Sanders sails to USMTS triumph at Lake Ozark Speedway

As promised, the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s returned to the Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Missouri, on Friday for the 3rd Annual USMTS Battle at the Beach presented by PEM.

And as he has done 105 times now, points leader Rodney Sanders found his way to the front and scored the feature win.

Dereck Ramirez beat polesitter Adam Kates to the corner and led the first four laps before succumbing to the pressure from Sanders on the fifth lap.

That was all she wrote as four cautions were no help to his pursuers and Sanders paced the final 36 laps to reign in his series-best eighth win of the 2020 campaign with a 3.502-second cushion over Ramirez.

The win was worth $3,000 to the 30-year-old from Happy, Texas, and his first at the state-of-the-art facility nestled in the Lake of the Ozarks.

Ramirez was able to hang on for the runner-up paycheck ahead of Tyler Wolff and Jason Hughes after the trio battled in close quarters throughout the race.

Tanner Mullens came from 13th to complete the top five while Austin Siebert, Casey Skyberg, Brooks Strength, Terry Phillips and Carlos Ahumada Jr. rounded out the top 10.

Ryan Middaugh earned the Eibach Spring Forward Award for passing 13 of his fellow competitors during the program. The FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award went to Strength who passed nine cars in the main event.

Salina Saturday: The Salina Highbanks Speedway in Pryor Creek, Oklahoma, hosts the 8th Annual USMTS Salute to our Veterans presented by ARMI and Bryke Racing on Saturday.

Originally built and opened in the 1990s, operations ceased at Salina Highbanks Speedway after the 2006 season. However, Keith Sanders and Dave Bohannan brought new life to the track and racing in Northeast Oklahoma upon re-opening the facility and transforming it into a first-class motorsports venue.

Local favorite and four-time USMTS national champ Jason Hughes enjoys a series-best six wins here while Ryan Gustin has recorded three of his 103 victories at the Salina Highbanks Speedway. Three-time national champ and current points leader Rodney Sanders is the defending race winner. Terry Phillips, Stormy Scott, Bryan Rowland, Jeremy Payne and Johnny Scott each have one win.

B-Mods, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and Trophy Cars round out the five-division racing card. The pits open at 3 p.m. and grandstands open at 5. Hot laps begin at 6:30 and racing gets underway at 7. Tickets are $20 for fans 13 and older. Youth ages 6-12 are $10. VIP seating is $30 (call 918-434-7223 to reserve). Pit passes are $35 for everybody 13 and older or $20 for kids ages 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free throughout the facility. Arkansas Myriad, Inc. (ARMI) is sponsoring free admission to veterans and active military.

The Salina Highbanks Speedway is a 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval located 7 miles east of Pryor on SR 20. The physical address is 3164 E Hwy 20, Pryor Creek, OK 74361. Check out their website at

Currently, the 2020 schedule for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s is highlighted by 44 nights of racing at 27 unique dirt ovals for the 22nd season of competition for the world’s Best of the Best in dirt modified racing.

To connect with the USMTS check out, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, check us out on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Keep up to speed by joining our email list.

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United States Modified Touring Series
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s
3rd Annual USMTS Battle at the Beach presented by PEM
Lake Ozark Speedway, Eldon, Mo.
Friday, August 21, 2020

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder and laps completed. The top 16 in heat race passing points advanced to the Casey’s “A” Main with the top-8 drawing for starting positions 1-8.

1. (1) 22H Dustin Hodges, Centralia, Mo.
2. (3) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan.
3. (9) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
4. (5) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
5. (2) 38C Jason Pursley, Hermitage, Mo.
6. (8) 52 Mitch Keeter, Webb City, Mo.
7. (4) 00 Cody Jolly (R), Jasper, Mo.
8. (7) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
9. (6) 25 Scotty Roberts, Columbia, Mo.

1. (5) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
2. (1) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
3. (2) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
4. (7) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
5. (3) 37 Clint Johnson (R), Neosho, Mo.
6. (8) 16S Kevin Blackburn, Fulton, Mo.
7. (4) 11N Gene Nicholas, Lowell, Ark.
8. (9) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
9. (6) 00B Scott Bryant (R), Baring, Mo.

1. (2) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (1) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
3. (6) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
4. (5) 19SB Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif.
5. (7) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan.
6. (3) 444 Brooks Strength (R), Raymond, Miss.
7. (8) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
8. (4) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
9. (9) 21 Ryan Middaugh, Fulton, Mo.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN (10 laps, all starters advance):
1. (2) 444 Brooks Strength (R), Raymond, Miss.
2. (1) 16S Kevin Blackburn, Fulton, Mo.
3. (3) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
4. (4) 00 Cody Jolly (R), Jasper, Mo.
5. (10) 00B Scott Bryant (R), Baring, Mo.
6. (7) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
7. (6) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
8. (5) 11N Gene Nicholas, Lowell, Ark.
DNS – 21 Ryan Middaugh, Fulton, Mo.
DNS – 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
DNS – 25 Scotty Roberts, Columbia, Mo., Allen/Mullins.

