Sanders Draws First Blood, Wins USMTS Opener At I-37 Speedway

PLEASANTON, Texas (February 28)--As he did all of last year, Rodney Sanders will be sporting the fluorescent yellow Wrisco Points Leader spoiler on the trunk of his machine after winning the main event Friday at the I-37 Speedway in the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's lid-lifter.

The first feature race of 2020 was 40 laps long and Sanders' right rear tire only had that plus 200 feet of rubber in it.

"It was chattering and I couldn't free in (entering the turns) and then after the checkered I felt it blow out," Sanders said in victory lane while standing next to his familiar No. 20 MB Customs USMTS Modified with a shredded right rear tire. "Early I was kind of sliding too much on (Calvin) Iverson. He was sliding up and I was trying to get the spot and I knew I was going too hard too quick."

Iverson, who was the weekend's Mesilla Valley Transportation Long Tow Award recipient after his 1,337-mile one-way trip from Eleva, Wis., to Pleasanton, Texas, had an impressive launch to his Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year campaign, leading the first 13 laps before giving way to the pressure from Sanders.

At that point, Sanders was off and running. Even a couple of late-race cautions were no help for his pursuers as he sped away each time, eventually taking the checkered flag just before his tire exploded.

"Once I got the lead I was trying to slow my pace, but I figured those guys were right one me," Sanders added. "It's pretty cool to come out with a win. Obviously we had a lot of luck with the tire going flat after the race but I guess that's part of it."

Sanders collected $3,000 for his 98th career USMTS victory while Iverson, who also blew his right rear tire on the final lap, held on to take runner-up honors in the inaugural "Rustler" powered by CP-Carrillo.

Last year's top rookie, Hunter Marriott, chased Iverson around the semi-banked 1/4-mile dirt oval but was unable to find a way around and had to settle for third with four-time USMTS national champ Jason Hughes and Tyler Wolff trailing in fourth and fifth.

Another rookie contender, Casey Skyberg's long haul from Rapid City, S.D., paid off with a sixth-place finish. Terry Phillips passed 13 cars en route to winding up seventh, Tyler Davis went from 17th to eighth, Dereck Ramirez nabbed the ninth spot and Adam Kates was the tenth driver to cross the finish line.

The hottest driver at the end of the 2019 season, Jacob Bleess ran sixth most of the race but got bottled up on the final lap and found himself in the infield before salvaging a 15th-place paycheck.

One down, 57 to go: The tireless touring titans roll on to the South Texas Speedway in Corpus Christi on Saturday. USMTS Modifieds last churned the clay at Steven Whiteaker Jr.'s racetrack to open the 2018 campaign. Johnny Scott swept both nights and eventually went on to capture his first USMTS title and $50,000.

The series debuted here in 2007 with Jason Hughes and David Horner taking the wins on the first two nights before rain thwarted the finale of the scheduled tripleheader. In 2014, it was 2007 USMTS national champion Jason Krohn getting the win on opening night and Stormy Scott winning the next.

The mud-slinging USMTS Modifieds will battle for $3,000 to win this Saturday while Sunoco USRA Factory Stocks and USRA Limited Mods race for $500 to win.

The pits will open at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 5, hot laps begin at 6:40 and racing gets underway at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for those ages 17 and older. Juniors (12-16) and seniors (62+) are just $15. Kids ages 6-11 are $5 and children ages 5 and under get in for free. Pit passes are $35.

The South Texas Speedway is a 1/4-mile dirt oval located east on I-37 to exit 4A, then 3.4 miles south on FM 665/Old Brownsville Rd., then merge onto S. Padre Island Dr., then right onto FM665 W/Old Brownsville Rd., then 2.6 miles west (6701 Old Brownsville Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78417).

For more information, call (361) 815-8989 or visit southtxspeedway.com.

The series wraps up the season-opening tripleheader weekend on Sunday at the Cotton Bowl Speedway located just outside of Austin in Paige, Texas.

