Sorensen Goes The Distance For USMTS Win At Mississippi Thunder

Photo by Tyler Rinken

What seemed like a lifetime was a long and quiet 76 days since the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s last circled one of America’s racetracks, but racers and fans alike celebrated freedom Friday night at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway.

For many, it was an escape from the pandemic-induced bondage of their home state as competitors from nine other commonwealths ventured to the high-banked 1/3-mile clay oval in Fountain City, Wisconsin, to compete against the Best of the Best in dirt modified racing. In the end, it was today’s youth movement capturing the top five spots with 19-year-old Dustin Sorensen leading the charge en route to his fourth career USMTS triumph.

The second-generation racer from Rochester, Minnesota, drew the Sybesma Graphics Pole Award but his road to a $3,000 payday was anything but a walk in the park. Sorensen quickly reached the tail of the field, lapping his first victim just nine laps into the 40-lap contest. Heavy traffic was the norm until the race’s first and only yellow flag waved on lap 28.

Jacob Bleess rolled off from the outside of the front row and chased Sorensen for the first half of the race but 14th-starting Jake Timm blasted past his fellow Gopher State gasser to take second five laps before the caution. Both Sorensen and Timm, who was fresh off a late model win about 30 minutes earlier, rode the dangerous high line around the speedway as they maneuvered through back-markers. Timm was able to show his nose on several occasions but Sorensen always had an answer.

With the checkered flag in the air, Sorensen crossed the finish line about three car lengths ahead of Timm, 23, and another 23-year-old pursuer, Bleess. Meanwhile, Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year contender Calvin Iverson charged to a fourth-place finish after sitting 17th on the starting grid—enough for the 22-year-old to claim the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award on a night when six of the top ten finishers started 11th or farther back.

Making just his third USMTS start, and the first outside of two events at his home track in Byram, Mississippi, another impressive run was executed by Brooks Strength as he held off USMTS points leader Rodney Sanders for the final spot in the top five. Lucas Schott, Dereck Ramirez, Alex Williamson, and Jason Cummins, who started 21st, rounded out the top ten.

Friday’s win left Sorensen just one behind the five USMTS wins recorded by his father, Mike Sorensen. It was the third time in those four wins that he led wire-to-wire in a 40-lapper.

Due to excessive rainfall and more expected, Saturday’s event at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway was canceled. The Mississippi Thunder Speedway is located 3.0 miles north of Fountain City on SR 35. For more information, call (608) 687-3282 or visit mississippithunder.com.

The Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s returns to the Park Jefferson Speedway near Jefferson, S.D., on Monday for a $2,500-to-win Memorial Day main event at the 9th Annual USMTS River City Rumble. Currently, the 2020 schedule for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s is highlighted by 43 nights of racing at 28 unique dirt ovals for the 22nd season of competition for the world’s Best of the Best in dirt modified racing. To connect with the USMTS check out USMTS.com.

OFFICIAL RESULTS: United States Modified Touring Series. Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Fountain City, Wisconsin.
11th Annual USMTS Spring Shootout presented by Coca-Cola Bottling of Winona – Night 1 of 2. Friday, May 22, 2020

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 “A” Main.

SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps): 1. (5) 94JR John Doelle, Arcadia, Wis., 2. (1) 99 Steve Lavasseur (R), River Falls, Wis., 3. (7) 51 Chris Oertel, Marshfield, Wis., 4. (3) 51 Blake Arndt (R), Brownsdale, Minn., 5. (6) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., 6. (8) 65 Jake Miller (R), Somerset, Wis., 7. (2) 96J Jaxon Saathoff (R), Beatrice, Neb., 8. (9) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., 9. (4) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla., 10. (10) 55M Nathan McHale (R), Webster, Minn.

FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps): 1. (1) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn., 2. (2) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo., 3. (5) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, 4. (6) 49JR Jake Timm, Winona, Minn., 5. (3) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., 6. (8) 23K Erik Kanz (R), Winona, Minn., 7. (9) 71 Jason Cummins, New Richland, Minn., 8. (4) 7J Corey Jones (R), Zimmerman, Minn., 9. (7) 5K Tyler Kaeter (R), St. Cloud, Minn., 10. (10) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan.

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps): 1. (2) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn., 2. (1) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn., 3. (4) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis., 4. (9) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, 5. (3) 4A Joel Alberts, Mantorville, Minn., 6. (7) 15W Alex Williamson (R), Rushford, Minn., 7. (6) 6T7 Brian Albrecht, Winona, Minn., 8. (5) 99F Josh Flury (R), Cochrane, Wis., 9. (8) 50III Brandon Davis, Hayfield, Minn.

