HomeOpen Wheel Modified NewsFifth USMTS title worth $100,000 for Sanders

Fifth USMTS title worth $100,000 for Sanders

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With a series-best five wins during the 2023 campaign, Rodney Sanders has been crowned the champion of the Summit USMTS National Championship presented by RacinDirt.Becoming just the second driver in the 25-year history of the USMTS to capture at least five titles, “The Rocket” will pocket $100,000 for his efforts to go along with the Leon Ramirez Trophy when the USMTS hosts their annual awards banquet this January in Kansas City.Sanders notched 17 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes in his 34 starts. Three of his five wins happened at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., while the other two happened at the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., and all-new Arrowhead Speedway in Colcord, Okla.After a slow start to the season where he finished inside the top five just twice in the first eight USMTS races, Sanders went on a streak of eight straight top-fives that propelled him to the points lead.Sitting 24th in points after the opening weekend at the Rocket Raceway Park in his home state of Texas, he didn’t even crack the top ten in points until the ninth race of the season.On April 22, he was sitting fourth in points heading to the Hamilton County Speedway, and left in third place. But after sweeping the first two nights at the Deer Creek Speedway during the Memorial Day Weekend four-banger, Sanders found himself sporting the orange Weiland Points Leader spoiler.At 19 years of age, the driver from Happy, Texas, earned his first USMTS win at the at the LA Raceway in La Monte, Mo.His most recent win in October was the 117th of his career—good enough for third on the all-time wins list behind Kelly Shryock (182) and Jason Hughes (157). He led the most laps in 2023 too, crossing the start-finish line in first-place on 177 occasions.Behind the top three, fourth on the top ten career wins list for the USMTS are Ryan Gustin (103), Zack VanderBeek (51), Stormy Scott (48), Johnny Scott (45), Tommy Myer (42), Terry Phillips (40) and Jon Tesch (36).Summit USMTS National Championship presented by RacinDirtFinal 2023 standings and statistics1. 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas … 2736 (5 wins)2. 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla. … 2587 (2 wins)3. 24C Jim Chisholm, Osage, Iowa … 2492 (2 wins)4. 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla. … 2466 (1 win)5. 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan. … 2460 (2 wins)6. 0 Jake O’Neil, Tucson, Ariz. … 2439 (2 wins)7. 60 Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, Minn. … 2358 (2 wins)8. 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark. … 2325 (2 wins)9. 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo. … 2315 (2 wins)10. 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa … 2278 (1 win)11. 10C Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa, Iowa … 2266 (2 wins)12. K9 Will Krup, Mt. Carmel, Ill. … 217013. 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan. … 212114. 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas … 2120 (1 win)15. 11X Tom Berry Jr., Des Moines, Iowa … 2069 (2 wins)16. 4 Jeremy Nelson, Alexandria, Minn. … 204217. 58X Gary Christian, Broken Bow, Okla. … 183818. 49 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn. … 1835 (4 wins)19. 21K Kyle Brown, Madrid, Iowa … 183420. 10B Brandon Givens, Wichita, Kan. … 173221. 99L Steve Lavasseur, River Falls, Wis. … 1726Other winners:65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan. (1 win)50III Brandon Davis, Hayfield, Minn. (1 win)19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn. (1 win)97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La. (1 win)Shryock was the first USMTS National Champion and scored his first of eight straight titles in 1999. He bounced back to notch his ninth title in 2009 after Minnesota racers Jason Krohn and Tim Donlinger claimed the 2007 and 2008 crowns.In 2010, Hughes earned his first USMTS National Championship. Three more followed in 2015, 2016 and 2017 for the legendary chassis builder whose shop is practically across the street from the Arrowhead Speedway.Ryan Gustin recorded back-to-back national championships in 2011 and 2012 while Sanders did the same at the conclusion of the 2013 and 2014 campaigns. Sanders also took the titles in 2019 and 2020.Johnny Scott had a dominating 2018 season to claim his first and only USMTS national championship—one that was worth a record $50,000 at the time.After a pair of runner-up finishes behind Sanders in the 2019 and 2020 campaigns, Dereck Ramirez finally sealed the deal in 2021 and pocketed a record $70,000 for his team’s efforts.Last year, Dustin Sorensen became the first driver to win “The Leon” and $100,000 for his first USMTS title.Summit USMTS National Champions:1999 – Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa2000 – Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa2001 – Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa2002 – Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa2003 – Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa2004 – Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa2005 – Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa2006 – Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa2007 – Jason Krohn, Slayton, Minn.2008 – Tim Donlinger, Rochester, Minn.2009 – Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa2010 – Jason Hughes, Westville, Okla.2011 – Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa2012 – Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa2013 – Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas2014 – Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas2015 – Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.2016 – Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.2017 – Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.2018 – Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.2019 – Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas2020 – Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas2021 – Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.2022 – Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.2023 – Rodney Sanders, Happy, TexasNo title is more sought after in dirt modified racing than the Summit USMTS National Championship presented by RacinDirt. In fact, only nine drivers have done so in the 25-year history of the USMTS.Watch every USMTS event online live and on-demand from anywhere on any device with RacinDirt. Download the app at RokuAmazon FireiOSApple TV or on Google Play.Visit usmts.com for schedulespointsphotossouvenirsvideos and more. Follow our social media channels on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTubeClick here to get USMTS news delivered to your inbox.

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