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Phillips motors to Masters victory

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June 13, 2020  |  by Jeff Nun, USMTS.com

Terry Phillips kept searching for more, kept improving as the weekend wore on and then found the sweet spot Saturday night as the 53-year-old from Springfield, Mo., captured the finale of the 21st Annual Masters at the Cedar Lake Speedway with a wire-to-wire effort.

It was the 31st time that the second-generation racer drove into victory lane following a Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s event. The win was worth $10,000, and despite leading all 50 laps he earned every penny of it.

“I just tried to hit my line there at the end,” Phillips said. “It was a little rough around the bottom but we have a pretty good hot rod. You know, I trust this GRT but I'm like the only one here. I don't understand it because we run pretty good.”

Phillips also got by with a little help from his friends.

“I need to thank Andy Durham for this bad ass engine. I borrowed it from Travis Siebert at Kenny's Tile. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be here.”

After garnering the Sybesma Graphics Pole Award, Phillips took command right away in the main event. He had nearly a three-second lead when the yellow flag waved for the first time on lap 13 just as he reached the back of the field.

The melee that caused the caution happened right in front of Phillips. He made slight contact with one of the spinning back-markers but apparently suffered no damage and resumed his position at the front when the race returned to green-flag racing.

One night earlier, Phillips was “snookered” by Rodney Sanders and relinquished the lead with five laps to go in Friday’s 40-lap feature.

Sanders, however, was relegated to 20th on the starting grid for Saturday’s finale. Nonetheless, he found himself in sixth by the 20th lap but Phillips was long gone again.

Shane Sabraski kept Phillips in his cross-hairs but could never reel him in to make a bid for the lead. Meanwhile, he had his hands full with a pack on his tail that included Cade Dillard, Dereck Ramirez, Sanders, Jason Hughes and Jake O’Neil.

While Phillips ran his own race, the group behind him continued to jockey for positions inside the top five. Sanders was making the middle groove work to his liking and finally overtook Sabraski for second with 11 laps remaining but Phillips enjoyed more than a three-second cushion.

Sanders appeared to get the break he needed when O’Neil suffered a breakdown on lap 42 to bring about the race’s second caution. Another quick caution slowed the field before another lap could be completed but soon the field was ignited for an eight-lap dash to the finish.

What looked like it may be disaster for Phillips was anything but. Sanders was unable to fire off on the restart as well as Sabraski and slipped to third while Phillips pulled away.

The top three broke away from their chasers but Phillips was not denied this time and rode the final distance without a mistake despite the heat from behind.

“I wasn't watching the scoreboard but I did on the caution and realized (Sanders) was in second there,” Phillips recalled. “I had a feeling where he was running and so just tried to hit my marks and not mess up too bad—not let him punk me again.”

Unsure if he had enough fuel to go the distance, Sabraski was able to hold on for a runner-up finish.

“We made her,” Sabraski said afterward. “It does feel really good. I came here just hoping to be competitive with these guys and then you're making the feature and then you always want a little more so you keep digging and here we are. Would have been really cool to win but I’m super happy with a second place.”

For Sanders, a third-place finish and missing out on a weekend sweep was a little tougher to swallow.

“That yellow hurt us at the end I think,” Sanders said, “It was still a good weekend but a little disappointed.”

For passing 17 cars and 23 altogether during the evening, Sanders earned both the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award and Eibach Spring Forward Award.

Cade Dillard paid for his long two from Robeline, La., with a fourth-place paycheck while Dereck Ramirez rounded out the top five.

Lucas Schott passed 16 of his fellow competitors en route to a sixth-place finish, Jason Hughes was a solid seventh and 26th-starting Zack VanderBeek found his way to eighth. Jacob Bleess and Michael Truscott rounded out the top ten.

More racin’ in Mason City: Didn’t scratch your dirt track racing itch these past three days? The staff at the Mason City Motor Speedway invites all races and fans to enjoy some incredible short track racing action on Sunday.

