Sanders vaults to victory in American Racer USRA Modified Series debut at Monarch Motor Speedway
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (March 13)—On a cold and windy evening at the Monarch Motor Speedway on Friday, Rodney Sanders gave the fans in attendance and those watching live online at home a spectacular show as he captured the win in the first-ever event for the new American Racer USRA Modified Series presented by Day Motor Sports.
Polesitter Nathan Smith of Anthony, New Mexico, grabbed the lead when the green flag waved at the 1/4-mile semi-banked dirt oval outside of Wichita Falls, Texas, but fourth-starting Max Eddie Thomas of Quinlan powered into the lead on the third lap and paced the race for the next 16 circuits before Sanders took control.
Cautions plagued the main event between laps three and five with four yellow flags that included Smith going to the tail after contact on a restart with Kale Westover that saw Westover’s night end early, and a red flag after Kenny Gaddis performed a single roll-over after tagging the wall in turn three.
Tyler Davis of Haysville, Kansas, found himself running third in just seven laps after rolling off 14th while Sanders, who hails from a town called Happy in West Texas, found himself starting 13th on the grid after a dismal heat race but slowly picked his way through the field as he advanced toward the front.
The four-time USMTS National Champion broke into the top-10 on the third lap and climbed all the way to fourth place by the seventh lap. He took third from Davis four laps later and snuck by Flower Mound’s Kevin Rutherford for second with 16 laps complete.
With two lapped cars separating Thomas and Sanders, the race’s sixth caution with nine laps to go erased a healthy advantage for the leader and Sanders capitalized on his good fortune. After searching for a way around the high-flying leader for three laps, Sanders slid by on lap 20 and battled Thomas back to the flag stand.
Sanders was able to hang on for the win and pocketed the $2,000 top prize plus an additional $500 from GPW Transportation of Belton, Texas, after passing 12 cars to earn hard charger honors. Originally earmarked for a $500-to-win dash, that race was scrapped in order to speed up the program with threatening weather forecasted for later in the evening.
Thomas took home a $1,500 consolation prize while Davis, who passed 11 cars, earned $1,000 for finishing third. Rutherford recorded a fourth-place finish and Midlothian’s Chris Huckeba completed the top five.
Smith rebounded to score a sixth-place paycheck with David Tanner, Sean Gaddis, Kevin Rowland and James McCreery rounding out the top 10.
Rutherford, Tanner and Casey Fowler pocketed an extra $100 each when their names were randomly drawn at the drivers meeting prior to hot laps. Beginning with the second event for the series, officials will draw three random names that will win a $100 cash bonus during the drivers meeting. The winning driver(s) must attend the drivers meeting and have competed in the previous series event.
In other Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series action Friday night, Trevor Foley collected the win in the USRA Limited Mod main event while Stephen Torrez found himself in the winners circle following the Sunoco USRA Factory Stock feature. Colton Mooney topped the 15-lap USRA Tuner nightcap.
Round 2 of the inaugural campaign for the American Racer USRA Modified Series presented by Day Motor Sports takes place Friday, April 16, at the RPM Speedway in Crandall, Texas, followed by a date at the Big O Speedway in Ennis, Texas, on Saturday, April 17. Both events will award a $2,000 top prize to the main event winner.
For the remainder of the races in 2021, provisional starting spots will be awarded at each event to the two drivers ranked highest in series points that failed to qualify for the main event. Each driver is eligible for two (2) provisionals.
Each of the venues hosting one or more American Racer USRA Modified Series shows are paying no less than $2,000 to win and $200 or more to start the feature race. At season’s end, the points champion will pocket a minimum of $4,000 from the nearly $20,000 points fund.
USRA Modified racers will be able to compete for several individual points funds. In addition to the new American Racer USRA Modified Series, drivers will earn national and regional points in the Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series, and sanctioned racetracks may also award 2021 track points funds also.
Visit usraracing.com for schedules, points, photos, souvenirs, videos and more. Follow our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Click here to get USRA news delivered to your inbox.
