Sanders Dances Into The 80s At The Amarillo Ambush

Photo by Tyler Rinken.

It took a couple of near-misses, 14 nights of competition and 101 laps as the race leader, but with a dominating performance at the Route 66 Motor Speedway on Saturday night Rodney Sanders has his first USMTS victory of the season and the 80th of his career. He’s had some tough sledding this season, and Saturday’s victory was in jeopardy when the yellow flag waved while Sanders was running his final lap after leading the the first 39 of 40 laps.

The race’s fifth caution set up a green-white-checkered finish with Cade Dillard, who had charged to second from the 14th starting spot, on Sanders’ rear bumper for the restart. But the two-time USMTS national champion was up to the task and easily pulled away during the last two orbits to claim a $3,325 payday at the Amarillo, Texas, oval where he honed his driving skills as a youngster. Dillard, meanwhile, had his hands full with current USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup national points leader Jake O’Neil and Summit USMTS Southern Series points leader Johnny Scott trying to wrestle the second spot away.

Still searching for his first win of the season, Dillard settled for the runner-up paycheck with O’Neil and Scott in tow while Stormy Scott followed them home in the fifth spot. Dereck Ramirez, 19th-starting Zack VanderBeek, Triston Dycus, Carlos Ahumada Jr. and 24th-starting Joe Duvall rounded out the top ten. The weekend wraps up Sunday when the stars and cars of the USMTS return to the Enid Speedway in Enid, Okla., for the first time in more than a decade. Grandstand gates open at 4 p.m. with hot laps at 5:45 and racing at 6:15.

General admission grandstand tickets are $20 each while juniors (12-16), seniors (65+) and military get in for $15. Kids under 12 are admitted free of charge. Pit passes are $35 (5 and under $15). Sunday’s show will also feature Limited Mods in action. The Enid Speedway is a high-banked 3/8-mile dirt oval 2.5 miles north of US 412 on US 81, then 0.5 mile east on W Oxford (at the Garfield County Fairgrounds). For more information, call (580) 554-2451 or visit www.enidspeedway.net online. For those unable to be there in person this week, every lap of every race in every division all three nights will be broadcast live on www.RacinDirt.com.

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Modified Touring Series
Summit USMTS Southern Series powered by Production Jars
USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup powered by Summit
Route 66 Motor Speedway, Amarillo, Texas
9th Annual Production Jars Amarillo Ambush presented by MSD Performance
Saturday, April 28, 2018

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 Summit Racing Equipment “A” Main with the top 8 redrawing for the first 8 starting spots.

SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (8) 20 Rodney Sanders, Worthington, Minn.
2. (1) 4v Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D.
3. (2) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M.
4. (4) 55 Braden Woods, Amarillo, Texas.
5. (5) 32 Richie Davis, Springerville, Ariz.
6. (3) 9L Vince Lucas, Elk City, Okla.
7. (7) 80 David Yanacsek, Amarillo, Texas.
8. (6) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.
DNS – 8c Chris Clark, Jackson, Wyo.

FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
2. (4) 0 Jake O’Neil (R), Tucson, Ariz.
3. (8) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (5) 10 Dee Gossett, Amarillo, Texas.
5. (2) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
6. (7) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
7. (6) 9 Danton Odell, Canyon, Texas.
8. (9) 712 David Wilson, Stinnett, Texas.
9. (3) P38 Gary Puckett, Post, Texas.

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (7 laps):
1. (2) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
2. (6) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
3. (4) J41 Monte Bolton, Wilson, Texas.
4. (8) 65x Carlos Ahumada Jr. (R), Canutillo, Texas.
5. (5) 18 Bobby Mayfield, Elk City, Okla.
6. (1) 75 Alan Sharpensteen, Amarillo, Texas.
7. (3) 32 D.J. Shannon, Merced, Calif.
8. (7) 77 Ronnie Yanacsek, Amarillo, Texas.

MSD PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE #4 (7 laps):
1. (1) 19sb Lance Mari (R), Imperial, Calif.
2. (3) 9 Cole Traugott, Woodward, Okla.
3. (2) 21 Austin Bonner, Elk City, Okla.
4. (5) 24z Zane Ferrell (R), Hermitage, Ark.
5. (8) 23 Logan Robertson, Shamrock, Texas.
6. (6) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
7. (7) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
8. (4) 7 A.J. Sharpensteen, Amarillo, Texas.

