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O'Neil sets sail at Longdale for first USMTS win of 2019
After missing most of April while he recovered from medical issues, Jake O'Neil has steadily improved both physically and inside the cockpit of his LG2 chassis by Jimmy Owens.
On Thursday night he returned to USMTS action for the first time since King of America IX in March and brought home a fifth-place finish. Friday night he improved to third and Saturday he made the climb to the top of the mountain in taking the checkers at the Longdale Speedway.
O'Neil started on the outside of the front row for the 35-lap main event, but it was back-to-back Sybesma Graphics Pole Award winner Dereck Ramirez who got the jump at the drop of the green flag with Ryan Gustin and R.C. Whitwell following Ramirez while O'Neil slipped to fourth on the opening lap.
Still looking for his first USMTS victory of the year, Gustin pressured Ramirez for the first eight laps before Whitwell got by to claim the second spot. Whitwell nosed ahead to lead lap 12 but Ramirez powered back to the front one lap later.
O'Neil was eventually able to get around Gustin and Whitwell, and then wrestled the lead away from Ramirez with 27 laps in the books while Gustin coasted to the pit area with mechanical troubles for a second straight night.
For the final eight laps around the half-mile clay oval, O'Neil left no doubt as he pulled away to a six-car-length triumph at the finish line with Ramirez following in the runner-up spot.
Meanwhile, USMTS national points leader Rodney Sanders worked his way to the third spot after starting 20th due to switching to a back-up car after his heat race, which he won. He would have started sixth in the feature race if he had driven the same car he qualified with.
Whitwell held on for fourth ahead of 14th-starting Tyler Wolff who picked up the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award. Hunter Marriott, Terry Phillips, Joe Duvall, Mike Striegel and Jon Herring Jr. completed the top 10.
O'Neil's fourth career USMTS win was worth $3,000.
Killer Quintuple kicks off May: After a ten-day break to catch their breath, the tireless USMTS touring titans return to action on May 7 for the first of five straight nights on a journey through the Lone Star State.
The Summit USMTS Southern Series swing begins Tuesday, May 7, at the Superbowl Speedway in Greenville. This is the ninth attempt, but only three times has Mother Nature cooperated with efforts here. The USMTS debuted at the semi-banked clay oval in 2014. Cade Dillard was the winner in the last dry event here in 2016.
From there, the series returns to two tracks for a second time but both under a new name. On Wednesday, May 8, it's a trek to the 82 Speedway in Petty where Philip Houston won the inaugural event in 2015, and then on Thursday, May 9, the reanimated Monarch Motor Speedway in Wichita Falls hosts the return of the USMTS since Rodney Sanders won here that same year.
Friday, May 10, finds the relentless USMTS road warriors back at the West Texas Raceway in Lubbock before wrapping up the power pentathlon with the 10th annual USMTS Amarillo Ambush on Saturday, May 11, at the Route 66 Motor Speedway in Amarillo.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit USMTS.com or call (515) 832-7944. You can also like the USMTS on Facebook, visit us on Instagram, follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn and watch us on YouTube. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS and subscribe to the USMTS e-Newsletter.
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United States Modified Touring Series
Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship powered by Summit
MSD Performance USMTS Mid-American Series
4th Annual USMTS Night of the Stars
Longdale Speedway, Longdale, Okla.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won. The top 12 in heat race passing points advance to the Casey's General Stores "A" Main with the top 8 redrawing for the first 8 starting spots.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (2) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
2. (5) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
3. (1) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
4. (3) 23 Logan Robertson, Shamrock, Texas.
5. (7) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo.
6. (6) 08 Hunter McDonald (R), Oakwood, Okla.
7. (8) 96 Jon Herring Sr., Woodard, Okla.
8. (4) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
2. (5) 96t R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz.
3. (1) 96jr Jon Herring Jr., Woodward, Okla.
4. (3) 11 Dustin Allen, Enid, Okla.
5. (4) 4w Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
6. (7) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
7. (6) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (4) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
2. (6) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
3. (2) 71 Jessie Hoskins, Longdale, Okla.
4. (1) 11n Gene Nicholas, Lowell, Ark.
5. (7) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo.
6. (5) 34 Mickey Lassiter, Piedmont, Okla.
7. (3) 18 Bobby Mayfield (R), Elk City, Okla.
REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN (10 laps, all advance):
1. (1) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo.
2. (2) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo.
3. (3) 4w Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
4. (4) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
5. (5) 08 Hunter McDonald (R), Oakwood, Okla.
6. (8) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
7. (6) 34 Mickey Lassiter, Piedmont, Okla.
8. (7) 96 Jon Herring Sr., Woodard, Okla.
DNS - 18 Bobby Mayfield (R), Elk City, Okla.
DNS - 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
CASEY'S GENERAL STORES "A" MAIN (35 laps):
1. (2) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 35, $3000.
2. (1) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 35, $1700.
3. (20) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 35, $1100.
4. (5) 96t R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz., Longhorn/Mullins, 35, $900.
5. (14) 4w Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustoms/Hill, 35, $900.
6. (12) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 35, $700.
7. (7) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 35, $650.
8. (6) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustoms/ChevPerf, 35, $600.
9. (13) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo., GRT/Driskell, 35, $550.
10. (4) 96jr Jon Herring Jr., Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Sput's, 35, $500.
11. (16) 08 Hunter McDonald (R), Oakwood, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 35, $325.
12. (18) 34 Mickey Lassiter, Piedmont, Okla., Hughes/Sput's, 35, $425.
13. (11) 11n Gene Nicholas, Lowell, Ark., Hughes/Kelly, 35, $400.
14. (19) 96 Jon Herring Sr., Woodard, Okla., LG2/Herring, 34, $250.
15. (3) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/TriStar, 27, $350.
16. (10) 11 Dustin Allen, Enid, Okla., GRT/Dunsworth, 26, $250.
17. (15) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 23, $300.
18. (17) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, 16, $300.
19. (8) 71 Jessie Hoskins, Longdale, Okla., Longhorn/ChevPerf, 11, $250.
20. (9) 23 Logan Robertson, Shamrock, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 9, $250.
DNS - 18 Bobby Mayfield (R), Elk City, Okla., Hughes/PPE, 0, $90.
DNS - 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo., MBCustoms/Durham, 0, $90.
(R) = Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender
Lap Leaders: Ramirez 1-11, Whitwell 12, Ramirez 13-26, O'Neil 27-35.
Total Laps Led: Ramirez 25, O'Neil 9, Whitwell 1.
Margin of Victory: 2.283 seconds.
Time of Race: 17 minutes, 3.95 seconds.
Provisional Starters: none.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Wolff (advanced 8 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Wolff (started 14th, finished 5th).
Next Race: Tuesday, May 7, Superbowl Speedway, Greenville, Texas.
Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship Points: Sanders 710, VanderBeek 685, Duvall 659, Phillips 655, Marriott 636, Ramirez 631, Gustin 631, Striegel 581, Wolff 569, Kates 559.
MSD Performance USMTS Mid-American Series Points: Ramirez 491, O'Neil 478, Marriott 457, Sanders 448, Duvall 440, Wolff 438, VanderBeek 431, Phillips 412, Gustin 408, Whitwell 395.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Marriott 633, Striegel 581, Nathan Hagar 415, Carlos Ahumada Jr. 340, Dustin Hodges 302.
USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 61, Hughes 52, VanderBuilt 45, Rage 43, GRT 42.
USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield 51, Stoen 45, KSE 35, Durham 35, Mullins 31.