Sanders back in 'The Hunt' at Fayette County Speedway

WEST UNION, Iowa (Sept. 1)--Two-time USMTS National Champion Rodney Sanders kicked off the month of September on Sunday with a victory at the Fayette County Speedway in West Union, Iowa, during the 7th annual USMTS War in West Union presented by KSE Racing Products.

Sanders, who garnered the 2012 and 2013 United States Modified Touring Series titles, was on a hot streak through the first half of the USMTS Hunt for the Casey's Cup but had been shut out of the winner's circle for the last six events prior to Sunday's weekend closer.

The win was the ninth of the season for the 29-year-old from Happy, Texas, while Dereck Ramirez of Woodward, Okla., recorded a second-place finish for the 11th time during the 2019 campaign.

Sanders started fifth on the grid and had to run down Ramirez, who led early from the outside of the front row. Once out front, Sanders was uncontested except for some late-race troubles with lapped cars that allowed his pursuers to narrow the gap.

Jake O'Neil finished third behind Sanders and Ramirez, Zack VanderBeek was a solid fourth-place finisher and Ryan Gustin rounded out the top five. J.D. Auringer, Hunter Marriott, Blake Arndt, Travis Saurer and Jacob Bleess completed the top 10.

The Creek in the cross-hairs: With his 95th career USMTS triumph, Sanders solidified his spot at the top of the points in both 'The Hunt' and Casey's General Stores USMTS National Championship as the combatants prepare for the 21st annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 19-21, at the Deer Creek Speedway.

The high-banked 3/8-mile clay oval located in the rolling hills near Spring Valley, Minn., will be the host when the world's elite Modified and B-Mod drivers converge to battle for more than $150,000 in prize money.

The champion of the USMTS Hunt for the Casey's Cup powered by Summit will emerge from Saturday's finale at the Jamboree while the 2019 USMTS National Champion will be determined at the 2nd Annual Summit Southern Nationals at the Kennedale Speedway Park in Kennedale, Texas, Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 30-Nov. 1.

The USMTS season concludes Nov. 15-16 at the 81 Speedway in Park City, Kan. The annual Chisholm Trail Showdown will be one night only on Friday and pay $3,000 to win. The 4th Annual Grant Junghans Memorial happens on Saturday and will once again pay $10,002 to win and $1,202 to start.

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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
7th Annual USMTS War in West Union presented by KSE
Fayette County Speedway, West Union, Iowa
Sunday, Sept. 1, 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 based on heat race passing points with the top 8 redrawing for the first 8 starting spots.

1. (3) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
2. (6) 4h Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
3. (4) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
4. (5) 51 Chris Oertel, Marshfield, Wis.
5. (7) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn.
6. (1) 49jr Jake Timm, Minnesota City, Minn.
7. (2) 51a Blake Arndt (R), Brownsdale, Minn.

1. (2) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
2. (1) 00 J.D. Auringer, Waterloo, Iowa.
3. (5) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
4. (4) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo.
5. (3) 15w Alex Williamson (R), Rushford, Minn.
6. (6) 6 Dustin Kruse (R), Brandon, S.D.
7. (7) 91 Shawn Ryan, Waterloo, Iowa.

1. (1) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn.
2. (5) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
3. (2) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
4. (4) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo.
5. (6) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
6. (3) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
7. (7) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Earlham, Iowa.

1. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40, $2500.
2. (2) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40, $1500.
3. (7) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 40, $1000.
4. (6) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 40, $800.
5. (3) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/TriStar, 40, $700.
6. (1) 00 J.D. Auringer, Waterloo, Iowa, Rage/KSE, 40, $400.
7. (12) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 40, $550.
8. (18) 51a Blake Arndt (R), Brownsdale, Minn., Shaw/KSE, 40, $500.
9. (13) 21x Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn., MBCustoms/ChevPerf, 40, $450.
10. (14) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn., VanderBuilt/KSE, 40, $400.
11. (17) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., Jet/Speedway, 40, $375.
12. (15) 15w Alex Williamson (R), Rushford, Minn., SSR/KSE, 40, $350.
13. (11) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo., GRT/Eagle, 40, $325.
14. (19) 91 Shawn Ryan, Waterloo, Iowa, DirtHustler/King, 40, $300.
15. (16) 6 Dustin Kruse (R), Brandon, S.D., Sidebiter/ChevPerf, 40, $275.
16. (10) 51 Chris Oertel, Marshfield, Wis., MBCustoms/Mullins, 40, $250.
17. (4) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn., MBCustoms/Stoen, 40, $250.
18. (8) 4h Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40, $250.
19. (20) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Earlham, Iowa, Hilsabeck/Mullins, 40, $250.
20. (9) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 40, $250.
DNS - 49jr Jake Timm, Minnesota City, Minn., MBCustoms/OFI, 0, $90.

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

Time of Race: 22 minutes, 48.213 seconds.
Provisional Starters: none.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: O'Neil (advanced 6 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Arndt (started 18th, finished 8th).
Entries: 21.
Next Race: Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 19-21, Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.