HUMBOLDT, Kan. – Former teammates Terry Phillips and Jeremy Payne share the top point totals after the first night of qualifying for the United States Modified Touring Series King of America III Modified Nationals at the Humboldt Speedway Thursday.
Each driver competed in two heat races Thursday night, earning passing points that will help set the field for Saturday’s $10,000-to-win finale. Phillips won his first heat race and finished second in the second. Payne followed suit, giving each Springfield, Mo., driver a total of 126 points with one more day of racing before Saturday’s feature field is set.
Rodney Sanders sits third with 124.5 points. Al Purkey, Darron Fuqua and Zack VanderBeek are knotted in fourth with 122 markers each.
VanderBeek also claimed the 10-lap Race of States, outrunning Stormy Scott for the victory. Scott won last year’s King of America crown after a fierce battle with VanderBeek in the closing laps.
Nine-time USMTS national champion Kelly Shryock won the inaugural race in 2011.
Thursday’s show saw 140 cars compete in 27 races for a toal of 274 laps in 4 hours, 6 minutes and 22 seconds.
The King of America III Modified Nationals continues with another grueling night of qualifying on Friday. The crown jewel event will culminate on Saturday night with a 100-lap main event for the USMTS Modifieds that pays $10,000 to win and $1,000 to start.
Each driver will again race in two heat races Friday and will be inverted from their Thursday night starting slots with varied competitors in each. Each heat race will feature 10 or more starters and will be 10 laps long, giving drivers the chance to advance as much as possible The USMTS passing points system will be used for all heat races and combined over the two days to determine line-ups for Saturday’s events.
Heat Race Winners
Round One: Jon Tesch, Terry Phillips, Chris Brown, Lucas Schott, Darron Fuqua, Jeremy Payne, Al Purkey, Zack VanderBeek, Jessy Willard and Ron Jones.
Round Two: Rodney Sanders, Johnny Scott, Steve Muilenburg, Joey Jensen, Jason Hughes, Al Purkey, Zack VanderBeek, Jessy Willard.
Top 10 In Passing Points: Terry Phillips, 126; Jeremy Payne, 126; Rodney Sanders, 124.5; Al Purkey, 122; Zack VanderBeek, 122; Chase Junghans, 120.5; Dustin Boney, 120.5; Stormy Scott, 120.5; Thomas Tillison Jr., 118.