LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., defended his title Saturday night at the Southern New Mexico Speedway as he fended off hometown favorites Fito Gallardo and Stormy Scott in the late stages of Saturday's $10,000-to-win USRA Modified main event at the 14th Annual USRA Fall Nationals.
Phillips and Johnny Scott paced the 24-car field to the green flag in the 50-lap feature, which was being held for the first time ever under the lights on a Saturday night after a format change moved preliminary racing to Thursday and Friday nights instead of the traditional Friday and Saturday nights as in previous years.
Phillips took command at the drop of the green and led the field over the first 19 laps until the first caution of the race flew just as Stormy Scott had completed the pass on his younger twin brother while the leaders were engulfed in heavy lapped traffic.
The Scott brothers applied pressure to Phillips for the top spot until lap 21 when Johnny Scott’s machine slid over the banking in turn 1 and suffered a mechanical failure, ending his night and bid for a second USRA Fall Nationals title.
On the restart, Stormy Scott and Rodney Sanders battled for second until two laps later when the third caution of the event flew for a grinding six-car crash that ended Ricky Thornton Jr.’s night and bunched up the field again.
Two more quick cautions slowed the pace on laps 26 and 27.
Phillips took off on the restart again with Stormy Scott and 12th-starting Fito Gallardo giving chase. Royal Jones made contact with Sanders, sending Sanders over the cushion and dropping him outside of the top 10, while Stormy Scott and Gallardo began to turn up the wick and pressure Phillips out front as the laps clicked off.
With 12 laps to go, Phillips bobbled in turn 1 and Stormy Scott was able to steal the top spot, bringing Gallardo along with him into second and dropping Phillips back to third.
A lap after the pass, the yellow flag flew for the sixth time for a spun Zane DeVilbiss in turn 2, bunching up the field and putting Gallardo and Phillips on the back bumper of the leader for the restart.
After two more quick cautions on the next two laps, the field took the green flag for the final 10 laps with Phillips blasting back to the cushion, scooting around the outside of Gallardo and challenging Stormy Scott for the lead.
Three laps later, Phillips stole the lead back and drove off to his second straight USRA Fall Nationals championship and the $10,000 prize that accompanied it.
Gallardo took second from Stormy Scott, but was unable to challenge Phillips for the win.
Jake O’Neil came home fourth after starting 11th and Dereck Ramirez rounding out the top 5 finishers at the 3/8-mile clay oval.
Sanders rallied to a sixth-place finish with Jacob Gallardo seventh, Philip Houston eighth, DeVilbiss bouncing back for ninth and Terry Tipton coming home tenth.
USRA Stock Car national points leader Donovan Flores added yet another victory to his long list of 2013 wins in the feature race for the full-fendered machines.
United States Racing Association - USRA Weekly Racing Series
14th Annual USRA Fall Nationals - Night #3 of 3
Southern New Mexico Speedway, Las Cruces, N.M.
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013
USRA STOCK CARS
No results available at this time
"A" Main: 1. Terry Phillips, 2. Fito Gallardo, 3. Stormy Scott, 4. Jake O’Neil, 5. Dereck Ramirez, 6. Rodney Sanders, 7. Jacob Gallardo, 8. Philip Houston, 9. Zane DeVilbiss, 10. Terry Tipton, 11. Todd Harper, 12. Wayne Brooks, 13. Duane Murphy, 14. Rick Beebe, 15. Tom Georges, 16. Royal Jones, 17. Dana Fite, 18. Dusty Riggs, 19. Chris Dawson, 20. Johnny Bone Jr., 21. Ricky Thornton Jr., 22. Jimmy Ray, 23. Johnny Scott, 24. Christy Georges.
"B" Main: 1. J. O’Neil, 2. F. Gallardo, 3. R. Jones, 4. Ray, 5. Tipton, 6. Beebe, 7. T. Georges, 8. Brooks, 9. C. Georges, 10. Harper, 11. Fite, 12. Murphy, 13. DeVilbiss, 14. Riggs, 15. Richie Davis, 16. Josh Cain, 17. Chris Sims, 18. Luigi Truden, 19. Alan Sharpensteen, 20. Max Sadler, 21. Mike Petersilie, 22. Austin Adams, 23. Bumper Jones, 24. Scott Logston, 25. Nick O’Neil.
"C" Main: 1. Beebe, 2. Petersilie, 3. T. Georges, 4. Logston, 5. Davis, 6. Riggs, 7. Harper, 8. Adams, 9. Sadler, 10. Sims, 11. C. Georges, 12. Murphy, 13. Luigi Truden, 14. Rick Gallardo, 15. Robbie Chiles, 16. Roy Don Mason, 17. Donovan Ooley, 18. Lee Heiligenthal, 19. Sherman Barnett, 20. Butch Reid, 21. John Calvert Jr., 22. Austin Bonner, 23. Nick Herrera, 24. Chad Falco, 25. Jared Perez, 26. Jay Rosales.