Dalton pulls off late-race pass in USRA RHS Modified opener at Springfield
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April 30, 2011  |  by Ronnie Williams

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- After two weeks of rainouts, the 2011 Transport Graphice Chase for the Championship got underway Saturday night at the Springfield Raceway with over 90 race teams ready for action and, as always, the track provided everyone with wheel-to-wheel action.

The USRA RHS Modifieds kicked it off with a $1,000-to-win feature and former track champion Jackie Dalton used a late-race pass to grab the top prize over defending track champion Mitch Keeter in a wild 20-lap feature.

After the top eight in passing points redrew for starting spots, Peyton Taylor of Batewville,, Ark., and the Bad Boy Mowers machine brought the field down to the green with David Hendrix on his outside. Taylor grabbed the opening lead as two-wide action was the norm.

Dalton made the pass on Hendrix for second and began to keep pace with Taylor as Keeter, John Yeoman, Terry Beckham II, Jamie Ragland and Erik Maggard followed.

Caution waved on lap 3 as Hendrix came to a stop, bunching up the field. With Taylor setting a fast pace, Keeter made a high groove move on Dalton and took over second and challanged Taylor. On lap 5, Keeter made a pass to grab the lead and on lap 6 the red flew with a massive five-car jam-up that included Ragland, Kaelie Archer, Rusty Weir and others.

After moving into the top 5, Bobby Pearish's strong run came to a halt as his car began smoking. Keeter paced the field as Dalton and Taylor went wheel to wheel for five laps solid. On lap 10, Dalton took over second from Taylor as Keeter had his hands full with both drivers.

Beckham's run to the front ended on lap 13 as his right rear tire exploded, bringing out the yellow. With Keeter still leading, Dalton and Taylor kept the pressure on as Erik Maggard and Ragland went to battle for the fourth spot.

On lap 16, Dalton put the car to the low groove and made the pass for the lead over Keeter as Taylor followed. Keeter and Taylor went wheel to wheel as Keeter took back the spot.

On lap 17, the race was red-flagged as Jerry Lankton rolled his car in turn 4. On the final restart with Dalton leading, Keeter picked the top lane to attempt to get back around Dalton, but Dalton would claim the victory as Keeter, Taylor, Ragland and Turkey Classic winner Jody Rillman completed the top 5.

Action returns to a 7 p.m. starting time next week at the Springfield Raceway with round 2 of the Transport Graphics Chase for the Championship. Grandstand gates open at 5 with hot laps at 6:15 with action in the USRA RHS Modifieds, Reliable Chevrolet B-Mods, Casey's General Stores Midwest Modz, Missouri Legends Cars, Pepsi Street Stocks and Wheeler Metals Pure Stocks.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
American Racer USRA Weekly Racing Series
Springfield Raceway, Springfield, Mo.
Saturday, April 30, 2011

USRA RHS MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1. Jackie Dalton, Carthage; 2. Mitch Keeter, Webb City; 3. Peyton Taylor, Batesville, Ark.; 4. Jamie Ragland, Lebanon; 5. Jody Tillman, West Branson; 6. Erik Maggard, Springfield; 7. Rustin Miller, Houston; 8. Rocky Berliew, Joplin; 9. Robbie Bryant, Willard; 10. Nathan Cottrell, Nixa; 11. Brian Green, Pierce City; 12. John Yeoman, Granby; 13. Jerry Lankton, Lampe; 14. Lyle Dietrich, Urbana; 15. Terry Beckham II, Webb City; 16. Jordan McCrimmon, Bolivar; 17. Bobby Pearish, Oronogo; 18. Kaelie Archer, Bolivar; 19. Rusty Weir, Warsaw; 20. David Hendrix, Laquey; 21. Billy Dalton, Reeds; 22. Kyle Slagle, Joplin.



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