Hustling around the hairy high side for 40 laps, Ricky Thornton Jr. nabbed his first main event win during the USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental Thursday night before a packed house at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, Mo.
While it was Thornton’s sixth United States Modified Touring Series of the season, it was the first of the season behind the wheel of his favorite Larry Shaw Race Cars chassis and first since his initial USMTS victory in last year’s “Deuces Wild” prelude to the Grant Junghans Memorial.
Just moments after winning the 20-lap Out-Pace USRA B-Mod feature, Thornton led the 24-car USMTS field to the green flag after securing the pole position.
The 26-year-old Chandler, Ariz., native quickly made his way to the highest line on the 4/10-mile dirt oval with fellow front-row starter Jason Hughes in tow.
While Hughes got underneath Thornton on several occasions as they sliced and diced their way through heavy lapped traffic, Thornton never wavered and posted a wire-to-wire victory in his Oreo Double Stuf machine to pocket the $3,000 top prize plus an additional $1,500 as part of the Rancho Milagro Bonus Bucks program.
Hughes, meanwhile, narrowed the gap between himself and points leader Stormy Scott with a runner-up finish as he seeks his third straight USMTS title and fourth overall.
Cade Dillard, who came up just three points shy of denying Hughes the crown last year, tried to deny Thornton the win on an early-race restart but could not make the pass and eventually settled for third place money.
In just his second USMTS start, Cayden Carter registered an impressive fourth-place finish after starting 11th on the grid, holding off a late charge from Scott who finished fifth.
Ryan Gustin bested Zack VanderBeek for sixth after a race-long back-and-forth battle, Travis Saurer was eighth, Rodney Sanders was the ninth car to cross the finish line and the final driver still on the lead lap at the end while Dereck Ramirez rounded out the top 10.
Earlier in the night, Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year points leader R.C. Whitwell got the short end of the stick when a handful of drivers were fighting for the same piece of real estate during Edelbrock Heat Race #3.
The resulting melee forced Whitwell’s race car to veer right as the group entered turn three, tipping over and then barrel-rolling several times before coming to a stop outside of the corner.
Whitwell was uninjured in the incident, got out his backup car and raced from 21st to 12th in the main event to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award.
Celebrating the life of one of the most popular USMTS racers of all time, the 2nd Annual Grant Junghans Memorial will take place Friday night at the Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.
The racing world lost one of its finest ambassadors in March 2016, and the Grant Junghans Memorial race is an opportunity for his fans, family and friends to remember the good times and racing memories shared in his 27 years with us.
The one-day event will once again pay $10,002 to the winner of the main event, with no less than $1,002 to each of the feature race starters. Out-Pace USRA B-Mods will be racing for $2,222 to win and $222 to start their “A” Main.
Lucas Schott of Chatfield, Minn., topped the inaugural event last year, besting nearly 100 of the most prolific field of dirt modified drivers ever assembled.
Sponsors stepping up to make this race possible include Shop Quik Stores, ARMI Contractors, Rick Beebe Heating & Air Conditioning, Ramirez Motorsports, Rancho Milagro Racing, River’s Edge Scrap Management, Kenny’s Tile, Seeburg Muffler, Malvern Bank, RHRSwag.com, Shell Oil, Boubin Tire & Automotive/Real Racing Wheels, Town Oilfield Service, 33z Racing/VanderBuilt Race Cars, A&A Electric & Underground, MB Customs Race Cars, “Gator” & Lana Calhoun and Fast Shafts. An unbelievable fireworks show presented by Kenny’s Tile will also be a part of the night.
Pits open at 2 p.m., spectator gates open at 5, hot laps start at 7 and racing begins at 7:30. General admission seating is $20 for adults, $15 for kids ages 11-15. Children ages 10 and under get in for free. Pit passes are $35. A limited number of suite and terrace tickets are available by calling the Lakeside Speedway office at (913) 299-9206.
Coupons good for $2 off adult admission available at Casey’s General Stores locations in Basehor, Kansas City, Lenexa and Overland Park, plus Belton, Blue Springs, De Soto, Grain Valley, Independence, Kansas City, Kearney, Lees Summit, Shawnee and Smithville in Missouri. To find the location nearest you, visit www.caseys.com.
Terry Phillips has four career USMTS victories here while Rodney Sanders and Jeremy Payne have each won three. Ryan Gustin, Nic Bidinger, Matt Dotson, Jesse Sobbing, Ricky Thornton Jr., Aaron Marrant and Schott each have one win here.
For fans unable to be there in person, RacinDirt.com will carry every lap live at www.racindirt.com.
