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O'Neil wows Worthington crowd with last-lap pass


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O'Neil wows Worthington crowd with last-lap pass

WORTHINGTON, Minn. (Aug. 24)--Ever since Terry Philips nipped Dereck Ramirez by two one-thousandths of a second for the win on the first night of 'The Hunt' three weeks ago, the racing in the USMTS has been nothing short of incredible.

Saturday night was more of the same.

After a riveting 39 laps of racing around the Nobles County Speedway, the winner's paycheck at the 9th Annual USMTS Summer Slam presented by Beyea Custom Headers came down to a pass for the lead on the 40th and final lap of the main event.

One of the hottest drivers in the sport during the month of August, Phillips took command at the start of the race and set the pace for ten laps but tagged the guardrail in turn two, allowing Jon Tesch to take over the top spot.

Tesch led the procession around the extreme high side of the 1/4-mile clay oval for four circuits before he smacked the back-stretch wall and came to a stop at the top of turn three, ending his night and bringing out the race's first caution.

That gave the lead back to Phillips with Jake O'Neil and Ryan Gustin trading punches for the runner-up spot behind the veteran racer.

O'Neil eventually gained a solid grip on second place, and let Phillips know on several occasions that he was not going away.

Battling heavy lapped traffic the final three laps, Phillips took the white flag with O'Neil on his rear bumper, and the scooted around the low side as O'Neil churned the dark cushion around the high side.

On their way out of turn two, O'Neil pulled alongside of Phillips and beat him in the race to turn three. That was all she wrote, as the Tucson, Ariz., native kept Phillips behind him for the last few hundred feet and collected his seventh career USMTS win.

The $3,000 triumph was also the fourth of the 2019 campaign and second of the weekend for the 27-year-old while Phillips had to settle for back-to-back runner-up finishes in this event.

Gustin held firm for third with Hunter Marriott and Dereck Ramirez completing the top five. Adam Kates, Don Gerritsen Jr., Kyle Brown, Travis Saurer and Daniel Hilsabeck were sixth through tenth, respectively.

Kates advanced eight positions overall for the night to earn the Eibach Spring Forward Award, and nine spots in the feature race to take home an extra one hundred bucks as the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award winner.

Sunday for Sandy: Another classic is expected when the Casino Speedway in Watertown, S.D., hosts the USMTS Hunt for the Casey's Cup powered by Summit on Sunday, Aug. 25, to celebrate the life of Sandy Benson, the track's "Chairman of the Board."

Presented by Riddle's Jewelry and Jurgens Printing, the Sandy Benson Memorial will carry a top prize of $4,000 for the USMTS road warriors. On top of that, Wissota Midwest Mods will grapple for a $2,000 top prize and Wissota Street Stocks are looking at $1,500 to win their main event.

Fans can expect to see USMTS legend Jon Tesch at his hometown track as he pilots a USMTS Modified out of the Ramirez Motorsports stable. The Wizard of Watertown' will be shooting for his third career victory in the 11th running of the USMTS Summer Slam presented by Out-Pace Racing Products.

In addition to Tesch, Zack VanderBeek is also a two-time winner in Watertown. Tommy Myer took down the win in the first visit here in 2005 with Watertown's Scott Ward getting his first and only USMTS victory here in 2007. Al Hejna and Kelly Shryock picked up wins here in 2009 and 2011, respectively, while Ryan Gustin (2017) and Johnny Scott (2018) are the most recent winners here.

The pit gate opens at 4 p.m. and grandstands open at 5. Hot laps begin at 6 and the green flag waves at 6:30. Admission is $20 for adults, kids ages 8-13 are $5 and children 7 and under get in for free with a paid adult. Pit passes are $35.

Coupons good for $2 off adult admission are available at Casey's General Stores locations in Milbank, Watertown and Webster. To find the location nearest you, visit caseys.com.

Now in its 66th year of racing on the shores of beautiful Lake Kampeska in Watertown, S.D., the Casino Speedway is a semi-banked 1/4-mile clay oval located 4.0 miles northwest of US 212 on SR 20, then 0.7 mile south on Stokes-Thomas Lake Rd. (104 S Lake Dr, Watertown, SD 57201). For more information, call (605) 882-1221 or visit casinospeedway.com.

The Quality Inn & SuitesĀ® located at 800 35th Street Circle SE in Watertown is the Official Host Hotel of the weekend. To celebrate this mega-event, the Quality Inn & Suites is offering a great rate of $89 plus tax per night. Book today by calling (605) 886-3010 and mention the Casino Speedway races. Learn more about this great lodging experience at choicehotels.com.