CASEY’S “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (4) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40.
2. (2) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40.
3. (6) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustoms/Hill, 40.
4. (5) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 40.
5. (13) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 40.
6. (11) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo., MBCustoms/Durham, 40.
7. (9) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., Lethal/Mullins, 40.
8. (17) 444 Brooks Strength (R), Raymond, Miss., MBCustoms/Stoen, 40.
9. (8) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 40.
10. (19) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas, GRT/BMS, 40.
11. (10) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustoms/BMS, 40.
12. (3) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 40.
13. (12) 19SB Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif., MRT/Yeoman, 40.
14. (1) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., Jet/Speedway, 40.
15. (26) 21 Ryan Middaugh, Fulton, Mo., GRT/Creason, 40.
16. (15) 37 Clint Johnson (R), Neosho, Mo., VanderBuilt/Yeoman, 40.
17. (16) 52 Mitch Keeter, Webb City, Mo., GRT/Mullins, 40.
18. (20) 00 Cody Jolly (R), Jasper, Mo., MBCustoms/Yeoman, 40.
19. (14) 38C Jason Pursley, Hermitage, Mo., GRT/Midstate, 40.
20. (24) 11N Gene Nicholas, Lowell, Ark., Hughes/Kelly, 40.
21. (21) 00 Scott Bryant (R), Baring, Mo., Shaw/Happs, 30.
22. (25) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 19.
23. (18) 16S Kevin Blackburn, Fulton, Mo., MBCustoms/, 18.
24. (22) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla., GRT/ChevPerf, 12.
25. (23) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 12.
26. (7) 22H Dustin Hodges, Centralia, Mo., VanderBuilt/Crane, 2.

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

Lap Leaders: Ramirez 1-4, Sanders 5-40.
Total Laps Led: Sanders 36, Ramirez 4.
Margin of Victory: 3.502 seconds.
Time of Race: 21 minutes, 0.526 second (4 cautions).
Provisional Starters: O’Neil, Middaugh (track).
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Middaugh (advanced 13 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Strength (started 17th, finished 8th).
Entries: 27.
Next Race: Saturday, Aug. 22, Salina Highbanks Speedway, Pryor Creek, Okla.
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s Points: Sanders 2585, Ramirez 2463, Hughes 2319, VanderBeek 2056, Davis 2019, Hunter Marriott 1976, Phillips 1929, Calvin Iverson 1850, Skyberg 1811, Mullens 1737.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Davis 1755, Mullens 1737, Calvin Iverson 1684, Skyberg 1562, Hagar 1019.
Jobbers Warehouse Supply USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 254, Hughes 244, GRT 174, VanderBuilt 156, Mullens 148.
Compstar/JE Pistons USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield 215, Cornett 192, Mullins 179, Stoen 153, Mullens 138.

Contingency Awards:
American Racer – Ramirez.
Beyea Custom Headers – Hughes.
BigDeal Car Care – Sanders, Hughes.
Bryke Racing – Middaugh.
BSB Manufacturing – Bryant.
Champ Pans – Mullens.
Deatherage Opticians – Davis.
Edelbrock – Ramirez.
Eibach – Middaugh.
Fast Shafts – Phillips.
FK Rod Ends – Strength.
Forty9 Designs – Kates, Pursley.
Hooker Harness – Duvall.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs – Jolly.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Keeter.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports – Roberts.
Keyser Manufacturing – Ahumada.
KSE Racing Products – Phillips.
Maxima Racing Oils – Sanders.
Penske Racing Shocks – Mari.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain – Keeter.
QA1 – Hughes. – Middaugh.
Simpson Performance Products – Hodges.
Spyder High Performance Filters – Siebert.
Summit Racing Equipment – Blackburn, Johnson, Middaugh.
Super Clean – Sanders.
Swift Springs – Sanders, Middaugh.
Sybesma Graphics – Kates.
Tire Demon – O’Neil.
VP Racing Fuels – Sanders.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Roberts.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – Skyberg.

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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Casey’s, Chevrolet Performance, Compstar Performance Engine Components by Callies, CP-Carrillo, Dirt Draft, Eibach, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, Intercomp, Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts, K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports, KS Engineering, KSE Racing Products, Malvern Bank, Mesilla Valley Transportation, MSD Performance, MTN DEW Zero Sugar, MyRacePass, Nitroquest Media, PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain,, Snickers, Summit Racing Equipment, Super Clean, VP Racing Fuels, Wrisco Industries.

USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Boubin Tire & Automotive, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, Eagle Moon Farm, JE Pistons, Miller Welders, PBM Performance Products, Rancho Milagro Racing, Rivers Edge Scrap Management, Tony Moro Powder Coat, Top of the World Ranch,

USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Beyea Headers, BigDeal Car Care, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bryke Racing, BSB Manufacturing, Champ Pans, Deatherage Opticians, Edelbrock, Forty9 Designs, Genesis Racing Shocks, Hooker Harness, Integra Racing Shocks and Springs, Keyser Manufacturing, Maxima Racing Oils, Penske Racing Shocks, QA1,, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Swift Springs, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wehrs Machine & Race Products, Wilwood Racing.