VP RACING FUELS HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (4) 14t Triston Dycus, Waxahachie, Texas.
2. (1) 49jr Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
3. (7) 1st Johnny Scott, Cameron, Mo.
4. (2) 88r A.J. Vasquez (R), Garden City, Mich.
5. (3) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
6. (6) 2x Gene Weaver, Amarillo, Texas.
7. (5) 99n Matt Newkirk, Amarillo, Texas.
8. (8) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (2) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M.
2. (1) 65x Carlos Ahumada Jr. (R), Canutillo, Texas.
3. (3) 10 Dee Gossett, Amarillo, Texas.
4. (7) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
5. (4) 23 Logan Robertson, Shamrock, Texas.
6. (13) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.
7. (8) 9L Vince Lucas, Elk City, Okla., Shaw/KSE, $75.
8. (5) 88r A.J. Vasquez (R), Garden City, Mich., Hughes/Farris, $90.
9. (6) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
10. (11) 32 D.J. Shannon, Merced, Calif.
11. (14) 7 A.J. Sharpensteen, Amarillo, Texas, SRP/ChevPerf, $75.
12. (12) 99n Matt Newkirk, Amarillo, Texas, Hughes/Willie, $75.
13. (9) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, $90.
14. (10) 80 David Yanacsek, Amarillo, Texas, TRE/Sanders, $75.
DNS – 8c Chris Clark, Jackson, Wyo., GRT/Cornett, $90.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (14 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (11) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
2. (6) 18 Bobby Mayfield, Elk City, Okla.
3. (3) 24z Zane Ferrell (R), Hermitage, Ark.
4. (7) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
5. (4) 55 Braden Woods, Amarillo, Texas.
6. (10) 9 Danton Odell, Canyon, Texas, D&M/ChevPerf, $75.
7. (15) P38 Gary Puckett, Post, Texas, Hughes/Herring, $75.
8. (13) 77 Ronnie Yanacsek, Amarillo, Texas, Rocket/PPE, $75.
9. (14) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
10. (12) 712 David Wilson, Stinnett, Texas, BMS/Wilson, $75.
11. (5) 32 Richie Davis, Springerville, Ariz., LG2/Klein, $90.
12. (2) 21 Austin Bonner, Elk City, Okla., MBCustoms/Karl, $90.
13. (1) J41 Monte Bolton, Wilson, Texas, Lethal/Sput’s, $90.
14. (8) 75 Alan Sharpensteen, Amarillo, Texas, SRP/ChevPerf, $75.
15. (9) 2x Gene Weaver, Amarillo, Texas, GRT/PPE, $90.

SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (3) 20 Rodney Sanders, Worthington, Minn., MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40, $3325.
2. (14) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., MBCustoms/Knowles, 40, $1900.
3. (7) 0 Jake O’Neil (R), Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 40, $1500.
4. (9) 1st Johnny Scott, Cameron, Mo., VanderBuilt/Durham, 40, $1290.
5. (6) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., VanderBuilt/Mullins, 40, $1080.
6. (4) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40, $975.
7. (19) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Sput’s, 40, $870.
8. (2) 14t Triston Dycus, Waxahachie, Texas, GRT/Wells, 40, $500.
9. (15) 65x Carlos Ahumada Jr. (R), Canutillo, Texas, GRT/BMS, 40, $650.
10. (24) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustoms/ChevPerf, 40, $665.
11. (1) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla., Shaw/Rev’s, 40, $375.
12. (13) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M., GRT/Sput’s, 40, $350.
13. (5) 19sb Lance Mari (R), Imperial, Calif., MRT/Yeoman, 40, $325.
14. (21) 23 Logan Robertson, Shamrock, Texas, MBCustoms/Knowles, 40, $560.
15. (27) 9 Danton Odell, Canyon, Texas, D&M/ChevPerf, 40, $250.
16. (22) 55 Braden Woods, Amarillo, Texas, Hughes/Carroll’s, 40, $250.
17. (26) 32 D.J. Shannon, Merced, Calif., LG2/ChevPerf, 39, $300.
18. (25) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas, MBCustoms/KPE, 39, $300.
19. (23) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., MBCustoms/Hill, 11, $555.
20. (16) 18 Bobby Mayfield, Elk City, Okla., Hughes/PPE, 9, $300.
21. (8) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 0, $550.
22. (10) 9 Cole Traugott, Woodward, Okla., LG2/TRE, 0, $300.
23. (12) 49jr Jake Timm, Winona, Minn., MBCustoms/Sput’s, 0, $500.
24. (11) 4v Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D., MBCustoms/Sput’s, 0, $500.
25. (17) 10 Dee Gossett, Amarillo, Texas, GRT/Carroll’s, 0, $250.
26. (20) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., VanderBuilt/Speedway, 0, $300.
27. (18) 24z Zane Ferrell (R), Hermitage, Ark., MBCustoms/ASI, 0, $100.

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

Lap Leader: Sanders 1-40.
Total Laps Led: Sanders 40.
Margin of Victory: 1.055 seconds.
Time of Race: 21 minutes, 35.394 seconds (5 cautions).
Provisional Starters: Schott, Duvall, Houston, Shannon, Odell (track).
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Dillard (advanced 22 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Dillard (started 14th, finished 2nd).
Entries: 42.

Contingency Awards:
American Racer – Sharpensteen.
Beyea Custom Headers – Shannon.
BSB Manufacturing – Phillips.
Champ Pans – S. Scott.
Deatherage Opticians – Jones.
E3 Spark Plugs – O’Neil.
Edelbrock – Hagar.
Eibach – Dillard.
Fast Shafts – Phillips.
FK Rod Ends – Dillard.
Forty9 Designs – Robertson, Schott.
GRT Race Cars – Gossett.
Hooker Harness – Mari.
Integra Shocks & Springs – Houston.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Odell.
Keyser Manufacturing – Duvall.
KSE Racing Products – Ahumada.
Maxima Racing Oils – Sanders.
Mesilla Valley Transportation – Gustin.
Out-Pace Racing Products – Woods.
QA1 – Weaver.
RacerWebsite.com – Wilson.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Simpson Performance Products – Sanders.
Swift Springs – Sanders, Weaver.
Sybesma Graphics – Hagar.
Tire Demon – Hagar.
VP Racing Fuels – Sanders.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Sanders.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – VanderBeek.

About the author

USMTS Admin

The United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) is a fast growing and very popular open-wheel dirt Modified touring series in the United States.
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