With at least 16 USRA Modifieds in attendance, the winner will get $1,000 to win and all main event starters will earn a minimum $110 to start. If it is 23 cars or more the winner will get $1,200. USRA Stock, USRA B-Mods, USRA Hobby Stocks and Outlaw Mini Mods. If any class hits more than 30 cars, the track will add $200 more to the winner.

The newly-configured high-banked 1/3-mile clay oval is a non-stop action track with a lot of big specials coming up starting next Thursday when the USMTS drivers square off along with the Iron Man Challenge Stock Cars and B-Mods.

Don't forget this week is still $5 to get into the grandstands so tell all your friends and neighbors to show up so we can keep the $5 admission price going. Kids ages 11 and under get in for free. The pits open at 3 p.m. and grandstands open at 4. Hot laps begin at 5:30 with racing 6 p.m. sharp.

The Mason City Motor Speedway is a 1/3-mile clay oval located 5.1 miles east of I-35 at exit 194 on SR 122 (at the North Iowa Fairgrounds). For more information, check out MasonCityMotorSpeedway.com.

Iowa Speedweek June 16-20: Iowa’s five-day celebration of freedom, fun and fast cars throughout the Hawkeye State is nearing the green flag with the summer’s biggest dirt track racing caravan set for Tuesday-Saturday, June 16-20.

Headlined by the fire-breathing Outlaw Modifieds of the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s racing all five nights, the popular Christie Door Company Iron Man Challenge featuring USRA Stock Cars and B-Mods is also on tap the first three nights.

The party starts Tuesday, June 16, when both series make their debut at the Stuart International Speedway and then continue with another show of speed on Wednesday, June 17, at the Cedar County Raceway in Tipton. Each night will see USMTS Modifieds are racing for $2,500 to win, USRA Stock Cars shooting for a $600 top prize and the USRA B-Mod main event winner getting $500. Mensink Racing Products USRA Hobby Stocks are also on the card at Stuart.

Both nights will celebrate the local racer too. The top three local racers in each class—four at Stuart, three at Tipton—will earn bonuses of $100, $75 and $50, respectively, on top of the already stellar payouts.

A few hours of sleep and the rugged road warriors are on to the Mason City Motor Speedway on Thursday, June 18, for Mayhem! in Mason City featuring the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s ($2,500 to win) and Christie Door Company Iron Man Challenge featuring USRA Stock Cars ($600 to win) and USRA B-Mods ($500 to win).

Mensink Racing Products USRA Hobby Stocks and USRA Tuners complete the five-division program at the newly-configured high-banked 1/3-mile at the North Iowa Fairgrounds. Check out MasonCityMotorSpeedway.com to learn more.

Friday finds the USMTS Modifieds returning to the Rapid Speedway in Rock Rapids for the 12th Annual USMTS Rapid Rumble presented by American Racer. “Rocky” was the site of one of the most thrilling shows in 2019 when both Rodney Sanders and Ryan Gustin spun while racing for the lead. That opened for door for Terry Phillips to sneak in, take the money and run. The $3,000-to-win USMTS penultimate show will see USRA Stock Cars, USRA B-Mods and USRA Hobby Stocks also in action along with Sportsmans. Race time is 7:30 p.m. More information can be found at RockRapidsSpeedway.com.

The fifth round of action during 2020 Iowa Speedweek happens at the Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City for the 14th Annual USMTS Webster City Wrangle presented by D&B Agro-Systems with the USMTS touring titans again sparring over a $3,000 top prize. Also on the card are USRA Stock Cars, USRA B-Mods and USRA Hobby Stocks with race time 7:30. Get more information such as driving directions and news at HamiltonCoSpeedway.com.

All five nights will award national points nights for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s, and Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series in the USRA-sanctioned divisions.

Currently, the 2020 schedule for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s is highlighted by 42 nights of racing at 27 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, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, check us out on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Keep up to speed by joining our email list

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Modified Touring Series
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s
21st Annual Masters presented by Allstar Performance – Night 3 of 3
Cedar Lake Speedway, New Richmond, Wis.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder and laps completed. The top 12 in heat race passing points advance to the Casey’s “A” Main.

SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (2) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
2. (1) 00 Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford, Wis.
3. (3) 21 Jake Smith (R), Chippewa Falls, Wis.
4. (5) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
5. (4) 13 Nick Koehler (R), Bloomer, Wis.
6. (8) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
7. (7) 300 Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis.
8. (6) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
9. (9) 5K Tyler Kaeter (R), St. Cloud, Minn.
10. (10) 51A Blake Arndt (R), Brownsdale, Minn.

FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (4) 89 A.J. Diemel, Elk Mound, Wis.
2. (1) 12 Jason Gross, Cushing, Wis.
3. (6) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
4. (9) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
5. (7) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
6. (5) 04JR Adam Ayotte, St. Paul, Minn.
7. (8) 30 Matt Leer, Bruce, Wis.
8. (3) 7J Corey Jones (R), Zimmerman, Minn.
9. (10) 15 Joey Miller (R), Lakeville, Minn.
10. (2) 1M Curt Myers, Cameron, Wis.

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (4) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
2. (3) 9E Don Eischens, Richmond, Minn.
3. (1) 53 Chris Mensen (R), Carlos, Minn.
4. (8) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
5. (10) 49JR Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
6. (9) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.
7. (7) 55 Jeff Wood, Chisholm, Minn.
8. (2) W Cory Williams (R), Spring Valley, Wis.
9. (5) 37 Skeeter Estey (R), Kelly Lake, Minn.
10. (6) 32 Jon Tollakson (R), Montevideo, Minn.

MSD PERFORMANCE HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (1) 15W Alex Williamson (R), Rushford, Minn.
2. (4) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
3. (2) 99 Steve Lavasseur (R), River Falls, Wis.
4. (6) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
5. (7) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
6. (3) 1TPO Tyler Peterson, Hickson, N.D.
7. (9) 6X Zach Johnson, Lowry, Minn.
8. (8) 23 Matt Gilbertson, Montevideo, Minn.
9. (5) 26 Ryan Gierke (R), Villard, Minn.

VP RACING FUELS HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (3) 2C Dave Cain, Corcoran, Minn.
2. (7) 22 Michael Truscott (R), Chippewa Falls, Wis.
3. (6) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis.
4. (1) 55W Jeffrey Wood, Chisholm, Minn.
5. (4) 65 Jake Miller (R), Somerset, Wis.
6. (8) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
7. (5) 24 Brandon Dolman (R), Alexandria, Minn.
8. (2) F15 Devin Fouquette (R), St. Cloud, Minn.
9. (9) 13X McKenzie Gerdes, Alexandria, Minn.

