First-time visit pays off for Cummins in Las Cruces
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November 6, 2011  |  by Chris Stepan

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- After two nights of intense qualifying at the 12th Annual Mesilla Valley Transportation USRA Modified Fall Nationals, Johnny Scott of Las Cruces and Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., led the 24-car field to the green in the 50-lap main event Sunday with Scott sliding across the track into the lead at the drop of the green, relegating Phillips to second.

Arizona's R.C. Whitwell quickly raced to the inside of Phillips for the runner-up spot as Scott began to drive away.

Scott led the first 15 laps until Phillips came back to life and stole the lead on lap 16.

Phillips looked as if he may drive away for his first USRA Modified Fall Nationals victory, but a single caution flew during the mid-point of the event, which allowed the field to get into heavy lapped traffic at times.

This allowed sixth-starting Jason Cummins of New Richland, Minn., to reel in Phillips and challenge for the lead for several laps before finally stealing it away on lap 40.

The 2010 USRA RHS Modified National Champion led the final 10 circuits but not without heavy pressure from Phillips in lapped traffic to steal the unlikely victory in his first visit to the state of New Mexico.

Phillips ran second with Johnny Scott third. Jeremy Payne, who started 12th, charged up to fourth at the finish with Stormy Scott coming home in fifth after 50 exciting laps.

Eighty-five different USRA RHS Modified cars and drivers competed over the three days.

In typical Royal Jones fashion, on Saturday night the racer and promoter decided to add $6,800 to the total purse of over $100,000 by adding $200 to each driver who did not make it out of a the Last Chance races.

In a great twist, the top 10 drivers were put into a bidding war with fans and sponsors, who were allowed to bid on their favorite driver and raised a whopping $9,625 of which half went directly to the March of Dimes and the other half to the fan who bid on the winning driver.

In tonight’s case Farmersville, La., driver Brian Craighead bid on Cummins and walked out of the Southern New Mexico Speedway with $4,812.50.

The Southern New Mexico Speedway is located 11 miles west of Las Cruces at the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds. Take exit 132 off I-10, turn left to Robert Larson Blvd., and then head west to the Speedway. For turn by turn directions, log onto

For more information on the Speedway, log onto, link up with us on Facebook, and sign up the e-newsletter by texting "speedway" to 22828 from your mobile phone.

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12th Annual Mesilla Valley Transportation USRA Modified Fall Nationals
Southern New Mexico Speedway, Las Cruces, N.M.
Sunday, November 6, 2011


Last Chance Qualifier #1 (20 laps, top 8 advance): Chad Falco, Dustin Hyde, Kellen Chadwick, Butch Reid Jr., Alex Stanford, Chase Junghans, Grant Junghans, Hunter Rasdon, Tom Georges, Larry Fears, Max Sadler, Travis Tipton, Dickie Gorham, Roger Owens, Dana Fite, Wesley Summers, Bo Martinez, A.J. Sharpensteen, Luke Driskell.

Last Chance Qualifier #2 (20 laps, top 8 advance): Philip Houston, Toby Herring, Josh Cain, Jay Rosales, Brian Craighead, Richie Davis, Tristan Sikes, Brett James, Roy Don Mason, Chris Sims, Holly Jones, Greg Jenkins, James Flemming, Danny Dozier, Dennis Gates, Kevin Clark, Kelly Gorham, Robbie Chiles, Richard Johnson, Christy Georges.

Last Chance Qualifier #3 (20 laps, top 8 advance): Terry Tipton, Garrett Higgins, Peyton Taylor, Zack VanderBeek, Chad Ayers, Randy Reeser, Bob Sikes, Pat Carney, Mike Petersilie, Donovan Ooley, Dusty Riggs, Rick Ortega, Greg Jelvik, Duane Murphy, Ronnie Salas, Dan Lee, John Calvert Jr., Mercedes Harris, Jake Gallardo.

C-Main (25 laps, top 14 advance): Philip Houston, Terry Tipton, Toby Herring, Dustin Hyde, Chase Junghans, Garrett Higgins, Chad Falco, Josh Cain, Jay Rosales, Zack VanderBeek, Hunter Rasdon, Grant Junghans, Alex Stanford, Peyton Taylor, Richie Davis, Bob Sikes, Randy Reeser, Pat Carney, Brian Craighead, Brett James, Butch Reid Jr., Chad Ayers, Tristan Sikes, Kellen Chadwick.

B-Main (25 laps, top 14 advance): Kelly Shryock, Jeremy Payne, Zane DeVilbiss, Chase Allen, Dustin Hyde, Ron Schreiner, Wayne Brooks, Jesse Williamson, Jake O’Neil, Toby Herring, Chase Junghans, Garrett Higgins, Royal Jones, Grant Junghans, Alex Stanford, Zack VanderBeek, Josh Cain, Jay Rosales, Terry Tipton, Chad Falco, Hunter Rasdon, Peyton Taylor, Philip Houston, Randy Brown.

A-Main (50 laps): Jason Cummins, Terry Phillips, Johnny Scott, Jeremy Payne, Stormy Scott, Jimmy Ray, Rodney Sanders, Kelly Shryock, Bumper Jones, R.C. Whitwell, Chase Allen, Jake O’Neil, Grant Junghans, Zane DeVilbiss, Ron Schreiner, Garrett Higgins, Royal Jones, Jesse Williamson, Wayne Brooks, Fito Gallardo, Chase Junghans, Dustin Hyde, Jason Hughes, Toby Herring.

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