The Lakeside Speedway is located 1.0 mile west of I-435 (exit 18) on SR 5 (northwest of Kansas City). For more information, call (913) 299-9206 or visit lakesidespeedway.net.
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 and Instagram at www.instagram.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS by joining our email list at www.usmts.com/subscribe.
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United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental
Pepsi Scotland County Speedway, Memphis, Mo.
Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (3) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.
3. (4) 10c Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa, Iowa.
4. (5) 21t Lance Town, Wellsville, Kan.
5. (6) 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan.
6. (2) 33f Jardin Fuller (R), Memphis, Mo.
7. (7) 81 Mike Densberger, Lincoln, Neb.
8. (8) 18z Zane DeVilbiss (R), Farmington, N.M.
9. (9) 19j Levi Smith, Donnellson, Iowa.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
2. (3) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
3. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
4. (6) 49jr Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
5. (7) 18L Michael Long, Fowler, Ill.
6. (4) 53 Ronnie Woods, Mexico, Mo.
7. (9) 9 Charles Baker, La Belle, Mo.
8. (8) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
9. (1) 18 Austin Howes, Memphis, Mo.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (5) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
2. (3) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn.
3. (6) 1m Curt Myers, Cameron, Wis.
4. (1) 5 Robbie Reed, Mexico, Mo.
5. (4) 2t Jake O’Neil (R), Tucson, Ariz.
6. (8) 71w Jeff Waterman, Quincy, Ill.
7. (2) 96 R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, Ariz.
8. (7) 110 Jerad Fuller, Memphis, Mo.
DNS – 10b Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, Mo.
THE JOIE OF SEATING HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (2) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
2. (1) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
3. (4) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (3) 99 Jesse Sobbing, Malvern, Iowa.
5. (7) 1st Austin Becerra, Carthage, Ill.
6. (5) 9 Evan Hubert, Cross Timbers, Mo.
7. (6) 8c Chris Clark (R), Jackson, Wyo.
DNS – 88d Matt Dotson, Sturgeon, Mo.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 ( laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 49jr Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
2. (3) 18L Michael Long, Fowler, Ill.
3. (4) 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan.
4. (2) 5 Robbie Reed, Mexico, Mo.
5. (7) 96 R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, Ariz.
6. (5) 53 Ronnie Woods, Mexico, Mo., BMS/Creason, $75.
7. (8) 18z Zane DeVilbiss (R), Farmington, N.M.
8. (9) 19J Levi Smith, Donnellson, Iowa, $75.
9. (6) 9 Charles Baker, La Belle, Mo., /Extreme, $75.
DNS – 10B Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, Mo., Hughes/Buckallew, $75.
DNS – 71w Jeff Waterman, Quincy, Ill., Skyrocket/, $75.
DNS – 110 Jerad Fuller, Memphis, Mo., Rage/Adams, $75.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 ( laps, top 5 advance):
1. (1) 21t Lance Town, Wellsville, Kan.
2. (4) 2t Jake O’Neil (R), Tucson, Ariz.
3. (2) 99 Jesse Sobbing, Malvern, Iowa.
4. (8) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
5. (3) 1st Austin Becerra, Carthage, Ill.
6. (9) 18 Austin Howes, Memphis, Mo., GRT/Mullins, $75.
7. (6) 81 Mike Densberger, Lincoln, Neb.
8. (7) 8c Chris Clark (R), Jackson, Wyo., GRT/Hunter, $90.
9. (5) 9 Evan Hubert, Cross Timbers, Mo., Victory/RoushYates, $75.
DNS – 33f Jardin Fuller (R), Memphis, Mo., Hughes/Mullins, $90.
DNS – 88d Matt Dotson, Sturgeon, Mo., Hughes/ProPower, $75.
CASEY’S GENERAL STORES “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (1) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, AZ, Shaw/Mullins, 40, $4500.
2. (2) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, OK, Hughes/Mullins, 40, $1700.
3. (5) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, LA, MBCustoms/ASI, 40, $1200.
4. (11) 10c Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa, IA, VanderBuilt/Midstate, 40, $900.
5. (12) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, NM, VanderBuilt/Mullins, 40, $900.
6. (6) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, IA, Hughes/Mullins, 40, $800.
7. (9) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, IA, VanderBuilt/Sput’s, 40, $700.
8. (7) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, MN, MBCustoms/Dakota, 40, $650.
9. (10) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, TX, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40, $600.
10. (8) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, OK, LG2/Cornett, 39, $550.
11. (13) 49jr Jake Timm, Winona, MN, MBCustoms/Sput’s, 39, $500.
