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VanderBeek gets it done at 81, scores first USMTS checkers of 2019

VanderBeek gets it done at 81, scores first USMTS checkers of 2019

After several near misses in the early going this season, Zack VanderBeek finally found the road to victory lane and garnered his 48th career USMTS win at the 81 Speedway on Thursday night.

The 34-year-old from New Sharon, Iowa, hasn’t employed any drastic measures to get faster, just plugging away.

“We made some little changes, but we’re just working hard and not giving up,” he said after receiving the winner’s trophy just shortly after 10:30. “It’s a heck of a lot easier when you can start in front of these guys.”

Local favorite and Wichita native Cody Schniepp snagged the Sybesma Pole Award, but VanderBeek muscled his familiar No. 33z Casey’s General Stores VanderBuilt Race Cars USMTS Modified into the top spot to lead the first lap.

About 20 minutes and 40 laps later, ‘The Z-Man’ finally had a checkered flag to take home from C. Ray Hall’s historic facility—a place where VanderBeek had piled up several near-misses over the last decade.

“King of America was tough, and then going down south there’s a lot of good cars,” VanderBeek added. “We’ve been kind of right there but you just have to get in the right position. I think we’ll have some more wins this year.”

Conversely, Rodney Sanders has a series-best four triumphs at the 81 Speedway and two wins under his belt this season already. This time, however, ‘The Sandman’ had to follow his long-time nemesis to the finish line.

Sanders chased Schniepp for the first half of the main event before eventually working his way into second, but he was never able to mount a serious challenge on the leader despite two caution flags late in the race.

“Once I got to second I knew Zack was probably not going to make a mistake,” said the 2013 and 2014 USMTS National Champion. “At that point I was just trying to save my right rear tire and just kind of hang on.”

For his part, Schniepp kept pace with the lead duo until the end, coming home with a career-best third-place USMTS finish and holding off Ryan Gustin over the final laps.

Jake O’Neil returned to USMTS action after nearly a month off to recover from an apparent staff infection in his legs, and snatched a top-five finish as a ‘Welcome Home’ gift.

R.C. Whitwell, Dereck Ramirez, Hunter Marriott, Joe Duvall and Chad Wheeler completed the top 10.

Headed for Hutch: On Friday, the series invades the historic Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kan., for the inaugural USMTS Salt City Assault and another pivotal points race in the MSD Performance USMTS Mid-American Series.

The Arnold Motor Supply Iron Man Challenge featuring American Racer USRA Stock Cars and Out-Pace USRA B-Mods will complete the thrilling three-division card.

Gates open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7. Spectator tickets are $20 while kids ages 11 and younger get in for free. Pit passes are $35.

The Kansas State Fairgrounds is an historic half-mile dirt oval located just west of SR 61 on 17th Ave., then north on N. Poplar St. (2000 N Poplar St, Hutchinson, KS 67502).

On Saturday, the Longdale Speedway hosts USMTS Night of the Stars with local Pure Stocks and IMCA Sport Mods also be in action.

Pit gates open at 4 p.m. and grandstands open at 5:30. Racing is slated to start at 6:30. Adult general admission tickets are $18 per person and reserved are $22 per person. Seniors and military member general admission pricing is $12 per person and reserved is $15 per person. Children ages 12 years and younger get in free.

The Longdale Speedway is a semi-banked, 3/8-mile clay oval located 0.5 mile south of Longdale on SR 58 (4959 S Hwy 58, Longdale, OK 73755). The track is on west side of highway. For more information, call (580) 886-5375 or visit longdalespeedway.com.

Official Host Hotel: As the preferred lodging location for USMTS competitors and fans, the Best Western Wichita North is offering a discounted rate of just $74.99 plus taxes per night and includes breakfast for two each day.

Guests will enjoy a nice stay in a comfortable hotel near Old Town Wichita, with ample vehicle parking for RVs, trucks and buses. Best Western Wichita North also features convenient amenities such a fitness center, indoor pool and guest laundry to make guests feel right at home, and their pet-friendly hotel allows you to bring your furry pal along.

