Dotson dominates Central Missouri Speedway for $3,000 USRA Modified victory
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May 29, 2016  |  by Sam Stoecklin

Matt Dotson celebrates after winning the USRA Modified feature Sunday at the Central Missouri Speedway. (John Lee Photo)

WARRENSBURG, Mo.—Matt Dotson of Hallsville finished off a clean sweep of USRA Modified action Sunday night with a $3,000 victory during the track’s annual Memorial Day Weekend special events.

It was the second night in a row Dotson topped a stellar field of the region’s best USRA Modified drivers, and he took the first step in being eligible for the track’s special event bonus money based around winning at least two of the big three holiday specials.

Dotson’s total take for the weekend was a whopping $4,000 after claiming the $1,000 victory on Saturday night.

Russ Niehoff of Lockwood claimed his first-ever victory with a convincing and dominating win in Out-Pace USRA B-Mod action.

First up was the talent-rich field of Out-Pace USRA B-Mod drivers competing in five heat races and two B-Mains for the 40 drivers on hand.

Driving to heat race wins were Spencer Stephens, Dakota Foster, previous night’s feature winner Tim Powell, Bobby Russell and Jacob Ebert.

Fourteen-year old Nic Carpenter of Leavenworth, Kan., and Cody Brill of Harrisonville captured the two B-Mains.

Bobby Russell of Smithville and Russell Niehoff captured the front row for the Out-Pace USRA B-Mod main event with Steve Clancy and Powell just behind in row two.

From the onset of the event, Niehoff showed he was going to be a top contender as the rest of the field battled for positions behind him.

The Out-Pace USRA B-Mod drivers searched all over the smooth, but often times tricky track condition to find their preferred line.

Credit to this group of drivers for moving around and searching for lines that suit their driving style.

With Niehoff in command, a great battle from second to sixth ensued with Foster, Powell, Ebert, Russell and Clancy through the first half of the race.

Clancy’s night unfortunately came to an early end while running third when he retired midway through the event.

As the laps clicked off, Foster began his charge to the front by taking advantage of the caution restarts with Powell holding strong trying to fend off the advancing Ebert and Brad Smith.

Just outside of the top five, Brill marched from a B-Main transfer position into the top 10 with Luke Nieman also moving up into the top 10 from twelfth on the grid.

In the end, Niehoff drove the smoothest race of his life by holding steady on the restarts and keeping all pursuers behind him.

“That’s my first-ever win” Niehoff said.

Foster crossed the line second with Powell third. A pair of former track champions—Ebert and Smith—finished fourth and fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Russell, Brill, Spencer Stephens, Nieman, and Josh Stephens.

Thirty-eight USRA Modifieds ventured to CMS for competition in five heat races, a pair of B-Mains and the 35-lap main event.

Jon Sheets of Nevada opened the night with the victory in heat one over Matt Johnson and David Wood.

Matt Dotson drove to the victory in heat two ahead of Tanner Mullens of Wichita, Kan,. and Shayne Bailey.

Four-time Memorial Weekend special event winner Chad Lyle drove to the win in heat three over Robbie Reed and Aaron Marrant while Mayetta, Kan., driver Darron Fuqua topped Danny Scrogham and Kevin Blackburn in heat four.

Jim Moody captured the fifth and final heat race ahead of Robbie Test and Dennis Elliott.

Gunner Martin topped Shad Badder and Johnny Fennewald in the first B-Main to transfer to the main event while Ryan Middaugh, Josiah Stephens and Terry Schultz transferred from the second B-Main.

For the start of the $3,000-to-win, 35-lap main event, it was an “all-Matt” front row with Matt Johnson and Matt Dotson garnering the most passing points to lead the way just ahead of Fuqua and Mullens.

Dotson quickly set the pace with Johnson left to fight for the second spot with a host of different drivers through the first third of the race, including Fuqua, Mullens and Sheets.

The drivers were faced with a tricky track surface as moisture crept back up into some of the sheep’s foot holes, sending some blow off up to the middle to high line.

Through a series of several restarts for debris cautions, Dotson held strong up front but the battle for second was one for the ages with a determined Fuqua stepping out and trying to clean up the top of the racetrack nearly by himself.

Credit given to where credit is due as Fuqua and sometimes additional drivers would attempt to get the top clean on the slow pace laps.

On several occasions Fuqua pulled to the side of Dotson but was never able to advance to the front as time and time again Dotson repelled his repeated challenges.

Mullens was a model of consistency all weekend long as he trailed the leaders consistently in third.

Sheets was also a solid contender until a late-race spin ended an otherwise strong weekend at the front of the field of strong drivers.

With just outside of five laps remaining as the event drew to a close, Blackburn put himself in the mix by having strong restarts as he became the latest to try to challenge race-long leader Dotson.

Mullens held strong in third ad an intense battle for the rest of the top five ensued with Lyle, Fuqua, Marrant and Schultz, who moved up from 24th on the field.

One final restart gave Blackburn one more shot at claiming a win in the May special as his father, former track champion Gary Blackburn Jr., did in 2005.

Blackburn drove to the low side in an attempt to get a run for the win but on this night it was Dotson who added his name to the impressive list of Memorial Day Weekend winners at CMS as he claimed the $3,000 top prize.

Behind Dotson, track points leader Blackburn settled for second position with Mullens rounding out the podium in third.

Lyle finished the night strongly by rebounding to fourth ahead of Fuqua in fifth.

Marrant rose from 13th to the sixth spot, one spot in front of Schultz in seventh.

Finishing out the top 10 were Shad Badder, who rose from 21st, and Robbie Reed finished in the ninth position with Dean Wille moving from 17th to 10th.

In victory lane, Dotson thanked Badder and Prime Racing Products for helping him get to the winner's circle.

Next week marks the return of weekly championship racing with the USRA Modifieds, Street Stocks, B-Mods and Pure Stocks. Pit gates open at 4:30 with grandstands opening at 5. Adult general admission is $12 with military members with i.d. and seniors 65 and over $10. Kids ages 6 to 12 are $5 with children 5 and under and senior citizens 75 and over free! Pill draw close for drivers is 6:15 (no passing points for late drivers), pit meeting takes place at 6:30 with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:30.

CMS recently announced the make-up event dates for the rained-out events on May 21 with Saturday, June 25, set for the USRA Modified makeup. Stay tuned to CMS press releases and the website and social media for future announcements.

Keep up with CMS on Twitter @CMSgoing_green. Like us on Facebook at Join our email group by emailing Keep up with CMS news and information by pointing your browser to

CMS is located 3.5-miles north of Warrensburg, MO from the junction of Highways 50 and 13 in Warrensburg just north of the new Hwy 13 by-pass round-a-bout, or from the Higginsville exit off I-70, head south on Highway 13 for twelve and half miles. Keep up with CMS on Twitter @CMSgoing_green. Like us on Facebook at

Join our email group by emailing Keep up with CMS news and information by pointing your browser to Mention of driver names throughout this press release does not guarantee race appearances.

Contact Susan Walls at 816-229-1338 to join the CMS team of business partners, no calls after 8 p.m. There are several opportunities for your business to become involved in the exciting sport of dirt-track racing. No other sport has as many dedicated and loyal fans as weekly dirt racing. Car class sponsorship, event sponsorship, race night sponsorship, signage, points-sheet advertising, and special-event sponsorship are just a few of the ways to put your marketing and branding logo in front of the loyal race family!

CMS wishes to thank its 2016 primary sponsors for their support this season! Cliff Harris Warrensburg Ford, Budweiser, KMZU 100.7 FM, Sunoco Race Fuels, KMMO FM 102.9, Midwest Coatings, Better Country KIX 105.7, KSDL, and KSIS FM, Comfort Inn Warrensburg Station, KRLI FM 103.9 & KAOL 101.3 FM The Grenade, Pepsi, 610 Sports Radio Kansas City, Heartland Waste, and 'Today's New Hit Country' 95.3 FM KDKD.

This list of 2016 outstanding business partners includes: Victory Trophies & Plaques, Joslins Jewelry, Batliner Recycling, DQ Grill & Chill of Warrensburg, Blue Springs Chiropractic, Economy Lumber, Kleinschmidt's Western Store, OK Tire Stores, Eickleberry Concrete & Construction, LJS Graphics, Finish Line Performance, Wolf Tire Service, JA Performance and Outdoor Services,, and Seeburg Mufflers.

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United States RAcing Association
USRA Weekly Racing Series
Central Missouri Speedway, Warrensburg, Mo.
Sunday, May 29, 2016

1. 10r Russell Niehoff, Lockwood
2. 5x Dakota Foster, Gardner, Kan.
3. 57 Tim Powell, Lansing, Kan.
4. 5 Jacob Ebert, Oak Grove
5. 99 Brad Smith, Belton
6. 7b Bobby Russell, Smithville
7. 96 Cody Brill, Harrisonville
8. 09jr Spencer Stephens, Buckner
9. 181 Luke Nieman, Nortonville
10. 09sr Josh Stephens, Buckner
11. 68m Dean Wille, Warrensburg
12. 49 Patrick Royalty, Kanas City, Kan.
13. 66x Chris Wright, Chillicothe
14. 57a Randy Ainsworth, Excelsior Springs
15. 77 Brett Wood, Warrensburg
16. 07 Daniel Harris, Excelsior Springs
17. 20 Michael Bixby, Harrisonville
18. 26 Anthony Whitham, Kansas City
19. 33 Nicholas Carpenter, Leavenworth, Kan.
20. 22 Steven McDowell, Independence
21. 28s Bill Small, Holden
22. 50jr Leroy Morrison, Raymore
23. 22c Cole Campbell, Mexico
24. 12c Steve Clancy, Odessa

1. 88d Matt Dotson, Hallsville
2. 26k Kevin Blackburn, Fulton
3. 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan.
4. 33 Chad Lyle, Oak Grove
5. 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan.
6. 70 Aaron Marrant, Richmond
7. 90 Terry Schultz, Sedalia
8. 73b Shad Badder, Oak Grove
9. 5r Robbie Reed, Mexico
10. 68 Dean Wille, Warrensburg
11. 82 David Wood, Richmond
12. 75 Gunner Martin, Blue Springs
13. 21 Ryan Middaugh, Fulton
14. 27t Robbie Test, Jefferson City
15. 92 Danny Scrogham, Peculiar
16. 7 Shayne Bailey, Lathrop
17. 8s Jon Sheets, Nevada
18. 12v Nathan Vaughn, Sedalia
19. 1x Matt Johnson, Archie
20. 85s Tyler Shaw, Mexico
21. 00m Jim Moody, Odessa
22. 29 Dennis Elliott, Mt. Ayr, Iowa
23. 8 Johnny Fennewald, Appleton City
24. 209 Josiah Stephens, Grain Valley

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