CRANDALL, Texas — Dereck Ramirez collected his sixth Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s victory of the season with a wire-to-wire effort in Sunday’s USMTS North Texas Nationals presented by Penske Racing Shocks at RPM Speedway.
The 33-year-old beat polesitter Jason Ingalls to the flagstand to lead the opening lap. Except for an early caution and a handful of brief challenges by points leader Rodney Sanders, that’s as close as anybody got to spoiling Ramirez’s victory lane celebration during the 40-lap feature.
With most of the back-markers sharing the race leader’s preference for the shortest way around the quarter-mile dirt oval, Ramirez struggled from time to time with lapped traffic but always disposed of those problems before Sanders could pounce and make a move for the lead.
“I was just going to stay in my line,” Ramirez said. “I thought about going to the top and I was like ‘Man, I know it’s pretty clean down here and if I move up and get passed I’m going to be mad at myself.
“It’s just fun to be in victory lane in the land of KR,” Ramirez said, referring to the track’s co-promoter Kevin Rogers.
Ramirez first encountered lapped traffic on lap 12, and quickly disposed of the first two while Jason Ingalls and Sanders battled side-by-side for second with Jason Hughes in their rearview mirrors.
The race’s only caution occurred on lap 14 when Ingalls slowed on the backstretch. Sanders used a great restart to seize second and challenged Ramirez on several occasions throughout the rest of the contest.
After testing every inch of the RPM Speedway racing surface, Sanders eventually settled for the runner-up paycheck but his effort improved the odds of a fourth USMTS points title Sanders.
Ingalls, Jake Gallardo and Hughes were the next three to cross the finish line while Tanner Mullens, Joe Duvall, Terry Phillips, Zack VanderBeek and Max Eddie Thomas rounded out the top-10.
Dereck Ramirez, Rodney Sanders, Jason Ingalls, Jake Gallardo, Jason Hughes, Tanner Mullens, Joe Duvall, Terry Phillips, Zack VanderBeek, Max Eddie Thomas, Tyler Davis, Fito Gallardo, Casey Skyberg, Clyde Dunn Jr., Adam Kates, Jack Sartain, Bobby Malchus, Nathan Hagar, Jason Miles, Joe Wright, Bradley Bracey, Jason Sartain, Justin Ingalls, Kevin Rutherford.