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VanderBeek Reigns at King of America VI April 2, 2016

VanderBeek Reigns at King of America VI

HUMBOLDT, Kan.—In the 36 previous USMTS feature races he competed in at the Humboldt Speedway since 2006, Zack VanderBeek had never been the first to see the checkered flag.

But Saturday night, during one of the biggest and most prestigious dirt modified races on the planet, the 31-year-old from New Sharon, Iowa, excited the final turn with nobody in his way and collected not only his first win at ‘The Hummer’ but the biggest of his career in King of America VI presented by Chix Gear.

“Man, it feels great to finally get one here and to have it come during this event is something special,” VanderBeek said. “The car was spot on and the track was in great shape. I’m just so grateful to my sponsors and my crew that let me focus on just driving the thing.

“We work hard, and it feels good to see all those hours pay off.”

The 31st win of VanderBeek’s USMTS career came with a $12,000 payday as he notched his name as the sixth different driver in six years to wear the King of America crown.

The winningest driver in USMTS history at the Humboldt Speedway and defending race winner Jason Hughes set the pace for the start of the 72-lap affair but it was first-timer Kyle Strickler using the outside lane to wrestle the lead away at the waving of the green flag.

Strickler set a torrid pace for the first quarter of the race, pulling out to as much as a ten-car-length lead before finding back-markers for the first time on lap 18.

In addition to trying to run down the leader, Hughes had his hands full with 2014 King of America winner Rodney Sanders, and the pair continued their wheel-to-wheel tussle as they joined Strickler in thick lapped traffic.

Hughes slipped in front of Strickler as they came to the stripe to complete the 25th lap, and Sanders followed into the second spot one lap later.

Sanders never let Hughes rest, and when the defending USMTS national champ brushed the outside concrete wall on lap 32, he seized the moment and powered his way into the lead.

For the next 20 circuits, Sanders ran away and hid as he seemingly weaved his way through lapped traffic with relative ease.

He had built a full straight-away cushion over Hughes and Strickler when the race’s first caution waved with 52 laps in the books.

After the restart, Hughes and Strickler struggled to keep Sanders in their crosshairs while Hunter Marriott charged past both Jeremy Payne and Strickler to take over third.

VanderBeek, who was sixth when the yellow flag waved, climbed to fifth on lap 54, fourth on lap 55 and got around Marriott for third on lap 56 before caution again slowed the action.

Using the shortest path around the 3/8-mile clay oval, VanderBeek disposed of Hughes when the green flag reappeared. From there, he and Sanders drove off to settle things by themselves.

VanderBeek hounded Sanders for the next six laps, and finally seized the opportunity to get underneath Sanders on the low side of turn 2. The two drag-raced down the back-stretch wand entered the corner door to door.

They banged wheels a couple of times on the exit of turn four, and VanderBeek nosed ahead at the flagstand to lead for the first time on lap 63.

Sanders tried to keep the pressure on, but VanderBeek eventually began to pull away and appeared to be on his way to an easy victory when the final caution flew with three laps to go.

Nonetheless, VanderBeek nailed a flawless restart and outran the field the final three laps to score the win and his third trip to Widow Wax Victory Lane in 2016.

For additional news visit www.usmts.com
Photo courtesy of www.usmts.com/Buck Monson
Gafforini Extends Wins Mark at The Bullring March 26, 2016

Gafforini Extends Wins Mark at The Bullring

Even though he'd been there more than anyone else, six-time track champion Scott Gafforini was still emotional in the Winner's Circle at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

Gafforini, of Las Vegas, passed 10-time race winner Chris Clyne on lap 43 of the 50-lap NASCAR Super Late Models feature to extend his all-time Saturday night feature wins record to 62 at the beloved 3/8-mile paved oval. The veteran racer was all smiles after yet another victory at the short track.

"With Chris Clyne, Chris Trickle and all these guys, we may have a limited field, but it's still the best of the best on the West Coast as far as I'm concerned," said Gafforini, who started from the eighth position. "We are just going to try and get as many (wins) as we can (this year) and try to make all the fans happy."

NASCAR Super Late Models 50-lap feature
1. Scott Gafforini; 2. Chris Clyne (-1.971 seconds); 3. David Anderson (-3.459); 4. Warren Knipper (-4.366); 5. Justin Johnson (-5.474); 6. Chris Trickle (-10.764); 7. Kayli Barker (-13.624); 8. Stan Mullis (-10.863); 9. Steve Anderson (-15.135); 10. Ryan Vargas (-16.429); 11. Gary Clift (-2 laps); 12. Matthew Frady (-48 laps)

- See more at: http://www.lvms.com/media/news/gafforini-extends-all-time-wins-mark-with-62nd-triumph-bullring.html#sthash.qwAvWOug.iQ9BxwQ6.dpuf

Matt Cosner Scores Win at Williams Grove March 25, 2016

Matt Cosner Scores Win at Williams Grove


 Mechanicsburg - Matt Cosner of Cumberland, Md., scored his first ever Williams Grove feature win worth $2,000 after holding off last week’s winners Gregg Satterlee.

Cosner took the lead from Bryan Bernheisel on the fifth tour of the 25-lap super late model main to run to the win but he had to do so while staying ahead of Gregg Satterlee. After scoring a win last week during opening night, Satterlee started eighth in the field and was up to fourth with six away. He got by Bernheisel for second on the eighth lap and then spent the remainder of the distance trying to figure out how to get by Cosner. After running him down, Satterlee searched various lines repeatedly, trying to find an avenue to make a pass but Cosner was flawless to the checkered flag. Bernheisel settled for third followed by Jim Yoder and Dylan Yoder. Sixth through 10th went to Kenny Pettyjohn, Gene Knaub, Rick Singleton, Gary Stuhler and Mason Zeigler. Heats went to Dylan Yoder and Singleton.

For more news visit www.williamsgrove.com

Photo courtesy of WRT Speedwerx/Beard & Matt Cosner

Sanders Shines In USMTS Winter Speedweeks Finale March 5, 2016

Sanders Shines In USMTS Winter Speedweeks Finale

ARDMORE, Okla.—Twenty-four hours after winning Friday’s feature race, Rodney Sanders was back in victory lane Saturday after winning the 50-lap main event at the Southern Oklahoma Speedway to put the wraps on USMTS Winter Speedweeks.

The 2013 and 2014 USMTS national champ from Happy, Texas, used every bit of the wide 3/8-mile clay oval in Ardmore, Okla., en route to snaring his third United States Modified Touring Series win of the 2016 campaign and 67th of his career.

Saturday’s nightcap turned out to be the best of the weekend, and it was a bona fide barnburner for the first 38 laps before Jason Hughes made a failed attempt to overtake the leader.

For the final 12 laps, Sanders put the race on snooze control.

Most USMTS fans and competitors agree that it’s merely a matter of time before newcomer Kyle Strickler notches his first USMTS win, and early on it appeared that might just happen Saturday night.

The Mooresville, N.C., racer shot to the lead ahead of polesitter Cade Dillard to start the race while Sanders quickly moved by three cars to claim third on the second go-around.

With the leaders churning away at the cushion on the high side, Sanders dug in on the low side of the racing surface and battled side by side with Dillard and Strickler for several laps, eventually edging ahead at the stripe to lead the tenth circuit.

But Strickler held his ground and regained the top spot one lap later. Soon thereafter, Sanders tucked in behind Strickler around the top side. But entering heavy lapped traffic on lap 18, Sanders went low and pulled ahead to lead the 19th lap.

Battling three-wide with Strickler and Johnny Scott, Stormy Scott suffered a flat right rear tire to bring out the race’s first yellow flag with 30 laps complete.

The restart saw Hughes, who was sixth one lap earlier, shoot around the outside and power into the second spot behind Sanders.

Sanders and Hughes raced nose to tail for the next six laps with Dillard, Johnny Scott and Ryan Gustin all lurking close behind.

As the lead duo exited turn four to complete lap 37, Sanders bobbled and slowed momentarily and Hughes got a run on the leader. Using his momentum, Hughes dove to the inside in the first turn and slid up the track in turn 2 to take away Sanders’s line.

But the slide went too far and Hughes pounded the outer concrete wall on the exit of the second turn, climbing both right side tires onto the slabs while sparks showered behind him from beneath his machine.

Although he was able to gather it up and continue forward, Sanders was gone. And nobody got anywhere close to the 26-year-old from Happy, Texas, as he crossed beneath the checkered flag with more than four seconds to spare over the field.

“That top side was just about riding off the track,” Sanders said in victory lane. “You really had to almost stop to get in there and hit the line.

With the win, Sanders pocketed $4,000 for his efforts while Hughes settled for the runner-up paycheck.

“(Hughes) slid me there once and I really thought I was going to get into the back of him,” Sanders admitted. “But it looked like he jumped the wall and let us get by.”

