The best racing surface and best battles of the weekend highlighted the finale of the 10th Annual USMTS North Iowa Nationals presented by Christie Door Store on Saturday while the spotlight was on Dereck Ramirez as he scored his first victory of the season with the Summit USMTS National Championship presented by RacinDirt.
The Pritchard Family Auto Stores Mason City Motor Speedway provided three or four nearly equal lanes for the best of the best in dirt modified racing to give the fans at North Iowa’s Action Track a thrilling prelude to the 25th Anniversary USMTS Silver Jubilee here, August 16-19.
Tanner Mullens picked up the Sybesma Graphics Pole Award, but Ramirez was just fine when the final chip left in the bag was the No. 4.
“I’m totally fine with that,” Ramirez said after learning he’s start the 50-lap main event from the outside of the second row. “I think about seventy-five percent of my wins have come from the fourth spot, so I have no problem with that.”
He did have a problem with Mullens early on in the feature race, however, as Mullens scooted out to a big lead out of the gate using the middle groove around the smooth and speedy 1/3-mile clay oval.
After the first caution of the race occurred on lap 14, Ramirez shot to the high side and overpowered Carlos Ahumada Jr. for second place. Mullens got the same treatment just four laps later.
The yellow flag waved two more times—the first on lap 33 when fourth-running Kyle Brown suffered a flat tire and again on lap 37 when Gary Christian and Dylan Thornton came together in turn four and ended their top-ten efforts.
Mullens and Ahumada both made a charge at Ramirez on each restart, but the 2021 USMTS National Champion just got faster and faster on long runs and beat Mullens to the finish line by about four car-lengths.
“I tried to give her away there with three or four to go,” Ramirez revealed as confetti covered his racing suit in victory lane. “I was getting free going into (turn) one there and I knew I needed to move up and come back down the racetrack. I got in there a little hot and pushed and I thought ‘Well I’m just going to give it to whoever is behind me.’
That was not the case. Ramirez led the final 33 laps with flawless navigation around the high side and tip-toeing through lapped traffic which was thick at times.
The 26th USMTS win of his career was worth $10,000 to the 36-year-old from Woodward, Oklahoma. It was his first since last October at the Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, where the series will visit in two weeks.
“It’s been a trying year,” he said. “This deal is tough now, everybody’s so close together and it’s just hard to make anything work. My two guys, Steve and Marco, they work their tails off. They never give up on me and I can’t thank them enough for what they do.”
Behind Ramirez, Mullens crossed beneath the checkered flags in second place with eighth-starting Jason Hughes filling the final step on the podium.
Ahumada wound up fourth while Jake Timm, who won two out of three features last weekend at the Ogilvie Raceway, came from 19th to finish fifth and collect the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award.
After starting 18th, Jim Chisholm found his way to a sixth-place finish ahead of Tim Ward, 23rd-starting Zack VanderBeek, 22nd-starting Rodney Sanders and Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender Will Krup.
Tripleheader at trio of tracks on tap: The next installment of scorched dirt happens Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 3-5, with a tripleheader at three state-of-the-art facilities in Kansas and Missouri.
On Thursday, August 3, the series returns to the I-70 speedway in Odessa. Missouri, for the 2nd Annual USMTS Bushwhacker at the famed half-mile speedplant. Last year, Sanders won by a nose to snap a lengthy winless streak, but this time he rolls into town as the series points leader with a $5,000 top prize on the line. Check out the Fast Facts.
The 7th Annual USMTS Grant Junghans Memorial presented by Shop Quik takes place the following night on Friday, August 4, at the legendary Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. The one-day blockbuster will see the winner walk away with $12,002 and every starter gets no less than $1,302. Check out the Fast Facts.
Saturday, August 5, brings the USMTS back to the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri, for the $10,000-to-win 13th Annual USMTS Slick-Mist Show-Me Shootout presented by Foley Equipment as Ramirez returns to try for his fourth straight victory at the “Diamond of Dirt Tracks.” Check out the Fast Facts.
For its Silver Anniversary season, the Summit USMTS National Championship presented by RacinDirt currently features 45 nights of racing at 15 of America's premier dirt track racing venues in nine states. The winners of those events are set to earn more than $300,000 with nearly $2 million in purses and prize money earmarked for the 2023 campaign.
Watch every USMTS event online live and on-demand from anywhere on any device with RacinDirt.