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United States Racing Association
Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series
American Racer USRA Modified Series
Monarch Motor Speedway, Wichita Falls, Texas
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, laps completed and money earned.
Dealer Reconditioning Services Heat #1 (8 laps):
1. (4) 88 Nathan Smith, Anthony, N.M.
2. (1) D25 David Tanner, Wichita Falls, Texas
3. (6) 82 Max Eddie Thomas, Quinlan, Texas
4. (5) 4R Kevin Rowland, Cedar Hill, Texas
5. (7) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
6. (3) 121 Scott Edwards, Oklahoma City, Okla.
7. (2) 7 Sean Gaddis, Diana, Texas
Texas Star Concrete Services Heat #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 9 Kevin Rutherford, Flower Mound, Texas
2. (1) 34 Michael Walker, McAllen, Texas
3. (3) 64 Casey Fowler, Grand Saline, Texas
4. (5) 13J James McCreery, Midlothian, Texas
5. (4) 128 John Henry, Bonham, Texas
DNS – 14T Triston Dycus, Maypearl, Texas
DNS – 3B Brandon Pinson, Wichita Falls, Texas
Hi-Tek Paving Heat #3 (8 laps):
1. (1) 15W Kale Westover, Blair, Okla.
2. (2) 2¢ Chris Huckeba, Midlothian, Texas
3. (4) 2G Kenny Gaddis, Diana, Texas
4. (3) 2SS Mark Smith, Anthony, N.M.
5. (6) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan.
6. (5) 05 Ron Gould Jr., Seminole, Okla.
7. (7) D33 Dale Miller, Wichita Falls, Texas
American Racer Feature (25 laps):
1. (13) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, 25, $2500.
2. (4) 82 Max Eddie Thomas, Quinlan, Texas, 25, $1500.
3. (14) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan., 25, $1000.
4. (7) 9 Kevin Rutherford, Flower Mound, Texas, 25, $900.
5. (3) 2¢ Chris Huckeba, Midlothian, Texas, 25, $700.
6. (1) 88 Nathan Smith, Anthony, N.M., 25, $600.
7. (6) D25 David Tanner, Wichita Falls, Texas, 25, $600.
8. (18) 7 Sean Gaddis, Diana, Texas, 25, $450.
9. (10) 4R Kevin Rowland, Cedar Hill, Texas, 25, $400.
10. (11) 13J James McCreery, Midlothian, Texas, 25, $350.
11. (17) 05 Ron Gould Jr., Seminole, Okla., 24, $300.
12. (12) 2SS Mark Smith, Anthony, N.M., 15, $275.
13. (16) 121 Scott Edwards, Oklahoma City, Okla., 14, $250.
14. (9) 64 Casey Fowler, Grand Saline, Texas, 13, $340.
15. (2) 34 Michael Walker, McAllen, Texas, 5, $230.
16. (8) 2G Kenny Gaddis, Diana, Texas, 4, $225.
17. (5) 15W Kale Westover, Blair, Okla., 4, $220.
18. (15) 128 John Henry, Bonham, Texas, 1, $215.
DNS – D33 Dale Miller, Wichita Falls, Texas, 0, $90.
DNS – 14T Triston Dycus, Maypearl, Texas, 0, $90.
DNS – 3B Brandon Pinson, Wichita Falls, Texas, 0, $90.
Lap Leaders: N. Smith 1-2, Thomas 3-19, Sanders 20-25.
Total Laps Led: Thomas 17, Sanders 6, N. Smith 2.
Margin of Victory: 2.291 seconds.
Time of Race: 24 minutes, 36 seconds ( cautions).
Provisional Starters: none.
GPW Transportation Hard Charger: (started , finished ).
Next Race: Friday, April 16, RPM Speedway, Crandall, Texas.
Points Standings: Sanders 100, Thomas 95, Davis 91, Rutherford 87, Huckeba 84, N. Smith 81, Tanner 78, S. Gaddis 76, Rowland 74, McCreery 72.