top ten.

#WelcomeHome: On Thursday, the USMTS will rock the Dallas County Speedway in Urbana, Mo., for the first time in the 21-year history of the series for the inaugural Bullring Bash. Full-blown Modifieds have not appeared at the track in more than 12 years, and the venue has never hosted a national touring event nor paid out a purse of this magnitude.

On most Friday nights, drivers arrive at the the quintessential hometown, grassroots racetrack just after punching the clock and strap into a Bomber, Pure Stock, Mini Stock or B-Mod. The Allen family has operated the track for more than 20 years and continue to make it a place for great weekly racing, and the quarter-mile oval never disappoints the passionate local fan base. Plus, the concession prices are almost too fair.

In addition to the hotly-contested USMTS 'Hunt' battle, Out-Pace USRA B-Mods will compete for national and points in the Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series. Midwest Mods will complete the three-division card and both divisions feature great payouts and a chance to end the night in victory lane.

Event partners were quick to jump on board to support the first-time event. Each supporter is valued and appreciated. Bringing drivers, crews and race fans to Urbana would not be possible without the backing of 54 Buildings & More, Oak Star Bank, Hermitage Lumber, Loehr Construction, Robert Sawyer Agency, Big Surf Waterpark, Krystal's Hair Studio, Eagle Machine, D & D Welding & Fabrication, St. Clair County State Bank, Scotty's Signs & Wraps and Citizens Memorial Heatlhcare.

Despite being a school night, we welcome families to come out and enjoy this historic event. Big Surf Waterpark is giving away free admission to the waterpark for the first 100 kids age 10 and under. There will be activities for the kids and special back-to-school giveaways too.

Guests are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating in the grass. Bill Allen is working tirelessly on the addition of a few hundred bleacher seats before race day so that there is room for everyone. There will be additional parking with staff helping to guide traffic. Fans will also be treated to the addition of some new LED lighting around the track.

Pit gates will open at 4 p.m., grandstands open at 5, hot laps begin at 7 and racing gets underway at 7:30. Tickets are $20 for adults (17-61) or just $15 for youth (12-16) and seniors 62 or older. Veterans and active duty military with ID also get in for $15. Kids 11 and under are free. Pit passes are $35.

Fans can pick up coupons good for $2 off adult admission at Casey's General Stores locations in Bolivar, Buffalo, Camdenton, Hermitage, Weaubleau and Wheatland. To find the location nearest you, visit caseys.com.

Two-time USMTS National Champion Ryan Gustin will meet and greet fans at the Casey's located at 812 S. Ash St. in Buffalo, Mo., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. While you're there, get yourself a slice of delicious Casey's pizza, meet the 'The Reaper' and see his No. 19R Spike Hardcore Energy USMTS Modified.

The Dallas County speedway is a semi-banked 1/4-mile dirt oval located 9 miles south of US 54 on US 65 (2876 US-65, Urbana, MO 65767). For more information, visit dallascountyspeedway.net.

On Friday, the series invades the Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo., in an event presented by PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain, and the 96-hour grind wraps up Saturday at the Salina Highbanks Speedway in Pryor Creek, Okla., for the 7th Annual Salute to Veterans presented by Bryke Racing.

To connect with the United States Modified Touring Series, visit usmts.com. You can also like us on Facebook, visit us on Instagram, follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn and watch us on YouTube. Keep up to speed, get it first and subscribe to USMTS e-News.

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United States Modified Touring Series
Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship
Casey's Hunt for the USMTS National Championship
10th Annual USMTS Missouri Meltdown presented by MyRacePass.com
I-35 Speedway, Winston, Mo.
Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won. The top 16 in heat race passing points advance to the Casey's General Stores "A" Main.

1. (1) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo.
2. (3) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan.
3. (4) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (5) 4w Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
5. (7) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
6. (2) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn.
7. (6) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.

1. (1) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
2. (6) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
3. (7) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
4. (2) 89 Tyler Hibner (R), Chillicothe, Mo.
5. (4) 9d8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan.
6. (3) 8c Chris Clark, Jackson, Wyo.
7. (5) 99h Lee Hibner (R), Chillicothe, Mo.

1. (1) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
2. (2) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
3. (3) 29 Dennis Elliott, Mt. Ayr, Iowa.
4. (6) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
5. (5) 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan.
6. (4) 78 Derrick Hicks (R), Ravenwood, Mo.
7. (7) 97x Houston Johnson (R), Kansas City, Mo.

1. (1) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
2. (2) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo.
3. (3) 19sb Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif.
4. (6) 98 Austin Johnson (R), Kansas City, Mo.
5. (4) 92 Tyler Grooms, Tenton, Mo.
6. (5) R21 Ryan Schaffer, Corning, Iowa.

REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN (15 laps, top 6 advance):
1. (2) 9d8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan.
2. (5) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn.
3. (1) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
4. (11) 97x Houston Johnson (R), Kansas City, Mo.
5. (3) 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan.
6. (6) 8c Chris Clark, Jackson, Wyo.
7. (4) 92 Tyler Grooms (R), Trenton, Mo., Hughes/Grooms, $75.
8. (10) 99h Lee Hibner (R), Chillicothe, Mo., MBCustoms/KSE, $75.
9. (7) 78 Derrick Hicks (R), Ravenwood, Mo.
10. (9) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
11. (8) R21 Ryan Schaffer, Corning, Iowa, LG2/Mullins, $75.

1. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40, $2500.
2. (1) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 40, $1500.
3. (6) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 40, $1000.
4. (3) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 40, $800.
5. (7) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40, $700.
6. (2) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan., MBCustoms/Driskell, 40, $600.
7. (11) 29 Dennis Elliott, Mt. Ayr, Iowa, GRT/Elliott, 40, $350.
8. (13) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo., MBCustoms/Durham, 40, $500.
9. (10) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M., AOS/AOS, 40, $550.
10. (8) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Hatfield, 40, $250.
11. (14) 98 Austin Johnson (R), Kansas City, Mo., GRT/FastLane, 40, $225.
12. (16) 89 Tyler Hibner (R), Chillicothe, Mo., Rage/KSE, 40, $200.
13. (22) 8c Chris Clark, Jackson, Wyo., GRT/ChevPerf, 39, $425.
14. (23) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 28, $300.
15. (21) 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan., Hughes/TwoM, 28, $275.
16. (17) 9d8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan., BillsBuilt/KBS, 27, $200.
17. (4) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/TriStar, 21, $250.
18. (12) 19sb Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif., MRT/Yeoman, 21, $250.
19. (15) 4w Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustoms/Hill, 20, $250.
20. (19) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, 15, $250.
21. (20) 97x Houston Johnson (R), Kansas City, Mo., GRT/Hanson, 13, $200.
22. (9) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo., GRT/Driskell, 7, $250.
23. (24) 78 Derrick Hicks (R), Ravenwood, Mo., Hughes/Wyman, 6, $250.
24. (18) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn., MBCustoms/ChevPerf, 4, $250.

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

Lap Leaders: Marriott 1-30, Sanders 31-40.
Total Laps Led: Marriott 30, Sanders 10.
Margin of Victory: 1.456 seconds.
Time of Race: 26 minutes, 56.240 seconds (5 cautions).
Provisional Starters: O'Neil, Hicks.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: T. Phillips (advanced 7 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Clark (started 22nd, finished 13th).
Entries: 27.
Next Race: Thursday, Aug. 15, Dallas County Speedway, Urbana, Mo.
Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship Points: Sanders 2463, Ramirez 2261, Marriott 2152, Gustin 1994, T. Phillips 1980, O'Neil 1860, VanderBeek 1712, Kates 1533, Striegel 1516, Joe Duvall 1259.
Casey's Hunt for the USMTS National Championship Points: Sanders 581, Ramirez 556, T. Phillips 529, Marriott 521, VanderBeek 381, Kates 369, Saurer 357, Striegel 354, Mari 313, Gustin 307.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Marriott 1994, Striegel 1516, Carlos Ahumada Jr. 549, Dustin Hodges 522, Nathan Hagar 415.
USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 224, Hughes 218, GRT 164, Rage 161, LG2 150.
USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield 201, Cornett 185, KSE 141, Durham 136, Stoen 120.

Contingency Awards:
American Racer - Wolff.
Beyea Custom Headers - VanderBeek.
Bryke Racing - Allen.
BSB Manufacturing - H. Johnson.
Casey's General Stores - Grooms.
Champ Pans - Ramirez.
Deatherage Opticians - T. Hibner.
E3 Spark Plugs - T. Phillips.
Edelbrock - Gustin.
Eibach - T. Phillips.
Fast Shafts - Fuqua.
FK Rod Ends - Clark.
Hooker Harness - Clark.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs - Mari.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts - Gustin.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports - Grooms.
Keyser Manufacturing - Davis.
KSE Racing Products - Ray.
Maxima Racing Oils - Sanders.
Mesilla Valley Transportation - Ray.
Out-Pace Racing Products - P. Phillips.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain - Marriott.
QA1 - Striegel.
RacerWebsite.com - H. Johnson.
Simpson Performance Products - Marriott.
Swift Springs - Sanders, Elliott.
Sybesma Graphics - Marriott.
Tire Demon - A. Johnson.
VP Racing Fuels - Sanders.
Wilwood Disc Brakes - Elliott.

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