Phillips motors to $20,000 USRA Modified Winter Meltdown victory
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February 27, 2011  |  by Dennis Daniel

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., raced around early leader Tommy Weder Jr. and motored away to score the win at the 16th Annual USRA Modified Winter Meltdown and a huge $20,000 payday Sunday.

Phillips also picked up a $2,000 preliminary win on Friday. Sunday’s win was his second Winter Meltdown victory at the Southern New Mexico Speedway.

When 24 USRA RHS Modifieds rolled onto the track for the feature with blustery winds howling throughout the day, it was Weder and Tommy Meyer ready to lead the field to the green flag.

Weder, who also won Saturday’s $2,000 preliminary feature, quickly jumped out into the lead with Meyer tucking in behind.

Phillips, who started third, dropped back to fourth as Jason Krohn raced the top groove of the track on the opening lap.

After running the bottom groove for the first few laps, Phillips also moved to the high line running behind Krohn, who was making his first visit to the Las Cruces track.

Weder led the first 11 laps while Krohn and Phillips raced around Meyer on lap 10.

A lap later, Phillips was able to get around Krohn and set his sights on Weder.

Wasting no time, Phillips quickly drove around Weder after battling side-by-side for a lap. Weder continued to run the bottom groove but kept the new leader in his sights while Krohn was still trying to take over the runner-up spot.

The first caution flag flew on lap 13 when Jimmy Ray and Phillip Houston spun in turn 4.

Phillips held the lead over Weder, Krohn, sixth-starting Jason Grimes (who was also making his Las Cruces debut), local star Johnny Scott and Myer. On the restart, Scott was able to get by Grimes and move into fourth.

The caution flew again on lap 16 when Holly Jones spun in turn 4. As the leaders were battling up front, 17th starting Kellen Chadwick was beginning to make a charge toward the front and was running in 11th on lap 16.

Krohn charged past Weder on lap 17 to take over the runner-up spot as the caution flag flew again when Darrel Nelson spun in turn 2.

On lap 20, Scott made his move to take over the third spot from Weder. A lap later, Myer moved by Weder to take over fourth while 12th-starting Jeff Taylor moved up to the sixth spot on lap 23.

By lap 30, Phillips was approaching lapped traffic while he had opened up a 10-car-length lead.

Weder ended his bid for the win when he slid high in turn 3 and came to a stop. He was able to get moving again but was now a lap down and decided to head to the pits.

Chadwick was continuing his charge and got by Rodney Sanders on lap 33 to move up to seventh.

Phillips worked through traffic with ease as Krohn was chasing and trying to hold off Scott. Meyer and Taylor continued to give chase as well, but Phillips held a half-straightaway lead over his closest competitor.

On lap 38, Chadwick moved by Grimes to move into sixth and he looked to track down fifth-running Taylor. A couple laps later, Scott was looking under Krohn, trying to get to second.

Phillips continued to hold a comfortable lead, while Scott was able to get by Krohn for the runner-up spot. On lap 45, Chadwick moved by Taylor into fifth and they looked to try to catch fourth-running Myer.

A couple laps later, Chadwick, who was making up some ground on Myer, slid too high in turn 3 and allowed Taylor to get back by as they were about to take the white flag.

Phillips easily motored away and won, with Scott, Krohn, Myer, Taylor, Chadwick, Sanders, Grimes, Fito Gallardo and Nelson rounding out the top 10.

“My car was awesome all weekend,” noted Phillips. “The track was perfect. I found the cushion and went to the front.”

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
USRA Weekly Racing Series
16th Annual USRA Winter Meltdown – Night 3 of 3
Southern New Mexico Speedway, Las Cruces, N.M.
Sunday, February 27, 2011

LAST CHANCE #1 (top 5 advance to “B” Main): Kelly Shryock, Royal Jones, Todd Budlong, Stormy Scott, Ryan Engles, Carney, Fleming, Alonso, Mari (DNF), Barnett (DNF).

LAST CHANCE #2 (top 5 advance to “B” Main): Toby Herring Greg Jenkins, Randy Reeser, Holly Jones, Brady Coen, Ortega, Falco, McDaniel, Haug, Owens, Petrell, Seidler (DNF), Georges (DNF), Calvert Jr. (DNF).

LAST CHANCE #3 (top 5 advance to “B” Main): Roy Don Mason, Triston Sikes, Dickie Gorham, Austin Arneson, Chiles, Devilbiss, Ford Jr., Robinson, D. Gorham, B. Sikes Jr. (DNF), Harris (DNF), Puckett (DNS).

“B” MAIN (top 14 advance to “A” Main): Alex Stanford, Jeff Taylor, Jake O’Neil, Darrell Nelson, Fito Gallardo, Royal Jones, Kellen Chadwick, Philip Houston, Austin Arneson, Bob Sikes, Dickie Gorham, Holly Jones, Bryan Rowland, Toby Herring.

“A” MAIN (50 laps): Terry Phillips, Johnny Scott, Jason Krohn, Tommy Myer, Jeff Taylor, Kellen Chadwick, Rodney Sanders, Jason Grimes, Jake O’Neil, Darrell Nelson, Alex Stanford, Bumper Jones, Fito Gallardo, Bryan Rowland, Royal Jones, Philip Houston, Dickie Gorham, Toby Herring, Austin Arneson, Jimmy Ray, Holly Jones, Bob Sikes, Ron Schreiner (DNF), Tommy Weder Jr. (DNF).

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