LAS CRUCES, N.M.—Johnny Scott was the leader for 49 of the 50 laps in Saturday night’s USMTS main event at the Southern New Mexico Speedway while Stormy Scott led just once in an incredible finish at the 20th Annual Winter Meltdown.
In fact, Stormy Scott led for only about 200 feet during the contest, but it was the final 200 of the contest as he nipped his younger twin brother at the finish line to score his first-ever Winter Meltdown victory in front of the fans in his home town of Las Cruces, N.M.
After coming from the ninth starting spot to win the feature Friday, Johnny Scott drew the pole for Saturday’s finale and was unchallenged for most of the race until the race’s second and final caution slowed the pace with 11 laps to go.
While the front-runners had been using the low line around the high-banked 3/8-mile clay oval, 20th-starting Rodney Sanders was marching to the front riding the high side of the track.
After the restart, Sanders pulled even with Stormy Scott as they raced down the back-stretch.
But as they entered the third turn, Stormy Scott drove deep into the corner and slid up to take away Sanders’ line.
Two laps later, Sanders tip-toed too high in turn 3 and briefly drifted over the embankment. The miscue dropped the defending USMTS national champion back about six spots while Stormy Scott continued to track down his younger brother.
Any fan who was able to stand was standing during the final five laps as they witnessed a heart-stopping shoot-out between the two 24-year-olds on the track where they mastered their trade every Saturday night before leaving the nest to compete with the Best of the Best.
Johnny Scott streaked underneath the white flag with about a car-length advantage over his older brother, but a trio of lapped cars loomed ahead in the path of the leaders.
The leaders entered the final corner virtually side by side while the back-markers were also side by side enjoying their own battle within a battle, so the Scott brothers separated to the inside and outside of the traffic.
Both muscled their way past the traffic as they exited the final turn, but it was Stormy Scott edging ahead at the end and crossing the finish line ahead of Johnny Scott with two-tenths of a second to spare.
“After that last restart I saw somebody up there—I think it was Rodney (Sanders)—and I know I had to move up there and see what I could do,” Stormy Scott recalled after the race. “Johnny was way better on the bottom than I was. I couldn’t stay with him down there.
“It was a lot of fun and I’m sure it was fun for the fans too. We’re really happy to finally get one of these at our home track.”
Despite dominating the 50-lap main event from the onset, the younger Scott wasn’t bitter about the outcome.
“Our car was really good all night, but I knew I was kind of a sitting duck out there,” Johnny Scott said. “I didn’t think we would get back into lapped traffic again after that last restart, but we did. I’m not discouraged. We’re happy with the way these new Ramirez cars are getting around and we’ll move on to the next one.”
The win not only gave Stormy Scott his first Winter Meltdown trophy in the 20th running of the event, but it also put a gigantic exclamation point on the final race in the MVT Gulf Coast Border Region presented by Day Motor Sports.
In four weekends of racing during the month of February, Stormy Scott captured four wins … and they all came on the final night at each track when the biggest paycheck was on the line.
He came into this weekend as the points leader and wrapped up the ten-race stretch as the MVT Gulf Coast Border Region champion.
Along with the $5,000 he gets for his regional championship, Stormy Scott pocketed nearly $25,000 over the last 22 days.
More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that he is now the one and only driver in the running for a $100,000 payoff at season’s end.
In order to cash in for the six-figure points fund paycheck, he still has to win three more regional titles and then conquer the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s National Championship.
At this point, it might not be wise to bet against him.
While Johnny Scott settled for the runner-up paycheck Saturday night, Bumper Jones emerged with a third-place finish after a hard-fought feature race with fourth-place finisher Fito Gallardo and Kelly Shryock, who wound up fifth.
Sanders rebounded over the final seven laps to garner a sixth-place finish and earned his second Mesilla Valley Transportation Hard Charger Award of the 2014 campaign.
