GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. – The three hottest USMTS drivers this season gave the fans at the Valley Speedway a thrilling three-way battle Wednesday night in one of the hottest shows of the season, and Zack VanderBeek basked in the spotlight in the end.
Defending USMTS national champion Rodney Sanders grabbed the lead from polesitter Jeremy Payne at the onset, but Payne held his ground while VanderBeek joined the party to make it a three-car battle at the front of the pack.
Eventually, ninth-starting Johnny Scott chimed in, as did his older twin brother, Stormy Scott, who started 18th but worked his way into the top five by lap 15.
A slew of cautions plagued the middle portion of the 40-lapper, and two of those incidents saw Payne and Johnny Scott exit the track with mechanical woes.
After VanderBeek slipped up on a lap-17 restart and dropped back to seventh, Stormy Scott assumed the second spot but by the time the yellow waved again on the 23rd lap, VanderBeek was back in the hunt.
After leading the first 23 circuits, the right rear tire of Sanders’ machine teetered over the top of the embankment exiting turn two and both VanderBeek and Stormy Scott raced past to drop ‘The Rocket’ to third.
Both remained close, but VanderBeek executed 17 flawless laps to cap off the race and garnered his third win of the year while pocketing the $2,000 winner’s share of the prize money.
Dylan Smith, who started seventh but fell back as far as 19th in the early going, roared back to finish fourth behind Stormy Scott and Sanders, while 16th-starting Bryan Rowland rounded out the top five finishers.
Zack VanderBeek, Stormy Scott, Rodney Sanders, Dylan Smith, Bryan Rowland, Trevor Hunt, Kelly Shryock, Jim Moody, Joe Duvall, Tanner Mullens, Daniel Hilsabeck, Lance Town, Jeff Conner, Lewis Jackson, Dereck Ramirez, Johnny Scott, Austin Siebert, Tim Setzer, Terry Schultz, Dean Wille, Jeremy Payne, Paden Phillips, Darron Fuqua, Shad Badder.