TIPTON, Iowa (June 17)--In dirt track racing, actions speak louder than pedigrees but in the case of Tanner Mullens both are sounding the alarm bell that the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's may have a contender to be the new sheriff in town.
On Wednesday evening, the third-generation 27-year-old from Wichita, Kansas, drew the pole for the start of the 40-lap main event and that was all she wrote.
With Zack VanderBeek breathing down his throat from beginning to end, he never waivered and cruised through the caution-free contest to his second USMTS victory of the season.
And while his name may be unfamiliar to some fans outside of his region, it is one that is synonymous with winning for three generations now.
His father, Buddy Mullens, is a heavily-decorated driver who won 10 Hutchinson Grand Nationals crowns--six of them in the Modified division--at the Kansas State Fairgrounds half-mile dirt track. His grandfather, Pinky Mullens, also claimed a Hutch Nationals title in 1992.
Tanner Mullens is a three-time winner of the Hutchinson event himself, and is now a two-time USMTS winner battling the Best of the Best in the sport of dirt modified racing.
While VanderBeek had to settle for runner-up honors Wednesday, Jason Hughes came out on top of a good racelong battle with Rodney Sanders to finish fourth. Jacob Bleess completed the top five.
Hunter Marriott was sixth and dirt late model standout Chris Simpson recorded a seventh-place finish in his first start with the USMTS.
Dereck Ramirez seized the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award with his eighth-place finish, "Big Daddy" Joe Duvall nabbed a ninth-place paycheck and Kyle Brown was the tenth racer to reach the checkered flag.
For Mullens, it was the third time that he led the most laps in a USMTS feature this season and trails only Sanders in total laps led (157 to 109) during the campaign. In six starts he has five top-five finishes and hasn't been outside of the top ten at the end of any race.
Two down, three to go:The five-day celebration of freedom, fun and fast cars throughout the Hawkeye State continues Thursday at the Mason City Motor Speedway featuring the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's ($2,500 to win) and Christie Door Company Iron Man Challenge featuring USRA Stock Cars ($600 to win) and USRA B-Mods ($500 to win).
Mensink Racing Products USRA Hobby Stocks and USRA Tuners complete the five-division program at the newly-configured high-banked 1/3-mile at the North Iowa Fairgrounds. Race time is 7:15 p.m.
The Mason City Motor Speedway is a 1/3-mile clay oval located 5.1 miles east of I-35 at exit 194 on SR 122 (at the North Iowa Fairgrounds). For more information, call (515) 832-6000 or check outmasoncitymotorspeedway.comonline. You can also like the track's Facebook page atfacebook.com/MasonCityMotorSpeedwayand follow on Twitter attwitter.com/RacinMasonCity.
Friday finds the USMTS Modifieds returning to the Rapid Speedway in Rock Rapids for the 12th Annual USMTS Rapid Rumble presented by American Racer. The $3,000-to-win USMTS penultimate show will see USRA Stock Cars, USRA B-Mods and USRA Hobby Stocks also in action along with Sportsmans. Race time is 7:30 p.m. More information can be found atRockRapidsSpeedway.com.
The fifth round of action during 2020 Iowa Speedweek happens at the Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City for the 14th Annual USMTS Webster City Wrangle presented by D&B Agro-Systems with the USMTS touring titans again sparring over a $3,000 top prize. Also on the card are USRA Stock Cars, USRA B-Mods and USRA Hobby Stocks with race time 7:30. Get more information such as driving directions and news atHamiltonCoSpeedway.com.
All five nights will award national points nights for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's, and Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series in the USRA-sanctioned divisions.
Currently, the 2020 schedule for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's is highlighted by 42 nights of racing at 27 unique dirt ovals for the 22nd season of competition for the world's Best of the Best in dirt modified racing.
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United States Modified Touring Series
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's
5th Annual USMTS Event
Cedar County Raceway, Tipton, Iowa
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, and laps completed. All racers advance to the Casey's "A" Main with the top 8 in heat race passing points redrawing for starting positions 1-8.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
2. (3) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
3. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
4. (6) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.
5. (7) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan.
6. (4) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla.
7. (2) 20F John Fellman, Bluegrass, Iowa
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan.
2. (3) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
3. (2) 10C Cayden Carter (R), Oskaloosa, Iowa
4. (4) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
5. (6) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis.
6. (5) 3G Bryce Garnhart (R), Lanark, Ill.
7. (7) 15K Justin Kay (R), Wheatland, Iowa
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (1) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
2. (6) 32 Chris Simpson (R), Oxford, Iowa
3. (5) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
4. (7) 21K Kyle Brown, Madrid, Iowa
5. (4) 20JR Chase Rudolf (R), Norwalk, Iowa
6. (2) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D.
7. (3) 8S Josh Starr (R), Tipton, Iowa
CASEY'S "A" MAIN (40 laps):
1. (1) 02 Tanner Mullens (R), Wichita, Kan., Mullens/Mullens, 40.
2. (2) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Stoen, 40.
3. (4) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 40.
4. (6) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustoms/Hatfield, 40.
5. (5) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn., VanderBuilt/KSE, 40.
6. (3) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo., Rage/KSE, 40.
7. (8) 32 Chris Simpson (R), Oxford, Iowa, MasterSbilt/ChevPerf, 40.
8. (12) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Cornett, 40.
9. (7) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustoms/BMS, 40.
10. (9) 21K Kyle Brown, Madrid, Iowa, Harris/Tesar, 40.
11. (10) 10C Cayden Carter (R), Oskaloosa, Iowa, VanderBuilt/ChevPerf, 40.
12. (11) 23 Adam Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan., Jet/Speedway, 40.
13. (17) 3G Bryce Garnhart (R), Lanark, Ill., Rage/Maurer, 40.
14. (15) 20JR Chase Rudolf (R), Norwalk, Iowa, Rage/KSE, 40.
15. (18) 6 Casey Skyberg (R), Rapid City, S.D., Lethal/Mullins, 40.
16. (13) 65 Tyler Davis (R), Haysville, Kan., Hughes/Mullins, 40.
17. (16) 55 Nathan Hagar (R), Adair, Okla., GRT/ChevPerf, 39.
18. (14) 27X Calvin Iverson (R), Eleva, Wis., MBCustoms/Tim's, 39.
19. (19) 20F John Fellman, Bluegrass, Iowa, BMS/Motorheads, 37.
20. (21) 8S Josh Starr (R), Tipton, Iowa, Sniper/ChevPerf, 37.
21. (20) 15K Justin Kay (R), Wheatland, Iowa, MasterSbilt/ChevPerf, 14.
(R)= Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year contender
Lap Leader:Mullens 1-40.
Total Laps Led:Mullens 40.
Margin of Victory:0.957 second.
Time of Race:11 minutes, 38.948 seconds (no cautions).
Eibach Spring Forward Award:Simpson (advanced 5 positions).
FK Rod Ends Hard Charger:Ramirez (started 12th, finished 8th).
Next Race:Thursday, June 18, Mason City Motor Speedway, Mason City, Iowa.
Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's Points:Sanders 1337, Ramirez 1268, Hughes 1197, VanderBeek 1118, Marriott 1048, Iverson 1037, Davis 1012, Bleess 901, Skyberg 886, Terry Phillips 873.
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Points:Iverson 1037, Davis 1012, Skyberg 836, Hagar 652, Mullens 567.
Jobbers Warehouse Supply USMTS Manufacturers Championship Points:MBCustoms 129, Hughes 127, VanderBuilt 92, GRT 76, Rage 73.
Compstar/JE Pistons USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Points:Hatfield 110, Cornett 103, Mullins 90, Stoen 87, KSE 75.
American Racer - Kay.
Beyea Custom Headers - Sanders.
BigDeal Car Care - Simpson, Mullens.
Bryke Racing - Skyberg.
BSB Manufacturing - Kay.
Champ Pans - Bleess.
Deatherage Opticians - Kates.
Edelbrock - Bleess.
Eibach - Simpson.
Fast Shafts - Mullens.
FK Rod Ends - Ramirez.
Forty9 Designs - Rudolf, Fellman.
Hooker Harness - Garnhart.
Integra Racing Shocks & Springs - Iverson.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts - Hagar.
K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports - Garnhart.
Keyser Manufacturing - Brown.
KSE Racing Products - Duvall.
Maxima Racing Oils - Mullens.
Penske Racing Shocks - Garnhart.
PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain - Simpson.
QA1 - Marriott.
Simpson Performance Products - Hughes.
Spyder High Performance Filters - Marriott.
Summit Racing Equipment - Rudolf, Fellman, Starr.
Super Clean - Mullens.
Swift Springs - Mullens, Starr.
Sybesma Graphics - Mullens.
Tire Demon - Iverson.
VP Racing Fuels - Mullens.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products - Kay.
Wilwood Disc Brakes - Simpson.