PETTY, Texas (March 5, 2023) — Touring Modified regular Jake Timm, open-wheel stalwart Talan Willis and Stock car master Justin Whitehead all won features in their respective divisions, as officials presented Day 2 of the USMTS Nationals on Sunday at Rocket Raceway Park.
Timm powered to victory in the 40-lap A Main for United States Modified Touring Series teams; Willis prevailed in a hotly-contested USRA Limited Modified feature, while Whitehead was triumphant in a 16-lap tilt for Factory Stocks.
Rodney Schweizer (Stock Cars) and Trent Gibby (Eco-Mods) were also feature winners on a breezy but beautiful day for racing in northeast Texas.
Timm, of Winona, Minnesota, started on the pole for Sunday's feature, drove underneath Tyler Wolff to take command at lap 28 and hung on to earn top honors. Wolff, who led 20 laps, settled for second at the finish, while 2021 series champion Dereck Ramirez filled out the podium.
Will Krup (Mt. Carmel, IL) and Dan Ebert (Lake Shore, MN) completed the top five.
“I started on the top, but the track was still pretty slimy on both ends,” Timm said in Victory Lane. “I knew at some point it was going to come in for a little bit at least, so I was just kind of waiting for it. When Tyler (Wolff) slid by me, I kind of figured he was getting it rolling.
“I came over here and tried it, and man, it was not ready. I about parked it; I thought I was going to spin out, honestly. I'll have to apologize to Tyler; I didn't mean to get into him late in the race. I just knew my window of opportunity was getting smaller. I got under him, and managed to get it done.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the 40-lap USMTS A Main were Brandon Givens, Jason Hughes, Chris Henigan, Jim Chisholm and Cade Dillard, who charged all the way up from 19th on the 29-car grid. Only two cautions slowed the pace (laps 10, 11), bot for minor spins.
Timm's margin of victory was .882 seconds, as Wolff was never too far behind in the closing laps. Steve Lavasseur, Krup, Cory Davis, Givens, Wolff, Jared Russell and Henigan won their respective qualifying Heats earlier in the day.
Cayden Carter, Carlos Ahumada, Darron Fuqua and Rodney Sanders all won their B Mains.
Willis, of Elizabeth, Louisiana, powered around the outside of Travis Johnson coming off Turn 4 to take control of his feature at lap four and pulled steadily away from the field. Johnson finished a distant second, while Colby Mewborn filled out the podium.
Travis Johnson (Enid, OK) and Tyler Potter (Fulton, MO) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Coston & Sons Ready Mix USRA Limited Modified feature were Jimmy Day, Carson Bradley, Lyndon Johnson, Bailey Dosser and 2021 IMCA National champion Matthew Day. Three cautions slowed the pace (laps 0, 3, 3), all for minor spins.
Willis' margin of victory was a whopping 2.448 seconds, as his car was hooked up and flying.
Whitehead, of Texarkana, started on the pole (never a good sign for his rivals) and followed North Texas stalwart Rodney White for the first 11 laps. Just after the second restart at lap 12, Whitehead blasted around the outside of White and pulled away to add another win to his impressive resume.
The win helped take the sting out of losing to San Antonio's Johnny Torres Saturday in Edna.
Sonny Schoffen crossed the stripe in second, while Edgewood, Texas, native Jeff Hammitt drove up from seventh on the 23-car grid to claim third. White faded to fourth in the closing laps, while Kyle Blanton rounded out the top five.
Finishing sixth through 10th in the By-Line Surveying USRA Factory Stock A Main were Mark Marr, Austin Waters, Gary Fitch, Trey Stevens and Marty Hicks. Only two cautions slowed the pace (laps 11, 12), both for minor spins. Whitehead's margin of victory over Schoffen was a healthy 1.749 seconds.
The rain-delayed USMTS Nationals (moved from Thursday through Saturday to a Saturday/Sunday show) at Rocket Raceway Park drew 77 Modified entries on Day 2 after eclipsing that number on Saturday. With 144 entries spread between five classes, it was a full afternoon and evening of racing.
Officials did a great job of knocking out 16 qualifying Heats and four B Mains, then executed five exciting feature races in a timely fashion. While the pit area may have shown signs of recent rains, track conditions were excellent all weekend. Promoter Kevin Sustaire managed to work his magic.
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By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer