Phillips wins USRA Modified Fall Nationals
October 21, 2012
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Springfield, Mo., veteran Terry Phillips won the $10,000-to-win Winter Meltdown at the Southern New Mexico Speedway three out of the last four years, but had never won the USRA Modified Fall Nationals ... until now. Phillips, who started outside the front row, was challenged only briefly during the late stages of the 50-lap event by fourth-starting Johnny Scott, but Phillips withstood the pressure and went on to dominate the $10,000-to-win finale Sunday.
Friday night’s winner, Stormy Scott, and Phillips paced the 24-car field to the green after a brief delay for a rare pop-up rain shower in the desert, but after the track was ready to race the field took the green and Phillips blasted off into the lead at the start. A lap-1 caution flew as the track was a bit greasy yet, but once back underway Phillips proved that he was the man to beat as he pulled away quickly from a great side-by-side battle between Johnny Scott and Fito Gallardo for second.
The second caution flew on lap 5 for a Jeremy Payne spin, but again Phillips drove off into the night on the restart with Gallardo in tow. Great racing was taking place all throughout the field as Alex Stanford, Bumper Jones and Jason Krohn were battling just behind a side-by-side dual between Royal Jones and Jimmy Ray at the end of the top 5.
Racing continued non-stop until the third caution of the event flew with just 20 laps remaining for a Tristan Sikes spin in turn 4. On the restart, Phillips again took off out front but this time Johnny Scott was all over Phillips and began to put heavy pressure on the race long leader. Johnny Scott raced a higher line through turns 1-2 and stormed by Phillips to the lead on lap 37 to take the top spot briefly until Phillips dove back underneath and took the lead for good with 12 to go.
The final caution of the 50-lapper flew on lap 44 when Krohn and Stanford got together, ending Krohn’s bid for a top 5 as he went pit side. Phillips was not to be denied his first ever Fall Nationals title and outran Johnny Scott and Gallardo to the checkered for the dominating win. Jeff Taylor and defending USRA Modified Fall Nationals champion Jason Cummins waged a race-long side-by-side battle for positions within the top 5, which lasted until the final lap when Taylor edged Cummins for fourth at the line.
Stanford advanced 10 spots and earned the hard charger award, while the Karsyn’s Krusaders charity once again benefited from the unique driver auction which saw businesses and fans bid on drivers in the starting line-up.
Over $25,000 was raised to assist in the research and battle of cancer this year.
Phillips finds victory lane Saturday
Just as he did one year ago, Springfield, Mo.’s Terry Phillips put his #75 on the outside of the front row for Sunday's $10,000-to-win USRA Modified Fall Nationals feature event after dominating the 30-lap USRA Modified "A" Main Saturday night at the Southern New Mexico Speedway. Phillips started third and overhauled from row starters Dusty Riggs and Jason Cummins on the opening lap and never looked back.
The race was marred by four caution flags, but on each of them Phillips took off like a rocket and drove his GRT by Phillips off into the desert Southwest sunset. The race to watch was for second early on between Cummins and seventh-starting Royal Jones as they swapped second and third several times behind the leader, while several drivers were charging through traffic including 19th-starting Johnny Scott, 24th-starting Ricky Thornton Jr. and 25th-starting Eddie Martin.
Scott appeared in the top 10 mid-race, but continued his onslaught toward the front and kept picking off cars left and right until he shot by Cummins into second with just a handful of laps left. No one had anything for Phillips, however, as he cruised the final seven laps after a late restart to the win with Scott charging to second at the finish. Cummins held off Jones for third while Jimmy Ray was able to withstand a position-swapping battle with Martin for fourth on the final stop.
A touching and very emotional fireworks tribute to USMTS Modified driver Jason Krohn’s nine-year-old daughter, Natalie, who lost her life in September concluded the night’s action to a cheering crowd.
Stormy Scott snags pole
New Mexico racer Stormy Scott, fresh off winning the Rookie of the Year title with the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) in 2012, made his way back to his home track, Southern New Mexico Speedway, and blistered the field by sweeping the opening night of the 13th Annual USRA Modified Fall Nationals in dominating fashion.
Scott, who started on the pole and ran away with his heat race, re-drew third for the 30-lap main event but wasted no time blasting by front row starters Wayne Brooks and Rodney Sanders to take the lead on the second circuit of the main event.
