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USMTS Recap from Shady Oaks Speedway, 2/16-18/17


USMTS @ Shady Oaks Speedway, 2/16-18/17

By JM Hallas

Shady Oaks Speedway, Goliad, TX.,(Feb. 17th, 2017) Friday the USMTS Road Warriors returned for a second night of racing on the 3/8 mile track along with the Limited Modifieds and Pure Stocks. Last night fans were treated to a good night of racing that saw 50 cars in action on a surface that slicked off throughout the night. Both features saw battles for the lead with the Limited Modified race decided in the final laps.

Thursday night saw Ricky Thornton jr., using the high side, take home the victory in the $2,000 to win feature event. Thornton led green to checkers in the 31-lap(last lap caution) event holding off Stormy Scott and Ryan Gustin. That was his first win since joining the Gressel Racing team and the 200th of his career. Tonight the pay out jumps up a grand with tonight's winner grabbing a $3,000 payday.

Shane Hoefling worked past race-long leader Edward Oakes in the final laps to take the $400 up for grabs to win the Limited Modified feature. Hoefling used the high groove to make his way up to the front passing Oakes with two to go. Friday's payday ramps up a $100 for the winner while the Pure Stocks come in and shoot for a $400 top prize of their own.

Hughes Inherits Lead, Carries it to Checkers

Jason Hughes(Watts,Okla.) was in the right place at the right during Friday nights 35-lap USMTS main event. Hughes had just gotten past Travis Saurer for third when Ricky Thornton and Chris Brown made contact battling for the lead. Both were put at the tail giving Hughes the point on the restart.

Hughes, in his West Siloam Pawn, Redtail Tackle, Murphrey Oil Co., Larry Carburetors, Allstar Performance, Pig-n-Out, McCartney Welding, Cates Recycling, Maxima Oil, Rainbow Graphics, Eastside Cafe, JRI Shocks, Mullins powered, Hughes Chassis had team mate, Ryan Gustin at arms length, the remainder of the race as he motored to the checkers.

With the fog rolling in the 24-car USMTS feature roared to life with Thornton getting the jump on polesitter, Brown into turn 1. Brown fell in line second on the hammer-down, heavy track with Hughes and Saurer side by side and Steve Whiteaker jr. in fifth. Cade Dillard got along side Whiteaker with Gustin looking on. Adam Cates went over the turn 3-4 hill for a caution on lap 4.

On the restart Hughes, Whiteaker and Dillard were three wide when a multi-car tangle quickly slowed the action. Saurer challenged Brown on the restart with Hughes and Whiteaker side by side for fourth. Hughes held off Whiteaker who now had Gustin at his door. Gustin got the spot a lap later followed by Dillard. At lap 10 Thornton and Brown were starting to check out.

Brown turned up the heat on Thornton getting good looks off turn 2 while Hughes got by Saurer for third. Brown and Thornton got together in turn 4 to bring out a lap 13 caution sending them both to the back. This gave the lead to start lap 14 to Hughes with Gustin getting second from Saurer on the restart trailed by Dillard, Whiteaker and Johnny Scott.

After a quick caution for Tyler Wolff, the Whiteaker/Dillard duel continued. At halfway it was Hughes, Gustin, Saurer, Dillard and Whiteaker in the top five when Brown looped it in turn 4. As the lead trio got away, Dillard and Whiteaker were at it again. J. Scott joined the fight getting by Whiteaker and along side Dillard with Stormy Scott now hounding Whiteaker.

S. Scott got by Whiteaker and Dillard as Dillard fell back, but recovered to retake fourth. As the laps clicked off Saurer gave Gustin a look for third while the Scott twins swapped position. As the lead duo crept away, Dillard was challenging Saurer for third while J. Scott closed in. Hughes held a couple car lengths on Gustin as the white flag waved with the Hughes Racing team mates coming across the line for the one-two finish.

“It was a lot of luck tonight,” said Hughes. “The way the track was you had to start up front to get qualified. We were just trying to keep our cars clean and not wreck. I passed Travis(Saurer) there at the right time and inherited that lead. I hated it for Ricky(Thornton) but I'll take it anyway.”

