Zack VanderBeek never gave Jason Hughes the mistake he was waiting for and clawed his way into victory lane Saturday at the Hamilton County Speedway as the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s wrapped up a five-race jaunt through Iowa.
Tyler Davis took control when the green flag waved to start the 35-lapper and led the first nine laps before a sluggish post-caution restart cost him three positions while VanderBeek moved in to set the pace.
As the only driver in the field with a victory in the 20 events held previously at the historic half-mile clay oval, Hughes chased VanderBeek around the gritty top line for the remaining 26 circuits but could not find a way around ‘The Z-Man.’
For VanderBeek, it was his first win of the 2020 USMTS campaign but second of the season at the Hamilton County Speedway. He won a USRA Modified feature here on May 21.
The win, worth $3,000 to the 35-year-old from New Sharon, Iowa, was the 49th of his career and propelled him into fifth on the USMTS all-time wins list.
Hughes can boast 106 more career wins than VanderBeek, but the four-time series champ had to settle for the runner-up paycheck Saturday night as he continues to post strong finishes but yearns to find the winner’s circle for the first time in nearly three years.
Davis slipped as far back as sixth in the early and middle stages of the race but came on strong in the closing laps to garner a third-place finish—good enough to retake the points lead in the Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year standings.
Points leader Rodney Sanders improved from eighth on the starting grid to finish fourth but it was Terry Phillips who bolted from 18th to fifth and earned the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award.
Tanner Mullens improved from 12th to sixth, 17th-starting Dereck Ramirez finished seventh, Calvin Iverson came home in eighth, ninth went to Casey Skyberg and Cayden Carter was credited with tenth but dropped out of the race nine laps from the checkered flag.
Off until Osky: After a flurry of 12 races in the last 17 days, the competitors and their crew members get a well-deserved break as the series taps the brakes until Tuesday, July 21, when the USMTS treks to the Southern Iowa Speedway, Oskaloosa, Iowa, for the 12th Annual USMTS Summer Classic before heading west for the 10th Annual Imperial Tile Silver Dollar Nationals on Friday and Saturday, July 24-25, at the I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb.
Sanders will continue to sport the Wrisco Points Leader fluorescent yellow spoiler as he leads Ramirez in the points race (1620 to 1540). Hughes is third with 1466 markers followed by Hunter Marriott (1269), VanderBeek (1266), Davis (1258), Iverson (1249), Skyberg (1093), Adam Kates (1051) and Phillips (1038).
Currently, the 2020 schedule for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s is highlighted by 42 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.
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United States Modified Touring Series
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s
14th Annual USMTS Webster City Wrangle presented by
Hamilton County Speedway, Webster City, Iowa
Saturday, June 20, 2020
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won. The top 16 in heat race passing points advance to the Casey’s “A” Main with the top 8 redrawing for starting positions 1-8.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (3) 21K Kyle Brown, Madrid, Iowa
2. (8) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
3. (2) 209 Ron Ver Beek, Oskaloosa, Iowa
4. (6) 10C Cayden Carter (R), Oskaloosa, Iowa
5. (5) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
6. (9) 00J J.D. Auringer, Waterloo, Iowa
7. (7) 41 Nate Hughes, Humboldt, Iowa
8. (1) 3F Cole Ferguson, Dexter, Iowa
9. (4) 211 Jesse Ely (R), Webster City, Iowa
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 12M Mark Elliott, Webster City, Iowa
2. (5) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
3. (2) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis.
4. (7) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
5. (3) 14E Chase Ellingson (R), Williams, Iowa
6. (6) 29H Joe Horgdal, Kasson, Minn.
7. (8) 3W Garett Wilson (R), Carlisle, Iowa
8. (4) 45H Jason Hickingbottom (R), Duncombe, Iowa
9. (9) 75M Jeff MacRunnel (R), Webster City, Iowa
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (1) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan.
2. (2) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
3. (3) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
4. (5) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan.
5. (4) 5D Devon Havlik, Iowa Falls, Iowa
6. (7) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
7. (8) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
8. (6) 8X Scott Olson, Blairsburg, Iowa
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN (8 laps, top 6 advance):
1. (1) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (4) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
3. (2) 29H Joe Horgdal, Kasson, Minn.
4. (5) 41 Nate Hughes, Humboldt, Iowa
5. (3) 3W Garett Wilson (R), Carlisle, Iowa
6. (8) 8X Scott Olson, Blairsburg, Iowa
7. (9) 211 Jesse Ely (R), Webster City, Iowa, GRT/ BigJohn’s.
8. (6) 3F Cole Ferguson, Dexter, Iowa, DirtHustler/King.
9. (10) 75M Jeff MacRunnel (R), Webster City, Iowa, /.
10. (7) 45H Jason Hickingbottom (R), Duncombe, Iowa, Harris/ChevPerf.
CASEY’S “A” MAIN (35 laps):
1. (2) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 35.
2. (4) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 35.
3. (1) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 35.
4. (8) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 35.
5. (18) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 35.
6. (12) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 35.
7. (17) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 35.
8. (9) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim’s, 35.
9. (14) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., Lethal/Mullins, 35.
10. (11) 10C Cayden Carter (R), Oskaloosa, Iowa, VanderBuilt/ChevPerf, 26.
11. (15) 14E Chase Ellingson (R), Williams, Iowa, GRT/KSE, 20.
12. (13) 00J J.D. Auringer, Waterloo, Iowa, Rage/KSE, 20.
13. (3) 21K Kyle Brown, Madrid, Iowa, Harris/Tesar, 19.
14. (22) 8X Scott Olson, Blairsburg, Iowa, Harris/WideOpen, 17.
15. (20) 41 Nate Hughes, Humboldt, Iowa, Rage/KSE, 16.
16. (10) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 9.
17. (16) 5D Devon Havlik, Iowa Falls, Iowa, Sidebiter/Jono’s, 9.
18. (19) 29H Joe Horgdal, Kasson, Minn., Killer/KSE, 9.
19. (7) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., Jet/Speedway, 8.
20. (21) 3W Garett Wilson (R), Carlisle, Iowa, Skyrocket/Wilson, 7.
21. (5) 12M Mark Elliott, Webster City, Iowa, Harris/ChevPerf, 4.
DNS – 209 Ron Ver Beek, Oskaloosa, Iowa, IROC/ChevPerf, 0.
(R) = Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender
Lap Leaders: Davis 1-9, VanderBeek 10-35.
Total Laps Led: VanderBeek 26, Davis 9.
Margin of Victory: 0.552 second.
Time of Race: 23 minutes, 50 seconds (4 cautions).
Provisional Starters: none.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Phillips (advanced 16 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Phillips (started 18th, finished 5th).
Next Race: Tuesday, July 21, Southern Iowa Speedway, Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s Points: Sanders 1620, Ramirez 1540, J. Hughes 1466, Marriott 1269, VanderBeek 1266, Davis 1258, Iverson 1249, Skyberg 1093, Kates 1051, Phillips 1038.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Davis 1258, Iverson 1249, Skyberg 1043, Mullens 823, Nathan Hagar 778.
Miller Welders USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 156, Hughes 155, VanderBuilt 103, GRT 90, Rage 89.
Compstar/JE Pistons USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield 137, Cornett 126, Mullins 112, Stoen 97, KSE 87.
American Racer – Havlik.
Beyea Custom Headers – Sanders.
BigDeal Car Care – Phillips, VanderBeek.
Bryke Racing – N. Hughes.
BSB Manufacturing – Elliott.
Champ Pans – Phillips.
Deatherage Opticians – Auringer.
Edelbrock – Davis.
Eibach – Phillips.
Fast Shafts – Elliott.
FK Rod Ends – Phillips.
Forty9 Designs – Olson, Kates.
Hooker Harness – Brown.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs – Horgdal.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Havlik.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports – Ely.
Keyser Manufacturing – Carter.
KSE Racing Products – Skyberg.
Maxima Racing Oils – J. Hughes.
Penske Racing Shocks – Brown.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain – Ferguson.
QA1 – Ver Beek.
RacerWebsite.com – Auringer.
Simpson Performance Products – Brown.
Spyder High Performance Filters – Mullens.
Summit Racing Equipment – N. Hughes, Olson, Wilson.
Super Clean – VanderBeek.
Swift Springs – VanderBeek, Elliott.
Sybesma Graphics – Davis.
Tire Demon – Hickingbottom.
VP Racing Fuels – J. Hughes.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – MacRunnel.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – Ramirez.