Sanders Sails To Victory In Arizona

Rodney Sanders won Saturday's modified feature during the Wild West Shootout. (Terry Page Photo)
Rodney Sanders won Saturday's modified feature during the Wild West Shootout. (Terry Page Photo)

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. – The Mesilla Valley Transport and Border Tire Modifieds presented by Arizona Differential had another tough act to follow on Saturday at Arizona Speedway during the Wild West Shootout, but they were up for the challenge.

Once the race got going, outside pole sitter Clint Johnson led the opening laps. The first Midwest Sheet Metal caution flag waved on lap eight, when Calvin Iverson tangled with Carlos Ahumada Jr. between turns one and two.

Friday night’s winner Tyler Peterson took advantage of the restart opportunity and blasted around the outside of Johnson, to claim the lead on lap nine.  However, Peterson’s time out front was short-lived, as sixth place-starting Rodney Sanders worked his way around Peterson for the lead on lap 11.

Sanders continued to stretch his lead over the field until lap 21, when the second Midwest Sheet Metal caution flag was displayed after Dustin Strand made contact with Jayson Good while the two were battling for third place.  Good’s spin relegated him to the back of the field and he finished 18th.

The ensuing four lap shootout was anticlimactic, as Sanders ran away in the closing laps, winning by 2.364 seconds over Peterson, with Strand coming home in third.  After leading early and running in the top-five all race, Clint Johnson capped his solid night with a fourth place finish, while Lucas Schott secured the $100 Schill Construction Hard Charger award after starting 22nd and completing the top-five finishers on Saturday.

The X-Mods presented by Barnett Harley-Davidson held a rough and tumble 25-lap feature on Saturday, a race that was slowed by seven Midwest Sheet Metal caution flags.

Preston Carr earned his second win of the week, after powering around race-long leader, Gabe Hodges on a mid-race restart.  The biggest incident took place on lap 21, when Jory Berg, Parker Hale and Josh Cain all tangled between turns one and two. Unfortunately for Berg and Hale, the incident ended their nights and they were credited with finishing 12th and 14th, respectively. Cain finished ninth.

Just like the modified feature, the four lap sprint to the finish was rather uneventful, as Carr left all challengers in his dust. Carr claimed his second X-Mod feature victory of the week by 2.277 seconds over Tyler Mecl. Friday night’s winner, Lance Schill finished third on Saturday, while Kelly Hagel and Hodges completed the top-five finishers.

The finish:

1. 20-Rodney Sanders[6]; 2. 1TPO-Tyler Peterson[1]; 3. 71-Dustin Strand[3]; 4. 37-Clint Johnson[2]; 5. 69-Lucas Schott[22]; 6. 111X-Logan Drake[4]; 7. 7A-Shane Sabraski[12]; 8. 10-Dustin Robinson[10]; 9. 444-Brooks Strength[7]; 10. 21-Jacob Bleess[24]; 11. 7T-Joseph Thomas[14]; 12. 6-Casey Skyberg[18]; 13. 65X-Carlos Ahumada Jr[13]; 14. 91-Joe Duvall[19]; 15. 25-Adam Bohlman[16]; 16. 21X-Travis Saurer[20]; 17. 27X-Calvin Iverson[11]; 18. 85-Jayson Good[8]; 19. 5TK-Tyler Kaeter[23]; 20. 73-Andy Jones[21]; 21. 111-Bumper Jones[15]; 22. 15S-Wade Skindelien[17]; 23. G17-Fito Gallardo[5]; 24. 8-Dillon McCowan[9]