Sanders scores Gopher 50 trophy
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July 8, 2017  |  by Todd Narveson

The USRA Modifieds were once again a part of the 38th Annual Gopher 50 held at Deer Creek Speedway. Saturday’s program was presented by Biglelow Homes, Arrow Building Centers and Miner’s Outdoor & Rec. Big bonus money was also put into the purse from the Rochester Eagles Club, Tralo Companies and Carroll’s Corn.

A packed house was on hand to witness the Modifieds along with the World of Outlaws Late Models. A big field of 40 USRA modifieds signed in and ran five heat races with the top 12 in passing points locked into the feature. The rest raced through two B-mains with the top six going to the Gopher 50 main event.

After the five heats were run and the passing points tallied up it was time for the redraw in front of the huge crowd. The race originally paid $3,000 to win but Carroll’s Corn of Rochester put another $2,000 on first place to make it $5,000 to win. Then Tralo Companies of Owatonna offered up the Tralo Challenge for the eight redraw drivers.

The top eight would be introduced in order of the passing points and would be asked if they would accept the challenge. The challenge was to give up their redraw spot to start 11th or 12th. Then if they came through and won they would be awarded another $5,000 bonus from Tralo. If the driver did not win they would receive $250 on top of their finish position earnings just for trying. Tralo also added additional money for second and third place and Carroll’s Corn also offered a $500 Hard Charge award.

Top passing point driver Ryan Ruter immediately accepted the challenge. Curt Myers, Mark Motl, and Cory Crapser all declined. Steve Wetzstein then accepted the offer and the remaining six drivers then drew for their positions. Rodney Sanders drew the number one and Dustin Sorensen would start second. A coin was flipped to determine who would start 11th and 12th. Ruter lost the coin flip but Wetzstein chose the 12th starting spot.

After the salute to the fans the green flag flew for the 35-lap main event. Rodney Sanders jumped to the lead followed by Dustin Sorensen and fifth starter Jason Cummins was to third on lap one. Cummins took over second from Sorensen on lap four. Sanders was in control with a good sized lead over Cummins when the leaders started to encounter lapped traffic on lap 13.

Cummins closed the gap but Sanders worked the lapped traffic to perfection. Zack Vanderbeek was on the move from 14th and Brad Waits who started in the 24h and final spot was also picked off cars. Sanders was in control when the races only yellow flag flew on lap 30 to give Cummins and the rest of the field a shot at the leader.

However Sanders would not let the yellow break hos momentum and led the final five laps to pick up the $5,000-win and his first Gopher 50 title. Cummins came home in second while Vanderbeek’s run ended in a third place finish, Cory Mahder had a good run to finish in fourth and Keith Foss raced from 13th to fifth. Brad Waits earned the Carroll’s Corn hard charger bonus as he ended up 10th after he started in row 12.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Racing Association
Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series
Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.
Saturday, July 8, 2017

USRA MODIFIEDS

Heat #1:
1. (1) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
2. (3) 55 Cory Mahder, Eau Claire, Wis.
3. (7) 71 Jason Cummins, New Richmond, Minn.
4. (2) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
5. (5) 73JR Greg Pfeifer, Austin, Minn.
6. (4) 4A Joel Alberts, Mantorville, Minn.
7. (6) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn.
8. (9) 21J Joey Jensen, Harris, Minn.
9. (8) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.

Heat #2:
1. (2) 20M Mark Motl, Owatonna, Minn.
2. (3) 29D Brad Dierks, Clarence, Iowa
3. (4) 33Z Zack Vanderbeek, New Sharon, Iowa
4. (1) 00 Owen Grube, Cambridge, Minn.
5. (7) 49 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
6. (8) 44 Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, Minn.
7. (6) 32 Shaun Peterson, Alexandria, Minn.
8. (5) 1G Patrick Graham, Ankeny, Iowa

Heat #3:
1. (3) 1M Curt Myers, Camron, Minn.
2. (2) 55S Brian Shaw, Brownsdale, Minn.
3. (1) 01 Aggen, Brandon, Rushmore, Minn.
4. (5) 92 Tyler Droste, Waterloo, Iowa
5. (6) 44H Adam Hensel, Hammond, Wis.
6. (7) 23 Darwyn Karau, Kasson, Minn.
7. (8) 6T7 Brian Albrecht, Winona, Minn.
8. (4) 24 Brad Waits, Rochester, Minn.

Heat #4:
1. (4) 555 Ryan Ruter, Clear Lake, Minn.
2. (1) 74 Mark Noble, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
3. (2) 4 Cory Bruggeman, Stillwater, Minn.
4. (8) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn.
5. (7) 45 Levi Nielsen, Evansdale, Iowa
6. (3) 18 Mick Glenn, Minnesota City, Minn.
7. (5) 1 Greg Jensen, Albert Lea, Minn.
8. (6) 72 Doug Hillson, Blooming Prairie, Minn.

Heat #5:
1. (2) 07 Cory Crasper, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
2. (5) 90 Steve Wetzstein, West Concord, Minn.
3. (7) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.
4. (1) 61T Tammy Soma Clark, Rochester, Minn.
5. (6) 28 Parker Hale, Grand Meadow, Minn.
6. (4) 1A Dwaine Hanson, Lakefield, Minn.
7. (3) 77 Jacob Stark, Austin, Minn.
8. (8) 24S Charlie Steinberg, Kasson, Minn.

"B" Feature #1:
1. (1) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn.
2. (5) 49 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
3. (3) 92 Tyler Droste, Waterloo, Iowa
4. (6) 44H Adam Hensel, Hammond, Wis.
5. (2) 01 Aggen, Brandon, Rushmore, Minn.
6. (8) 23 Darwyn Karau, Kasson, Minn.
7. (12) 32 Shaun Peterson, Alexandria, Minn.
8. (7) 73JR Greg Pfeifer, Austin, Minn.
9. (14) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
10. (9) 4A Joel Alberts, Mantorville, Minn.
11. (13) 1G Patrick Graham, Ankeny, Iowa
12. (10) 6T7 Brian Albrecht, Winona, Minn.
13. (4) 61T Tammy Soma Clark, Rochester, Minn.
14. (15) 24S Charlie Steinberg, Kasson, Minn.
15. (11) 1 Greg Jensen, Albert Lea, Minn.

"B" Feature #2:
1. (1) 33Z Zack Vanderbeek, New Sharon, Iowa
2. (2) 4 Cory Bruggeman, Stillwater, Minn.
3. (4) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
4. (7) 44 Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, Minn.
5. (11) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn.
6. (14) 24 Brad Waits, Rochester, Minn.
7. (12) 21J Joey Jensen, Harris, Minn.
8. (8) 18 Mick Glenn, Minnesota City, Minn.
9. (5) 45 Levi Nielsen, Evansdale, Iowa
10. (13) 72 Doug Hillson, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
11. (6) 28 Parker Hale, Grand Meadow, Minn.
12. (3) 00 Owen Grube, Cambridge, Minn.
13. (9) 1A Dwaine Hanson, Lakefield, Minn.
14. (10) 77 Jacob Stark, Austin, Minn.

"A" Feature:
1. (1) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
2. (5) 71 Jason Cummins, New Richmond, Minn.
3. (14) 33Z Zack Vanderbeek, New Sharon, Iowa
4. (7) 55 Cory Mahder, Eau Claire, Wis.
5. (13) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn.
6. (2) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.
7. (15) 49 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
8. (18) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
9. (6) 07 Cory Crasper, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
10. (24) 24 Brad Waits, Rochester, Minn.
11. (16) 4 Cory Bruggeman, Stillwater, Minn.
12. (12) 90 Steve Wetzstein, West Concord, Minn.
13. (11) 555 Ryan Ruter, Clear Lake, Minn.
14. (19) 44H Adam Hensel, Hammond, Wis.
15. (9) 74 Mark Noble, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
16. (23) 23 Darwyn Karau, Kasson, Minn.
17. (3) 20M Mark Motl, Owatonna, Minn.
18. (10) 55S Brian Shaw, Brownsdale, Minn.
19. (4) 1M Curt Myers, Camron, Minn.
20. (8) 29D Brad Dierks, Clarence, Iowa
21. (21) 01 Aggen, Brandon, Rushmore, Minn.
22. (17) 92 Tyler Droste, Waterloo, Iowa
23. (22) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn.
24. (20) 44 Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, Minn.



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