“We didn't go out for hot laps because I already know how to scrape mud,” added Hughes jokingly. “There wasn't a lot to learn in hot laps. We just stayed in here, saved tires and fuel. We didn't really change anything during the night. We made a couple adjustments before the night started. I was one of those that you just had to hit your marks and keep the car turning.”

“It's an educated guess as to what you try at a track. Once you think you know it all, then you're in trouble. You do what you think the car needs and hopefully hit it.

“I don't know if I had anything for them if they hadn't gotten together. It was too early in the race to be racing too hard on a slimy track. I had a good car, was just trying to ride around and bide my time. We knew we'd have some cautions. I at least wanted to be up in third to be on the leaders tail. I think we had a good enough car to be up there racing with them.”

USMTS Modifieds

12 Jason Hughes, 19r Ryan Gustin, 1s Travis Saurer, 97 Cade Dillard, 1st Johnny Scott, 2s Stormy Scott, 91w RC Whitwell, 20 Rodney Sanders, 89c Steve Whiteaker jr., 71 Philip Houston, 91 Joe Duvall, 4r Dereck Ramirez, 20rt Ricky Thornton jr., 4v Billy Vogel, 78 Trevor Egbert, 21 Chris Brown, 4m Tyler Wolff, 23c Adam Cates, 23 Logan Robertson, a1 Phil Dixon, 78w Corey Weir, 12L Cody Leonard, 29 Jamie Campbell, 4m Bobby Malchus

USMTS Modified B-mains(Top 5 to A-main)

B-main 1; 4v Billy Vogel, 91 Joe Duvall, 4r Dereck Ramirez, 23 Logan Robertson, 78 Trevor Egbert, 4w Tyler Wolff, 137 Bill Pittaway, 141 Rob Sanderson, 91jd Jeremy Davidson, 33z Zack VanderBeek---dns

B-main 2

a1 Phil Dixon, 20 Rodney Sanders, 78w Corey Weir, 23 Adam Cates, 29 Jamie; Campbell, 34 Mickey Lassiter, 12L Cody Leonard, 717 GW Egbert IV, 9 Kevin Rutherford

USMTS Modified heats(Top 12 in passing points to A-main)

Heat 1; 12 Jason Hughes, 97 Cade Dillard, 71 Philip Houston, 12L Cody Leonard, 20 Rodney Sanders, 137 Bill Pittaway, 91 Jeremy Davidson, 4w Tyler Wolff

Heat 2; 89c Steve Whiteaker jr., 21 Chris Brown, 2s Stormy Scott, 4v Billy Vogel, 91 Joe Duvall, 23 Adam Cates, 78 Trevor Egbert, 717 GW Egbert IV

Heat 3; 20rt Ricky Thornton jr., 4m Bobby Malchus, 1s Travis Saurer, a1 Phil Dixon, 23 Logan Robertson, 141 Rob Sanderson, 29 Jamie Campbell, 33z Zack VanderBeek

Heat 4; 91w RC Whitwell, 19r Ryan Gustin, 1st Johnny Scott, 4r Dereck Ramirez, 78w Corey Weir, 34 Mickey Lassiter, 9 Kevin Rutherford

Louden Launches in Limited Modified Main

Shiner's Vince Louden ran away with the 25-lap Limited Modified feature win. After a good side by side battle for the lead with Garrett Higgins for the first five laps, Louden got the spot and began to motor away. On a couple restarts Louden launched himself away from Johnny Torres and built huge leads, at one point a full straightaway.

A late caution rebunched the field with five to go and again Louden got out from the pack and went on to the win in the Louden Motorsports, Rock Motors, Extreme Graphics, 41 Shocks, Pat Foreman Racing Heads, Parks Machine, IRP Chassis.

On the initial start of the 22-car Limited Modified feature Higgins got the lead off of turn 2, but Cody Beddoe had problems in turn 1 for a complete restart. This time Higgings and Tanner Whitmire stayed side by side nearly the entire lap with Higgins getting the edge by a nose. A four-car melee brought the action to a crawl again on lap 1.