Located off I-35 at 915 E. 53rd St. North, Best Western Wichita North offers delicious meals at their on-site restaurant, Country Kitchen Restaurant, plus free Wi-Fi, whirlpool suites and mobility accessible features makes your stay even more enjoyable.

When calling to make reservations, guests are asked to say “81 Speedway” to get the special discount rate. Call (316) 832-9387 to make your reservation today or visit wichitabestwestern.com for more information.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Modified Touring Series
Casey’s General Stores USMTS National Championship powered by Summit
MSD Performance USMTS Mid-American Series
8th Annual Sunflower State Showdown
81 Speedway, Park City, Kan.
Thursday, April 25, 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 with the top 8 redrawing for the first 8 starting spots.

SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 19R Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
2. (3) 96T R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz.
3. (2) 88 Chad Wheeler, Muskogee, Okla.
4. (5) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
5. (6) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
6. (4) 11n Gene Nicholas, Lowell, Ark.
7. (7) 86 Eric Main (R), Hutchinson, Kan.

FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
2. (3) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
3. (4) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan.
4. (6) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo.
5. (5) 4a Josh Lanterman, Derby, Kan.
6. (2) 747 Colton Eck (R), Goddard, Kan.
7. (7) 54 Tim Clark (R), Great Bend, Kan.

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (5) 21C Cody Schniepp, Wichita, Kan.
2. (3) 25 Scott Green, Derby, Kan.
3. (1) 9 Cole Traugott (R), Woodward, Okla.
4. (4) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
5. (2) 21b Bryce Schniepp, Wichita, Kan.
6. (7) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
7. (6) 42R Ross McCartney (R), Lahoma, Okla.

MSD PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (1) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
2. (3) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan.
3. (5) 4 Dan Powers, Wichita, Kan.
4. (4) 22H Dustin Hodges (R), Centralia, Mo.
5. (2) 52 Ryan McAninch, Hutchinson, Kan.
6. (6) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo.
7. (7) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.

VP RACE FUELS HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (3) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
2. (1) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
3. (5) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo.
4. (6) 3J Jake Nightingale (R), Wichita, Kan.
5. (4) 96jr Jon Herring, Woodward, Okla.
6. (7) 22N Kevin Newell (R), Wichita, Kan.
7. (2) 60 Cody Kretchmar (R), Wichita, Kan.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (15 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan.
2. (2) 9 Cole Traugott (R), Woodward, Okla.
3. (4) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
4. (5) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
5. (3) 3J Jake Nightingale (R), Wichita, Kan.
6. (7) 96jr Jon Herring, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Sput’s, $75.
7. (6) 21b Bryce Schniepp, Wichita, Kan.
8. (9) 747 Colton Eck (R), Goddard, Kan., GRT/Hillsboro, $75.
9. (8) 22N Kevin Newell (R), Wichita, Kan., Custom/Newell, $75.
10. (12) 60 Cody Kretchmar (R), Wichita, Kan., BillsBuilt/KBS, $75.
11. (11) 42R Ross McCartney (R), Lahoma, Okla., Hughes/Sput's, $75.
12. (10) 86 Eric Main (R), Hutchinson, Kan., BillsBuilt/Main, $75.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (15 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (3) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (2) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo.
3. (1) 88 Chad Wheeler, Muskogee, Okla.
4. (7) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
5. (4) 22H Dustin Hodges (R), Centralia, Mo.
6. (9) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo.
7. (6) 52 Ryan McAninch, Hutchinson, Kan., MBCustoms/McAninch, $75.
8. (5) 4a Josh Lanterman, Derby, Kan.
9. (8) 11n Gene Nicholas, Lowell, Ark., Hughes/Kelly, $90.
10. (11) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
11. (10) 54 Tim Clark (R), Great Bend, Kan., BMS/Clark, $75.

