One of the most entertaining main events of the season took place Friday night at the Kennedale Speedway Park, followed up by one of the biggest celebrations of the year after Zack VanderBeek notched his first United States Modified Touring Series victory since early last September.
A top-to-bottom smooth, slick racing surface allowed drivers to race anywhere they felt good, and the usual suspects were in their comfort zones making the most of their favorite path around the 3/8-mile dirt oval.
The next-to-last feature race in the Summit Racing USMTS Southern Region presented by Production Jars saw Clyde Dunn Jr. take control from the outset with Sybesma Graphics Pole Award winner Cade Dillard glued to his back bumper on the high side.
As the 40-lapper reached the halfway mark, thick lapped traffic played havoc with the leaders and three-time USMTS national champion Jason Hughes took advantage of the situation.
Hughes dispatched David Winslett for fourth on the seventh lap, and then picked off Tyler Wolff for third with 11 laps in the books before darting between both Dunn and Dillard to swipe the lead away on lap 21.
Seventeenth-starting Ryan Gustin followed into the second spot one lap later, and narrowly edged in front of Hughes on lap 29 when the race’s fourth yellow flag waved and sent Hughes back to the point for the restart.
With Hughes was pedaling through the middle of the corners and Gustin churning away on the top, VanderBeek quietly worked his way from his seventh-row starting slot and drove underneath six cars in nine laps to sit third for the restart.
VanderBeek passed Gustin for second after green flag racing resumed, and then bolted ahead of Hughes to lead the 31st lap.
From there it was all ‘The Z-Man’ as the 32-year-old from New Sharon, Iowa, claimed his first win of the season, his first in Kennedale and snapped a 36-race winless streak dating back to Sept. 2, 2016.
Worth $3,000, it was the 37th USMTS win of VanderBeek’s career and gave him sole possession of seventh on the all-time wins list, breaking a tie with Jon Tesch. It was also the first checkered flag for chassis no. 1 by VanderBuilt Race Cars—his debut creation.
Chris Brown, who started right behind VanderBeek in 15th, got around Hughes in the late stages of the race and finished second while Gustin followed his teammate across the finish line in fourth.
R.C. Whitwell was fifth, Dillard held on for sixth, Stormy Scott was seventh, Dereck Ramirez earned an eighth-place check and Wolff fended off Joe Duvall for the ninth position,
The finale for the Summit Racing Equipment USMTS Southern Region presented by Production Jars takes place Saturday at the Lonestar Speedway in Kilgore, Texas, with another main event that will pay $3,000 to win and no less than $250 to take the green flag.
Last year’s runner-up in the national points chase, Dillard, has a series-best five victories this season and is in the driver’s seat to claim the Summit Racing Equipment USMTS Southern Region crown, but several others have plans of their own.
Gustin, a two-time USMTS national champ, sits 26 points behind Dillard in second with Hughes—the one who nipped Dillard by three points to take last year’s title—rides in third place and 43 markers behind the leader.
Brown sits fourth with 1666 points and is the last driver with a mathematical possibility of surpassing Dillard’s total. The rest of the top ten are Scott (1587), VanderBeek (1578), Ramirez (1496), Whitwell (1430), Travis Saurer (1411) and Duvall (1374).
Ranked 11th through 15th, Ricky Thornton Jr., Wolff, Trevor Egbert and Johnny Scott are also locked into ‘The Hunt’ while Adam Kates will replace Billy Vogel as the 15th-place driver tomorrow night if he shows up and Vogel is absent.
The Summit Racing Equipment USMTS Southern Region champion will earn $10,000 while all drivers ranked among the top 15 in points—along with any others with perfect attendance in the region—are locked in for this year’s Hunt for the Casey’s USMTS National Championship powered by S&S Fishing & Rental which carries a $25,000 payoff for the 2017 titlist.
Tomorrow night’s show at the Lonestar Speedway will see the pit gate open at 3 p.m. with grandstands open at 5, hot laps at 6:45 and racing to follow. Limited Mods will be racing for $700 to win and Factory Stocks will race for a $500 top prize. FWD Four-Cylinders will also compete.