Once back to green it Louden getting along side Higgins with it too close to call on lap 2, while Torres got third from Whitmire. Higgins led lap 3 by a bumper, but Louden hung tough. Lap 4 saw Louden get the nose out front and he finally secured the spot on lap 5. Torres took second from Higgins on lap 7 who slowed and pulled off.

Louden had just gotten a big advantage on Torres who had a gap to Whitmire, Lawrence Mikulencak and Dustin Butcher. All that changed when David Schurry went around in turns 3-4. On the restart Butcher jumped L. Mikulencak for fourth and was along side Whitmire for third. Shane Hoefling, who started near the back had moved up to battle with L. Mikulencak for fifth.

At the midway point Louden was again easing away from Torres, Butcher, Whitmite and L. Mikulencak. Butchers night ended when he slowed and pulled to the infield. Whitmire also began to fade giving up spots to L. Mikulencak, Hoefling, Marcus Mikulencak and Mickey Helms. With five to go Louden had a full straightaway on Torres, L. Mikulencak and Hoefling.

Tyler Box went around in turn 4 for a lap 25 caution. On green Louden didn't waste any time quickly rebuilding his margin on Torres while L. Mikulencak and Hoefling ran wheel to wheel. That duo kept it up for three laps before Hoefling finally got the spot. Up front it was Louden, now on cruise control, continuing to pull away from Torres at the checkers.

“That felt like a long 100-lap race,” joked Louden. “After my race last night you wouldn't have thought I had any laps out here, but I've been coming here for about 17 years. I had to regroup. I tried something and it didn't work. I've got to stop messing with that car. I wanted to win another race here since it could be the last laps at Shady Oaks. That really hasn't set in yet.”

“I really didn't change anything for tonight. I changed something last night that shouldn't have, so I went back to where I normally run it. I really like the dry slick over heavy tracks, like tonight. People get a little crazy going wide open. Everyone raced everyone clean tonight. It was fun running side by side that 75 car. I like that racing. Main thing is them running you clean.”

“I think we both gained a lot of respect for each running like that. I was watched he and Tanner(Whitmire) they rubbed a little bit but with these cars if you let off these cars can get loose. He and Tanner both drove me clean.”

“This track will either be dry slick or heavy tacky. I was talking to Lawrence(Mikulencak) about that earlier. He changed his for dry slick, but I went back to my normal set up, which is for dry slick the way I like it. Then it turned out tacky and we were both scratching our heads on what to do. But everyone has to race on the same track.”

“I was waiting for someone to go by me. Sometimes when you're out there you hear motors, even though they might be your own. The main thing is have a clear mind, hit your marks and go. I found a rut on the white flag lap. The car pointed to the infield, I waved at the photographers and said I better go. I was waiting to get sucked up then. It killed my momentum in 1-2, and had to hit my marks in 3-4.”

Limited Modifieds

6 Vince Louden, 66 Johnny Torres, 63 Shane Hoefling, 87 Lawrence Mikulencak, 03 Marcus Mikulencak, 174 Mickey Helms, 58c Hunter Flanagan, 12 Cody Leonard, 56 Broc Bowen, 33jp James Park, 25 Tyler Box, 10 Caleb Hudgeons, 77 Cody Beddoe, 47 James Myers, 161 Hector Aguirre, 12r Roly Rodriguez, 38 David Schurry, 101 Tanner Whitmire, 9* Garett Hayes, 90k Dustin Butcher, 75m Garrett Higgins, 04 Jacob Burnett

Limited Modifieds B-main(Top 4 to A-main)

47 James Myers, 56 Broc Bowen, 161 Hector Aguirre, 04 Jacob Burnett, 11t Tom Grothues, 97 John Witzsche, 26g JJ Jennings---dns, 115 Chuck Perry---dns

Limited Modified heats(Top 18 in passing points to A-main)