WRISCO INDUSTRIES HEAT RACE #6 (8 laps):
1. (3) 7A Shane Sabraski, Rice, Minn.
2. (2) 2X Brady Gerdes, Villard, Minn.
3. (5) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
4. (1) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan.
5. (4) 14W Clayton Wagamon, Ramsey, Minn.
6. (8) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
7. (6) 44 Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, Minn.
8. (7) 44 Adam Hensel, Baldwin, Wis.
9. (9) 96 Taton Hansen (R), Spicer, Minn.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 4 advance):
1. (2) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
2. (7) 14W Clayton Wagamon, Ramsey, Minn.
3. (5) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan.
4. (4) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
5. (8) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
6. (12) 23 Matt Gilbertson, Montevideo, Minn., Victory/JRM.
7. (11) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
8. (14) 26 Ryan Gierke (R), Villard, Minn., SSR/Tim’s.
9. (1) 12 Jason Gross, Cushing, Wis., BeakBuilt/Adams.
10. (3) 53 Chris Mensen (R), Carlos, Minn., GRT/Sower.
11. (13) 15 Joey Miller (R), Lakeville, Minn., Lynx/Tesar.
12. (10) 55 Jeff Wood, Chisholm, Minn., Shaw/Sput’s.
13. (15) 51A Blake Arndt (R), Brownsdale, Minn., Shaw/KSE.
14. (9) 6X Zach Johnson, Lowry, Minn., MBCustoms/Sturdy.
15. (6) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn., MBCustoms/Action.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 4 advance):
1. (2) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (4) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
3. (7) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
4. (1) 2X Brady Gerdes, Villard, Minn.
5. (3) 99 Steve Lavasseur (R), River Falls, Wis., SSR/Labbs.
6. (6) 13 Nick Koehler (R), Bloomer, Wis., SSR/Baxter.
7. (9) 30 Matt Leer, Bruce, Wis., MBCustoms/Stoen.
8. (5) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
9. (8) 04JR Adam Ayotte, St. Paul, Minn., Shaw/Mullins.
10. (10) 24 Brandon Dolman (R), Alexandria, Minn., SSR/Adams.
11. (13) 5K Tyler Kaeter (R), St. Cloud, Minn., SSR/Sower.
12. (14) 13X McKenzie Gerdes, Alexandria, Minn., SSR/Stoen.
13. (12) F15 Devin Fouquette (R), St. Cloud, Minn., SSR/Adams.
DNS – 7J Corey Jones (R), Zimmerman, Minn., VanderBuilt/Tim’s.
DNS – 1M Curt Myers, Cameron, Wis., Hughes/Sput’s.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #3 (12 laps, top 4 advance):
1. (5) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
2. (3) 49JR Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
3. (1) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
4. (2) 21 Jake Smith (R), Chippewa Falls, Wis.
5. (7) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustoms/Stoen.
6. (8) 1TPO Tyler Peterson, Hickson, N.D., BlackWidow/ProPower.
7. (4) 55W Jeffrey Wood, Chisholm, Minn., Shaw/ChevPerf.
8. (12) 44 Adam Hensel, Baldwin, Wis., DirtDueler/OFI.
9. (15) 32 Jon Tollakson (R), Montevideo, Minn., MBCustoms/KSE.
10. (10) 44 Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, Minn., MBCustoms/Tim’s.
11. (6) 65 Jake Miller (R), Somerset, Wis., SSR/KSE.
12. (11) W Cory Williams (R), Spring Valley, Wis., SSR/MAS.
13. (14) 96 Taton Hansen (R), Spicer, Minn., MBCustoms/Sturdy.
DNS – 300 Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim's.
DNS – 37 Skeeter Estey (R), Kelly Lake, Minn., TRC/Tim’s.

CASEY’S “A” MAIN (50 laps):
1. (1) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., GRT/Durham, 50.
2. (5) 7A Shane Sabraski, Rice, Minn., Lethal/Scott’s, 50.
3. (20) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 50.
4. (3) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., MBCustoms/Stoen, 50.
5. (14) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 50.
6. (22) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., MBCustoms/Stoen, 50.
7. (6) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 50.
8. (26) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 50.
9. (17) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn., VanderBuilt/KSE, 50.
10. (7) 22 Michael Truscott (R), Chippewa Falls, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim's, 50.
11. (9) 9E Don Eischens, Richmond, Minn., SSR/Adams, 50.
12. (8) 15W Alex Williamson (R), Rushford, Minn., SSR/KSE, 50.
13. (10) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., Lethal/Mullins, 50.
14. (13) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis., VanderBuilt/OFI, 50.
15. (19) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 50.
16. (11) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim's, 50.
17. (27) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., Jet/Speedway, 50.
18. (21) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustoms/Hill, 50.
19. (25) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 43.
20. (15) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz., LG2/Cornett, 42.
21. (23) 2X Brady Gerdes, Villard, Minn., SSR/Stoen, 42.
22. (2) 2C Dave Cain, Corcoran, Minn., MBCustoms/KSE, 42.
23. (18) 49JR Jake Timm, Winona, Minn., MBCustoms/OFI, 26.
24. (12) 00 Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford, Wis., Rocket/Baxter, 21.
25. (16) 14W Clayton Wagamon, Ramsey, Minn., MasterSbilt/Wagamon, 17.
26. (24) 21 Jake Smith (R), Chippewa Falls, Wis., BeakBuilt/Tim’s, 17.
27. (4) 89 A.J. Diemel, Elk Mound, Wis., MBCustoms/KSE, 0.