Visit usmts.com for schedules, points, photos, souvenirs, videos and more. Follow our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Click here to get USMTS news delivered to your inbox.
United States Modified Touring Series
Summit USMTS National Championship presented by RacinDirt
10th Annual USMTS North Iowa Nationals presented by Christie Door Store – Night 3 of 3
Pritchard Family Auto Stores Mason City Motor Speedway, Mason City, Iowa
Saturday, July 22, 2023
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver and hometown. Heat race lineups are determined via group qualifying. The top 12 in heat race passing points advance to the Summit Racing Equipment “A” Main.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (10 laps):
1. (2) 4TW Tim Ward, Harcourt, Iowa
2. (3) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan.
3. (6) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
4. (5) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
5. (7) 49 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
6. (4) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
7. (1) R Ron Ver Beek, Oskaloosa, Iowa
8. (8) 23 Darwin Karau, Kasson, Minn.
9. (9) 5D Devon Havlik, Waterloo, Iowa
10. (10) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (10 laps):
1. (2) 21K Kyle Brown, Madrid, Iowa
2. (1) 7 Al Hejna, Clear Lake, Iowa
3. (3) 10C Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa, Iowa
4. (4) 24C Jim Chisholm, Osage, Iowa
5. (6) K9 Will Krup, Mt. Carmel, Ill.
6. (5) 60 Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, Minn.
7. (7) 10B Brandon Givens, Wichita, Kan.
8. (8) 17 Jon Plowman, Woodbine, Iowa
9. (9) 65D Dustin Brown, Clear Lake, Iowa
10. (10) 11X Tom Berry Jr., Des Moines, Iowa
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (10 laps):
1. (3) 99L Steve Lavasseur, River Falls, Wis.
2. (4) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
3. (2) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
4. (1) 19SB Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif.
5. (6) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
6. (7) 96 Taton Hansen, Spicer, Minn.
7. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
8. (8) 29D Brad Dierks, Clarence, Iowa
9. (9) 16B Randy Brown, Chowchilla, Calif.
WIELAND HEAT RACE #4 (10 laps):
1. (1) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa
2. (2) 4 Jeremy Nelson, Alexandria, Minn.
3. (4) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
4. (5) 58X Gary Christian, Broken Bow, Okla.
5. (6) 38T Dylan Thornton, Orcutt, Calif.
6. (3) 15W Alex Williamson, Rushford, Minn.
7. (7) 71M Chad Melton, Mineral Wells, Texas
8. (9) 96T R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz.
9. (8) 1G Pat Graham, Ankeny, Iowa
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (15 laps, top 4 advance):
1. (1) K9 Will Krup, Mt. Carmel, Ill.
2. (2) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
3. (3) 49 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
4. (4) 60 Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, Minn.
5. (6) 15W Alex Williamson, Rushford, Minn.
6. (8) R Ron Ver Beek, Oskaloosa, Iowa
7. (7) 71M Chad Melton, Mineral Wells, Texas
8. (5) 96 Taton Hansen, Spicer, Minn.
9. (9) 17 Jon Plowman, Woodbine, Iowa
10. (11) 16B Randy Brown, Chowchilla, Calif.
11. (12) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
12. (10) 5D Devon Havlik, Waterloo, Iowa
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (15 laps, top 4 advance):
1. (1) 10C Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa, Iowa
2. (2) 24C Jim Chisholm, Osage, Iowa
3. (3) 19SB Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif.
4. (4) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
5. (5) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
6. (6) 10B Brandon Givens, Wichita, Kan.
7. (10) 65D Dustin Brown, Clear Lake, Iowa
8. (9) 29D Brad Dierks, Clarence, Iowa
9. (7) 96T R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz.
10. (11) 1G Pat Graham, Ankeny, Iowa
11. (8) 23 Darwin Karau, Kasson, Minn.
DNS – 11X Tom Berry Jr., Des Moines, Iowa
SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT “A” MAIN (50 laps):
1. (4) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
2. (1) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan.
3. (8) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
4. (2) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
5. (19) 49 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
6. (18) 24C Jim Chisholm, Osage, Iowa
7. (6) 4TW Tim Ward, Harcourt, Iowa
8. (23) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
9. (22) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
10. (15) K9 Will Krup, Mt. Carmel, Ill.
11. (10) 4 Jeremy Nelson, Alexandria, Minn.
12. (17) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
13. (3) 99L Steve Lavasseur, River Falls, Wis.
14. (21) 60 Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, Minn.
15. (16) 10C Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa, Iowa
16. (9) 58X Gary Christian, Broken Bow, Okla.
17. (12) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
18. (24) 10B Brandon Givens, Wichita, Kan.
19. (7) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa
20. (13) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark.
21. (11) 7 Al Hejna, Clear Lake, Iowa
22. (25) 96 Taton Hansen, Spicer, Minn.
23. (14) 38T Dylan Thornton, Orcutt, Calif.
24. (5) 21K Kyle Brown, Madrid, Iowa
25. (20) 19SB Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif.
Lap Leaders: Mullens 1-17, Ramirez 18-50.
Total Laps Led: Ramirez 33, Mullens 17.
Margin of Victory: 0.848 second.
Time of Race: 25 minutes, 33.427 seconds (3 cautions).
Provisional Starters: VanderBeek, Givens.
Emergency Provisional: Hansen.
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger: Timm (started 19th, finished 5th).
Next Race: Thursday, Aug. 3, I-70 Speedway, Odessa, Mo.
Summit USMTS National Championship Points: TBD.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points: TBD.
FK Rod Ends USMTS Hard Charger Points: TBD.
Miller Welders USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points: TBD.
Callies/JE Pistons USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points: TBD.
Aero Race Wheels – R. Brown.
American Racer – D. Brown.
Beyea Custom Headers – Ahumada.
BigDeal Car Care – Ramirez, Shryock.
Bryke Racing – Carter.
BSB Manufacturing – Hejna.
Champ Pans – Timm.
Collins Brothers Towing – K. Brown.
Deatherage Opticians – Whitwell.
Edelbrock – Lavasseur.
Fast Shafts – K. Brown.
FK Rod Ends – Timm.
Hooker Harness – Phillips.
Hyperco – Shryock.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs – Givens.
Keyser Manufacturing – Krup.
KSE Racing Products – Timm.
MD3 – Ramirez.
Mel Hambelton Racing – Mullens.
Midwest Wrap Co. – Hansen.
MSD Performance – Hughes.
Penske Racing Shocks – Lavasseur.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain – Thornton.
Performance Bodies – O’Neil.
QA1 – Krup.
Quarter Master – VanderBeek.
RacerWebsite.com – Berry.
Salty’s BBQ & Catering – Shryock.
Simpson Race Products – Ward.
Summit Racing Equipment – Givens, Hejna, Karau, Lavasseur, Ver Beek.
Super Clean – Ramirez.
Swift Springs – Hughes, Hansen, Ramirez.
Sybesma Graphics – Mullens.
VP Racing – Ramirez.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Graham.
Willy's Carb & Dyno Shop – Sanders.
Wilwood Disc Brakes – Ward.
USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Beyea Headers, Callies Performance Products, Chevrolet Performance, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, KSE Racing Products, Malvern Bank, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Nitroquest Media, PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain, RacinDirt, Summit Racing Equipment, Super Clean, VP Racing, Wieland.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: ARMI Contractors, Boomtest Well Service, Boubin Tire & Automotive, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Collins Brothers Towing, D&T Marriott Enterprise, LLC, DAY Motorsports, Duvall Electric, Gunshepherd.com, Hacienda Mechanical, Kenny's Tile, Mel Hambelton Racing, Midwest Wrap Co., Miller Welders, PBM Performance Products, Rancho Milagro Racing, S&S Fishing & Rental, Salty's BBQ & Catering, Shocker Hitch, Shop Quik Stores, YouDirt.com.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AERO Race Wheels, AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, BigDeal Car Care, Bryke Racing, BSB Manufacturing, Champ Pans, Deatherage Opticians, Edelbrock, Hooker Harness, Hyperco, Integra Racing Shocks and Springs, JE Pistons, K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports, Keyser Manufacturing, MD3, MSD Performance, Penske Racing Shocks, Performance Bodies & Parts, QA1, Quarter Master, RacerWebsite.com, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Swift Springs, Sybesma Graphics, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Willy’s Carb & Dyno Shop, Wilwood Racing.
USMTS RACETRACKS: 81 Speedway, Ark-La-Tex Speedway, Arrowhead Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway, Deer Creek Speedway, Fayette County Speedway, Hamilton County Speedway, Humboldt Speedway, I-70 Speedway, Lakeside Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Lucas Oil Speedway, Mason City Motor Speedway, Ogilvie Raceway, Rocket Raceway Park.