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Narveson: Rochester's Sorensen riding high atop USMTS points standings

Rochester native Dustin Sorensen continues to sit atop the United States Modified Touring Series points standings, though some veteran drivers are closing the gap on the leader.

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Dustin Sorensen
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The United States Modified Touring Series had another three-race swing last weekend through Kansas and Missouri.

Rochester native Dustin Sorensen still holds the series points lead, but his lead has shrunk to 57 points as the USMTS takes a three-week break from action before resuming on Sept. 2 at Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, Wis., and Sept. 3 at Deer Creek Speedway near Spring Valley. The finale of the Labor Day weekend swing will be at the Fayette County Speedway in West Union, Iowa on Sept. 4.

Thursday, Aug. 11, had the USMTS at the Dallas County Speedway in Urbana, Mo. Sorensen had an excellent run there, going from 14th to fifth, and earned the hard charger award. Alex Williamson of Rushford was also on the three-race swing and finished 12th in Urbanan, while Chatfield’s Jacob Bleess ran 14th.

Friday, Aug. 12, the scene moved to the Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. This event was the annual Grant Junghans Memorial race that paid a whopping $20,002 to win the Modifieds main. Junghans is a former USMTS regular, who drove many laps at tracks in southeastern Minnesota. He passed away in March of 2016 at age 27.

Tanner Mullens of Wichita, Kan., was the big winner at the end of the night, taking home the big check and the trophy that goes with. Sorensen picked up another podium finish, placing third. Bleess was 11th, while fellow Chatfield driver Lucas Schott was 17th. Williamson missed qualifying for the main event by one spot.

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Saturday, Aug. 13, the series moved to the newly renovated I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo. In a very exciting finish Rodney Sanders held off Lucas Schott by 42-thousandths of a second at the finish line. Sorensen had a little tougher time and finished 12th, Bleess was 19th and Williamson failed to qualify for the main event.

With nine races left on the USMTS schedule, Sorensen has 2,412 points, 57 more than second-place driver Tanner Mullens (2,355). Mullens is the only driver within 100 points of the leader.

Last weekend a near wash-out

Not much stock car racing took place at area tracks the weekend of Aug. 12 and 13. On Friday, Aug. 12, Chateau Speedway in Lansing was forced to cancel its program due to the rain that fell the previous morning.

Over at Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, they had a scheduled weekend off, due to the annual Ashley For The Arts festival held in Arcadia, Wis.

The only game in town locally was on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Deer Creek Speedway, which hosted its annual Veteran’s Night. Military veterans and their guest received free admission courtesy of Rochester Chevrolet. The night was to raise money for the Disabled American Veterans (D.A.V.) Mayo Southeast Chapter 28.

Rochester Chevrolet also made a $10,000 donation to the D.A.V. when the 50/50 total pot went over $5,000. Rochester Chevrolet also added to the drivers purse money with an extra $1,000 added to the top 10 in all five divisions.

There was a push-up challenge for the feature winners in victory lane, raffles, 50/50 ticket sales, t-shirt sales and a live auction also. Northern County Co-op along with Randy & Sandy Norby also helped present the program.

With tracks in this area either rained out or took a planned week off, Deer Creek definitely benefited from that car-count wise. A season high 132 cars were on hand. That was the highest car count for a points night of racing since July 14, 2018.

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It was a busy night with 27 races on the card. There was plenty of great racing and three roll-overs took place.

• A large field of 44 USRA B-Modifieds took five heat races and two B-mains to determine their 26-field for the 18-lap feature race.

Cole Bennerotte took the early lead and was chased by Garitt and Michael Wytaske. Dan Hovden worked his way to fourth and it was a four-car tussle for the lead. Joe Chisholm cracked the top five and closed on the lead quartet. Dylan Goettl spun in turn three and Dennis Dunbar had to place to go and slid into Goettl. Hard contact was made and Dunbar’s car rolled onto its side. The red flag came out and it took several minutes to clean up the wreck, but both drivers were uninjured.

After a flurry of three straight cautions Dan Hovden took the lead while Chisholm was second. Another red flag came out when Garitt Wytaske and Taylor Ausrud collided on the front stretch. Kyle Anderson also got involved and flipped onto his side. All three drivers were uninjured and yet another delay to clean up the incident.

Chisholm took the lead on lap 15 and pulled away for his third win of the season. Chisholm then did 50 push-ups in victory lane to benefit the D.A.V. Hovden was second with Michael Wytaske, Josh Roney and Noah Grinstead in the top five.

• Nick Schwebach took the early lead in the WISSOTA Street Stock feature. Marcus Berndt, Kory Adams and Kolton Brauer raced three-wide for second. Brauer took the spot and then set after Schwebach.

Schwebach and Kolton Brauer had a good battle up front while Braden Brauer got to third and closed in on the lead duo. After a yellow on lap 12, Kolton Brauer took the lead, but it remained a tight race up front. Kolton Brauer drove on to his second win of the season and he also did 50 push-ups for the D.A.V. Schwebach was second with Braden Brauer third. Kyle King finished in fourth and Adams was fifth.

• The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds had a strong field of 29 cars. Billy Steinberg took the lead from the start while the pack raced three-wide behind him. A yellow on lap seven slowed the race. Steinberg led on the restart while Christopher Deno, Ryan Goergen and Kadden Kath raced for second. Kath moved to second and then challenged Steinberg for the lead. Kath threw a slide job to take the lead in turn four on lap nine.

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Kath led but was seriously challenged by Mitch Weiss in the late stages of the race. Weiss made a valiant effort but it was Kath to the finish line first for his ninth win overall this season. Kath then did 46 push-ups for the D.A.V. Weiss was a close second and Les Duellman charged from 11th to third. Trevis Underdahl was in the mix most of the race and finished fourth with Deno fifth.

• Rookie driver Levi Schott almost got his first ever win in the USRA Stock Cars. Schott led the entire race until a caution came out on lap 18.

Three laps before that on lap 15, Mitch Hovden and Blake Adams got together on the front stretch. Adams car slid down the track caught the inside berm and rolled over several times into the infield. Both drivers were uninjured, but Adams’ car was heavily damaged.

After the lap 18 caution, Schott held the lead, but Derek Green and Kevin Donlan were right there. Green used the inside groove on the final lap to steal the win. Green also did 46-push ups for the D.A.V. in victory lane. Schott was second with Donlan third, Jesse Brown fourth and Travis Shipman fifth.

• Parker Hale jumped to the lead in the USRA Modified 25-lap feature. After a lap three caution, Brandon Davis took the lead on lap four and opened up a lead. Hale, Davis Baxter and Keith Foss raced for second. Foss moved to second on lap six, but the car on the move was Jim Chisholm. Chisholm started 12th and had charged to third on lap 12. Chisholm reeled in Foss and took second on lap 20. Davis had a big lead, but entered lapped traffic.

When Davis tried to lap some cars, Chisholm closed in and on lap 23 the race was on for the lead. Chisholm was scored the leader at the white flag on lap 24. The lead duo was still in heavy lapped traffic and played a factor in the finish. Chisholm went low in turn three and got pinned behind a slower car. Davis moved to the mid groove and slipped past Chisholm for the win by .065 at the line. Davis then got 60 push-ups in for the D.A.V. Tralo Companies and Speedwerx had put up an extra $100 for each push up for a total of $123 for each push up Davis did.

Chisholm finished a close second while Foss had a strong run in third. Baxter had a good run of his own in fourth and Hale ended up fifth.

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