Ramirez reigns in USMTS debut at Stuart

by Jeff Nun, USMTS.com


It would be a crime against dirt track racing humanity if another 21 years go by without the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s competing at the Stuart International Speedway.Now in its 22nd season, Tuesday’s inaugural Smackdown in Stuart was the first visit by the USMTS touring titans to Mike Van Genderen’s ultra-competitive short track. With fierce, nail-biting action everywhere on the track during the main event, the fans—a lot of them—were the big winners.Them, and Dereck Ramirez who claimed his first USMTS victory of the season and ninth of his storied career which moved him into the top 20 on the all-time wins list tied with Lucas Schott and Brad Waits—one tally behind Mike Chasteen.It wasn’t easy for Ramirez, but the 33-year-old from Woodward, Okla., was up to the task, leading the final 17 circuits in the Ramirez also pocketed an additional two bonus points for leading the most lap in the Casey’s “A” Main.Three nights after coming up two spots short of sweeping the 21st Annual Masters at the Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin, Sanders was unable to take advantage of his Sybesma Graphics Pole Award and saw Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year points leader Calvin Iverson lead the first lap.Iverson and Sanders swapped a couple of slide-jobs during the first two laps before settling in nose to tail around the high side of the Stuart high banks. As it would several times during the race, lapped traffic slowed Iverson briefly—enough for Sanders to squirt past on lap 9.On the same lap, Jason Hughes also got by Iverson but the two made contact with Hughes spinning but Iverson getting the blame and restarting at the rear of the field following the race’s first of two cautions.Back under green, Hughes chased Sanders around the 1/4-mile bullring as they danced dangerously close to the outer concrete wall. Following the last yellow flag on lap 12, Tanner Mullens made his way past Hughes on lap 13 and began threatening Sanders for the lead.Maneuvering in and out of lapped traffic, Mullens was able to sneak by Sanders as they completed the 23rd lap. Seven laps later, Sanders careened off of a back-marker that was trying to knock down the wall in turn two. Ramirez laid claim to second place and then used the uncharted middle of the racing surface to race by Mullens in front of the flagstand as they eclipsed the 34th orbit. Mullens never lost sight of Ramirez but save for a momentary peek to the outside of a lapped car that Ramirez quickly had second thoughts about, the two remained that way to the finish line with Ramirez nabbing the $2,500 top prize and Mullens settling for the runner-up paycheck. Kyle Brown, who started 12th on the 24-car grid, recorded a career-best third-place finish with four-time USMTS national champ Hughes and three-time USMTS national champ Sanders behind him in fourth and fifth.Zack VanderBeek, Jacob Bleess, Hunter Marriott, 24th-starting Cayden Carter and Adam Kates rounded out the top ten finishers.


Four Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series divisions competed at the Stuart International Speedway including the American Racer USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods of the Christie Door Company Iron Man Challenge built by Medieval Chassis.


The Iron Man divisions had a good mix of local racers and USRA talent which, appropriately enough, produced a new first-time winner in Buck Schafroth and a former USRA champion and multi-time race winner Dan Hovden.


Making his first Iron Man start, Schafroth fended off challenges by Austin Bouzek, Darrin Korthals and Steve Jackson in the early going before pulling away from the pack. Meanwhile, current USRA Stock Car national points leader Doug Keller of Easton, Mo., made his way to second place with Carlisle’s Josh Daniels in tow.Schafroth was long gone when a late-race caution gave hope to his pursuers. In a two-lap dash to the finish, Keller was able to pull alongside The rim-riding Schafroth the first time around but gave up the low groove to Daniels at the white flag.

At the finish line, Schafroth was the first to see the checkered flag with Daniels and Keller taking the next two spots on the podium. Behind them, eighth-starting Todd Staley of Webster City and ninth-starting Chad Legere of Ankeny rounded out the top five.

The top three local racers in each class Tuesday night earned bonuses of $100, $75 and $50, respectively, on top of the already stellar payouts. The bonus increased Schafroth’s take to $700 for his efforts.


In the USRA B-Mod main event, Hovden found the top line around the high-banked 1/4-mile clay oval to his liking. The 2017 and 2018 Iron Man titlist set a torrid pace throughout the race, but had to withstand a late challenge from Oskaloosa’s Brayton Carter.