Fans and racers trek to the Big O Speedway in Ennis, Texas, for the 10th annual Texas Spring Nationals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 5-7.

The engines scream again three weeks later for the first of five crown jewels this season when the Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt, Kan., hosts King of America X powered by Summit on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 26-28.

The 2020 schedule for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's is highlighted by 58 nights of racing at 33 unique dirt ovals as part of the 22nd season for the world's Best of the Best in dirt modified racing.

To connect with the USMTS check out USMTS.com, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, check us out on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Keep up to speed by joining our email list

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Modified Touring Series
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's
Inaugural "Rustler" powered by CP-Carrillo
I-37 Speedway, Pleasanton, Texas
Friday, February 28, 2020


Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver and hometown. The top 12 in heat race passing points advance to the Casey's "A" Main.

SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
2. (9) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
3. (1) 8 Wesley Summers, Wellington, Mo.
4. (2) 4M Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas
5. (3) 9C Dillon Hill (R), Eunice, N.M.
6. (8) 55G Dave Gaggero (R), Wichita, Kan.
7. (6) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
8. (7) 20J Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas
9. (4) 24Z Zane Ferrell, Hermitage, Ark.

FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
2. (1) 86 Dillon Tindall (R), LaGrange, Texas
3. (7) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
4. (4) 71K Kevin Sustaire, Emory, Texas
5. (5) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
6. (3) 8G Greg Dinsmore (R), Kerrville, Texas
7. (6) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
DNS - 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (6) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
2. (1) 5R Ryan Doyon (R), LaCoste, Texas
3. (5) 33Z Zack Vanderbeek, New Sharon, Iowa
4. (3) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan.
5. (7) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
6. (4) 55D Michael Dotson, Lathrop, Mo.
7. (2) 49 Ryan Slott (R), New Waverly, Texas
8. (8) 29 Jamie Campbell (R), La Vernia, Texas

MSD PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (2) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis.
2. (6) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
3. (8) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
4. (4) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
5. (1) 9R Kevin Rutherford, Flower Mound, Texas
6. (3) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas
7. (7) 7 Shayne Bailey, Lathrop, Mo.
8. (5) 137 William Pittaway, Corpus Christi, Texas

REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 4M Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas
2. (4) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
3. (2) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan.
4. (3) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
5. (11) 24Z Zane Ferrell, Hermitage, Ark.
6. (9) 20J Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas
7. (8) 49 Ryan Slott (R), New Waverly, Texas
8. (7) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
9. (6) 55D Michael Dotson, Lathrop, Mo.
10. (5) 55G Dave Gaggero (R), Wichita, Kan.
11. (10) 29 Jamie Campbell (R), La Vernia, Texas

REAL RACING WHEELS "B" MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (2) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
2. (1) 71K Kevin Sustaire, Emory, Texas
3. (9) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (7) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
5. (5) 8G Greg Dinsmore (R), Kerrville, Texas
6. (6) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas
7. (8) 7 Shayne Bailey, Lathrop, Mo.
8. (3) 9C Dillon Hill (R), Eunice, N.M.
9. (10) 137 William Pittaway, Corpus Christi, Texas
10. (4) 9R Kevin Rutherford, Flower Mound, Texas

CASEY'S "A" MAIN (40 laps):
1. (3) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
2. (1) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis.
3. (5) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
4. (6) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
5. (7) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
6. (8) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
7. (20) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
8. (17) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan.
9. (4) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
10. (2) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
11. (19) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
12. (22) 8G Greg Dinsmore (R), Kerrville, Texas
13. (9) 86 Dillon Tindall (R), LaGrange, Texas
14. (10) 5R Ryan Doyon (R), LaCoste, Texas
15. (15) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
16. (13) 4M Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas
17. (18) 9R Kevin Rutherford, Flower Mound, Texas
18. (24) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas
19. (12) 8 Wesley Summers, Wellington, Mo.
20. (21) 24Z Zane Ferrell, Hermitage, Ark.
21. (23) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
22. (11) 33Z Zack Vanderbeek, New Sharon, Iowa
23. (16) 71K Kevin Sustaire, Emory, Texas
24. (14) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.