12. (21) 96 R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, AZ, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 39, $450.
13. (19) 5 Robbie Reed, Mexico, MO, GRT/Mullins, 39, $350.
14. (20) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, OK, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 39, $400.
15. (24) 81 Mike Densberger, Lincoln, NE, Jet/Speedway, 39, $375.
16. (16) 2t Jake O’Neil (R), Tucson, AZ, Hughes/Mullins, 33, $350.
17. (22) 1st Austin Becerra, Carthage, IL, Harris/Mullins, 26, $250.
18. (23) 18z Zane DeVilbiss (R), Farmington, NM, DeVilbiss/DeVilbiss, 25, $300.
19. (14) 21t Lance Town, Wellsville, KS, MBCustoms/Driskell, 9, $300.
20. (4) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, WI, MBCustoms/Troy’s, 8, $300.
21. (3) 1M Curt Myers, Cameron, WI, LG2/Sput’s, 8, $300.
22. (18) 99 Jesse Sobbing, Malvern, IA, Jet/ChevPerf, 8, $300.
23. (15) 18L Michael Long, Fowler, IL, Longshot/Xtreme, 7, $250.
24. (17) 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, KS, LG2/Speedway, 6, $300.
(R) = Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year contender
Lap Leader: Thornton 1-40.
Total Laps Led: Thornton 40.
Margin of Victory: 1.250 seconds.
Time of Race: 21 minutes, 21.748 seconds (2 cautions).
Provisional Starters: DeVilbiss, Densberger.
KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: Whitwell (started 21st, finished 12th).
Next Race: Friday, Aug. 18, Lakeside Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
Hunt for the Casey’s Cup Points: Scott 689, Hughes 661, Ramirez 606, Dillard 600, VanderBeek 587, Whitwell 570, Thornton 549, Timm 545, Saurer 538, Crapser 461.
Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year Points: Whitwell 1958, Saurer 1863, Wolff 1786, Kates 1447, DeVilbiss 1263.
Engine Builder of the Year Points: Mullins 422, Sput’s 352, ASI 333, Hatfield 245, Cornett 237.
Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 416, Hughes 414, VanderBuilt 366, GRT 322, LG2 290.
Allstar Performance – Saurer.
American Racer – VanderBeek.
Beyea Custom Headers – Hughes.
BigDeal Car Care – Thornton.
BSB Manufacturing – Myers.
Casey’s General Stores – Buckallew.
Chix Gear Racewear – Sanders.
Day Motor Sports – Long, Kates.
Deatherage Opticians – Whitwell.
Dickson Racing Shocks – Densberger.
E3 Spark Plugs – Dillard.
Edelbrock – Crapser.
Fast Shafts – Dillard.
Forty9Designs.com – Duvall, Town.
Fuel Safe Racing Cells – Gustin.
GRT Race Cars – Reed.
Hooker Custom Harness – Reed.
Integra Shocks & Springs – DeVilbiss.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Becerra.
Keyser Manufacturing – Ramirez.
KSE Racing Products – Whitwell.
Out-Pace Racing Products – O’Neil.
QA1 – Hughes.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Simpson Performance Products – Ramirez.
Sweet Manufacturing – Sobbing.
Swift Springs – Thornton.
Sybesma Graphics – Thornton.
Tire Demon – Timm.
VP Racing Fuels – Thornton.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Carter.
Wilwood Engineering – VanderBeek.
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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Argo Manufacturing, Casey’s General Stores, Chix Gear Racewear, CP-Carrillo, Deatherage Opticians, Fast Shafts, Intercomp, KSE Racing Products, Leaf Racewear & Safety Equipment, Malvern Bank, MSD, Pace Performance, RacerWebsite.com, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, S&S Fishing & Rental, SToK Cold-Brew Coffee, Summit Racing Equipment, The Joie of Seating, VP Racing Fuels.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arizona Sport Shirts, ASi Racewear, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, ElbowsUp.com, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Oreo, Production Jars, Rancho Milagro Racing, RHRSwag.com, YouDirt.com.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: 905 Ink, AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Beyea Custom Headers, BigDeal Car Care, BSB Manufacturing, Day Motor Sports, Dickson Racing Shocks, E3 Spark Plugs, Edelbrock, FK Rod Ends, Forty9 Designs, Fuel Safe, Genesis Racing Shocks, GRT Race Cars, Holley Performance Products, Hooker Custom Harness, Integra Shocks & Springs, Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts, Keyser Manufacturing, Out-Pace Racing Products, QA1 Precision Products, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Sweet Manufacturing, Swift Springs, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wehrs Machine & Race Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes.