Scott Fends Off Foes In El Paso
EL PASO, Texas – Johnny Scott used a pair of restarts to his advantage Friday night to capture the main event victory as the United States Modified Touring Series invaded the El Paso Speedway Park for the first time in the 16-year history of the series.
Before spending a majority of the past four seasons behind the wheel of a USMTS Modified, the 24-year-old completed his apprenticeship here on Fridays and nearby Southern New Mexico Speedway in his hometown of Las Cruces on Saturday nights.
Friday’s inaugural Casa Ford-Lincoln ‘Icebreaker’ presented by MSD proved to be a homecoming celebration for Scott, as he used that experience to make the most of a pair of caution flags to snag his first win of the season in front of a supportive audience.
Defending USMTS national champion Rodney Sanders drew the pole for the feature race and set a brisk pace until the race’s first yellow flag waved on lap 13.
On the restart, Scott used the high line to sneak by Daniel Hilsabeck and then kept Sanders within striking distance until the next caution five laps later.
Using another quick move to the outside when the green flag returned, Scott edged ahead of Sanders as they reached the flagstand the next time around.
Despite three more caution periods over the next dozen laps, Sanders was unable to return the favor to Scott and had to settle for the runner-up finish while fending off the winner’s older twin brother, Stormy Scott.
For Johnny Scott, it his 22nd career USMTS victory was worth $2,000 and gave the reborn Ramirez Race Cars chassis its first win of the young 2014 campaign for the USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by Swan Energy.
Terry Phillips finished fourth behind the trio of 20-somethings, with Fito Gallardo finishing third to give Las Cruces three of the first five spots.
Hilsabeck held on for a season-best sixth-place finish. Bryan Rowland came from 16th to finish seventh and El Paso Speedway Park boss Royal Jones passes seven competitors en route to an eighth-place paycheck.
Joe Duvall was ninth at the finish line and Trevor Egbert came from 20th on the 24-car grid to round out the top-10 finishers.