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

Lap Leaders: Iverson 1-13, Sanders 14-40.
Total Laps Led: Sanders 27, Iverson 13.
Provisional Starters: Ferrell, Houston.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Phillips (advanced 15 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Phillips (started 20th, finished 7th).
Entries: 33.
Next Race: Saturday, Feb. 29, South Texas Speedway, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's Points: Sanders 103, Iverson 96, Marriott 91, Hughes 87, Wolff 84, Skyberg 81, Phillips 78, Davis 76, Ramirez 74, Kates 72.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Iverson 96, Skyberg 81, Dinsmore 68, Tindall 66, Doyon 64.
Miller Welders USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms, Rage, Hughes, Lethal, GRT.
Compstar/JE Pistons USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield, Tim's, KSE, Mullins, Hill.

Contingency Awards:
American Racer - Tindall.
Beyea Custom Headers - Ferrell.
BigDeal Car Care - Skyberg, Sanders.
Bryke Racing - Bleess.
BSB Manufacturing - Hagar.
Champ Pans - Wolff.
Deatherage Opticians - Dinsmore.
Edelbrock - Marriott.
Eibach - Phillips.
Fast Shafts - Kates.
FK Rod Ends - Phillips.
Forty9 Designs - Doyon, Summers.
Hooker Harness - Tindall.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs - Houston.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts - Malchus.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports - Bailey.
Keyser Manufacturing - Kates.
KSE Racing Products - Ramirez.
Maxima Racing Oils - Iverson.
Mesilla Valley Transportation - Iverson.
Penske Racing Shocks - Tindall.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain - Malchus.
QA1 - Sanders.
RacerWebsite.com - Skyberg.
Simpson Performance Products - Sanders.
Summit Racing Equipment - Iverson, Hughes, Skyberg.
Super Clean - Sanders.
Swift Springs - Sanders, Tindall.
Sybesma Graphics - Iverson.
Tire Demon - Pittaway.
VP Racing Fuels - Sanders.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products - Campbell.
Wilwood Disc Brakes - Phillips.

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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Casey's, Chevrolet Performance, Compstar Performance Engine Components by Callies, CP-Carrillo, Eibach, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, Intercomp, Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts, K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports, KSE Racing Products, Malvern Bank, Mesilla Valley Transportation, MSD Performance, MTN DEW Zero Sugar, MyRacePass, Nitroquest Media, Pace Performance, PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain, RacinDirt.com, Snickers, Summit Racing Equipment, Super Clean, VP Racing Fuels, Wrisco Industries.

USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Boubin Tire & Automotive, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, Eagle Moon Farm, JE Pistons, Miller Welders, PBM Performance Products, Rancho Milagro Racing, Rivers Edge Scrap Management, Tony Moro Powder Coat, Top of the World Ranch, YouDirt.com.

USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Beyea Headers, BigDeal Car Care, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bryke Racing, BSB Manufacturing, Champ Pans, Deatherage Opticians, Edelbrock, Forty9 Designs, Genesis Racing Shocks, Hooker Harness, Integra Racing Shocks and Springs, Keyser Manufacturing, Maxima Racing Oils, Penske Racing Shocks, QA1, RacerWebsite.com, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Swift Springs, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wehrs Machine & Race Products, Wilwood Racing.


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Contact Info:
Jeff Nun
Communications Director
United States Modified Touring Series, Inc. (USMTS)
1715 W. 2nd St., P.O. Box 905
Webster City, IA 50595
Tel: 515-297-3835
Email: jeff@usmts.com
Web: www.usmts.com
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