CASEY’S GENERAL STORES “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (2) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 40, $2500.
2. (6) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40, $1500.
3. (1) 21C Cody Schniepp, Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Thiel, 40, $800.
4. (5) 19R Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/TriStar, 40, $800.
5. (3) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 40, $700.
6. (8) 96T R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz., Longhorn/Mullins, 40, $400.
7. (14) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40, $550.
8. (16) 62 Hunter Marriott (R), Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 40, $600.
9. (10) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustoms/ChevPerf, 40, $450.
10. (18) 88 Chad Wheeler, Muskogee, Okla., VanderBuilt/Durham, 40, $400.
11. (9) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 40, $375.
12. (26) 21b Bryce Schniepp, Wichita, Kan., GRT/Thiel, 40, $200.
13. (19) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustoms/Hill, 40, $325.
14. (12) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo., MBCustoms/Durham, 40, $200.
15. (22) 22H Dustin Hodges (R), Centralia, Mo., VanderBuilt/Crane, 40, $275.
16. (4) 25 Scott Green, Derby, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $200.
17. (23) 17 Mike Striegel (R), Wheatland, Mo., MBCustoms/ChevPerf, 40, $250.
18. (15) 9 Cole Traugott (R), Woodward, Okla., Mullens/ASI, 37, $200.
19. (24) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla., Shaw/BlueDiamond, 35, $250.
20. (7) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 30, $250.
21. (20) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, 28, $250.
22. (21) 3J Jake Nightingale (R), Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 25, $200.
23. (11) 4 Dan Powers, Wichita, Kan., GRT/KBS, 17, $200.
24. (25) 4a Josh Lanterman, Derby, Kan., BillsBuilt/Hillsboro, 15, $200.
25. (13) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Hatfield, 12, $200.
26. (17) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan., MBCustoms/Driskell, 8, $200.

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

Lap Leader: VanderBeek 1-40.
Total Laps Led: VanderBeek 40.
Margin of Victory: 0.482 second.
Time of Race: 20 minutes, 27.585 seconds (3 cautions).
Provisional Starters: Striegel (regional), Hagar (national), Lanterman (track), B. Schniepp (track).
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Ramirez (advanced 10 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Marriott (started 16th, finished 8th).
Entries: 35.
Next Race: Friday, April 26, Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, Kan.
Casey’s General Stores USMTS National Championship Points: Sanders 579, VanderBeek 571, Duvall 530, Phillips 525, Gustin 515, Marriott 460, Striegel 441, Ramirez 430, Kates 429, Wolff 415.
MSD Performance USMTS Mid-American Series Points: VanderBeek 317, Sanders 317, Duvall 311, Whitwell 307, Fuqua 295, Gustin 292, Ramirez 290, O'Neil 286, Mullens 286, Wolff 284.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Marriott 457, Striegel 441, Hagar 365, Carlos Ahumada Jr. 340, Hodges 257.
USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Stoen 43, Hatfield 37, Durham 24, ChevPerf 24, TriStar 23.
USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 47, VanderBuilt 37, Hughes 33, GRT 32, Rage 28.

Contingency Awards:
American Racer – Gustin.
Beyea Custom Headers – Gustin.
Bryke Racing – Hodges.
BSB Manufacturing – Kates.
Champ Pans – O'Neil.
Deatherage Opticians – B. Schniepp.
E3 Spark Plugs – C. Schniepp.
Edelbrock – C. Schniepp.
Eibach – Ramirez.
Fast Shafts – O’Neil.
FK Rod Ends – Marriott.
Forty9 Designs – Siebert, Hagar.
Hooker Harness – Wolff.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs – Traugott.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Striegel.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports – Herring.
Keyser Manufacturing – Wheeler.
KSE Racing Products – Duvall.
Maxima Racing Oils – Sanders.
Mesilla Valley Transportation – O’Neil.
Out-Pace Racing Products – Green.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain – Marriott.
QA1 – Vanderbeek.
RacerWebsite.com – Newell.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Simpson Performance Products – Gustin.
Swift Springs – Vanderbeek, C. Schniepp.
Sybesma Graphics – C. Schniepp.
Tire Demon – Mullens.
VP Racing Fuels – Vanderbeek.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – Ramirez.

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