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Lucas Schott Wears King of America VIII Crown March 17, 2018

Lucas Schott Wears King of America VIII Crown

Lucas Schott delivered the most dominating performance to date at the King of America VIII Modified Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment on Saturday night, leading all 75 laps of the main event against a star-studded field at the Humboldt Speedway.

“This car was just flawless all weekend,” the 21-year-old from of Chatfield, Minn., said in victory lane. “I can’t thank Mike (Wedelstadt, car owner) and Riley (Hatfield, crew chief) enough for giving me this opportunity and all the work they’ve done to get us here.”

Schott snagged the lead from polesitter Jake O’Neil when the green flag waved, and except for the start of the race and several yellow-flag restarts that dotted the feature, that was as close as anybody would get to ‘Cool Hand Luke’ on a chilly night in Humboldt, Kan.

Schott remained just outside of O’Neil’s grasp for the first nine laps when the first of eleven cautions waved for fourth-starting Josh Angst’s mechanical breakdown just as the leader had reached the back of the field.

The yellow flag appeared four more times over the next four laps, but on each ensuing restart Schott was able to pull away to a sizeable advantage over the pack.

Meanwhile, R.C. Whitwell and Johnny Scott were locked in a heated battle for second place with O’Neil, Jason Krohn and Ricky Thornton Jr. close behind in a three-way tussle for fourth.

The race stayed clean and green for the next 25 laps until defending King of America winner Ryan Gustin spun directly in front of the leader. Schott swerved to avoid ‘The Reaper’ and barely kept his car off of the concrete wall in turn one.

Back under green, Thornton disposed of Scott for the second spot and Thursday night’s USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup feature winner, Kyle Strickler, found himself inside the top ten after starting 23rd on the 28-car grid.

Schott continued to overpower his pursuers and picked off back-markers without incident, but Thornton was able to stay within four to six car-lengths of Schott with each passing lap.

The fifth caution of the main event came with just 16 laps remaining when Bumper Jones lost a rear wheel and was collected by Kent Arment and Non-Qualifiers Race winner Bobby Malchus. It was the first of six cautions that plagued the final stages of the contest.

Despite multiple opportunities to challenge Schott’s supremacy over the final dozen laps, Thornton was unable to keep up with Schott past the first set of turns. Even a two-lap green-white-checkered finish could not deter Schott as the 2016 USRA Modified National Champion sailed to a $10,000 payday.

For Schott, it was his fifth career USMTS triumph and biggest since pocketing a little more than $11,000 less than two years ago after winning the inaugural Grant Junghans Memorial.

Thornton, who started eighth, had to settle for a $5,000 runner-up paycheck while Johnny Scott fended off his twin brother and 2012 King of America titlist, Stormy Scott, for third-place money.

Rodney Sanders, who captured this event in 2014, rounded out the top five while 2016 winner Zack VanderBeek was sixth. Whitwell held on for seventh, Dereck Ramirez was eighth, Cody Skytland finished ninth and Austin Siebert completed the top ten.

Eleventh-starting Travis Saurer finished in the eleventh position as the last car running at the finish line.

Eighty-four different dirt modified drivers from 18 different states competed over the three days and nights at King of America VII.

For additional news visit www.usmts.com

Photo courtesy of www.usmts.com/Todd Boyd

Jack Sullivan Wins COMP Cams Super Dirt Series 2018 Opener March 10, 2018

Jack Sullivan Wins COMP Cams Super Dirt Series 2018 Opener

Springfield, Missouri (03/10/18) – The COMP Cams Super Dirt Series (CCSDS) presented by Lucas Oil lifted the lid on Saturday evening at Jerry Hoffman’s Springfield Raceway.

Defending CCSDS Champion, Jack Sullivan surged forward from the fourth-starting spot to take the lead from B.J. Robinson halfway through the feature. Once out front, Sullivan walked away to claim his 25th career triumph by a straightaway. Ninth-starting Gavin Landers marched to a runner-up finish with Robert Baker, Jesse Stovall and Payton Looney completing the Top-5 finishers as the tour made its debut at the Missouri oval. (Jim DenHamer pic)

Tony Jackson Jr. earned the Larry Shaw Race Cars Hard Charger Award after passing 11 cars to finish sixth. CCSDS regular for 2018, Shannon Scott was the recipient of the Henryetta Ford Hard Luck Award after mechanical issues forced him to retire from the feature on the opening lap. 

Earlier in the night Raymond Merrill earned the New Vision Graphics position for the 40-lap, $3,000-to-win finale after winning a “March Madness” themed free throw competition amongst the top point earners from heat race action.

For more news visit www.compdirt.com

Photo courtesy of www.compdirt.com/ Jim DenHamer

VanderBeek Collects Victory at Jackson Motor Speedway March 9, 2018

VanderBeek Collects Victory at Jackson Motor Speedway

The meanest modifieds on the planet converged on the Jackson Motor Speedway Friday for round 4 of the 9th Annual Summit USMTS Winter Speedweeks presented by MSD Performance and a dual event with the Summit USMTS Southern Series and USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup national tour

Sybesma Graphics Pole Award winner Stormy Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., grabbed the lead at the the start but Tennessee’s Lucas Lee used the high line around the 3/8-mile dirt oval to steal the top spot away on the fourth lap with 2016 USRA Modified national champion Lucas Schott, Arizona’s Jake O’Neil and four-time and defending USMTS national champion Jason Hughes following in their tire tracks.

The first half of the race was riddled with yellow flags. The fourth flew for Hughes on lap 10 , and he did not return to finish the last 40 laps. Two-time USMTS national champ Rodney Sanders slowed on lap 16 to bring out the fifth caution and did not return either.

Jason Krohn of Slayton, Minn., pulled to the infield on lap 20, leaving no former national champs in the field. The seventh caution waved on lap 22 for Scott who has yet to complete a main event.

Meanwhile, Lee continued to pound the cushion with Schott, VanderBeek and chasing the leader around the high side until the eighth caution waved with eight laps remaining.

Under yellow, 16th-starting and fourth-running Terry Phillips left the track with a flat tire and when the green flag returned VanderBeek powered in front of Schott to control second place.

Lee and VanderBeek separated themselves from the pack and finally reached lapped traffic with 10 laps to go with Cade Dillard entering the picture when a stray bumper in turn one forced the race’s final caution with eight laps remaining.

From there, VanderBeek shadowed Lee around the race track but Lee was able to hold back the challenges and appeared destined for his career-first USMTS win, but after taking the checkered flag first he was disqualified during post-race technical inspections for an engine setback violation.

Lee’s lost glory gave the victory to VanderBeek, along with the $3,000 winner’s share of the prize money.

“We were kind of just right there with Lucas Lee but he had a pretty good car,” VanderBeek said during his delayed victory speech. “Unfortunately, there’s rules and you’ve got to follow them and it sucks, but we all have to take that plunge if we have that happen to us.”

It was VanderBeek’s 43rd career USMTS triumph, jumping him one spot ahead of Tommy Myer to sixth on the all-time wins list and one behind Stormy Scott’s 44 wins.

Schott finished with a runner-up effort and Dillard climbed from 13th to third in the contest. Johnny Scott was fourth and Jake O’Neil rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth, respectively, were Jake Timm, Paul Niznik, Dereck Ramirez, Ethan Dotson and Logan Robertson.

For additional news visit www.usmts.com

Photo courtesy of www.usmts.com

Brandon Sheppard Sails To First WoO Victory Of Season February 17, 2018

Brandon Sheppard Sails To First WoO Victory Of Season

BARBERVILLE, FL – Feb. 17, 2018 – Brandon Sheppard sailed to his first victory with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series in 2018 on the final night of the 47th annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. With 44 of the best Late Model drivers in the country competing with the Series on Saturday, it wasn’t a straight shot to Victory Lane. Claiming the lead on lap 14, Sheppard had to fend off charges from Mike Marlar, Chris Madden and Rick Eckert.

“It definitely feels good to get a win here at Volusia,” said Sheppard. “I usually struggle here, I don’t know why, it’s just a tricky place for me but we keep getting better every time we come back. I gotta thank my team for never giving up on me.”

“I’ll be honest with you, the last 5 or 10 laps there I didn’t know where the heck I needed to be,” continued Sheppard. “I was trying to keep my speed up and that’s probably one of my biggest flaws here is trying to figure out where I need to be. Right when I thought I had turns one and two figured out, I would start bouncing around through the holes and on the last lap almost gave it away.”

Similar to one night prior, Madden only got better as the feature event continued. The Barry Wright Race Cars House Car Driver waited until the end to make a serious charge for the lead but was unable to complete the pass. Although, Madden didn’t win Saturday night’s feature, he did wrangle the DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator Championship (collecting three second place finishes, one fourth place, and one 25th place run due to a wreck that took him out of the race). This honor proves that out of 56 Super Late Model drivers that entered into the 2018 edition of DIRTcar Nationals, that the Chris Madden Racing No. 44 was the most consistent.

“I think it’s awesome to do this with our new team that we just put together here over the winter here and we come down here with just ideas that we thought would work and we got here and we really wasn’t that good,” said Madden. “We had speed we just wasn’t comfortable. We worked on this thing every day and man, I’m telling you, Barry [Wright] has a really good racecar. We are really, really, excited to be in it and looking forward to the year. We are just beginning to learn this thing but we really found a great balance here in the last few nights.”

Mike Marlar, of Winfield, TN, collected his best finish of the week settling for third.

“It was a tough way to lose one for sure but down here in foreign territory and you know we figured it out and that says a lot about my team. We started off struggling pretty good but I got a great group of guys and great bunch of sponsors that make this thing happen. We were getting it put to us earlier in the week but we got it figured out.”