Alex Stanford finished seventh to cap off a strong weekend for the Chowchilla, Calif., racer. Track owner/promoter Royal Jones was eighth at the flagstand, followed by 21st-starting Jake Gallardo and Joe Duvall, who passed seven cars in the final ten laps to get his first top-10 finish of the weekend.
In the final standings for the MVT Gulf Coast Border Region presented by Day Motor Sports, Stormy Scott captured the title with a 52-point cushion (913 to 861) over Sanders. Johnny Scott wound up third with 799 markers, followed by Jake Gallardo (709), Ramirez (675), Rick Beebe (651), Daniel Hilsabeck (647), Bryan Rowland (618), Terry Phillips (616) and Kelly Shryock (616).
Those ten drivers—along with Duvall, Philip Houston, Trevor Egbert, Adam Penn, Jimmy Ray and Shane Sprinkle—are now qualified for the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s National Championship which kicks off the first weekend of August and culminates six weeks later at the 16th Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree.
Up next for the tireless USMTS touring titans is a three-night, three-track swing to open the Major League Bowhunter Central Region presented by Day Motor Sports.
On Friday, March 14, the series returns to Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan., after a nearly six-year hiatus.
Then on Saturday, March 15, the USMTS Modifieds make their annual trek to the Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt, Kan., for the 9th Annual Spring Fling @ The Bullring and a prelude of King of America IV which takes place two weeks later. The tripleheader wraps up Sunday, March 16, at the West Siloam Speedway near Colcord, Okla., for the 6th Annual Sooner Nationals.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts or check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv.
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United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by Swan Energy – MVT Gulf Coast Border Region presented by Day Motor Sports
20th Annual Winter Meltdown – Night 3 of 3
Southern New Mexico Speedway, Las Cruces, N.M.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed, money won and reason out (if any). The top 12 drivers in passing points accumulated in the heat races are locked into the “A” Main, with the top 8 re-drawing for starting positions 1-8.
C&R RACING HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M.
2. (4) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (2) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
4. (6) 75g Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb.
5. (3) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (7) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
7. (5) 6p Travis Peery (R), Williston, N.D.
8. (8) 61 Bobby Sikes Jr. (R), Eunice, N.M.
9. (9) 95 Dylan Smith (R), Osceola, Neb.
JRi SHOCKS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 28 Tom Georges (R), El Paso, Texas.
2. (2) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
3. (5) L1 Larry Clevenger, Greenwood, La.
4. (4) 88n Jake O’Neil (R), Tucson, Ariz.
5. (8) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.
6. (6) J17 Jake Gallardo (R), Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (3) 16 Eddie Martin, Stilwell, Okla.
8. (9) 5 Shane Sprinkle (R), Andrews, Texas.
9. (7) 87 Lee Heiligenthal, Las Cruces, N.M.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (2) 51 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa.
2. (6) 131 Royal Jones, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (4) M16 Rocko Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (7) 22b Rick Beebe, Shawnee, Kan.
5. (8) 44 Christy Georges, El Paso, Texas.
6. (5) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas.
7. (1) A16 Aaron Spangler (R), Dove Creek, Colo.
8. (3) 22 John Calvert Jr. (R), Rio Rancho, N.M.
PBM PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (1) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
2. (5) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (7) 5* Adam Penn (R), Shreveport, La.
4. (3) 0 Chris Sims (R), Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (6) 187 Anton Salopek, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (2) 65 Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas.
7. (8) 2j Blake Jegtvig, Hawley, Minn.
8. (4) 32 Max Sadler (R), Springerville, Ariz.
HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (2) 91 Brody Spangler (R), Dove Creek, Colo.
2. (6) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (4) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa.
4. (5) 98 Alex Stanford (R), Chowchilla, Calif.
5. (7) 10s Rick Spencer II (R), Tucson, Ariz.
6. (1) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla.
7. (8) 54 Carlos Ahumada Sr., El Paso, Texas.
