USRA drivers converged on the Lakeside Speedway Thursday for the inaugural “Deuces Wild” event—a special prelude to Friday’s Grant Junghans Memorial.
Defending Out-Pace USRA B-Mod national champion Andy Bryant of Fort Scott, Kan., powered his way to the front from the fourth row and captured the $500 top prize in the division’s nightcap.
Last year’s Iron Man Series titlist, Dakota Foster, finished second and J.C. Morton came from the 16th starting spot to grab the third position. Jake Richards was fourth and Shadren Turner rounded out the top five.
Trevor Hunt—a former USMTS Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year and Iron Man Series champion in the Out-Pace USRA B-Mod division—scored a dominating victory in the 18-lap Holley USRA Stock Car main event.
Polesitter Chad Walker held on to finish in the runner-up spot, with Lucas Conley, Nate Barnes and Justin Seifert rounding out the top five.
Ricky Thornton Jr. and Aaron Marrant both have USRA Modified wins on their résumé, but neither had ever won a USMTS main event prior to Thursday night.
Thornton, who finished second in last weekend’s Featherlite Fall Jamboree at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., drove past Dereck Ramirez for the lead on lap 6 of the first 25-lap feature race and then withstood a furious challenge from Johnny Scott on the final circuit.
Enjoying a ten-car-length lead with four laps to go, Thornton changed his line from the high to the low side which allowed Scott to quickly close the gap.
As the pair came to the white flag, Scott slipped underneath Thornton entering turn one and led him down the back-stretch into the third turn.
Thornton drive deep into the final corner and slid up in front of Scott, but Scott turned back under Thornton and the two drag-raced to the flagstand with Thornton beating Scott to the finish line by a nose.
Austin Siebert, Stormy Scott and Travis Saurer rounded out the top five finishers.
Ricky Thornton Jr. won the first USRA Modified main event.
In the second 25-lap “Deuces Wild” feature race, Missouri’s Marrant raced around the outside of polesitter Lance Town at the drop of the green flag and proceeded to lead every orbit around the high-banked 4/10-mile dirt oval.
Marrant held off World of Outlaws Late Model Series superstar Shane Clanton for the first half of the race and then kept 2016 USMTS national champion Jason Hughes at bay for the final trips around the track to score his first-ever USMTS victory.
Chase Junghans got around Clanton late in the race for third and Lucas Schott claimed the fifth spot.
Both Thornton and Marrant pocketed $1,500 for their efforts.
Following the dual feature races, the top five finishers from each competed in an eight-lap dash race with Schott taking the win and $500 bonus money. Clanton and New Mexico traveler Fito Gallardo finished second and third, respectively.
The biggest and richest one-day event in the history of dirt modified racing will take place tomorrow when more than 100 drivers converge on the Lakeside Speedway for the inaugural Grant Junghans Memorial presented by BriggsAuto.com.
More than $100,000 will be paid out to drivers on this night, including $10,002 to the winner of the USRA Modified main event. Holley USRA Stock Cars and Out-Pace USRA B-Mods will both be running for $700 to win.