For more news visit www.woolms.com

T-Mac Wins DIRTcar Nationals Big Block Championship February 17, 2018

T-Mac Wins DIRTcar Nationals Big Block Championship

BARBERVILLE, FL – February 17, 2018 – Tim McCreadie brought the house down at Volusia Speedway Park by carving through the field from 27th to first, winning the 50-lap Big-Block Modified Feature and the DIRTcar Nationals Championship. McCreadie’s charge and late-race pass on Stewart Friesen earned himself his first DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator. The crowd roared as the No. 39 Sweeteners Plus crossed the finish line ahead of Stewart Friesen and Mike Mahaney.

Tim McCreadie’s feat was made that much more impressive by the fact that he pulled double-duty all week long by racing in both the Big-Block Modified and World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model divisions. “It’s amazing,” said Big-Block Modified Big Gator Winner Tim McCreadie. “I didn’t have time to give the right feedback (to the team). It’s so hard to run two divisions. I love doing it and we might forget how hard it was and do it again next year.”

Despite the wins, nothing came easy to the No. 39 team as they needed to use a provisional to even participate in the finale Feature of the DIRTcar Nationals after failing to qualify in the Last Chance Showdown. “I told Vic [Coffey], I don’t know what’s wrong on the right rear, we were having a lot of issues. He made the change, I jumped in the car. I could tell we both had a bunch of desperation on our faces as I pulled away. The thing came alive in the Feature. The slower it (the track) got, the better I felt,” added McCreadie.

Lapped traffic factored heavily in the winning pass. “It’s one of those things when you’re running second, the lapped cars are hard to pass for the leader. I got lucky (with the pass),” McCreadie noted.

The pass was made even more impressive because of the apparent domination Stewart Friesen had on the field up to that point. McCreadie recognized his fellow competitor in Victory Lane. “It’s never shameful to lose to Stewart Friesen. He beat me twice last year because he’s one of the best at this and that’s why he’s making a name for himself down at the big track (Daytona International Speedway). Tonight, I was able to snooker him. If a yellow came out it would be different but on that one green (flag) run, it just kept getting better. I think he [Friesen] got a little baffled up in traffic and it opened the door,” said McCreadie.

Stewart Friesen was understandably disappointed, “We had a great car,” said runner-up Stewart Friesen. “These guys worked really hard. I’m not going to sit here and moan about it. It was a heckuva a race. He [Tim McCreadie] just got a couple breaks in lapped traffic. Great race. Great guy to race with. It’s cool. It sucks but it’s a good run for us.”

For more news visit www.superdirtcarseries.com

Photo courtesy of www.superdirtcarseries.com

Matt Sheppard Grabs First Win at DIRTcar Nationals February 16, 2018

Matt Sheppard Grabs First Win at DIRTcar Nationals

BARBERVILLE, FL – February 16, 2018 – Super Matt Sheppard started the third Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified DIRTcar Nationals Feature in third but wasted no time positioning himself in pole-sitter Danny Johnson’s tire tracks. Johnson lead the field for the first 17 laps until he caught up to lapped traffic. Johnson attempted to make a pass on the high-side. Unfortunately for the no. 27j, he slid up and Sheppard made the best of the opportunity and set sail en route to his first victory of 2018 season.

Matt Sheppard described the pass: “I saw [Danny Johnson] go to the top. I was just hoping I could get in there and fill the gap before he could get back to the bottom. He left a little bit of a gap going into one and when he slid up I said I gotta get through here. I just nailed that thing to the guardrail for the rest of the race; It performed flawlessly.”
Coming off a 40-win season, it only took three races in 2018 for Sheppard to park the 9s in Victory Lane. “I put my guys through hell coming down here. We had a bunch of stuff we wanted to give a try. We kind of abandoned ship and went back to the old stuff. This car hasn’t seen a race track since Charlotte at World Finals. It was pretty good in Charlotte and it was pretty good tonight.”
Sheppard was excited about the victory and gave credit to his fellow Gator wranglers on their wins in Thursday’s doubleheader. “It [a win at Volusia Speedway Park] means a lot. You know you travel all the way down here. It’s a long trip and you know we all do it for this Gator. Congrats on Tyler [Siri] and Timmy [McCreadie] for getting their Gators last night. This is what it’s all about.”
Danny Johnson: “Hats off to my crew for doing a fantastic job today getting the car ready. We probably should have won the race but didn’t. Just happy to be here with a podium finish. I tried passing the cars on top but that was a total mistake. It just didn’t work. He [Matt Sheppard] got underneath me and he was gone. It is what it is. It’s all good. We’ve got more to come.”
When the field first took the green flag, Max McLaughlin split Justin Haers and Matt Sheppard through the middle in a three-wide pass. Unfortunately for the Young Gun McLaughlin, J.R. Hefner suffered a flat tire and brought out the caution resulting in a complete restart.
“If we wouldn’t have had that caution after that first lap we were already in second. Who knows what would have happened after that. We picked the wrong tire tonight. We went soft and had to really take care of it. I’m pretty happy with third. T-Mac [Tim McCreadie] was all over me but I just tried to hit my marks every lap, stay on the bottom, and race my own race.

For additional news visit www.superdirtcarseries.com

Photo courtesy of www.superdirtcarseries.com