8. (3) 7 J.R. Bonesteel, Albuquerque, N.M.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (15 laps, top 6 advance):
1. (2) 22b Rick Beebe, Shawnee, Kan.
2. (4) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.
3. (3) 75g Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb.
4. (6) 10s Rick Spencer II (R), Tucson, Ariz.
5. (8) J17 Jake Gallardo (R), Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (7) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (11) 6p Travis Peery (R), Williston, N.D., Hughes/Rodgers, $100.
8. (12) A16 Aaron Spangler (R), Dove Creek, Colo., SBR/Victory, $100.
9. (14) 32 Max Sadler (R), Springerville, Ariz., TRE/King, $100.
10. (9) 65 Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas, LG2/BMS, $80.
11. (10) 2j Blake Jegtvig, Hawley, Minn., MBCustom/Sturdy, $100.
12. (1) M16 Rocko Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., Shaw/AOS, $80.
13. (13) 61 Bobby Sikes Jr. (R), Eunice, N.M., Skyrocket/Gray, $100.
14. (5) 88n Jake O’Neil (R), Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Black, $100.
DNS – 95 Dylan Smith (R), Osceola, Neb., Jet/Woods, $100.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (15 laps, top 6 advance):
1. (2) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
2. (3) 98 Alex Stanford (R), Chowchilla, Calif.
3. (1) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa.
4. (7) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
5. (8) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas.
6. (6) 187 Anton Salopek, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (4) 44 Christy Georges, El Paso, Texas, GRT/Barnett, $100.
8. (5) 0 Chris Sims (R), Las Cruces, N.M., DirtWorks/RAM, $100.
9. (9) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla.
10. (12) 5 Shane Sprinkle (R), Andrews, Texas.
11. (13) 22 John Calvert Jr. (R), Rio Rancho, N.M., Shaw/J&J, $100.
12. (11) 16 Eddie Martin, Stilwell, Okla., Skyrocket/Gray, $100.
13. (10) 54 Carlos Ahumada Sr., El Paso, Texas, LG2/BMS, $80.
14. (14) 7 J.R. Bonesteel, Albuquerque, N.M., D&M/Hyper, $80.
15. (15) 87 Lee Heiligenthal, Las Cruces, N.M., DirtWorks/Heiligenthal, $80.
CASEY’S GENERAL STORES “A” MAIN (50 laps):
1. (4) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., LG2/ProPower, 50, $4000.
2. (1) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., Ramirez/ProPower, 50, $2700.
3. (8) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M., GRT/Sput’s, 50, $1900.
4. (9) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., LG2/AOS, 50, $1200.
5. (5) 51 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, Skyrocket/PTS, 50, $900.
6. (20) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustom/Geddes, 50, $900.
7. (16) 98 Alex Stanford (R), Chowchilla, Calif., PCD/Tim’s, 50, $700.
8. (6) 131 Royal Jones, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Klein, 50, $600.
9. (21) J17 Jake Gallardo (R), Las Cruces, N.M., LG2/AOS, 50, $550.
10. (7) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustom/Mullins, 50, $500.
11. (10) 5* Adam Penn (R), Shreveport, La., Hughes/Geddes, 50, $450.
12. (13) 22b Rick Beebe, Shawnee, Kan., MBCustom/Mullins, 50, $425.
13. (18) 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, 50, $400.
14. (22) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas, Hughes/Sput’s, 50, $375.
15. (3) 91 Brody Spangler (R), Dove Creek, Colo., SBR/Victory, 50, $350.
16. (19) 10s Rick Spencer II (R), Tucson, Ariz., SRP/Klein, 50, $350.
17. (2) 28 Tom Georges (R), El Paso, Texas, AOS/TNT, 50, $350.
18. (24) 187 Anton Salopek, Las Cruces, N.M., GRC/Dynamic, 49, $300.
19. (11) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Ramirez/ProPower, 39, $400.