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
USMTS Hunt for the Casey's Cup powered by Summit
9th Annual USMTS Summer Slam presented by Beyea Custom Headers
Nobles County Speedway, Worthington, Minn.
Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won. All drivers advanced to the Casey's General Stores "A" Main with the top eight in heat race passing points redrawing for for the first eight starting spots.

1. (1) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
2. (5) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
3. (4) 21K Kyle Brown (R), Madrid, Iowa
4. (8) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa
5. (7) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo.
6. (3) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn.
7. (6) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (2) 0 Justin Remus (R), New Ulm, Minn.

1. (2) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (1) 27 Don Gerritsen Jr., Rock Rapids, Iowa
3. (3) 57 Duke Erickson (R), Sioux Falls, S.D.
4. (4) 14r Jon Tesch, Watertown, S.D.
5. (6) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
6. (5) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Earlham, Iowa
7. (8) 19sb Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif.
8. (7) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.

1. (3) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 40, $3000.
2. (2) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 40, $1700.
3. (5) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/TriStar, 40, $1100.
4. (9) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 40, $900.
5. (8) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40, $800.
6. (15) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, 40, $800.
7. (7) 27 Don Gerritsen Jr., Rock Rapids, Iowa, Skyrocket/HarryHeads, 40, $500.
8. (1) 21k Kyle Brown (R), Madrid, Iowa, Harris/Tesar, 40, $600.
9. (11) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn., MBCustoms/ChevPerf, 39, $550.
10. (12) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Earlham, Iowa, Hilsabeck/Mullins, 39, $500.
11. (6) 57 Duke Erickson (R), Sioux Falls, S.D., Dominator/Hanson, 39, $450.
12. (14) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M., AOS/AOS, 39, $425.
13. (13) 19sb Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif., MRT/Yeoman, 20, $400.
14. (10) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 16, $375.
15. (4) 14r Jon Tesch, Watertown, S.D., Hughes/Cornett, 15, $350.
16. (16) 0 Justin Remus (R), New Ulm, Minn., Medieval/Bruns, 1, $250.

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

Lap Leaders: Phillips 1-10, Tesch 11-14, Phillips 15-39, O'Neil 40.
Total Laps Led: Phillips 35, Tesch 4, O'Neil 1.
Margin of Victory: 0.396 second.
Time of Race: 16 minutes, 39.035 seconds (2 cautions).
Provisional Starters: none.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Kates (advanced 8 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Kates (started 15th, finished 6th).
Entries: 16.
Next Race: Sunday, Aug. 25, Casino Speedway, Watertown, S.D.
Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship Points: Sanders 2966, Ramirez 2796, Marriott 2668, Phillips 2505, Gustin 2469, O'Neil 2351, Kates 1925, Zack VanderBeek 1799, Mike Striegel 1706, Joe Duvall 1471.
USMTS Hunt for the Casey's Cup Points: Ramirez 1091, Sanders 1084, Phillips 1054, Marriott 1037, Gustin 782, O'Neil 781, Saurer 761, Kates 761, Mari 713, Mike Striegel 544.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Marriott 2075, Mike Striegel 1571, Dustin Hodges 584, Carlos Ahumada Jr. 549, Nathan Hagar 415.
USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 267, Hughes 266, GRT 213, Rage 205, LG2 195.
USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Cornett 240, Hatfield 237, KSE 180, Durham 178, TriStar 139.

Contingency Awards:
American Racer - O'Neil.
Beyea Custom Headers - Marriott.
Bryke Racing - Tesch.
BSB Manufacturing - Mari.
Casey's General Stores - Hilsabeck.
Champ Pans - Ramirez.
Deatherage Opticians - Ray.
E3 Spark Plugs - Gustin.
Edelbrock - Mari.
Eibach - Kates.
Fast Shafts - Ramirez.
FK Rod Ends - Kates.
Hooker Harness - Mari.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs - Mari.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts - Mari.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports - Mari.
Keyser Manufacturing - Hilsabeck.
KSE Racing Products - Saurer.
Maxima Racing Oils - O'Neil.
Out-Pace Racing Products - Remus.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain - Mari.
QA1 - Mari.
RacerWebsite.com - Mari.
Simpson Performance Products - Phillips.
Swift Springs - O'Neil, Erickson.
Sybesma Graphics - Brown.
Tire Demon - Erickson.
VP Racing Fuels - O'Neil.
Wilwood Disc Brakes - Gerritsen.

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