MSD PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps): 1. (1) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., 2. (3) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., 3. (6) 444 Brooks Strength (R), Byram, Miss., 4. (2) 30 Matt Leer, Bruce, Wis., 5. (7) 35 David Baxter (R), Eau Claire, Wis., 6. (8) 14M Brian Mahlstedt (R), Ionia, Iowa, 7. (4) 8S Tony Schill, Oakdale, Minn., 8. (5) 23 Darwyn Karau, Kasson, Minn., 9. (9) 9X Randy Jonsgaard (R), Winona, Minn.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advanced): 1. (4) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., 2. (3) 35 David Baxter (R), Eau Claire, Wis., 3. (1) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis., 4. (2) 51 Blake Arndt (R), Brownsdale, Minn., 5. (7) 71 Jason Cummins, New Richland, Minn., 6. (5) 65 Jake Miller (R), Somerset, Wis., 7. (8) 6T7 Brian Albrecht, Winona, Minn., MBCustoms/Adams., 8. (11) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla., 9. (13) 55M Nathan McHale (R), Webster, Minn., Hughes/McHale., 10. (9) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., 11. (6) 14M Brian Mahlstedt (R), Ionia, Iowa, Hughes/LM., 12. (12) 50III Brandon Davis, Hayfield, Minn., Tri-Built/KSE., 13. (10) 99F Josh Flury (R), Cochrane, Wis., Hughes/Crousey.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 5 advanced): 1. (1) 49JR Jake Timm, Winona, Minn., 2. (6) 15W Alex Williamson (R), Rushford, Minn., 3. (2) 30 Matt Leer, Bruce, Wis., 4. (8) 8S Tony Schill, Oakdale, Minn., 5. (3) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., 6. (11) 5K Tyler Kaeter (R), St. Cloud, Minn., SSR/Chubb’s., 7. (5) 23K Erik Kanz (R), Winona, Minn., MBCustoms/OFI., 8. (4) 4A Joel Alberts, Mantorville, Minn., VanderBuilt/Action., 9. (9) 7J Corey Jones (R), Zimmerman, Minn., VanderBuilt/Tim’s., 10. (13) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan., 11. (7) 96J Jaxon Saathoff (R), Beatrice, Neb., Jet/ChevPerf., 12. (10) 23 Darwyn Karau, Kasson, Minn., Killer/Flyin’J., 13. (12) 9X Randy Jonsgaard (R), Winona, Minn.,/.

CASEY’S “A” MAIN (40 laps): 1. (1) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn., MBCustoms/Action, 40., 2. (14) 49JR Jake Timm, Winona, Minn., MBCustoms/OFI, 40., 3. (2) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn., VanderBuilt/KSE, 40., 4. (17) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim’s, 40., 5. (7) 444 Brooks Strength (R), Byram, Miss., MBCustoms/Stoen, 40., 6. (11) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40., 7. (6) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., MBCustoms/Stoen, 40., 8. (13) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40., 9. (16) 15W Alex Williamson (R), Rushford, Minn., SSR/KSE, 40., 10. (21) 71 Jason Cummins, New Richland, Minn., Rocket/Baier’s, 40., 11. (9) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 40., 12. (12) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 40., 13. (10) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn., MBCustoms/Stoen, 40., 14. (5) 51 Chris Oertel, Marshfield, Wis., MBCustoms/KSE, 40., 15. (3) 99 Steve Lavasseur (R), River Falls, Wis., SSR/Northside, 40., 16. (18) 30 Matt Leer, Bruce, Wis., MBCustoms/Stoen, 40., 17. (25) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., Lethal/Mullins, 40., 18. (4) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 40., 19. (15) 35 David Baxter (R), Eau Claire, Wis., Rocket/Baxter, 40., 20. (19) 51 Blake Arndt (R), Brownsdale, Minn., Shaw/KSE, 40., 21. (23) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 40., 22. (8) 94JR John Doelle, Arcadia, Wis., Rocket/Stoen, 19., 23. (20) 8S Tony Schill, Oakdale, Minn., SSR/KSE, 16., 24. (22) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., Jet/Speedway, 15., 25. (24) 65 Jake Miller (R), Somerset, Wis., SSR/Millar, 12., 26. (26) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla., GRT/ChevPerf, 10.

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

Lap Leader: Sorensen 1-40.

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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