20. (23) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M., AOS/AOS, 39, $350.
21. (25) 20r Bryan Rowland, Woodward, Okla., LG2/ProPower, 39, $400.
22. (26) 5 Shane Sprinkle (R), Andrews, Texas, Hughes/RoushYates, 34, $350.
23. (15) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas, Hughes/RoushYates, 13, $350.
24. (12) L1 Larry Clevenger, Greenwood, La., Skyrocket/PTS, 13, $350.
25. (17) 75g Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb., GRT/Hatfield, 12, $350.
26. (14) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Hatfield, 8, $400.
(R) = Rookie of the Year contender.
Lap Leaders: J. Scott 1-49, S. Scott 50.
Total Laps Led: J. Scott 49, S. Scott 1.
Margin of Victory: 0.235 seconds.
Provisional Starters: Rowland, Sprinkle.
Sybesma Graphics Pole Award: R. Jones.
Mesilla Valley Transportation Hard Charger: Sanders (started 20th, finished 6th).
Next Race: Friday, March 14, Heartland Park, Topeka, Kan.
MVT Gulf Coast Border Region Points Standings (final): S. Scott 913, Sanders 861, J. Scott 799, J. Gallardo 709, Ramirez 675, Beebe 651, Hilsabeck 647, Rowland 618, Phillips 616, Shryock 616.
Rookie of the Year Points: J. Gallardo 706, Penn 555, Sprinkle 489, Smith 350, Cade Dillard 346.
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year Points: ProPower 90, Sput’s 79, AOS 50, Geddes 49, Hatfield 46.
Manufacturers Championship Points: LG2 90, MBCustom 83, Ramirez 76, GRT 64, Hughes 50.
American Racer – Sims.
Beyea Custom Headers – Hilsabeck.
Brass Monkey Racing Products – Salopek.
C&R Racing – B. Jones.
Edelbrock – Shryock.
FK Rod Ends – B. Spangler.
Forty9Designs.com – Egbert, Ramirez.
Fuel Safe – Sanders.
GRT Race Cars – R. Jones.
Hooker Harness – Hilsabeck.
JRi Shocks – T. Georges.
KEVKO Oil Pans & Components – J. Gallardo.
Keyser Manufacturing – Duvall.
Marsh Racing Wheels – Grabouski.
Mesilla Valley Transportation – Sanders.
MSD Ignition – S. Scott, J. Scott.
PBM Performance Products – Duvall, S. Scott.
Power Lift Racing Products – T. Georges.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Sybesma Graphics – R. Jones.
VP Racing Fuels – S. Scott.
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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, AMP Energy, Casey’s General Stores, COMP Cams, Day Motor Sports, Farm Boy BBQ Sauce, Intercomp, KEVKO Oil Pans & Components, MSD, Nitroquest Media Group, RACEceiver, RacinDirt.com, Snickers, SpiderWeb Modular Storage Solutions, Swan Energy, VP Racing Fuels.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arizona Sport Shirts, ASi Racewear, BRODIX Cylinder Heads, Double H Bands, ElbowsUp.com, Erson Cams, Integra Racing Shocks & Springs, Major League Bowhunter, Mesilla Valley Transportation, New Vision Graphics, Olympic Fire Protection, Penn Transport, Road Runner Crane, Road Runner Trucking, S&S Fishing & Rental, United Cellular Services.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, Bell Racing Helmets, Beyea Custom Headers, Brass Monkey Racing Products, C&R Racing, CPD Racing Tools, Edelbrock, FK Rod Ends, Forty9 Designs, Fuel Safe, Genesis Racing Shocks, GRT Race Cars, Hooker Harness, JRi Shocks, Keyser Manufacturing, KSE Racing Products, Marsh Racing Wheels, PBM Performance Products, Power Lift Racing Products, Quarter Master, Real Racing Wheels, Sybesma Graphics, Tiger Rear Ends.