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

Lap Leader: Phillips 1-50.
Total Laps Led: Phillips 50.
Margin of Victory: 0.961 second.
Time of Race: 27 minutes, 12.102 seconds (3 cautions).
Provisional Starters: Marriott, VanderBeek, Kates.
Eibach Spring Forward Award: Sanders (advanced 23 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Sanders (started 20th, finished 3rd).
Entries: 57.
Next Race: Tuesday, June 16, Stuart International Speedway, Stuart, Iowa.
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s Points: Sanders 1165, Ramirez 1089, Hughes 1019, VanderBeek 942, Iverson 926, Marriott 891, Davis 884, Phillips 873, Skyberg 774, Bleess 739.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: Iverson 926, Davis 884, Skyberg 774, Nathan Hagar 540, Shayne Bailey 395.
Jobbers Warehouse Supply USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: MBCustoms 115, Hughes 109, VanderBuilt 77, GRT 72, Rage 62.
Compstar/JE Pistons USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: Hatfield 97, Cornett 89, Mullins 75, Stoen 73, KSE 65.

Contingency Awards:
American Racer – Iverson.
Beyea Custom Headers – Dillard.
BigDeal Car Care – Phillips, Sanders.
Bryke Racing – Davis.
BSB Manufacturing – B. Gerdes.
Champ Pans – Ramirez.
Deatherage Opticians – Williamson.
Edelbrock – Phillips.
Eibach – Sanders.
Fast Shafts – Diemel.
FK Rod Ends – Sanders.
Forty9 Designs – Crapser, Marriott.
Hooker Harness – Skyberg.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs – Wolff.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Kates.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports – Lavasseur.
Keyser Manufacturing – Truscott.
KSE Racing Products – Bleess.
Maxima Racing Oils – Phillips.
Penske Racing Shocks – Skyberg.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain – Jones.
QA1 – Schott.
RacerWebsite.com – Timm.
Simpson Performance Products – Dillard.
Spyder High Performance Filters – Schott.
Summit Racing Equipment – Leer, Schott, Timm.
Super Clean – Phillips.
Swift Springs – Phillips, Iverson.
Sybesma Graphics – Phillips.
Tire Demon – Sorensen.
VP Racing Fuels – Phillips.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Hensel.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – Hughes.

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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Casey’s, Chevrolet Performance, Compstar Performance Engine Components by Callies, CP-Carrillo, Dirt Draft, Eibach, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, Intercomp, Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts, K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports, KS Engineering, KSE Racing Products, Malvern Bank, Mesilla Valley Transportation, MSD Performance, MTN DEW Zero Sugar, MyRacePass, Nitroquest Media, PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain, RacinDirt.com, Snickers, Summit Racing Equipment, Super Clean, VP Racing Fuels, Wrisco Industries.

USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Boubin Tire & Automotive, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, Eagle Moon Farm, JE Pistons, Miller Welders, PBM Performance Products, Rancho Milagro Racing, Rivers Edge Scrap Management, Tony Moro Powder Coat, Top of the World Ranch, YouDirt.com.

USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Beyea Headers, BigDeal Car Care, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bryke Racing, BSB Manufacturing, Champ Pans, Deatherage Opticians, Edelbrock, Forty9 Designs, Genesis Racing Shocks, Hooker Harness, Integra Racing Shocks and Springs, Keyser Manufacturing, Maxima Racing Oils, Penske Racing Shocks, QA1, RacerWebsite.com, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Swift Springs, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wehrs Machine & Race Products, Wilwood Racing.