USMTS Summit Southern Nationals Finale Belongs To Sheppard

Brandon Sheppard capped a perfect weekend as the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s closed out the 2020 season Saturday at the RPM Speedway in Crandall, Texas, with the final night of the 3rd Annual Summit Southern Nationals.

Sheppard, who missed Thursday’s opener to collect a $100,000 check for winning his second straight World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship, sped to his second win of the weekend and kept it flawless by also winning his qualifying heat race for a second straight night.

Saturday’s 50-lapper started just like it did the previous night with Terry Phillips starting on the pole and squirting out to take control when the green flag dropped while Sheppard quickly snatched second place from Bo Day.

With Phillips working the middle of the 1/4-mile oval, Sheppard hugged the low line and kept the pressure on the veteran racer from Springfield, Missouri, for the first quarter of the contest before making his move for the lead.

Taking The Lead

Sheppard edged in front to lead lap 11 and the 27-year-old from New Berlin, Illinois, never trailed again.

“The track was awesome once again tonight and my car was great,” Sheppard said. “I could run top, middle, bottom—wherever I needed to—and I was able to rotate it in the middle of the corner and come off low. That’s where I was a little bit better than Phillips there.”

Meanwhile, Tyler Davis got around Phillips halfway through the race in heavy lapped traffic and recorded his best USMTS finish in 40 tries this year with a runner-up effort.

Phillips, who dropped out due to mechanical woes while leading on Friday, held it together to see the checkered flag and settled for third at the finish line ahead of Jake Gallardo, who advanced ten spots to grab fourth.

A testament to the level of competition on hand Saturday, Rodney Sanders and Dereck Ramirez—the top two in USMTS points—both had to take provisional starting spots to join the main event field.

While Sanders struggled for the third straight night to finish 13th, Ramirez clawed his way from 26th on the grid to finish fifth at the completion of 50 laps.

Lucas Lee, who started 16th, took the sixth spot, Carlos Ahumada Jr. started and finished seventh, Tanner Mullens earned an eighth-place paycheck, Clyde Dunn Jr. nabbed ninth and Fito Gallardo completed the top 10.

Looking Back And Looking Ahead

With the waving of the checkered flag to conclude tonight’s feature race, it put the wraps on a wild, up-and-down and unpredictable 2020 season that was thrown into disarray by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to Rodney Sanders claiming his fourth USMTS national title and Tanner Mullens collecting the USMTS Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year Award, other special awards will also be announced in the coming days.

Unofficially, Hatfield Racing Engines in Joplin, Missouri, wins the Compstar/JE Pistons USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Award while the Miller Welders USMTS Manufacturers Championship goes to MBCustoms Race Cars in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

Sanders sits atop the final season-long points for the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award and Jason Hughes edged Sanders for the Eibach Spring Forward Award.

The 2020 season for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s was highlighted by 40 nights of racing at 25 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
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s
3rd Annual Summit Southern Nationals – Night 3 of 3
RPM Speedway, Crandall, Texas
Saturday, November 7, 2020

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, money won, and laps completed. The top 12 in heat race passing points advanced to the Summit Racing Equipment “A” Main with the top-8 drawing for starting positions 1-8.

Heat Races

Simpson Performance Products Heat Race#1 (8 laps): 1. (1) B5 Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, Ill.; 2. (6) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.; 3. (4) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.; 4. (8) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.; 5. (10) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.; 6. (9) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.; 7. (5) 1H Brad Bracey (R), Mabank, Texas.; 8. (7) 99 Jeff Needham (R), Ennis, Texas.; 9. (3) M5 Dustin Mooney (R), Mesquite, Texas.; 10. (2) 12L Lucas Lee, Paris, Tenn.

Fast Shafts Heat Race#2 (8 laps): 1. (1) 13J James McCreery (R), Midlothian, Texas.; 2. (5) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan.; 3. (2) 12J Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas.; 4. (6) 15 Kale Westover, Blair, Okla.; 5. (8) 16 Chris Henigan, Marshall, Texas.; 6. (7) 88XXX Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas.; 7. (9) 88R A.J. Vasquez, Garden City, Mich.; 8. (3) 3C Charlie Smith, Forney, Texas.; 9. (10) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.; 10. (4) 47 Jack Sartain, Terrell, Texas.

Edelbrock Heat Race#3 (8 laps): 1. (7) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.; 2. (3) K9 Dustin Hyde, Texarkana, Texas.; 3. (9) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan.; 4. (2) 71M Chad Melton, Mineral Wells, Texas.; 5. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.; 6. (8) 15G Dennie Gieber, Frankston, Texas.; 7. (1) 56 Broc Bowen (R), Fannin, Texas.; 8. (4) 5W John O. Whittington, Vidor, Texas.; 9. (10) 8X Skip O’Neal, Midlothian, Texas.; 10. (6) 8 Wesley Summers, Odessa, Mo.

MSD Performance Heat Race#4 (8 laps): 1. (2) 4RX Kevin Rowland, Forney, Texas.; 2. (1) 24 Manuel Williams II (R), Fouke, Ark.; 3. (7) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.; 4. (5) 2G Brandon Givens (R), Wichita, Kan.; 5. (9) D25 David Tanner, Wichita Falls, Texas.; 6. (4) 5H Lance Hanson Jr. (R), Palmer, Texas.; 7. (3) 1 Jonathan Beckett (R), Texarkana, Texas.; 8. (8) 64 Casey Fowler (R), Grand Saline, Texas.; 9. (6) 127 Glen Hibbard, Euless, Texas.; DNS – 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.

VP Racing Fuels Heat Race#5 (8 laps): 1. (3) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., Canutillo, Texas.; 2. (6) 4 Bo Day (R), Caddo Mills, Texas.; 3. (7) 12L Cody Leonard (R), Sinton, Texas.; 4. (2) 503 Jason Miles (R), Glenwood, Ark.; 5. (5) 4M Bobby Malchus, Maypearl, Texas.; 6. (9) 82 Max Eddie Thomas, Wills Point, Texas.; 7. (4) 21W David Winslett, Bossier City, La.; 8. (1) 37H Neil Manchester (R), Magnolia, Texas.; 9. (8) 2X Peyton Reinke (R), Burkburnett, Texas.

B Mains

Real Racing Wheels “B” MAIN #1 (15 laps, top 6 advance): 1. (2) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.; 2. (5) 16 Chris Henigan, Marshall, Texas.; 3. (1) 24 Manuel Williams II (R), Fouke, Ark.; 4. (9) 88XXX Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas.; 5. (7) 82 Max Eddie Thomas, Wills Point, Texas.; 6. (10) 88R A.J. Vasquez, Garden City, Mich.; 7. (11) 56 Broc Bowen (R), Fannin, Texas, MBCustoms/Fletcher, $100.; 8. (15) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas, MBCustoms/KPE, $100.; 9. (4) D25 David Tanner, Wichita Falls, Texas, WesternFlyer/Hill, $100.; 10. (13) 3C Charlie Smith, Forney, Texas, MBCustoms/Bullit, $100.; 11. (6) 503 Jason Miles (R), Glenwood, Ark., Shaw/Kuntz, $100.; 12. (16) M5 Dustin Mooney (R), Mesquite, Texas, MBCustoms/Mullins, $100.; 13. (18) 47 Jack Sartain, Terrell, Texas, IRP/Sartain, $100.; 14. (8) 4M Bobby Malchus, Maypearl, Texas, MBCustoms/Wells, $100.; 15. (12) 21W David Winslett, Bossier City, La., GRT/TwinCity, $100.; 16. (3) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.; 17. (14) 64 Casey Fowler (R), Grand Saline, Texas, MBCustoms/Craft, $100.; 18. (17) 2X Peyton Reinke (R), Burkburnett, Texas, Skyrocket/Reinke, $100.; DNS – 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, $0.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (15 laps, top 6 advance): 1. (1) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.; 2. (17) 12L Lucas Lee, Paris, Tenn.; 3. (4) 2G Brandon Givens (R), Wichita, Kan.; 4. (2) 12J Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas.; 5. (3) 15 Kale Westover, Blair, Okla.; 6. (15) 8X Skip O’Neal, Midlothian, Texas.; 7. (5) 71M Chad Melton, Mineral Wells, Texas, Harris/Mullins, $100.; 8. (16) 127 Glen Hibbard, Euless, Texas, MBCustoms/WCH, $100.; 9. (12) 99 Jeff Needham (R), Ennis, Texas, Skyrocket/Wells, $100.; 10. (18) 8 Wesley Summers, Odessa, Mo., GRT/Hess, $100.; 11. (9) 5H Lance Hanson Jr. (R), Palmer, Texas, Phoenix/ChevPerf, $100.; 12. (11) 1 Jonathan Beckett (R), Texarkana, Texas, DirtWorks/Beckett, $100.; 13. (14) 37H Neil Manchester (R), Magnolia, Texas, BillsBuilt/AARE, $100.; 14. (10) 1H Brad Bracey (R), Mabank, Texas, GRT/Shoulders, $100.; 15. (13) 5W John O. Whittington, Vidor, Texas, Pierce/Mullins, $100.; 16. (8) 15G Dennie Gieber, Frankston, Texas, GRT/AMS, $100.; 17. (6) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., Lethal/Mullins, $100.; 18. (7) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.

A Main

Summit Racing Equipment “A” Main (50 laps):
1. (4) B5 Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, Ill., Hughes/Cornett, 50, $5100.
2. (6) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 50, $3000.
3. (1) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 50, $1700.
4. (14) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., LG2/ProPower, 50, $1200.
5. (26) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 50, $900.
6. (16) 12L Lucas Lee, Paris, Tenn., Hughes/Mullins, 50, $800.
7. (7) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., Canutillo, Texas, Hughes/BMS, 50, $700.
8. (5) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 50, $600.
9. (19) 88XXX Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 50, $550.
10. (13) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., GR2/ProPower, 50, $500.
11. (12) K9 Dustin Hyde, Texarkana, Texas, IRP/ChevPerf, 50, $475.
12. (10) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustoms/Hatfield, 50, $450.
13. (25) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 50, $425.
14. (22) 15 Kale Westover, Blair, Okla., WesternFlyer/Knowles, 50, $400.
15. (18) 2G Brandon Givens (R), Wichita, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 50, $375.
16. (17) 24 Manuel Williams II (R), Fouke, Ark., Bandit/Craft, 49, $350.
17. (24) 8X Skip O’Neal, Midlothian, Texas, Rocket/Wells, 49, $325.
18. (23) 88R A.J. Vasquez, Garden City, Mich., Hughes/Farris, 49, $300.
19. (11) 12L Cody Leonard (R), Sinton, Texas, Longhorn/Wells, 25, $300.
20. (2) 4 Bo Day (R), Caddo Mills, Texas, MBCustoms/Mullins, 19, $300.
21. (9) 13J James McCreery (R), Midlothian, Texas, MBCustoms/Wells, 19, $300.
22. (8) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 16, $300.
23. (15) 16 Chris Henigan, Marshall, Texas, GRT/Stoen, 15, $300.
24. (20) 12J Jason Ingalls, Longview, Texas, IRP/Shipley, 10, $300.
25. (21) 82 Max Eddie Thomas, Wills Point, Texas, IRP/Shoulders, 9, $300.
26. (3) 4RX Kevin Rowland, Forney, Texas, MBCustoms/, 6, $300.

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

Lap Leaders: Phillips 1-11, Sheppard 12-50.
Total Laps Led: Sheppard 39, Phillips 11.

Article Sources

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
Read My Articles

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