Carter was able to pull event with Hovden with two laps to go. On the final lap, Hovden was able to edge ahead just enough to drop down and block Carter’s line to secure the $500 victory. Josh Roney, Trevor Fecht and Taylor Skauge completed the top five.


The Mensink Racing Products USRA Hobby Stocks brought three past national champions possessing seven crowns in all to the battle in Stuart.


In the end it was defending USRA national champ Eric Stanton of Carlisle taking a wire-to-wire win with Cresco’s Chris Hovden (2009) finishing second and five-time champion Dustin Gulbrandson of Sioux Falls, S.D. (2014-2018) taking third.


In USRA Tuner action, Hunter Patrick of St. Charles emerged victorious with Nebraska racer Denny Berghahn Jr. second and Kolby Sabin of Des Moines claiming the third spot.




USMTS Modifieds

Casey's General Store A-Main (40 Laps): 1. 4R-Dereck Ramirez[6]; 2. 02-Tanner Mullens[3]; 3. 21K-Kyle Brown[12]; 4. 12-Jason Hughes[4]; 5. 20-Rodney Sanders[5]; 6. 33Z-Zack VanderBeek[2]; 7. 21-Jacob Bleess[8]; 8. 62-Hunter Marriott[9]; 9. 10C-Cayden Carter[24]; 10. 23-Adam Kates[13]; 11. 29-Dennis Elliott[11]; 12. 65-Tyler Davis[7]; 13. 20JR-Chase Rudolf[17]; 14. 37-Randy Foote[16]; 15. 17-Cory Sauerman[18]; 16. 1BC-Tony Cox[21]; 17. 91-Joe Duvall[23]; 18. 02J-John Davis[15]; 19. 27X-Calvin Iverson[1]; 20. 55-Nathan Hagar[14]; 21. 83G-Josh Gilman[20]; 22. (DNF) 3F-Cole Ferguson[22]; 23. (DNF) 23JR-Nick Roberts[19]; 24. (DNF) 6-Casey Skyberg[10]


Simpson Racing Products Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 21-Jacob Bleess[2]; 2. 65-Tyler Davis[4]; 3. 20-Rodney Sanders[7]; 4. 21K-Kyle Brown[3]; 5. 55-Nathan Hagar[6]; 6. 37-Randy Foote[1]; 7. 23JR-Nick Roberts[5]; 8. 3F-Cole Ferguson[8]


Fast Shafts Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 12-Jason Hughes[5]; 2. 33Z-Zack VanderBeek[4]; 3. 02-Tanner Mullens[7]; 4. 23-Adam Kates[1]; 5. 29-Dennis Elliott[8]; 6. 20JR-Chase Rudolf[3]; 7. 83G-Josh Gilman[6]; 8. 91-Joe Duvall[2]


Edelbrock Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 4R-Dereck Ramirez[3]; 2. 27X-Calvin Iverson[4]; 3. 6-Casey Skyberg[1]; 4. 62-Hunter Marriott[7]; 5. 02J-John Davis[2]; 6. 17-Cory Sauerman[6]; 7. 1BC-Tony Cox[5]; 8. 10C-Cayden Carter[8]


USRA Hobby Stocks

Mensink Racing A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 7B-Eric Stanton[1]; 2. 07-Chris Hovden[5]; 3. 6-Dustin Gulbrandson[3]; 4. 11B-Solomon Bennett[7]; 5. X-Tyler Schlumbohm[2]; 6. 66-Brandon Cox[6]; 7. 42T-Tyson Overton[4]; 8. 910-Travis Fenton[9]; 9. 84B-Rusty Bates[8]


Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 7B-Eric Stanton[2]; 2. 6-Dustin Gulbrandson[6]; 3. 42T-Tyson Overton[3]; 4. X-Tyler Schlumbohm[1]; 5. 07-Chris Hovden[8]; 6. 66-Brandon Cox[5]; 7. 11B-Solomon Bennett[4]; 8. 84B-Rusty Bates[7]


