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Sanders secures Southern Oklahoma Speedway checkers
posted: Jun 12, 2012 3:22:38
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ARDMORE, Okla. -- A little hard work and a little hard luck for his competition was all that Rodney Sanders needed to put himself in the winners circle Friday night as the USMTS Casey’s Cup Series invaded the Southern Oklahoma Speedway.

Sanders’ night had a rough start when mechanical issues forced him out of his heat race. In the meantime, his crew performed an engine change and Sanders rolled out in the last starting spot of the second Real Racing Wheels “B” Main.

Living up to his name, ‘The Rocket’ blasted through the field and won the last-chance race, putting him 14th on the grid for the 35-lap Swan Energy “A” Main.

Three laps into the feature race, Sanders was up to eighth but contact with another car resulted in a flat tire. He rushed into the pits where the crew swapped the bad rubber for good, and then rejoined the 24-car field in last place.

Up front, Jason Hughes was in command from the drop of the green flag but ninth-starting Johnny Scott quickly worked his way through the pack to challenge Hughes for the lead. The pair ran virtually side-by-side for a dozen laps before Scott took control with 21 laps in the books.

Five laps later, Hughes dropped out of the race with a flat tire. Meanwhile, Scott was flying around the 3/8-mile clay oval and seemingly on his way to victory lane when he too became a victim of a flat tire that ended his run.

With seven laps to go, Randy Timms inherited the lead but now Sanders was on his rear bumper. Two laps later, Sanders blasted by on the outside and then powered away the final four laps to claim the $2,000 top prize.

It was the second USMTS Casey’s Cup Series victory of the 2012 campaign for the 21-year-old from Happy, Texas, and his 13th top-10 finish in 13 starts.

Timms held on for the runner-up spot to give the Geddes-powered drivers a 1-2 finish. Stormy Scott came from 11th to finish third, Colby Smith recorded his career-best finish with a fourth-place paycheck and veteran Rick Beebe earned the Mesilla Valley Transportation Hard Charger Award by racing from 20th to 5th in the main event.

Bryan Rowland, Jamie Burford, Billy Turner, Mike Steensma and Casey Penn rounded out the top-10 at the finish line.