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Sanders extends Silver Dollar Nationals reign of dominance
GREENWOOD, Neb. (July 20)--The deed to the venue may show that the Kosiski family has possession of the land and buildings, but two-time USMTS National Champion Rodney Sanders simply owns I-80 Speedway.
Since 2005 when Tommy Myer won the first USMTS feature held here, the United States Modified Touring Series has staged 17 more main events at the popular 25-year-old 4/10-mile clay oval in Greenwood, Neb.
Sanders has won 10 of those.
In fact, since his first win here in 2013, he has been absent from victory lane just three times.
His latest came on Saturday night in a dominating wire-to-wire performance before a standing-room-only packed house.
The win was worth $8,000 and the 90th of his USMTS career.
After winning Friday's night's preliminary feature, Sanders redrew the pole for Saturday night's 40-lap finale and, except for a possible game-changing caution flag with just three laps to go, the 29-year-old from Happy, Texas, was never seriously challenged.
The late yellow flag was for Terry Phillips, who was running second when mechanical failure struck. Phillips was the Silver Dollar Nationals champion in 2012-one year prior to Sanders' first at the track.
With 2017 Silver Dollar Nationals winner Ryan Gustin and four-time USMTS National Champion Jason Hughes on his rear bumper for the restart and three-lap dash to the finish, Sanders might have been considered a sitting duck but sped away from the pack when the green flag reappeared.
Hughes, who won a Casey's General Stores Hunt for the USMTS National Championship event here in August 2013, snuck past Gustin the closing laps to finish second while 'The Reaper' kept Jake Timm at bay for third-place money.
Zack VanderBeek, who gave Sanders his toughest challenge in the opening laps of the feature race, rounded out the top five finishers while 17th-starting Jake O'Neil, 19th-starting R.C. Whitwell, Hunter Marriott, 18th-starting Dustin Sorensen and Dereck Ramirez completed the top 10.
One position at the end turned out to be huge for Ramirez as Sanders edged him for the MSD Performance USMTS Mid-American Series points title by a single point (826 to 825). O'Neil, Marriott and Gustin rounded out the top five finishers in the final regional standings.
The race was also the final points contest in the Spike Hardcore Energy USMTS Northern Lights Series, and Sanders claimed that title too with a bit more breathing room (712 to 646) over VanderBeek. Gustin, O'Neil and Ramirez filled out the rest of the top five positions.
And Sanders continues to lead the Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship points with 24 points races left on the 2019 campaign. Ramirez, Gustin, Marriott and O'Neil fill out the top five in the national standings.
Saturday night's 9th Annual Imperial Tile Silver Dollar Nationals once again produced a stellar racing program over the course of 48 hours, all the while making fans forget about basking in near 100-degree heat.
The season's fourth regional series-the Casey's General Stores Hunt for the USMTS National Championship-begins Thursday, Aug. 1, at the 81 Speedway in Park City, Kan., and wraps up Saturday, Sept. 21, on the third day of the 21st Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn.
But it will be more than a full month after that before we know who will emerge as the 2019 USMTS National Champion. The final national points race happens during the 2nd Annual Summit USMTS Southern Nationals at the Kennedale Speedway Park in Kennedale, Texas, Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2. This will also be the final points race in the Summit Racing Equipment USMTS Southern Series.
One final blockbuster remains with a special two-day, non-points event on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16, back at the 81 Speedway just outside of Wichita. Friday will be the 3rd Annual Park City Chisholm Trail Showdown with a $3,000-to-win feature race, followed by the final crown jewel and season finale as the track hosts the 4th Annual Grant Junghans Memorial with a $10,000 top prize up for grabs on Saturday, Nov. 16-one day before Grant's birthday.
Here's the remaining dates on the 2019 USMTS calendar:
Aug. 1 ... 81 Speedway, Park City, Kan.
Aug. 2 ... Humboldt Speedway, Humboldt, Kan.
Aug. 3 ... Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland, Mo.
Aug. 4 ... Monett Motor Speedway, Monett, Mo.
Aug. 9 ... I-94 Speedway, Fergus Falls, Minn.
Aug. 10 ... Ogilvie Raceway, Ogilvie, Minn.
Aug. 11 ... Mason City Motor Speedway, Mason City, Iowa
Aug. 14 ... I-35 Speedway, Winston, Mo.
Aug. 15 ... Salina Speedway, Salina, Kan.
Aug. 16 ... Lake Ozark Speedway, Eldon, Mo.
Aug. 17 ... Salina Highbanks, Pryor Creek, Okla.
Aug. 22 ... Hamilton County Speedway, Webster City, Iowa
Aug. 23 ... Rapid Speedway, Rock Rapids, Iowa
Aug. 24 ... Nobles County Speedway, Worthington, Minn.
Aug. 25 ... Casino Speedway, Watertown, S.D.
Aug. 30 ... Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Fountain City, Wis.
Aug. 31 ... Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.
Sept. 1 ... Fayette County Speedway, West Union, Iowa
Sept. 19-21 ... Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.
Oct. 31-Nov. 2 ... Kennedale Speedway Park, Kennedale, Texas
Nov. 15-16 ... 81 Speedway, Park City, Kan.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit USMTS.com. 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
Spike Hardcore Energy USMTS Northern Lights Series
9th Annual Imperial Tile Silver Dollar Nationals presented by Swift Springs - Night 2 of 2
I-80 Speedway, Greenwood, Neb.
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won. The top 8 from Friday's "A" Main were locked into tonight's "A" Main.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
2. (2) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
3. (3) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo.
4. (6) 78 Derrick Hicks (R), Ravenwood, Mo.
5. (9) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Earlham, Iowa.
6. (5) R21 Ryan Schaffer, Corning, Iowa.
7. (4) 88 Randy Klein, Lisbon, N.D.
8. (10) 15m Shane Demey (R), Denison, Iowa.
9. (7) 5k Kyle Prauner, Norfolk, Neb.
10. (8) 8c Chris Clark, Jackson, Wyo.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (6) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
2. (1) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn.
3. (3) 9 Kent Arment, Aberdeen, S.D.
4. (2) 19sb Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif.
5. (9) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
6. (5) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.
7. (4) 96t R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz.
8. (10) 57 Duke Erickson (R), Sioux Falls, S.D.
9. (7) 20b Brandon Clough (R), Wallace, Neb.
10. (8) 64 Nick Hermsen (R), Omaha, Neb.
REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN (10 laps, top 8 advance):
1. (2) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
2. (4) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.
3. (6) 96t R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz.
4. (5) 88 Randy Klein, Lisbon, N.D.
5. (9) 5k Kyle Prauner, Norfolk, Neb.
6. (3) R21 Ryan Schaffer, Corning, Iowa.
7. (1) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Earlham, Iowa.
8. (8) 57 Duke Erickson (R), Sioux Falls, S.D.
9. (7) 15m Shane Demey (R), Denison, Iowa., Harris/ChevPerf, 40, $400.
10. (10) 20b Brandon Clough (R), Wallace, Neb., 1stClass/ChevPerf, 40, $350.
11. (11) 8c Chris Clark, Jackson, Wyo., GRT/ChevPerf, 40, $325.
12. (12) 64 Nick Hermsen (R), Omaha, Neb.
CASEY'S GENERAL STORES "A" MAIN (40 laps):
1. (1) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40, $8000.
2. (8) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $4000.
3. (10) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/TriStar, 40, $2700.
4. (3) 49jr Jake Timm, Minnesota City, Minn., MBCustoms/OFI, 40, $2200.
5. (2) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 40, $1800.
6. (17) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 40, $1500.
7. (19) 96t R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz., Lethal/Mullins, 40, $1300.
8. (6) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 40, $1000.
9. (18) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn., MBCustoms/Action, 40, $900.
10. (7) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40, $850.
11. (11) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan., MBCustoms/Driskell, 40, $800.
12. (9) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis., VanderBuilt/OFI, 40, $750.
13. (5) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn., VanderBuilt/KSE, 40, $700.
14. (12) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn., MBCustoms/ChevPerf, 40, $675.
15. (13) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo., GRT/ChevPerf, 40, $650.
16. (20) 88 Randy Klein, Lisbon, N.D., MBCustoms/Tim's, 40, $625.
17. (14) 9 Kent Arment, Aberdeen, S.D., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $600.
18. (24) 57 Duke Erickson (R), Sioux Falls, S.D., Dominator/Hanson, 40, $575.
19. (21) 5k Kyle Prauner, Norfolk, Neb., Razor/ChevPerf, 40, $550.
20. (15) 78 Derrick Hicks (R), Ravenwood, Mo., Hughes/Wyman, 40, $540.
21. (23) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Earlham, Iowa, Hilsabeck/Mullins, 40, $530.
22. (4) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 37, $520.
23. (22) R21 Ryan Schaffer, Corning, Iowa, LG2/Mullins, 13, $510.
24. (25) 64 Nick Hermsen (R), Omaha, Neb., Harris/Woodard, 4, $500.
25. (16) 19sb Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif., MRT/Yeoman, 1, $500.
(R) = Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender
Lap Leader: Sanders 1-40.
Total Laps Led: Sanders 40.
Margin of Victory: 2.283 seconds.
Time of Race: 21 minutes, 29.183 seconds (2 cautions).
Provisional Starters: Hermsen (track).
Eibach Spring Forward Award: O'Neil (advanced 16 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Whitwell (started 19th, finished 7th).
Next Race: Thursday, Aug. 1, 81 Speedway, Park City, Kan.
Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship Points: Sanders 1882, Ramirez 1705, Gustin 1687, Marriott 1631, O'Neil 1570, Phillips 1451, VanderBeek 1331, Adam Kates 1164, Striegel 1162, Joe Duvall 1062.
Spike Hardcore Energy USMTS Northern Lights Series Points (final): Sanders 712, VanderBeek 646, Gustin 640, O'Neil 638, Ramirez 635, Marriott 579, Timm 557, Crapser 530, Bleess 521, Sorensen 491.
MSD Performance USMTS Mid-American Series Points (final): Sanders 826, Ramirez 825, O'Neil 807, Marriott 787, Gustin 734, Phillips 717, Striegel 695, Whitwell 604, VanderBeek 590, Tyler Wolff 566.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Marriott 1631, Striegel 1162, Carlos Ahumada Jr. 549, Dustin Hodges 425, Nathan Hagar 415.
USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 170, Hughes 168, LG2 126, GRT 121, Rage 119.
USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield 147, Cornett 135, TriStar 100, KSE 100, Stoen 97.