Scott drive off uncontested throughout the main, which was slowed by only one caution with just seven laps remaining. Scott proved that his Rowland Racing team was going to be a threat this weekend as he drove off on the restart and was never challenged en route to his preliminary night victory, putting him on the pole for Sunday afternoon’s $10,000-to-win, 50-lap finale.
Scott is looking to join his twin brother Johnny as a USRA Modified Fall Nationals champion as Johnny put his car into victory lane and claimed the title in 2009.
The racing throughout the field during the opening night of the weekend was intense. As Scott drove off alone out front, behind him Sanders, Brooks, Fito Gallardo and seventh-starting Jeff Taylor were waging an outstanding battle just behind the leader. Taylor and Gallardo ran side by side on multiple occasions as they were trying to vie for one of the five transfer positions into Sunday’s 50-lapper.
Sanders ran a solid second throughout most of the event and was pressured by Gallardo late in the going, while Jeremy Payne and Bumper Jones had an intense battle for sixth and Jason Krohn put his #7k in the mix late as well. Sanders held off Gallardo for the runner-up spot with Taylor holding off Johnny Scott for fourth, giving him the fifth and final transfer spot.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
American Racer USRA Weekly Racing Series
USRA Modified Fall Nationals
Southern New Mexico Speedway, Las Cruces, N.M.
Friday-Sunday, Oct. 19-21, 2012
"A" Main: Terry Phillips, Johnny Scott, Fito Gallardo, Jeff Taylor, Jason Cummins, Alex Stanford, Eddie Martin, Bumper Jones, Wayne Brooks, Stormy Scott, Jeremy Payne, Rodney Sanders, Royal Jones, Christy Georges, Jimmy Ray, Bryan Rowland, Dusty Riggs, Dereck Ramirez, Tanner Mullens, Jason Krohn, Tristan Sikes, Neal Flowers, Ricky Thornton Jr., Jake O’Neil.
"B" Main: B. Jones, Krohn, Martin, Thornton Jr., Rowland, Stanford, Brooks, Mullens, T. Sikes, Flowers, Riggs, Ramirez, O’Neil, C. Georges, Cain, Houston, Brown, J. Gallardo, R. Davis, H. Jones, Herring, Dawson, Brown, Adams, Falco.
"C" Main: J. Gallardo, T. Sikes, H. Jones, C. Georges, Houston, Riggs, O’Neil, Brown, Ramirez, Herring, R. Davis, Adams, Dawson, Falco, Weaver, Dutton, T. Georges, Sprinkle, Hatton, B. Davis, Tipton, Earvan, DeBord, Jenkins, Barnett.
Last Chance Race #1: B. Davis, Weaver, Brown, Herring, Hatton, Butch Reid, Roger Owens, Clint Miller, Greg Gorham, Brian Craighead, Brian Kleine, Michael Lucero.
Last Chance Race #2: O’Neil, R. Davis, Earvan, DeBord, T. Georges, Bob Sikes, Danny Dozier, Roy Don Mason, Todd Budlong, Mercedes Harris, Donovan Ooley, James Flemming.
Last Chance Race #3: Tipton, Sprinkle, Adams, Dutton, Jenkins, Bobby Sikes Jr., Alan Sharpensteen, Lee Heiligenthal, Melissa Gorham, Owen Puckett, Robbie Chiles, Duane Murphy.
"A" Main: Terry Phillips, Johnny Scott, Jason Cummins, Royal Jones, Jimmy Ray, Eddie Martin, Josh Cain, Ricky Thornton Jr., Bryan Rowland, Tanner Mullens, Neal Flowers, Holly Jones, Jake Gallardo, Chris Dawson, Chad Falco, Tristan Sikes, Philip Houston, Christy Georges, Dusty Riggs, Austin Adams, Bobby Sikes Jr., Bob Sikes, Wayne Brooks, Gene Weaver, Alex Stanford, Dereck Ramirez.
"B" Main #1: Sikes, Weaver, Sikes Jr., Thornton Jr., Roy Don Mason, Greg Jenkins, Richie Davis, James Flemming, Lee Heiligenthal, Dewayne Hatton, Donovan Ooley, Duane Murphy, Danny Dozier, Butch Reid, Don Earvan, Robbie Chiles, Bumper Jones.
"B" Main #2: J. Gallardo, J. Scott, Ramirez, Martin, Toby Herring, Tom Georges, Jake O’Neil, Mike Steensma, Alan Sharpensteen, Shane Sprinkle, Brandon Davis, Melissa Gorham, Brian Kleine, Neal DeBord, Frank Dutton, Owen Puckett.
"B" Main #3: Stanford, H. Jones, Falco, Houston, Terry Tipton, Brian Craighead, Roger Owens, Todd Budlong, Mercedes Harris, Greg Gorham, Clint Miller, Michael Lucero, Curt Barnett, Randy Brown, Alex Gonzalez, Greg Jelvik.
Heat #1: T. Sikes, Ray, Reid, Miller, Flemming, Sprinkle, Owens, B. Jones, Chiles.
Heat #2: Mullens, Flowers, Ramirez, J. Gallardo, Murphy, Mason, M. Gorham, Davis, Sharpensteen.
Heat #3: Cummins, Brooks, Herring, Dozier, T. Georges, DeBord, Hatten, Gonzalez, Jelvik.
Heat #4: Phillips, Sikes Jr., C. Georges, H. Jones, Puckett, Falco, Dutton, Thornton Jr.
Heat #5: Riggs, R. Jones, Brown, Martin, Harris, Craighead, Tipton, Steensma, Kleine.
Heat #6: Cain, Dawson, Scott, B. Sikes, Houston, Budlong, Ooley, G. Gorham.
Heat #7: Rowland, Adams, Stanford, Earvan, Weaver, Davis, O’Neil, Barnett, Heiligenthal.
"A" Main: Stormy Scott, Rodney Sanders, Fito Gallardo, Jeff Taylor, Johnny Scott, Jeremy Payne, Bumper Jones, Jason Krohn, Bryan Rowland, Wayne Brooks, Terry Phillips, Alex Stanford, Dereck Ramirez, Chris Dawson, Jason Cummins, Jake Gallardo, Dusty Riggs, Curt Barnett, Jake O’Neil, Royal Jones, Ricky Thornton Jr., Don Earvan, Greg Jenkins, Jimmy Ray, Gene Weaver, Philip Houston, Eddie Martin
"B" Main #1: Phillips, O’Neil, Weaver, Ray, Houston, Tom Georges, Richie Davis, Bobby Sikes, Chris Sims, Frank Dutton, Duane Murphy, Lee Heiligenthal, Robbies Chiles, Josh Cain, Kevin Clark, Greg Jelvik, Neal DeBord, Terry Tipton.
"B" Main #2: Martin, Cummins, J. Gallardo, Ramirez, Christy Georges, Toby Herring, Tanner Mullins, Randy Brown, Butch Reid, Neal Flowers, Triston Sikes, Roy Don Mason, Donovan Ooley, Alex Gonzalez, Michael Lucero, Brian Kleine , Clint Miller.
"B" Main #3: Riggs, R. Jones, Earvan, Jenkins, Bob Sikes, Austin Adams, Alan Sharpensteen, Brian Craighead, Mercedes Harris, James Flemming, Shane Sprinkle, Roger Owens, Todd Budlong, Owen Puckett, Dewayne Hatton, Chad Falco, Danny Dozier.
Heat #1: Dawson, Earvan, Thornton Jr., Weaver, Miller, Gonzalez, Dutton, Heiligenthal, Clark, T. Sikes.
Heat #2: S. Scott, F. Gallardo, Barnett, Ramirez, B. Sikes, Budlong, Kleine, Ooley, Lucero, Dozier.
Heat #3: Rowland, Stanford, Payne, R. Jones, B Sikes Jr., J. Gallardo, Harris, Craighead, Tipton.
Heat #4: Sanders, Sims, Davis, Riggs, Flemming, Chiles, T. Georges, Owens, Jelvik.
Heat #5: J. Scott, B. Jones, Cummins, Cain, Phillips, Mullens, Brown, Murphy, Reid.
Heat #6: Brooks, O’Neil, Herring, C. Georges, Puckett, Adams, Sharpensteen, Mason, Hatten.
Heat #7: Krohn, Taylor, Martin, Jenkins, Houston, Ray, Flowers, Falco, DeBord.