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First-time visit pays off for Cummins in Las Cruces
posted: Nov 07, 2011 5:05:10
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LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- After two nights of intense qualifying at the 12th Annual Mesilla Valley Transportation USRA Modified Fall Nationals, Johnny Scott of Las Cruces and Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., led the 24-car field to the green in the 50-lap main event Sunday with Scott sliding across the track into the lead at the drop of the green, relegating Phillips to second.

Arizona's R.C. Whitwell quickly raced to the inside of Phillips for the runner-up spot as Scott began to drive away.

Scott led the first 15 laps until Phillips came back to life and stole the lead on lap 16.

Phillips looked as if he may drive away for his first USRA Modified Fall Nationals victory, but a single caution flew during the mid-point of the event, which allowed the field to get into heavy lapped traffic at times.

This allowed sixth-starting Jason Cummins of New Richland, Minn., to reel in Phillips and challenge for the lead for several laps before finally stealing it away on lap 40.

The 2010 USRA RHS Modified National Champion led the final 10 circuits but not without heavy pressure from Phillips in lapped traffic to steal the unlikely victory in his first visit to the state of New Mexico.