ENNIS, Texas – The track’s surface was smooth and fast at the Big O Speedway on Friday night, and Bo Day was the smoothest and fastest of all as he powered to his first USMTS victory on opening night of the 10th annual USMTS Texas Spring Nationals.
A second-place finish behind Dereck Ramirez in heat two allowed the 32-year-old from nearby Greenville, Texas, to just squeak into the redraw for the main event.
Joe Duvall claimed the pole while Day started the 40-lap feature race alongside in the front row with both locked in on capturing their first USMTS victory.
Day led Duvall by a nose to complete the first lap, and then pulled away slightly over the next few laps while Duvall tussled with Ramirez for second.
While the track was sticky-fast thanks to the heavy rainfall Wednesday night that forced officials to cancel practice and Thursday’s program, the drivers raced hard and clean.
When the yellow flag waved for a second time on lap 6, a pair of former USMTS national champions-Jason Hughes and Rodney Sanders-were already looking to break into the top five after rolling off 15th and 17th on the grid.
After the restart, the race remained green through lap 14 with Day continuing to set a blistering pace over Ramirez, Duvall, and Tyler Davis while Sanders, Zack VanderBeek Casey Skyberg, Tyler Wolff and Hughes followed close behind.
While under caution, VanderBeek suddenly ducked into the pits and Wolff followed him soon thereafter. After changing a flat tire, Wolff returned to action but VanderBeek never resurfaced.
A fourth and final caution on lap 28 set up a dozen-lap dash to the finish. Despite a valiant effort by Ramirez to make a last-lap pass around the outside, Day slammed the door shut and streaked beneath the checkered flag with his first USMTS triumph.
He pocketed $3,000 for his efforts.
“I’m just happy. We worked our butts off for this one for sure,” Day said in victory lane. “I knew (Ramirez) was there and I knew I had to block on the last lap. I figured he was going to go to the top so just played a little blocking game.”
Despite having a great finish in second, it was another second-best for Ramirez who had 11 runner-up finishes in 2019 and already has two in the first four races of 2020.
Duvall exorcised some demons that haunted lat weekend’s trio of USMTS lid-lifters and finished third while Hughes and Davis were credited with fourth and fifth, respectively.
Bo Day, Dereck Ramirez, Joe Duvall, Jason Hughes, Tyler Davis, Rodney Sanders, Tyler Wolff, Hunter Marriott, Philip Houston, Kevin Sustaire, Clyde Dunn Jr., Tyler Townsend, Calvin Iverson, A.J. Vasquez, Casey Skyberg, Chris Reed, Shayne Bailey, Kevin Rutherford, Zack VanderBeek, David Winslett, Carlos Ahumada Jr., Brandon Givens, Jason Webb, Chase Hatton.