This is the first USMTS event at the Lonestar Speedway in six years. The past three scheduled events were rained out, including last year’s race. It’s also going to be the first time the USMTS will compete on the high-banked 1/3-mile oval configuration. It was a big 3/8-mile oval when Johnny Scott and Ryan Gustin got their wins here in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
The Lonestar Speedway is located off I-20 at exit 583, then 0.5 mile north on SR 135, then 1.0 mile east on FM 1252, then 0.5 mile south. For more information, call (903) 986-9731 or go to www.lonestarspeedway.com on the World Wide Web.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts and Instagram at www.instagram.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS by joining our email list at www.usmts.com/subscribe.
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United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental – Summit Racing Southern Region presented by Production Jars
3rd Annual Summit Showdown
Kennedale Speedway Park, Kennedale, Texas
Friday, May 12, 2017
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 88xxx Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas.
2. (3) 4m Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas.
3. (5) 96 R.C. Whitwell (r), Tucson, Ariz.
4. (2) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
5. (4) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
6. (7) 14t Triston Dycus, Waxahachie, Texas.
7. (8) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
8. (6) 151 Tommy Williams, Mansfield, Texas.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
2. (4) 21 Austin Bonner, Elk City, Okla.
3. (5) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas.
4. (1) 9a Kirk Acord, Mansfield, Texas.
5. (3) 75 Kenneth Densman, Victoria, Texas.
6. (6) 18z Zane DeVilbiss (r), Farmington, N.M.
7. (7) 1 Shawn Stephenson, Howe, Texas.
8. (8) 44 Demetrius Carter, Alvarado, Texas.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (4) 1s Travis Saurer (r), Elizabeth, Minn.
2. (2) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
3. (1) 18 Jarred Laughlin, Shreveport, La.
4. (3) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
5. (5) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas.
6. (7) 24 Sean Jones, Mansfield, Texas.
7. (6) 11 Dustin Allen, Enid, Okla.
THE JOIE OF SEATING HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (2) 9 Kevin Rutherford (r), Flower Mound, Texas.
2. (3) 21 David Winslett, Bossier City, La.
3. (6) 4w Tyler Wolff (r), Fayetteville, Ark.
4. (7) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (1) 23 Adam Kates (r), Tonganoxie, Kan.
6. (5) 8 Skip O'Neal, Midlothian, Texas.
7. (4) 7x Rory Jordan, Victoria, Texas.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (3) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
2. (4) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas.
3. (7) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
4. (6) 18z Zane DeVilbiss (r), Farmington, N.M.
5. (8) 11 Dustin Allen, Enid, Okla.
6. (5) 14t Triston Dycus, Waxahachie, Texas.
7. (2) 9a Kirk Acord, Mansfield, Texas, Shaw/GBM, $75.
8. (1) 18 Jarred Laughlin, Shreveport, La., IRP/EPM, $75.
9. (9) 151 Tommy Williams, Mansfield, Texas, Larson/Herring, $75.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (2) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (1) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
3. (5) 24 Sean Jones, Mansfield, Texas.
4. (6) 8 Skip O'Neal, Midlothian, Texas.
5. (4) 23 Adam Kates (r), Tonganoxie, Kan.
6. (7) 1 Shawn Stephenson, Howe, Texas, IRP/Wornhor, $75.
7. (3) 75 Kenneth Densman, Victoria, Texas, MBCustom/Mullins, $75.
8. (8) 7x Rory Jordan, Victoria, Texas.
9. (9) 44 Demetrius Carter, Alvarado, Texas, $75.
SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (13) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Sput’s, 40, $3000.
2. (15) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas, MBCustom/Durham, 40, $1700.
3. (9) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $1200.
4. (17) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, 40, $1000.
5. (10) 96 R.C. Whitwell (r), Tucson, Ariz., MBCustom/Hatfield, 40, $900.
6. (1) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., MBCustom/ASI, 40, $800.
7. (12) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Mullins, 40, $700.
8. (14) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., LG2/Cornett, 40, $650.
9. (4) 4w Tyler Wolff (r), Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustom/Hatfield, 40, $600.
10. (16) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustom/Hatfield, 40, $550.
11. (19) 18z Zane DeVilbiss (r), Farmington, N.M., DeVilbiss/DeVilbiss, 40, $500.
12. (7) 1s Travis Saurer (r), Elizabeth, Minn., MBCustom/Dakota, 40, $450.
13. (3) 21 Austin Bonner, Elk City, Okla., GRT/Knowles, 40, $425.
14. (8) 4m Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas, Rocket/Wells, 40, $400.
15. (5) 21 David Winslett, Bossier City, La., GRT/TwinCity, 40, $375.
16. (23) 14t Triston Dycus, Waxahachie, Texas, GRT/Wells, 40, $350.
17. (11) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas, GRT/Mullins, 40, $325.
18. (24) 7x Rory Jordan, Victoria, Texas, MBCustom/Mullins, 39, $300.
19. (20) 8 Skip O'Neal, Midlothian, Texas, Rocket/Wells, 35, $250.
20. (22) 23 Adam Kates (r), Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, 28, $300.
21. (21) 11 Dustin Allen, Enid, Okla., GRT/Dunsworth, 26, $250.
22. (2) 88xxx Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas, MBCustom/Mullins, 24, $300.
23. (18) 24 Sean Jones, Mansfield, Texas, LG2/M&M, 23, $300.
24. (6) 9 Kevin Rutherford (r), Flower Mound, Texas, MBCustom/Mullins, 1, $300.
(r) = Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year contender.
Lap Leaders: Dunn 1-20, Hughes 21-29, Hughes 30, VanderBeek 31-40.
Total Laps Led: Dunn 20, VanderBeek 10, Hughes 10.
Margin of Victory: 1.964 seconds.
Time of Race: 22 minutes, 35.293 seconds (5 cautions).
Provisional Starters: Jordan, Dycus.
KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: Brown (started 15h, finished 2nd).
Next Race: Saturday, May 13, Lonestar Speedway, Kilgore, Texas.
Summit Racing Equipment Southern Region Points: Dillard 1716, Gustin 1690, Hughes 1673, Brown 1666, S. Scott 1587, VanderBeek 1578, Ramirez 1496, Whitwell 1430, Saurer 1411, Duvall 1374.
Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year Points: Whitwell 1638, Wolff 1495, Saurer 1405, Kates 1100, Billy Vogel 929.
Engine Builder of the Year Points: Mullins 219, Durham 183, ASI 167, Sput’s 156, Hatfield 138.
Manufacturers Championship Points: Hughes 217, MBCustoms 209, GRT 198, VanderBuilt 159, LG2 150.
Allstar Performance – Ramirez.
American Racer – Jordan.
Beyea Custom Headers – Stephenson.
BigDeal Car Care – VanderBeek.
BSB Manufacturing – Allen.
Chix Gear Racewear – Gustin.
Day Motor Sports – Jones, Rutherford.
Deatherage Opticians – Acord.
Dickson Racing Shocks – Winslett.
E3 Spark Plugs – Hughes.
Edelbrock – Saurer.
Fast Shafts – Dillard.
Forty9Designs.com – Malchus, O'Neal.
Fuel Safe Racing Cells – Dillard.
GRT Race Cars – Scott.
Hooker Custom Harness – Bonner.
Integra Shocks & Springs – Jordan.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Egbert.
Keyser Manufacturing – Duvall.
KSE Racing Products – Brown.
Out-Pace Racing Products – Egbert.
QA1 – Dunn.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Simpson Performance Products – Dunn.
Sweet Manufacturing – Dunn.
Sybesma Graphics – Dillard.
Tire Demon – DeVilbiss.
VP Racing Fuels – Brown.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Hughes.
Wilwood Engineering – Scott..