HUMBOLDT, Kan. — Rodney Sanders is the reigning USMTS national champion, but the 24-year-old from Happy, Texas, is hoping to wear a different crown Saturday night.
With a second straight night of stellar qualifying efforts Friday, Sanders emerged as the high points-earner among 93 entrants for the two days and earned the pole position for the start of Saturday’s 100-lap, $10,000-to-win King of America IV main event.
“The Rocket” blasted from 11th on the starting grid to finish second in his first qualifying heat race Friday night, and then won his second match from the outside of the front row.
In addition to garnering the most passing points in his three best-of-four heats, Sanders also primed his pocketbook Friday night with a $1,000 paycheck after a convincing victory in the 16-lap Swan Energy feature for the night’s top 16 points earners.
“The car is really good right now,” Sanders said. “We’re in pretty good shape right now, so we just need to get our set-up right and stay smooth tomorrow night and hope everything works out.”
With two nights of preliminary action in the books, the field is set for Saturday night’s blockbuster finale. From top to bottom, it’s one of the strongest fields of open-wheel dirt modified drivers ever assembled.
With Sanders setting the pace for the drop of the green flag in Saturday’s championship marathon, Cornhusker State speedster Jordan Grabouski will begin his quest for the crown on Sanders’ right side.
Randy Zimmerman won the USRA B-Mod feature.