Heat 1; 33jp James Park, 75k Garrett Higgins, 58c Hunter Flanagan, 9 Garett Hayes, 77 Cody Beddoe, 25 Tyler Box, 11t Tom Grothues, 26g JJ Jennings, 115 Chuck Perry

Heat 2; 66 Johnny Torres, 87 Lawrence Mikulencak, 174 Mickey Helms, 38 David Schurry, 12 Cody Leonard, 12r Roly Rodriguez, 47 James Myers, 97 John Witzsche, 04 Jacob Burnett

Heat 3; 101 Tanner Whitmire, 6 Vince Louden, 90k Dustin Butcher, 03 Marcus Mikulencak, 10 Caleb Hudgeons, 63 Shane Hoefling, 56 Broc Bowen, 161 Hector Aguirre

Snow Falls in Pure Stock Winners Circle

The 20-lap Pure Stock feature came down to a last lap battle between Joseph Snow(Cuero) and race-long leader Cecil McCreary. Snow, who made his way into the top three early, caught McCreary with two to go. As they slugged it out to the finish it was Snow eking out the win in his Army, Chevy.

As the 22-car Pure Stock field took the green McCreary and Brice Baros did a little rubbing with McCreary getting the lead. Josh Sewell moved into second with Baros third, Jack Kirby fourth and Daniel Preston fifth. After a quick caution for debris Kirby took over third with Daniel Waer and Snow getting by Barosas well.

After a caution for Mason Casteneda, Sewell half spun on the restart collecting Waer. This moved Snow, Baros and Monty Chamberlain into the top five behind McCreary and Kirby coming to halfway. Kirby slipped up on lap giving up second to Snow. Baros also went off track with Chuck Perry and Cheyloh Flanagan picking up spots.

With five to go Kirby fell off the pace while Snow was closing in on McCreary for the lead. Coming to the last two laps Snow turned up the heat while Perry and Colt Beaver, who came out the B-main, got by Flanagan for fourth and fifth. As the leaders took the white flag it was anyone's race. Coming to the line it was Snow getting the hard earned victory.

Pure Stocks

01 Joseph Snow, 75m Cecil McCreary, 32 Monty Chamberlain, 121 Chuck Perry, 20 Colt Beaver, 46 Will Roberts, 58 Cheyloh Flanagan, 1 Chuck Barber, 9 Johnny Westfall, 51 Daniel Waer, 38 Josh Sewell, 66t Charles Thomas, 28m Mason Casteneda, 6 Daniel Preston, 15 James Dear, 99 Brice Baros, 63j Joe Johnson, 02 Shannon Maurer, 7k Jack Kirby, 213 Timothy Smith, 74 Justin Boop, 93 Aaron Leddy

Pure Stock B-main(Top 4 to A-main)

02 Shannon Maurer, 20 Colt Beaver, 93 Aaron Leddy, 46 Will Robert, 19 Mike Horelka, 13 Kris Workman, 8m Josh McCain, 7 Jesse Sandoval---dns

Pure Stock heats(Top 18 passing points to A-main)

Heat 1; 99 Brice Baros, 01 Joseph Snow, 7k Jack Kirby, 28m Mason Casteneda, 121 Chuck Perry, 63j Joe Johnson, 93 Aaron Leddy, 02 Shannon Maurer---dns, 19 Mike Horelka---dns

Heat 2; 32 Monty Chamberlain, 38 Josh Sewell, 15d James Dear, 66t Charles Thomas, 213 Timothy Smith, 9 Johnny Westfall, 7 Jesse Sandoval, 20 Colt Beaver, 8m Josh McCain---dns

Heat 3; 75m Cecil McCrary, 6 Daniel Preston, 51 Daniel Waer, 1 Chuck Barber, 58 Cheyloh Flanagan, 74 Justin Boop, 46 Will Roberts, 13 Kris Workman

Racing continues Saturday night with pit gates opening at 3:00pm, spectator gates at 4:30pm. Hot laps begin at 6:15pm and racing starts at 6:30pm. For more info visit www.shadyoakspeedway. com or their facebook page

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