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Thornton takes down USMTS victory, Greenville Speedway wall for second win of 2017

Thornton takes down USMTS victory, Greenville Speedway wall for second win of 2017


Ricky Thornton Jr. may need some new tin on the right side of his USMTS modified after Sunday night’s main event at the Greenville Speedway, but he has a $3,000 winner’s paycheck to help with the cost.

The fastest way around the “fastest track in the south” was the longest way around, but the 26-year-old from Chandler, Ariz., showed no signs of being intimidated by the outer concrete wall of the 1/4-mile dirt oval as he raced to an impressive seven-second win over Kyle Beard in the 40-lapper.

And his margin of victory was built in just seven laps after the last of nine cautions waved on lap 33.

From the outside of the front row, Stormy Scott grabbed the lead when the green flag waved and looked to have a strong car capable of winning his first of the season, but a flurry of seven yellow flags in the first dozen laps kept the field close.

Meanwhile, Thornton, who started 12th on the grid, found his way to Scott’s rear bumper with 16 laps in the books and then wrestled the spot away on lap 18.

Just two more cautions appeared during the final 22 laps, but that may have simply kept Thornton from lapping the entire field as his No. 20rt Gressel Racing Hughes Chassis rocketed away from the field.

The win was Thornton’s second in the young season’s first nine races. In addition to his winnings, last year’s Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year also walked away with awards from BigDeal Car Care, QA1, VP Racing Fuels, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products and a new tire from American Racer.

Dereck Ramirez, who started 10th, got the runner-up paycheck after Beard was disqualified during post-race technical inspection while Zack VanderBeek, 23rd-starting Tyler Wolff and Chris Brown rounded out the top five.

Timothy Culp, Travis Saurer, Joe Duvall, Jon Mitchell and Kyle Pleasant finished sixth through 10th, respectively.

After nine races in the Summit Racing USMTS Southern Region presented by Production Jars, Cade Dillard maintains the top spot in the points with a 27-point cushion (784 to 757) over Brown. Jason Hughes (746), Thornton (736), Stormy Scott (731), Ryan Gustin (706), Saurer (682), Ramirez (679), Johnny Scott (668) and VanderBeek (667) complete the top 10.

The fourth weekend of Summit Racing USMTS Winter Speedweeks happens at the Ark-La-Tex Speedway this Thursday-Saturday, March 2-4, for the 6th Annual USMTS Cajun Clash presented by Horseshoe Bossier City.

Jake Gallardo is the defending champion of the Cajun Clash while Ryan Gustin and Stormy Scott picked up wins on Friday and Thursday last year.

Other past USMTS main event winners at Gene Boyter’s spectacular 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval include Kelly Shryock, Rodney Sanders, Cade Dillard, Johnny Scott, Jason Hughes and Duke Whiseant, who won the inaugural event here in 2008.

But after 11 feature races, the only driver with more than one USMTS win at Ark-La-Tex is Chris Henigan of Marshall, Texas. The feared local ace captured back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014.

On Thursday, hot laps begin at 7 p.m. and Thursday’s racing program starts at 7:30 with $2,000 to win for USMTS Modifieds, $400 to win Limited Mods and $300 to win Factory Stocks. Grandstand tickets are $15, kids ages 11-16 are $5 and children ages 10 and under get in for free. Pit passes are $35.

On Friday, hot laps begin at 7 and the green flag unfurls at 7:30. USMTS Modifieds will compete for $3,000 to win while Limited Mods will battle for $500 to win and Factory Stocks $400 to win. Grandstand tickets are $20, kids ages 11-16 are $10 and children ages 10 and under get in for free. Pit passes are $35.

Saturday’s finale will see hot laps start at 6 p.m. with racing at 6:30. USMTS Modifieds will race for $4,000 to win with both Limited Mods and Factory Stocks paying $600 to win and Pro-Mods joining the card for $300 to win.

Pit gates open at 2 p.m. and the grandstands open at 5 p.m. each day.

The Ark-La-Tex Speedway is located 0.6 mile south of SR 2 on SR 1, then 0.7 mile west on Airport Rd., then 2.2 miles south on Boyter Lane Rd. For race day information, call the track hotline at 318-375-3470 or click www.arklatexspeedway.net to visit them online.

