Sanders Wires USMTS Modified Field
WINSTON, Mo. — Just like he did 24 hours earlier, Rodney Sanders continued to steamroll the USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by Swan Energy competition Saturday night with a wire-to-wire win in the 40-lap main event at the I-35 Speedway.
With lightning as the backdrop for most of the evening, it was a picture perfect night for ‘The Rocket’ as he won his heat, earned the Sybesma Graphics Pole Award and led every lap of the feature race to score his second $2,000 paycheck in as many nights.
Unlike Friday night in Bloomfield, Iowa, where Sanders hunted down leader Zack VanderBeek and took the lead late in the race, this time Sanders was the hunted and VanderBeek was looking to turn the tables.
Sanders jumped out to a big lead early on but a pair of caution flags on laps six and 11 kept the pack within striking distance.
Nate Wasmund challenged the defending USMTS National Champion midway through the race, peeking underneath on a couple of occasions while Sanders continued to ride the high line around the high-banked three-eighths-mile clay oval.
A flat right-rear tire with 15 laps to go ended Wasmund’s victory hopes and VanderBeek picked up where he left off.
The final ten laps had the crowd holding its collective breath as VanderBeek followed Sanders high into each turn and then dove underneath to drag race him down the straightaways.
The 2004 USMTS Rookie of the Year gave it one final effort in the last turn, but came up a car length short as Sanders marched to his third win in his last four starts in Major League Bowhunter Central Region competition.
Meanwhile, VanderBeek settled for the bridesmaid spot for the third race in a row and his fourth straight post-race podium.Sanders’ win was the 23rd of his USMTS career, tying him for eighth on the all-time list with VanderBeek and Al Hejna.
Just one career win behind now, Stormy Scott drew the eighth starting spot for the Casey’s General stores “A” Main but clawed his way to a third-place finish behind the wheel of the #20r machine normally driven by team owner and teammate Bryan Rowland who put Scott behind the wheel after he crashed his normal ride the night before.
Dylan Smith started on the front row next to Sanders and kept him in his crosshairs early on but held on for a fourth-place finish after a spirited battle with John Allen, who got fifth.
Rodney Sanders, Zack VanderBeek, Stormy Scott, Dylan Smith, John Allen, Zach Sanders, Austin Siebert, Kerry Davis, Johnny Scott, Daniel Hilsabeck, Darren Shaw, Dereck Ramirez, Jake Gallardo, Jay Purkey, Jeff Conner, Tyler Grooms, Nate Wasmund, Steven Glenn, Bud Wilson, Chris Purkey, Keith Foss, Ron Ver Beek, Joe Duvall, Sam Florence.