SPRING VALLEY, Minn. – Jason Cummins conquered the 35-lap main event Saturday night during the ninth annual Labor Day Dual at the Deer Creek Speedway for his first United States Modified Touring Series victory since 2011.
After starting fifth on the 26-car grid, the 34-year-old from New Richland, Minn., took fourth on lap four, third on lap five and then snuck by Brad Waits for second with nine laps complete.
After swapping the lead back and forth with Waits for the first five laps, Johnny Scott settled into the lead role on lap 6 and paced the field through lap 14 when Cummins scooted by to take control.
Waits, who dominated the USMTS feature race here during Memorial Day Weekend, moved around Scott three laps later and challenged Cummins the rest of the way.
But Cummins was up to the task and parked his machine in victory lane for the first time since winning on opening night of the World Modified Dirt Track Championship more than three years ago.
The win was worth $3,000 while Waits settled for the runner-up paycheck and Scott held on for a third-place finish.
Tommy Myer wound up fourth and Stormy Scott was fifth. The rest of the top 10 spots fell to Joey Jensen, Craig Thatcher, Zack VanderBeek, Kelly Shryock and Kevin Stoa.
Shryock, who started 19th, padded his pocket by earning the Mesilla Valley Transportation Hard Charger Award.
Defending USMTS national champion Rodney Sanders had a rare night of disappointment. After qualifying for the main event through one of two Real Racing Wheels “B” Mains, the current points leader dropped out of the race on lap 17 with mechanical woes.
Although VanderBeek narrowed the gap, Sanders’s points lead in the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup sits at 129 points (1473 to 1344). By simply showing up at the final two points races, Sanders will garner his second straight USMTS national championship.
Jason Cummins, Brad Waits, Johnny Scott, Tommy Myer, Stormy Scott, Joey Jensen, Craig Thatcher, Zack VanderBeek, Kelly Shryock, Kevin Stoa, Nate Wasmund, John Allen, Brent Larson, Joel Alberts, Josh Angst, Joe Duvall, Bob Gierke, Pat Graham, Doug Hillson, Ron Ver Beek, Clayton Wagamon, Rodney Sanders, Cade Dillard, Dereck Ramirez, Brad Dierks, Darwin Karau.