For unfortunate fans unable to make one or more of these blockbuster events, every lap of every race every day will be broadcast live at www.RacinDirt.com/Live.

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts and Instagram at www.instagram.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS by joining our email list at www.usmts.com/subscribe.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental – Summit Racing USMTS Southern Region presented by Production Jars
Greenville Speedway, Greenville, Miss.
Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won.

SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (2) 91 R.C. Whitwell (R), Tucson, Ariz.
2. (6) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
3. (4) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
4. (8) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
5. (5) 21 Troy Dow, Munford, Tenn.
6. (3) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D.
7. (1) 1/2 Zane Hunter (R), Alma, Ark.
8. (7) 5 Jon Mitchell, Texarkana, Texas.

FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 86 Kyle Beard (R), Truman, Ark.
2. (4) 23 Adam Kates (R), Tonganoxie, Kan.
3. (3) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
4. (7) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.
5. (8) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
6. (1) 75 Brandon Ball, Farmerville, La.
7. (5) C8 Timothy Culp, Prattsville, Ark.
8. (6) 66 Johnny Torres, San Antonio, Texas.

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (2) 2s Stormy Scott, Las cruces, N.M.
2. (1) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas.
3. (3) 29 Preston Seratt, Dyersburg, Tenn.
4. (4) 6x Kyle Pleasant, Natchitoches, La.
5. (6) 4w Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark.
6. (8) 27 Chase Delrio, West Monroe, La.
7. (5) 79 J.R. Owen (R), Pocola, Okla.
8. (7) 5a Josh Beckham (R), Choudrant, La.

THE JOIE OF SEATING HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (2) 73 Ashley Newman, Ripley, Tenn.
2. (1) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas.
3. (4) 51 R.J. Otto (R), Statesville, N.C.
4. (3) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn.
5. (6) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (5) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
7. (7) 24z Zane Farrell, Johnsville, Ark.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (2) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
2. (1) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
3. (4) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (9) 5 Jon Mitchell, Texarkana, Texas.
5. (3) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn.
6. (5) 27 Chase Delrio, West Monroe, La., Hughes/Mullins, $75.
7. (8) 79 J.R. Owen (R), Pocola, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, $90.
8. (10) 5a Josh Beckham (R), Choudrant, La.
9. (6) 75 Brandon Ball, Farmerville, La., IRP/Best, $75.
10. (7) 1/2 Zane Hunter (R), Alma, Ark., Hughes/BMS, $90.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (2) 6x Kyle Pleasant, Natchitoches, La.
2. (6) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
3. (1) 29 Preston Seratt, Dyersburg, Tenn.
4. (7) C8 Timothy Culp, Prattsville, Ark.
5. (8) 24z Zane Farrell, Johnsville, Ark.
6. (3) 4w Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark.
7. (4) 21 Troy Dow, Munford, Tenn., Bandit/Mullins, $75.
8. (9) 66 Johnny Torres, San Antonio, Texas.
9. (5) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D., LG2/Durham, $90.

PRODUCTION JARS "A" MAIN (40 laps):
1. (12) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $3000.
2. (10) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., LG2/Cornett, 40, $1600.
3. (5) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Sput’s, 40, $1200.
4. (23) 4w Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustom/Hatfield, 40, $900.
5. (4) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas, MBCustom/Durham, 40, $800.
6. (20) C8 Timothy Culp, Prattsville, Ark., Hughes/Sput’s, 40, $600.
7. (21) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn., MBCustom/Dakota, 40, $600.
8. (16) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustom/Hatfield, 40, $500.
9. (19) 5 Jon Mitchell, Texarkana, Texas, MBCustom/CB, 40, $450.
10. (14) 6x Kyle Pleasant, Natchitoches, La., MBCustom/Hatfield, 40, $400.
11. (11) 51 R.J. Otto (R), Statesville, N.C., MBR/Barnes, 40, $375.
12. (8) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, 39, $350.
13. (9) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., MBCustom/ASI, 32, $400.
14. (1) 91 R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz., GRT/GMPP, 32, $325.
15. (2) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Mullins, 32, $400.
16. (7) 73 Ashley Newman, Ripley, Tenn., MBR/Mullins, 26, $250.
17. (25) 66 Johnny Torres, San Antonio, Texas, Vato/Fletcher, 23, $350.
18. (24) 5a Josh Beckham (R), Choudrant, La., GRT/Sput’s, 22, $300.
19. (13) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, 16, $400.
20. (15) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 16, $400.
21. (18) 29 Preston Seratt, Dyersburg, Tenn., MBR/Mullins, 11, $250.
22. (17) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Durham, 6, $400.
23. (3) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas, GRT/Mullins, 6, $300.
24. (22) 24z Zane Farrell, Johnsville, Ark., MBCustom/CMS, 5, $250.
DQ – (6) 86 Kyle Beard (R), Truman, Ark., GRT/Kuntz, 40, $300.