Dillard held off Johnny Scott for third while Gustin came home in the fifth spot. Dereck Ramirez, Jesse Sobbing, Casey Arneson, Lucas Schott and Thomas Tillison Jr. rounded out the top 10.

Sobbing was impressive racing from 26th on the starting grid to claim the seventh position. But provisional starters are not eligible for the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award so that wound up in the hands of Ramirez.

He passed one more car than his teammate for the weekend, multi-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champ Jimmy Owens. After starting 20th, Owens was up to seventh when a three-car tangle sent him to the back of the pack before rebounding to finish 11th.

For more news visit www.usmts.com

Photo courtesy of www.usmts.com/Buck Monson

Gustin Marches To Fourth USMTS Win of 2016 March 3, 2016

Gustin Marches To Fourth USMTS Win of 2016

ARDMORE, Okla.—Marshalltown, Iowa’s Ryan Gustin chalked up his fourth win of USMTS Winter Speedweeks Thursday night at the Southern Oklahoma Speedway in Ardmore, Okla.

Gustin has now won at each of the four race tracks visited by the United States Modified Touring Series to kick off the 2016 campaign, and ‘The Reaper’ looks to be back in the same form that carried him to the 2011 and 2012 USMTS national crowns.

“It was another good night for us, and I can’t say enough about this crew and our sponsors that keep us going,” Gustin said.

“The track was really good up top so it made you get up on the wheel. That kind of fits my style really well.”

Lucas Schott made his first start of the season from the outside of the front row and wrestled control from polesitter Rodney Sanders when the green flag waved to start the 35-lap feature race.

Schott paced the first seven laps before Jason Hughes got by on lap 8 following a caution. Hughes suffered the same fate later on when Gustin blasted into the top spot on lap 19.

From there, Gustin set sail and took the checkered flags ahead of Hughes to pocket the $2,000 winner’s check.

Sanders, who faded as far back as sixth at one point, regrouped and held off 13th-starting Cade Dillard for the third spot while Stormy Scott roared from 19th on the starting grid to grab fifth.

Dereck Ramirez, Zack VanderBeek, Johnny Scott, Austin Arneson and Triston Dycus rounded out the top 10 in the “A” Main on the first of three days at John and Nikki Webb’s 3/8-mile clay oval.

For more news visit www.usmts.com

Photo courtesy of www.usmts.com/Buck Monson

Gustin Wins USMTS Battle at Ark-La-Tex February 26, 2016

Gustin Wins USMTS Battle at Ark-La-Tex

VIVIAN, La.—Ryan Gustin bested his car builder, Jason Hughes, in a hard-fought battle at the Ark-La-Tex Speedway Friday night to capture the win on the second night of the 5th Annual USMTS Cajun Clash presented by Horseshoe Bossier City.

Gustin started on the pole for the 40-lap affair, but it was Hughes taking charge when the green flag waved. He led the first 24 laps before Gustin was able to slip by in traffic and lead the 25th circuit.

Hughes, the defending USMTS national champ, remained close behind ‘The Reaper’ as they danced through heavy lapped traffic for the remainder of the race, and briefly inched ahead to lead lap 36.

But Gustin powered back around the outside of the Hughes Racing Chassis purveyor one lap later and held him off to claim his third win in the first eight events of the 2016 campaign.

“It’s always nice to know the guy you’re running with will race you clean and give you room if you need,” Gustin said of Hughes after the race. “Jason’s one of the best there is, so you know you’ve done something when you can beat him.”

All of Gustin’s wins so far have come on Friday night of the USMTS Winter Speedweeks tripleheaders. This one, like the others, was worth $3,000 and brought his USMTS career wins total to 74.

With his runner-up effort, Hughes extended his points lead in the Production Jars Southern Region presented by Day Motor Sports while Rodney Sanders finished third to give the top three spots to the three drivers holding the last six USMTS national championship trophies.

Chris Brown fended off Sanders for most of the race and settled for fourth at the finish with Kyle Strickler continuing his strong weekend with a fifth-place finish. Todd Shute, 19th-starting Zack VanderBeek and Jason Ingalls finished sixth through eighth, respectively.

Rounding out the top ten were Steve Whiteaker Jr. and Cade Dillard, both of whom were late arrivals to the track for the parade lap and were forced to start the main event from the tail of the field.

For additional news visit www.usmts.com

Photo courtesy of www.usmts.com