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Phillips nips Ramirez in USMTS instant classic at 81 Speedway
PARK CITY, Kansas (August 1)--The Casey's Hunt for the USMTS National Championship blasted off Thursday night at the 81 Speedway with another instant classic produced by C. Ray Hall's 3/8-mile dirt oval outside of Wichita.
After following six spectacular qualifying events, the 40-lap feature race was fierce and fast from the waving of the green flag until the checkered flag waved for Terry Phillips, but just barely.
With Dereck Ramirez breathing down his neck for the last half of the race, Phillips nearly saw it slip away in the final turn when Ramirez made a bold move to pass the leader with one left-hand turn to go.
But the 53-year-old veteran from Springfield, Missouri, crossed back under Ramirez and the pair drag-raced to the finish line with Phillips taking the win by a mere two-one-thousandths of a second over Ramirez.
"That surprised me there," Phillips said of the slide job by Ramirez. "I slowed down a little bit because I had a couple lapped cars in front of me and didn't want to run over them, so I was just being cautious, but, hey, that's what this bunch brings you. They're all good racers and Dereck always races me clean and we're good friends.
"As he slid me, I'm like 'Man, that's a damn good move.' I'm congratulating him and then I thought 'Well, I better get going here.' I made a cut and fortunately there was a little traction in the middle of the track so got in it and barely beat him."
Ramirez had been stalking Phillips for the final ten laps or so, testing out the high side of turn 2 while Phillips was entering the firs turn down low. He got his chance on the final lap and pulled event with Phillips down the back-stretch as flagman Ryne Staley was reaching for the checkered flag.
"I was catching him down here in (turn) two, and figured if I get close enough I'll pull a slider," Ramirez said after the race. "I don't like to dirty people up so I wanted to make sure it was clean.
"He got behind them lapped cars going down the back straight-away and kind of slowed down off of (turn) two and I had a big run and thought 'You know what, I'm gonna try it.' I just didn't get in there far enough to hit the cushion and have the traction off. I showed him too early probably."
For Phillips, the $2,500 triumph was the 28th of his USMTS career but first ever at the 81 Speedway. Meanwhile, Rodney Sanders, who has a series-best four victories here, followed Ramirez across the stripe in third while Hunter Marriott roared from 16th on the gird to finish fourth.
Polesitter Dan Powers of Wichita registered a solid fifth-place finish. R.C. Whitwell, Zack VanderBeek, Cody Schniepp, 24th-starting Darron Fuqua and Mike Striegel rounded out the top 10.
Whitwell looked to be in command of the race until going back to green after a caution on lap 20. A bobble over the cushion in turn 4 cost him five spots on the track while Phillips sped by into the lead on lap 21.
Long-time USMTS competitor John Allen paced the first six laps of the race. The last time he led a USMTS main event was in 2008 at the Belleville High Banks, which he won.
Friday's return to the Humboldt Speedway was canceled today after four inches of rain fell at the facility.
The series now heads to the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri, on Saturday, for the 10th Annual Slick Mist Show-Me Shootout presented by Foley Equipment.
The event brings together the USMTS regulars and the best of the USRA Modified weekly regulars in a 40-lap headliner that will pay $3,000 to the winner.
For more information, check out lucasoilspeedway.com.
The Lucas Oil Speedway is located at the junction of Hwy. 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Mo. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.
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 our YouTube channel. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS and subscribe to our e-Newsletter.
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United States Modified Touring Series
Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship powered by Summit
Casey's Hunt for the USMTS National Championship
81 Speedway, Park City, Kansas
Thursday, August 1, 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.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 21c Cody Schniepp (R), Wichita, Kan.
2. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
3. (2) 87 Kenny Sweet, Wichita, Kan.
4. (3) 75 Tad Davis, Mount Hope, Kan.
5. (7) 21b Bryce Schniepp (R), Wichita, Kan.
6. (9) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo.
7. (8) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
8. (6) 11 Erick Chesterman (R), Wichita, Kan.
9. (4) 710 Davis Givens (R), Hutchinson, Kan.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan.
2. (7) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
3. (4) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo.
4. (6) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
5. (3) 747 Colton Eck (R), Goddard, Kan.
6. (8) 2g Brandon Givens (R), Wichita, Kan.
7. (2) 44t Tanner Black (R), Otis, Kan.
8. (5) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (1) 4 Dan Powers, Wichita, Kan.
2. (2) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan.
3. (8) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
4. (6) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan.
5. (3) 22h Dustin Hodges (R), Centralia, Mo.
6. (7) 19sb Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif.
7. (5) 9d8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan.
8. (4) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
VP RACE FUELS HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (6) 96t R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz.
2. (1) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn.
3. (4) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
4. (8) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
5. (2) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
6. (7) 3j Jake Nightingale (R), Wichita, Kan.
7. (3) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Earlham, Iowa.
8. (5) 86 Brian Franz, Halstead, Kan.
REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 87 Kenny Sweet, Wichita, Kan.
2. (2) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan.
3. (3) 21b Bryce Schniepp (R), Wichita, Kan.
4. (6) 19sb Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif.
5. (5) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
6. (7) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
7. (8) 9d8 Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kan., BillsBuilt/KBS, $75.
8. (4) 747 Colton Eck (R), Goddard, Kan., GRT/Hillsboro, $75.
9. (9) 710 Davis Givens (R), Hutchinson, Kan., GRT/Hatfield, $75.
DNS - 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa., Hughes/TriStar, $90.
DNS - 11 Erick Chesterman (R), Wichita, Kan., Skyrocket/Karl, $75.
REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
2. (3) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo.
3. (2) 75 Tad Davis, Mount Hope, Kan.
4. (4) 22h Dustin Hodges (R), Centralia, Mo.
5. (5) 2g Brandon Givens (R), Wichita, Kan.
6. (10) 86 Brian Franz, Halstead, Kan.
7. (8) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Earlham, Iowa., Hilsabeck/Mullins, $90.
8. (6) 3j Jake Nightingale (R), Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, $75.
9. (7) 44t Tanner Black (R), Otis, Kan., Hughes/ChevPerf, $75.
10. (9) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
CASEY'S GENERAL STORES "A" MAIN (40 laps):
1. (7) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 40, $2500.
2. (12) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40, $1500.
3. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40, $1000.
4. (16) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 40, $900.
5. (1) 4 Dan Powers, Wichita, Kan., GRT/KBS, 40, $500.
6. (3) 96t R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz., Lethal/Mullins, 40, $600.
7. (8) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 40, $550.
8. (4) 21c Cody Schniepp (R), Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Thiel, 40, $300.
9. (24) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan., MBCustoms/Driskell, 40, $275.
10. (11) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo., GRT/Driskell, 40, $400.
11. (2) 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan., GRT/TwoM, 40, $375.
12. (6) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Hatfield, 40, $200.
13. (22) 2g Brandon Givens (R), Wichita, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $200.
14. (25) 86 Brian Franz, Halstead, Kan., GRT/Shadow, 40, $200.
15. (18) 75 Tad Davis, Mount Hope, Kan., GRT/Mullins, 40, $200.
16. (9) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn., MBCustoms/ChevPerf, 40, $250.
17. (17) 21b Bryce Schniepp (R), Wichita, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 34, $200.
18. (13) 87 Kenny Sweet, Wichita, Kan., BillsBuilt/KBS, 32, $200.
19. (21) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustoms/ChevPerf, 30, $250.
20. (14) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo., MBCustoms/Durham, 28, $250.
21. (10) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, 28, $250.
22. (20) 22h Dustin Hodges (R), Centralia, Mo., VanderBuilt/Crane, 27, $250.
23. (23) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 19, $250.
24. (15) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 17, $250.
25. (19) 19sb Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif., MRT/Yeoman, 15, $350.
(R) = Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender
Lap Leaders: Allen 1-6, Whitwell 7-20, Phillips 21-40.
Total Laps Led: Phillips 20, Whitwell 14, Allen 6.
Margin of Victory: 0.002 second.
Time of Race: 21 minutes, 24.464 seconds (3 cautions).
Provisional Starters: O'Neil, Fuqua.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Fuqua (advanced 17 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Marriott (started 16th, finished 4th).
Next Race: Saturday, August 3, Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland, Missouri.
Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship Points: Sanders 1973, Ramirez 1800, Gustin 1732, Marriott 1718, O'Neil 1621, Phillips 1554, VanderBeek 1409, Striegel 1234, Kates 1217, Duvall 1117.
Casey's Hunt for the USMTS National Championship Points: Phillips 103, Ramirez 95, Sanders 91, Marriott 87, Powers 84, Whitwell 82, VanderBeek 78, Schniepp 76, Fuqua 74, Striegel 72.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Marriott 1718, Striegel 1234, Carlos Ahumada Jr. 549, Hodges 477, Nathan Hagar 415.
USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 178, Hughes 177, GRT 131, LG2 128, Rage 126.
USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield 155, Cornett 144, KSE 107, Durham 103, Stoen 101.