(R) = Rookie of the Year contender.

Lap Leaders: S. Scott 1-17, Thornton 18-40.
Total Laps Led: Thornton 23, S. Scott 17.
Margin of Victory: 6.959 seconds.
Time of Race: 45 minutes, 5.714 seconds (9 cautions).
Provisional Starters: Beckham, Wolff, Torres.
KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: Culp (started 20th, finished 6th).
Entries: 31.
Next Race: Thursday-Saturday, March 2-4, Ark-La-Tex Speedway, Vivian, La.
Summit Racing Southern Region Points: Dillard 784, Brown 757, Hughes 746, Thornton 736, S. Scott 731, Gustin 706, Saurer 682, Ramirez 679, J. Scott 668, VanderBeek 667.
Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year Points: Saurer 676, Whitwell 634, Wolff 627, Vogel 518, Mickey Lassiter 327.
Engine Builder of the Year Points: Mullins 84, Durham 70, ASI 66, Hatfield 50, GMPP 49.
Manufacturers Championship Points: Hughes 84, MBCustoms 81, GRT 70, LG2 62, VanderBuilt 55.

Contingency Awards:
Allstar Performance – Duvall.
American Racer – Thornton.
Beyea Custom Headers – Whitwell.
BigDeal Car Care – Thornton.
BSB Manufacturing – Seratt.
Chix Gear Racewear – Kates.
Day Motor Sports – Farrell, Beard.
Deatherage Opticians – Mitchell.
Dickson Racing Shocks – S. Scott.
E3 Spark Plugs – VanderBeek.
Edelbrock – S. Scott.
Fast Shafts – Beard.
Forty9Designs.com – Whitwell, Gustin.
Fuel Safe Racing Cells – Culp.
GRT Race Cars – J. Scott.
Hooker Custom Harness – Dillard.
Integra Shocks & Springs – Beckham.
Keyser Manufacturing – Pleasant.
KSE Racing Products – Culp.
Out-Pace Racing Products – Newman.
QA1 – Thornton.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Simpson Performance Products – Whitwell.
Sweet Manufacturing – J. Scott.
Sybesma Graphics – Whitwell.
Tire Demon – Otto.
VP Racing Fuels – Thornton.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Thornton.
Wilwood Engineering – Saurer.

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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Argo Manufacturing, Casey’s General Stores, Chix Gear Racewear, CP-Carrillo, Deatherage Opticians, Fast Shafts, Intercomp, KSE Racing Products, Leaf Racewear & Safety Equipment, Malvern Bank, MSD, Pace Performance, RacerWebsite.com, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, S&S Fishing & Rental, Summit Racing Equipment, The Joie of Seating, VP Racing Fuels.

USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arizona Sport Shirts, ASi Racewear, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, ElbowsUp.com, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Oreo, Production Jars, Rancho Milagro Racing, RHRSwag.com, YouDirt.com.

USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: 905 Ink, AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Beyea Custom Headers, BigDeal Car Care, BSB Manufacturing, Day Motor Sports, Dickson Racing Shocks, E3 Spark Plugs, Edelbrock, FK Rod Ends, Forty9 Designs, Genesis Racing Shocks, GRT Race Cars, Holley Performance Products, Hooker Custom Harness, Integra Shocks & Springs, Keyser Manufacturing, Out-Pace Racing Products, QA1 Precision Products, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Sweet Manufacturing, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wehrs Machine & Race Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes.



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