USRA Stock Cars

Christie Door A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 92-Buck Schafroth[1]; 2. 25J-Josh Daniels[10]; 3. 7-Doug Keller[5]; 4. 14-Todd Staley[8]; 5. 7C-Chad Legere[9]; 6. V31-Todd VanEaton[18]; 7. 22R-Todd Reitzler[6]; 8. 1G-Patrick Graham[20]; 9. 14B-Austin Bouzek[2]; 10. 11B-Jesse Brown[19]; 11. 55H-Troy Hansmeier[14]; 12. 3H-Ty Hill[12]; 13. 87-Dylan Suhr[16]; 14. 7CJ-Jason Purvis[13]; 15. 121-Kenzie Ritter[15]; 16. (DNF) 2J-Steve Jackson[4]; 17. (DNF) 20-Jeremy Gettler[11]; 18. (DNF) 11K-Darrin Korthals[3]; 19. (DNS) 25D-Bob Daniels; 20. (DNS) 7SR-Shawn Ritter


Medieval Chassis Heat 1: 1. 14B-Austin Bouzek[2]; 2. 22R-Todd Reitzler[1]; 3. 2J-Steve Jackson[3]; 4. 20-Jeremy Gettler[4]; 5. 7CJ-Jason Purvis[6]; 6. 87-Dylan Suhr[5]; 7. 11B-Jesse Brown[7]


MSD Heat 2: 1. 11K-Darrin Korthals[3]; 2. 14-Todd Staley[5]; 3. 25D-Bob Daniels[7]; 4. 3H-Ty Hill[2]; 5. 55H-Troy Hansmeier[6]; 6. 7SR-Shawn Ritter[1]; 7. 1G-Patrick Graham[4]


American Racer Heat 3: 1. 92-Buck Schafroth[3]; 2. 7-Doug Keller[5]; 3. 7C-Chad Legere[4]; 4. 25J-Josh Daniels[6]; 5. 121-Kenzie Ritter[2]; 6. V31-Todd VanEaton[1]



A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 16-Dan Hovden[3]; 2. 01-Brayton Carter[5]; 3. 8X-Josh Roney[7]; 4. 10T-Trevor Fecht[2]; 5. 32-Taylor Skauge[12]; 6. 1-Doug McCollough[10]; 7. 5-Josh Sink[1]; 8. 8-Dusty Masolini[8]; 9. 0-Shawn Kralik[9]; 10. 9J-Jeremiah Reed[13]; 11. 95N-Garrett Nelson[11]; 12. 32S-Blair Simmons[14]; 13. (DNF) 7+-Jared Timmerman[4]; 14. (DNF) 476-Troy Hovey[6]; 15. (DNS) 5T-Tyler Inman


Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 10T-Trevor Fecht[2]; 2. 01-Brayton Carter[4]; 3. 5-Josh Sink[1]; 4. 8-Dusty Masolini[3]; 5. 0-Shawn Kralik[5]; 6. 95N-Garrett Nelson[7]; 7. 9J-Jeremiah Reed[8]; 8. 5T-Tyler Inman[6]


Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 16-Dan Hovden[4]; 2. 8X-Josh Roney[2]; 3. 476-Troy Hovey[7]; 4. 7+-Jared Timmerman[6]; 5. 1-Doug McCollough[3]; 6. 32-Taylor Skauge[5]; 7. 32S-Blair Simmons[1]


USRA Tuners

A Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 33H-Hunter Patrick[2]; 2. 6JR-Denny Berghahn Jr[1]; 3. 9-Kolby Sabin[5]; 4. 21P-Cody Pierce[4]; 5. 97-Logan Richards[7]; 6. M80-Mark Smith[9]; 7. 15V-Bryan Vannausdle[11]; 8. 12C-Craig Furstenau[10]; 9. 33B-Rodney Brown[8]; 10. (DNF) 83B-Mitchell Bunch[3]; 11. (DNF) 24A-Ashton Blain[6]


Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 9-Kolby Sabin[1]; 2. 83B-Mitchell Bunch[5]; 3. 33H-Hunter Patrick[3]; 4. 97-Logan Richards[4]; 5. M80-Mark Smith[2]; 6. 15V-Bryan Vannausdle[6]


Heat 2 (6 Laps): 1. 6JR-Denny Berghahn Jr[3]; 2. 24A-Ashton Blain[2]; 3. 21P-Cody Pierce[1]; 4. 33B-Rodney Brown[4]; 5. 12C-Craig Furstenau[5]


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